DUBAI, UAE, October 17. THE FINA World Cup circuit kicked off its Middle East portion of the circuit with the first night of swimming in Dubai. Chad Le Clos starred with a sterling 200 fly.
Women’s 800 free
The world record holder, Mireia Belmonte of Spain, definitely looked like she was taking it easy against an overmatched field. She turned in an 8:14.12 to win the distance freestyle event for the day. That’s nearly 15 seconds off her world record from Berlin in August as swimmers are definitely under much more training duress at this point in the season than when they were extending their World Championship taper the week after Barcelona.
Belmonte’s compatriot Melanie Costa made it a Spanish 1-2 finish with an 8:16.55, while Germany’s Sarah Kohler rounded out the podium with an 8:18.90. Costa managed to jump to seventh in the early world rankings, while Kohler already held fifth with an 8:14.10 from Berlin.
France’s Coralie Balmy took fourth in 8:22.54, while Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu had a rare podium miss with a fifth-place 8:26.08. She’s looking at upwards of 12 events swum in the two-day meet to continue to add to her points lead.
Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto (8:29.49), France’s Lara Grangeon (8:42.12) and Uzbekistan’s Ranokhon Amanova (8:49.15) rounded out the top eight in the timed final event.
Men’s 400 IM
Hungary’s David Verraszto, who stands third in the world this year with a 4:01.25 from the Berlin stop of the World Cup, cruised to victory in the distance medley event with a 4:05.30 tonight. That was more than enough to earn the first-place paycheck as Verraszto looks to earn some big money this week.
Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, fresh off some open water competitions including the RCP Tiburon Mile, raced to second in 4:08.76 for ninth in the early season world rankings. Mellouli is looking at refocusing on pool swimming this year after a few years of more focused open water training. Australia’s Travis Mahoney earned third-place honors with a 4:11.07.
Israel’s Gal Nevo (4:12.24), Hungary’s Gergely Gyurta (4:12.86), Hungary’s David Foldhazi (4:14.22), Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches (4:14.76) and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri (4:20.87) made up the rest of the top eight in the timed final event.
Men’s 100 free
In a bit of a battle of the titans, Russia’s Vlad Morozov topped swimming’s resident rockstar Anthony Ervin by a second as Ervin returns to the water following his performances this summer. Morozov, the Sizzling Siberian, raced to a 45.84, just off his second-ranked time of 45.64 from the 100 free in Eindhoven. Meanwhile, Ervin ripped through the sprint event with a 46.88 for second-place honors.
Australia’s Kenneth To touched out Poland’s Konrad Czerniak, 47.01 to 47.06, for the final podium paycheck in what turned out to be a close battle. To surged from fifth to third with a 24.32 down the stretch.
Italy’s Luca Dotto (47.62), Japan’s Kenta Ito (47.78), Brazil’s Gustavo Braga Godoy (48.62) and Hong Kong’s Geoffrey Cheah (49.51) also put up times in the finale.
Women’s 200 free
It didn’t take long for the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu to resume her usual position atop a World Cup podium as she clocked a 1:53.21 to touch out The Netherland’s Femke Heemskerk (1:53.46). That’s a big-time head-to-head win for Hosszu considering Heemskerk is the top-ranked swimmer in the world this year with a sizzling 1:52.25 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, and did not just swim the 800 free.
Spain’s Melani Costa picked up her second podium in as many swims with a third-place 1:53.90. That swim came up short of her fourth-ranked 1:52.52 from the Berlin stop, but was more than enough to earn her a podium paycheck today.
The Netherlands’ Rieneke Terink (1:55.92), France’s Charlotte Bonnet (1:56.14), France’s Camille Muffat (1:56.77), France’s Coralie Balmy (1:58.57) and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (1:58.63) also vied for the title.
Men’s 50 breast
The Evergreen Sprinter Roland Schoeman of South Africa dominated the sprint breaststroke event by nearly a second against a host of breaststroke specialists. Schoeman clocked a 25.96 as he continues to make sub-26 routine even though he’s a sprint freestyler by trade. He owns the top time in the world this year with a 25.65 from the Berlin stop.
Germany’s Hendrik Feldwehr placed second in 26.95, while Japan’s Shinri Shioura wound up third in 27.38.
Serbia’s Caba Siladji (27.48), Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Yan (27.72), Poland’s Dawid Szulich (27.80), Panama’s Edgar Crespo (27.88) and Uzbekistan’s Vladislav Mustafin (28.71) comprised the rest of the championship finale.
Women’s 100 breast
As the women’s breaststroke continues to have some remarkable progressions ever since all three long course meter world records fell this past summer at the FINA World Championships, Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson scorched the final with a blistering time of 1:02.91. That swim, just half-a-second off Ruta Meilutyte’s world record from Moscow last week, crushed Atkinson’s previous Jamaican record of 1:03.41 from the Eindhoven stop of the World Cup this year and placed her second in the world rankings. That’s a big move for Atkinson as she continues to power through her professional swimming career.
Russia’s Yuliya Efimova, one of the swimmers responsible for the summer resurgence of the stroke, checked in with an easy-speed 1:04.00 to earn the second-place paycheck, while Israel’s Amit Ivry earned third-place honors in 1:06.70.
The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis (1:06.77), Japan’s Kanako Watanabe (1:07.04), Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (1:07.13), Germany’s Theresa Michalak (1:07.17) and Egypt’s Mai Mostafa (1:10.88) also competed in the finale.
