DOHA, Qatar, October 6. KATINKA Hosszu remained on fire at the Doha stop of the FINA World Cup, duplicating her four-medal first night from Dubai with another three golds and a bronze tonight. Meanwhile, Japan's Daiya Seto shined among the men with a title trifecta.
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.
Women's 800 free
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu added another victory to her World Cup tally as she held off Slovenia's Tanja Smid for the distance free triumph, 8:29.31 to 8:30.60. The win pushed Hosszu to $12,500 in race winnings, and improved upon her Dubai winning time of 8:31.70. Smid also made a big improvement, cutting her time from Dubai of 8:33.54. Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos turned in another check-cashing time with a third-place 8:35.48. Jakabos has now reached $5,000 in winnings thus far in the World Cup, while Smid moved to $2,000 with her pair of second-place finishes in the 800 free.
Men's 100 free
Early 2012 FINA World Cup overall leader Kenneth To of Australia shared the first-place check in the event with compatriot Tommaso D'Orsogna after the duo posted matching times of 47.10. Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin, meanwhile, checked in with a third-place time of 47.17. To has been faster with a blazing 46.89 to win the 100 free in Dubai, while Ervin finished just off his second-place effort of 47.04 from earlier in the week. D'Orsogna, meanwhile, bettered his fourth-place 47.30 from Dubai.
Women's 200 free
Katinka Hosszu pulled off with 800/200 free double for the second meet in a row. After topping the 800 free just one event earlier, Hosszu backhalfed her way to victory in the 200 free with a sterling time of 1:54.70 to move her World Cup tally to $14,000. That time bettered her Dubai winning time of 1:55.97, and jumped her into the top 35 all time. Sweden's Michelle Coleman clinched second in 1:56.25 after leading earlier in the race. Meanwhile, backstroke specialist Darya Zevina of Ukraine ripped off a 1:56.31 for third-place honors.
Men's 50 breast
Olympic gold medalist Cameron van der Burgh blazed to a scorching time of 25.95 to win the sprint breast. Meanwhile, South Africa's Roland Schoeman proved he can sprint anything with a second-place time of 26.38. New Zealand's Glenn Snyders clipped South Africa's Giulio Zorzi, 26.68 to 26.86, for the third-place check. Van der Burgh's time is the 20th-fastest of all time. He now owns 11 of the 23 times under 26 seconds all time. Schoeman, meanwhile, has been 25.45 in the event, but his second-place time this evening cashed him a $1,000 check. Snyders has some time to make up as he has never been under 26 seconds in the event.
Women's 100 breast
Sweden's Jennie Johansson topped the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.11, moving her World Cup race winning to nearly $5,000 with a $4,500 cash haul thus far. Japan's Fumiko Kawanabe touched second in 1:06.96, while Sweden's Joline Hostman earned third in 1:07.25. Johansson clipped the time she used to win this event in Dubai (1:06.27), while Kawanabe finished a bit slower than her second-place 1:06.62 from Dubai. Hostman also took third in Dubai with a 1:06.96. Johansson still has plenty more in the tank heading into the rest of the circuit, having topped last season with a 1:05.37 for eighth in the world.
Men's 400 IM
Japan's Daiya Seto raced to victory in the distance medley with a 4:02.51, downing Olympic medalist Laszlo Cseh by more than a second as Cseh touched second in 4:03.71. China's Huang Chaosheng earned third in 4:07.58. Seto now has $6,000 in World Cup winnings, the most among the men. He also clipped his winning time in Dubai of 4:02.64, while Cseh smashed his second-place effort of 4:06.69 from earlier in the week. Seto is getting ever closer to his season-best of 4:02.44 from last year at the Tokyo stop in November. Cseh, meanwhile, had a 4:01.68 last year at the Euro Short Course Champs and could be sitting on a huge time as the circuit continues.
Women's 100 fly
2011 FINA World Cup overall champion Therese Alshammar checked in with a 57.22 in the event that featured only five swimmers entered. The win gave Alshammar $6,000 in race winnings thus far. The Netherlands' Inge Dekker cruised to second in 58.04, while Hong Kong's Sze Hang Yu placed third in 59.23. Alshammar still managed to cut a bunch of time from her 57.91 that won this event in Dubai, and continues to move closer to what proved to be the top-ranked time in the world last season of 55.62 at the Berlin stop of the World Cup. Dekker also clipped some time from Dubai, having taken second in 58.30, while Sze also took third in Dubai with a 58.37.
Men's 100 back
Australia's Robert Hurley edged Russia's Stanislav Donets in the 100 back with a 50.18 to 50.47 victory. Meanwhile, Japan's Kosuke Hagino raced to third in 50.92. Hurley did not make the finale in Dubai, and used Doha to kick Donets off the top of the podium in the event. Donets won in Dubai with a 50.62, demonstrating that times are continuing to get faster from the first stop of the circuit. Only six swimmers cleared 51 seconds all of last year, and the top three today were not one of them.
Women's 50 back
Japan's Noriko Inada trumped Dubai winner Rachel Goh of Australia in the sprint back, 27.29 to 27.67. Goh was off her form from earlier in the week, having won this event in 27.02 in Dubai. Inada, meanwhile, cleared her second-place time of 27.38 from this week, while Sweden's Michelle Coleman clinched third-place honors in 28.05. All three swimmers have some time to make up to start approaching top efforts from last season. Anastasia Zueva led the way with a 26.23, while Goh ranked fifth with a 26.71 last year.
