SINGAPORE, November 9. AS the last meet in the 2012 FINA World Cup Circuit, athletes racing this weekend in Singapore will receive double points towards their overall rankings in each event. Can we conclude that double the points means double the pressure?
This statement may only be true in the race for the title on the men's side, as Katinka Hosszu has more or less cashed the $100,000 check for the women's title. Let's put it this way: in order for Hosszu to NOT win the overall Circuit, she would have to fail to score a single point and the current second-place contender, Zsuzsanna Jakobos of Hungary, would have to set a world record.
Fortunately it's a bit closer on the men's side. Although Japan's Daiya Seto is ahead in total money winnings, he's third in the point's standings behind Australia's Kenneth To and Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell.
The overall tone of a meet is set in the early races, and the first race in Singapore is the men's 100 freestyle. The United States' Anthony Ervin had a remarkable win in the event earlier in the week in Tokyo, although his placing in the event has sometimes been inconsistent. In a circuit that has had spectators expecting certain people to dominate specific events, it is always a breath of fresh air when the unexpected happens.
The women's 100 breaststroke is another race that passes between hands. The United States' Jessica Hardy won the event at the last stop, but the title has been passed around to a number of competitors at previous circuit stops, including Sweden's Jennie Johansson. Johansson will also be racing the 100 breaststroke on the first night.