Women’s 100 fly
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen, who is still on the comeback trail after a shoulder injury earlier this year, touched out World Cup Queen Katinka Hosszu, 56.47 to 56.87, in the finale. The time is nowhere near her top-ranked 55.94 from the Berlin stop of the tour, but it was more than enough to derail Hosszu’s season-best effort. Hosszu’s previous best had been an eighth-ranked 57.67 from the Moscow stop last week.
She now stands fourth in the world as one of just four swimmers to break 57 seconds this season. That’s Hosszu’s second podium of the night as she endures an astonishing 12-event slate should she remain in all that she’s scheduled to swim.
Singapore’s Li Tao, who keeps on making some quick money with butterfly podiums on the circuit, took third in 57.23. Hong Kong’s Hang Yu Sze wound up fourth in 58.45.
Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi (58.52), The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (58.64), Ukraine’s Ganna Dzerkal (1:00.50) and China’s Zhou Yilin (1:00.54) finished fifth through eighth in the finale.
Men’s 100 back
USA’s Tom Shields ascended to the top of the podium in the dorsal event with a 50.15. While Shields is a butterfly specialist with American records in that stroke, it’s tough to win first-place money when competing against the likes of superstar Chad Le Clos. So, Shields putting in some time in the backstroke events could be a profitable move for the new professional swimmer.
Australia’s Bobby Hurley, a FINA World Cup veteran, raced to second with a 50.34 for a nice payday of his own, while Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki checked in third with a 51.04.
Australia’s Ashley Delaney (51.52), Australia’s Travis Mahoney (52.55), Israel’s Guy Barnea (52.78), Norway’s Lavrans Solli (53.15) and Great Britain’s Liam Tancock (53.44) finished fourth through eighth in the championship heat.
Women’s 50 back
Poland’s Aleksandra Urbarczyk, who has the second-best time in the world this year with a 26.12 from the Berlin stop, charged to victory in the sprint back this evening with a 26.70. She touched out Australia’s Emily Seebohm, who posted a 26.93 for silver, just .30 off her fourth-ranked 26.63 also from Berlin.
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina tied Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu for third with matching 27.13s as Hosszu earned her third podium of the night by the slimmest of margins.
Great Britain’s Georgia Davies (27.18), Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson (27.82), Australia’s Belinda Hocking (28.09) and Finland’s Hanna-Maria Seppala (28.15) also competed in the sprint back finale.
Men’s 200 fly
In the most dynamic swim of the night, South African world record holder Chad le Clos nearly downed his global mark again in the distance fly. Le Clos powered his way to a dominant victory in a stunning 1:49.07, just missing his 1:49.04 world record from the Eindhoven stop along with a $10,000 world record bonus.
24.88, 53.45, 1:21.31, 1:49.04
24.69, 53.10, 1:21.39, 1:49.07
Le Clos definitely showed signs of the possibility of cracking 1:49 this year, as he went out fast enough to pull it off. Now, he just has to add in a bit stronger of a back half to blast through the barrier.
Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski finished second in 1:51.26, while Brazil’s Frederico Veloso De Castro placed third in 1:54.91.
Hungary’s Bence Biczo (1:55.15), Israel’s Gal Nevo (1:56.21), Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic (1:56.62), Brazil’s Luiz Pereira (1:58.08) and Norway’s Sindri Thor Jakobsson (1:59.10) also vied for the distance fly title this evening.
Women’s 200 IM
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu picked up her fourth podium of the night, and second gold, as she blasted the field in the 200 IM with a 2:06.58. That’s three seconds off her world record from Eindhoven, but plenty enough for her to score another first-place check.
Australia’s Emily Seebohm continued her Hosszu impression with yet another podium of her own as she clocked a 2:08.43 for second, while Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto placed third in 2:08.85.
Russia’s Yuliya Efimova (2:09.88), Japan’s Kanako Watanabe (2:10.14), Germany’s Theresa Michalak (2:10.28), Japan’s Miyu Otsuka (2:10.42) and Japan’s Miho Takahashi (2:14.17) finished fourth through eighth to round out the rest of the finale field.
Men’s 400 free
Australia’s Bobby Hurley read the tea leaves, and saw an off event where he could pick up some quick cash. Hurley typically isn’t focused on the middle-distance events, but walked into a big void for a first-place check when he clocked a 3:40.24 in the 400-meter freestyle tonight.
South Africa’s Devon Brown finished second in 3:41.84, while Denmark’s Mads Glaesner touched third in 3:42.35.
Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli (3:43.81), Brazil’s Miguel Leite Valente (3:43.99), Poland’s Filip Zaborowksi (3:45.36), Brazil’s Marcos Oliveira (3:45.42) and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri (3:47.32) claimed the rest of the championship finishes.
Women’s 50 free
Another of the amazing world-record breakers from the two stops following the World Championships, The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo checked in with a 24.02 in her pet event for the win tonight. That’s well off her global standard of 23.24 from Eindhoven, but was .32 seconds better than Germany’s Dorothea Brandt (24.34).
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen continued to rework her freestyle stroke after having taken a bit of a hiatus earlier this year following a stroke change. She placed third in 24.47 to add to her win in the 100 fly.
Great Britain’s Fran Halsall (24.49), The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (24.88), