DOHA, Qatar, October 7. KATINKA Hosszu is quickly becoming the story of the fall in the sport of swimming as she has dominated the first two stops of the FINA World Cup circuit. After winning $11,000 with a seven gold, one bronze effort in Dubai, she duplicated that effort tonight to run her leading tally to $22,000. Japan's Daiya Seto has earned half that with $11,000 thus far to lead the men.
Meanwhile, Chad Le Clos and Anthony Ervin had some show-stopping swims in the men's 100 fly and men's 50 free, respectively. Both turned in lifetime bests that rocketed them up the all-time charts.
For a quick refresher course, the FINA World Cup is a global circuit of two-day meets all swum in short course meters (25m) setups. Swimmers vie for cash earnings with first-place individual winners earning $1,500, while second place wins $1,000. Third place in each event also takes home $500. Relays are not money races.
The overall circuit winners for the men and women by the end of the eight-meet series next month will win $100,000 each. Chad Le Clos and Therese Alshammar both banked six-figure paydays last year with Le Clos topping out at $145,500, including nearly $50k in just race winnings alone. Thus far this year, Katinka Hosszu and Kenneth To lead the overall standings after the first stop in Dubai.
Men's 1500 free
In a much faster metric mile than Dubai offered up (a winning time of 15:00.65 by Gergo Kis), China's Wang Kechang posted a five-second triumph with a victorious effort of 14:43.83. Meanwhile, Japan's Daiya Seto pushed his race winning tally to $10,000 thus far with a second-place time of 14:48.97. Kis, rounded out the podium with a third-place 14:56.57, while two other swimmers bettered the time Kis used to win in Dubai as Ukraine's Sergii Frolov (14:58.90) and Poland's Filip Zaborowski (14:59.95) each cleared 15:00. Wang's time would have placed him 15th in the world last year as the World Cup circuit continues to get a bit faster than the first meet out in Dubai.
Women's 100 free
Germany's Britta Steffen defended her Dubai victory with a nearly equal time in the freestyle event this evening as she clocked a 53.40 to edge Michelle Coleman's 53.60. The Netherlands' Inge Dekker, meanwhile, touched third in 54.25. Steffen just missed her Dubai winning time of 53.39, while Coleman undercut her runner-up performance in Dubai of 54.00. The sprinters have some time to make up to catch last season's top times as Ranomi Kromowidjojo turned in a top-ranked 51.87 at the Duel in the Pool last December.
Men's 200 free
Australia's Tommasso D'Orgosna blew by the field in the final 50 meters to touchout defending Dubai champ Darian Townsend of South Africa, 1:43.84 to 1:43.95. Meanwhile, Australia's Robert Hurley turned in a third-place 1:44.05. The times were much slower than the 1:42.71 Townsend used to win in Dubai. Hurley pushed his overall winnings tally to $6,500, second amongst the men, while Townsend joined the $5,000 club. D'Orsogna would have ranked 12th in the world a year ago, while Townsend's Dubai time would have placed him third last season.
Women's 50 breast
Doha witnessed a duplication of the Dubai top three as Sweden's Jennie Johansson, Japan's Fumiko Kawanabe and Sweden's Joline Hostman placed 1-2-3 just as in Dubai. Johansson topped the sprint breast in 30.69, while Kawanabe took second in 31.55. Hostman picked up a third-place check with a 31.59. Johansson just missed her Dubai winning time of 30.62, while Kawanabe clipped some time from her runner-up 31.61. Hostman also undercut her third-place 31.62 from Dubai. Johansson has more potential as the circuit goes along, having clocked a third-ranked 30.05 last season in Stockholm.
Men's 100 breast
Olympic gold medalist Cameron van der Burgh blasted through 58 seconds to win the event in 57.22. Meanwhile, New Zealand's Glenn Snyders touched in second with a 58.13, while Japan's Daiya Seto continues to demonstrate his versatility with a third-place 58.60. Both van der Burgh and Snyders bettered the 58.33 van der Burgh used to win this event in Dubai. Van der Burgh's effort would have ranked him third in the world last season behind Alexander Dale Oen (57.05) and Ryo Tateishi (57.20), while Snyders had a top time of 57.82 last season to rank 10th in the world.
Women's 400 IM
In another sparse field, just three swimmers elected to swim the event with The Netherlands' Anouque Berghuis scratching the finale, Hungary's Katinka Hosszu raced her way to easy money in the distance medley with a 4:30.03. She had a lot more competition than her five-second triumph in Dubai as teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos raced to second in 4:30.44. South Africa's Katheryn Meaklim was the only other swimmer in the heat with a 4:46.05. Both Hosszu and Jakabos cleared the 4:31.34 Hosszu used to win the race in Dubai. Hosszu topped last year with a scorching time of 4:24.37 at the Duel in the Pool. Jakabos also has much more potential with a seventh-ranked 4:27.86 from last season as well. The times could have been slower if not for Jakabos and Hosszu pushing each other for the win. That was Hosszu's fourth gold of the meet, pushing her leading race winning tally to $17,500.
Men's 100 fly
2011 FINA World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Chad Le Clos continued his ownership of the 100 fly on his circuit, defending his Dubai win with a blazing time of 49.60. That swim is faster than the 49.82 he used to win in Dubai, and would have put him atop last season's rankings. Konrad Czerniak led the way with a 49.62 at the Euro Short Course Champs in December 2011. The time is a lifetime-best for Le Clos, shooting him to seventh all time in the event. Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin took second tonight in 50.22, while USA's Tom Shields placed third in 50.42.
Women's 100 back
Ukraine's Daryna Zevina raced to her second win of the meet with a 57.90 in the dorsal event. Australia's Rachel Goh picked up second with a 58.88, while Japan's Noriko Inada took home third in 59.27. The finish is a flip of Dubai, where Goh downed Zevina, 57.67 to 58.07. Zevina added to her impressive race winning haul, now at $7,000 in two meets, while Goh improved to $5,000 overall. Zevina has some time to make up to trump her third-ranked season best from last year of 56.71. She threw that time down at the Duel in the Pool in December.
Men's 50 back
Russia's Stanislav Donets defended his Dubai win in the sprint back with a 23.49 to 23.55 touchout triumph over Australia's Robert Hurley. Australia's Ashley Delaney raced to third in 23.86. Donets nearly matched his Dubai winning time of 23.47, while Hurley bettered his time of 23.61 from earlier in the week. Hurley continues to pile up the cash, moving his earnings to $7,500 in just two meets, behind only Daiya Seto among the men. Donets, who is focused on the shorter distance backstroke events, has still managed to make $5,500 thus far.
Women's 200 fly
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu took advantage of another sparse finale field, just four swimmers, en route to her fifth gold medal of the weekend with a 2:09.31 in the distance fly. That performance raised her winnings to a stunning $19,000. Teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos touched second in 2:10.61 for her third silver of the meet, pushing to $8,000 in two meets. Hong Kong's Chan Kin Lok became the first new-money winner of Doha with a third-place 2:13.12. Prior to this event, everyone who won money in Doha had also won money in Dubai. Hosszu bettered the 2:10.43 she used to win in Dubai, but was well off the top times from 2011 with a 2:07.27 being needed last season to crack the top 25.
Women's 400 free
Even though she faced a full final field for the first time this evening, early World Cup queen Katinka Hosszu shook off the challengers with a 4:04.24 to top the middle distance event for her third title of the night, and sixth of the weekend. New Zealand's Melissa Ingram pushed Hosszu throughout much of the race, but faded to second in 4:05.62, while Ukraine's Daryna Zevina continued to demonstrate her versatility with a third-place 4:07.17. Zevina is typically a backstroke specialist, but has used some off event opportunities during the World Cup to make some money. Hosszu has now broken $20,000 with a total race winning tally of $20,500 in just two meets. She's already won $9,500 in Doha after taking home $11,000 from Dubai. Zevina has also earned a decent chunk of change with $7,500 in two meets.
Men's 50 free
Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin's career resurgence continues as he dropped his lifetime best from a 21.07 last week in prelims to a sterling 21.02 tonight. He clipped Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell at the wall as Bovell touched second in 21.06. Australia's Kyle Richardson rounded out the podium with a third-place 21.54. Ervin won in Dubai with a 21.18 after clocking a 21.07 in prelims. His time tonight would have put him fourth in the world last season, and moved him to 19th all time in the event's history. Bovell, meanwhile, also had a lifetime best to move to 20th all time, just ahead of Sabir Muhammad's 21.07 from the World Cup stop in Berlin in 2010.
Women's 200 breast
Japan's Fumiko Kawanabe dominated the distance breaststroke event en route to defending her Dubai win. Kawanabe clocked a 2:22.59 for the win this evening, with Sweden's Joline Hostman taking second in 2:24.03. Slovenia's Tanja Smid picked up third in 2:24.46. Kawanabe cut time from her Dubai winning time of 2:23.01, and moved her World Cup race winnings to $7,000 overall. The times in this event have plenty of improvement to go as it took a 2:22.45 to crack the top 25 a year ago.
Women's 100 IM
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu duplicated her astonishing outing in Dubai with another seven individual gold-medal haul in Doha after she cracked 1:00in the sprint medley. Hosszu threw down a 59.74 in the 100 IM, cutting a second from her Dubai winning time of 1:00.75. Hertime would have ranked in the top 10 a year ago as well. With her win, Hosszu moved her total cash winnings to $22,000, having won $11,000 on each of the first two stops thus far. Her wingwoman on this circuit thus far, compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos touched second in 1:00.41 to move to $9,000 overall, while Germany's Britta Steffen took home third-place honors in 1:01.58.
Women's 50 fly
2011 FINA World Cup champion Therese Alshammar has toiled almost in the dark the first two meets with Katinka Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakabos earning the bulk of the spotlight. Alshammar, however, is tied with Jakabos for second amongst the women with $9,000 in winnings after clocking a 25.62 to win the sprint fly, and trails only Hosszu's $22,000 overall as Alshammar focuses on a more limited event slate. The Netherlands' Inge Dekker turned in a second-place time of 25.98, while Hong Kong's Sze Hang Yu earned third-place honors in 26.60.
Mixed 200 freestyle relay
It was a two-way battle between Hong Kong and Hungary to close out the Doha stop of the World Cup circuit. Hungary's Krisztian Takacs (22.11), Laszlo Cseh (22.57), Zsuzsanna Jakabos (24.99) and Katinka Hosszu (25.89) won the race in 1:35.56. Hong Kong's Chun Nam Derick Ng (23.30), Sze Hang Yu (24.93), Chan Kin Lok (26.39) and Kai Wai David Wong (22.66) took second in 1:37.28.