BERLIN, Germany, November 14. THE first day of finals at the FINA World Cup stop hosted in Berlin featured five world records, upping the total for 2009 to 113.
Women's 800 free
Denmark's Lotte Friis opened the night with a World Cup record in the distance event. She clocked a time of 8:04.61 for the win, just off Alessia Filippi's world record of 8:04.53. She lowered her own circuit mark of 8:07.94 set during the Stockholm stop. Chile's Kristel Kobrich placed second overall in 8:08.02, while Filippi completed the podium in 8:16.94. Kobrich's time beat her national record of 8:09.25 also set at Stockholm.
Men's 100 free
Canada's Brent Hayden captured the title in 45.56, just off Stefan Nystrand's World Cup record of 45.54 set in Stockholm. The swim beat the Canadian record of 45.75 set by Hayden in Stockholm. Nystrand settled for second in 45.73, while South Africa's Lyndon Ferns took third in 46.03.
Women's 200 free
Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom snatched the crown in 1:53.77, just off Libby Trickett's World Cup record of 1:53.29 from Sydney 2005. She also just missed Josefin Lillhage's Swedish record of 1:53.55 from 2007. Australia's Merinda Dingjan (1:54.61) and Canada's Alexandra Gabor (1:54.97) rounded out the podium.
Men's 50 breast
South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh dipped the sprint breast world record even further with a swift 25.25. His effort lowered his previous best of 25.43 set in August of this year. He also smashed his previous World Cup standard of 25.58 set in Moscow. Teammate Roland Schoeman nearly cleared the old global standard with a second-place 25.45, while Brazil's Felipe Silva took third in 25.70.
Van der Burgh's world record marked the 109th such performance this year, eclipsing last year's tally of 108.
Women's 100 breast
In a marquee matchup, Lethal Leisel Jones of Australia proved she's back with a sizzling time of 1:03.00 to beat Jessica Hardy of the U.S. (1:03.30). Both swimmers beat Jones' world record of 1:03.72 set in Canberra last year for the 110th world record of the year. The times also beat Jones' World Cup record of 1:03.74 set in Stockholm. Hardy's time lowered the American record of 1:03.75 she set in Moscow.
Here are the comparative splits of each swim:
Jones 2008: 30.41, 1:03.72 (33.31)
Jones 2009: 30.05, 1:03.00 (32.95)
Hardy 2009: 29.49, 1:03.30 (33.81)
The Netherlands' Moniek Nijhuis placed a distant third in 1:04.56.
Men's 400 IM
South Africa's Chad Le Clos won the distance medley event in 4:02.18, while Poland's Lukasz Wojt took second in 4:03.20. Russia's Alexander Tikhonov wound up third in 4:04.51. Le Clos lowered his South African record of 4:04.19 set in Stockholm, while Wojt beat his Polish mark of 4:05.13 from last year. Tikhonov also beat the Russian record of 4:05.83 set by Igor Berezutskiy back in 2006.
Women's 100 fly
Australia's Felicity Galvez went from worst to first after turning eighth at the 50-meter mark. She finished the race with a 55.62 for the win. France's Diane Bui Duyet placed second in 55.84, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen finished third in 55.86 to lower her national mark of 56.70 set last year.
Men's 100 back
In an exciting finale, world record holder Aschwin Wildeboer of Spain emerged triumphant with a time of 49.55. Peter Marshall of the U.S. settled for silver in 49.65, while Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin took third in 49.66.
Women's 50 back
Australia's Marieke Guehrer won the sprint back event in 26.09, while Germany's Daniela Samulski took second in 26.21. World record holder Zhao Jing of China fell back to third in 26.30.
Men's 200 fly
Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov topped the event in 1:50.58, while Brazil's Frederico Castro placed second in 1:51.64. Australia's Nick D'Arcy completed the top three in 1:51.72, while Michael Phelps finished a surprising fifth in 1:52.26. Phelps has definitely been struggling in the World Cup so far while wearing a circa 2010 suit. Additionally, he's had to deal with being out of shape after a strong meet at the 2009 World Championships and competing in short course meters – a distance he rarely swims. Almost lost in the surprising fifth-place finish, Phelps clipped his 2003 American record of 1:52.27 set in Melbourne.
Women's 200 IM
China's Li Jiaxing won the race in the final stretch after turning third at the 150-meter mark. Li clocked a 2:07.34 for the win, while Whitney Myers of the U.S. faded to second in 2:07.61. Germany's Theresa Michalak claimed third in 2:07.65. Li set the Chinese record, beating her 2:07.67 from Stockholm, while Michalak crushed the German record of 2:09.40 set by Teresa Rohmann back in 2004.
Men's 400 free
For the 111th world record thus far this year, Germany's Paul Biedermann produced a stunning swim for the home crowd. Biedermann clocked a 3:32.77 to smash Grant Hackett's 2002 record of 3:34.58.
Here are the comparative splits:
Biedermann: 25.48, 52.62 (27.14), 1:19.63 (27.01), 1:46.68 (27.05), 2:13.52 (26.84), 2:40.65 (27.13), 3:07.34 (26.69), 3:32.77 (25.43)
Hackett: 51.35, 1:45.40 (54.05), 2:40.25 (54.85), 3:34.58 (54.33)
Incidentally, Biedermann also beat the World Cup record of 3:34.63 set by Ian Thorpe in 2003 and the German record Biedermann set last year with a 3:34.98.
Denmark's Mads Glaesner checked in with a second-place 3:37.75, while Australia's Robert Hurley finished third in 3:38.35.
Women's 50 free
Sweden's Therese Alshammar downed her World Cup record with a 23.34 in the splash-and-dash. That swim beat her 23.58 set in Berlin in 2007. The Netherlands' Hinkelien Schreuder finished second in 23.60 with Australia's Marieke Guehrer taking third in 23.74 to beat Libby Trickett's national record of 23.77 set as Libby Lenton back in 2007.
Men's 200 breast
Spain's Melquiades Alvarez used a strong back half to win the event in 2:02.67, just missing Neil Versfeld's World Cup record of 2:02.56 set during prelims. Brazil's Henrique Barbosa touched second in 2:04.35, while Versfeld fell back to third in 2:04.41 after leading at the halfway mark.
Men's 100 IM
Russia's Sergey Fesikov nearly cashed in his second world record bonus of the day after setting the world record with a 50.95 during prelims. Fesikov touched just a fingernail behind his global mark with a winning time of 50.96. South Africa's Gerhard Zandberg placed second in 51.05, also under the former world record of 51.15 heading into today set by Ryan Lochte in 2008. Darian Townsend of South Africa completed the podium in 51.80.
Women's 200 back
Japan's Shiho Sakai provided the swimming community its 112th world record of the year with a blazing fast time of 2:00.18. She surpassed Kirsty Coventry's 2008 record of 2:00.91 set in Manchester.
Here are the comparative splits:
Sakai: 27.91, 58.66 (30.75), 1:29.49 (30.83), 2:00.18 (30.69)
Coventry: 28.48, 58.69 (30.21), 1:29.71 (31.02), 2:00.91 (31.20)
Incidentally, Sakai also beat Elizabeth Simmonds' World Cup mark of 2:02.02 and Hanae Ito's Japanese record of 2:03.01.
Teammate Aya Terakawa finished second in 2:01.67, while Simmonds wound up third in 2:02.12.
Men's 50 fly
Germany's Steffen Deibler finished the day with another world record. He touched out South Africa's Roland Schoeman, 21.80 to 21.87, in the sprint fly as both surpassed Deibler's global standard of 22.06 set in October. The performance completed a scorching day that witnessed the 113th world record of the year. Brazil's Nicholas Santos took third in 22.17.