Men's 200 fly
Japan's Daiya Seto completed a monster double, winning the 200 fly on the back of a 400 IM victory earlier in the night. Seto, who now leads the way with $7,500 in race winnings among the men, clipped Chad Le Clos by the slimmest of margins, 1:51.30 to 1:51.31. Both times were better than the Dubai finish that featured Le Clos edging Seto, 1:51.61 to 1:51.71. A year ago, the best time in the world proved to be Takeshi Matsuda's 1:49.50 from the Tokyo stop. Seto and Le Clos could push each other to these lows by the time the circuit concludes. Meanwhile, USA's Tom Shields raced to third in 1:52.72.
Women's 200 IM
Make it $15,500 thus far for Hungary's Katinka Hosszu as she tripled this evening with a 200 IM winning time of 2:09.86 after doubling in the 800/200 freestyle events to open the night. Hosszu is being helped this week by a lack of competition in prelims, literally. Only six swimmers competed in this event. Regardless, she's already a third of the way to Chad Le Clos' leading $45,500 race winning haul last year. Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos touched second in 2:10.58 to push her cash tally to $6,000, while South Africa's Katheryn Meaklim checked in with a third-place 2:12.73. Hosszu did improve on her Dubai winning time in this event. She won earlier in the week with a 2:10.53.
Men's 400 free
Australia's Robert Hurley has been on fire tonight, claiming his second title of the night with a 3:42.89, upending defending Dubai winner Wang Kecheng of China, who wound up a distant second in 3:44.15. Hungary's Gergo Kis rounded out the podium with a third-place 3:44.87. Hurley now has $6,000 in race winnings so far on the circuit. Times across the board were much faster than the Dubai stop as Wang won the title in 3:47.42. Hurley's time is a second off his ninth-ranked season best of 3:41.93 from the Beijing stop last year.
Women's 50 free
Sweden's Therese Alshammar edged Germany's Britta Steffen, 24.44 to 24.46, for her second victory of the night. While Hosszu is running away with the race winning lead at $15,500, Alshammar is a solid second with $7,500 so far on the circuit. Steffen, meanwhile, has $4,000 so far, while The Netherlands' Inge Dekker clinched third-place honors with a 24.78. Both Alshammar and Steffen cleared their Dubai 1-2 times of 24.50 and 24.57.
Men's 200 breast
With his third win of the night, Daiya Seto increased his cash haul to $9,000 in just three finals sessions on the World Cup circuit. Seto topped the distance breaststroke in 2:04.87, while Germany's Marco Koch raced to second in 2:05.72. USA's Sean Mahoney earned third-place honors with a 2:06.23. Seto's time bettered the effort Koch used to win this event in Dubai. Koch dusted Seto there, 2:05.26 to 2:05.72. Seto's 2:04 this evening would have placed him eighth in the world last season. Meanwhile, Koch ranked sixth last year with a 2:04.41 at the Euro Short Course Champs.
Men's 100 IM
He didn't clear his blazing fast 51.43 from Dubai, but early circuit overall leader Kenneth To of Australia still managed another 51-point effort with a 51.58 to win the sprint medley. Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell also cleared 52 seconds with a second-place 51.87, while South Africa's Darian Townsend touched third in 52.76. Last year, only two swimmers broke 52 seconds with Michael Phelps (51.65) and To (51.93) accomplishing the feat. This year, To and Bovell have joined the club.
Women's 200 back
Katinka Hosszu duplicated her first night in Dubai with three golds and a bronze as she raced to third in the distance dorsal event. Ukraine's Daryna Zevina blasted the field in the event with a sterling 2:02.99, while New Zealand's Melissa Ingram touched second in 2:04.95. Hosszu completed the podium with a third-place 2:07.54. Zevina chopped more than two seconds from her Dubai-winning time of 2:05.01, and would have been ranked among the top 10 in the world last season. Her season best last year of 2:02.25 from the Euro Short Course Championships ranked her fifth overall. Ingram, meanwhile, ranked seventh a year ago with a 2:03.00 in Beijing.
Men's 50 fly
South Africa's Roland Schoeman dominated the field in the sprint fly with a sterling time of 22.34. Meanwhile, Kenya's Jason Dunford touched second in 22.87, while South Africa's Chad Le Clos placed third in 22.90. Schoeman has the top time on the circuit by far, downing the 22.77 Dunford used to win in Dubai, and his effort is well past the 22.67 Geoff Huegill posted as the top-ranked time a year ago, and is nearly among the top 25 swims all time in the sprint fly.
Mixed 200 medley relay
Germany defended its Dubai title with a 1:43.38. Jenny Mensing (28.63), Marco Koch (26.62), Helge Meeuw (23.44) and Britta Steffen (24.69) cruised to victory in the event. Hungary's Laszlo Cseh (24.70), Zsuzsanna Jakabos (32.21),Katinka Hosszu (26.86) and Krisztian Takacs (21.57) placed second in 1:45.34. Hong Kong's Sze Hang Yu (28.38), Chun Nam Derick Ng (28.68), Chan Kin Lok (27.53) and Kai Wai David Wong (22.82) took third in 1:47.41.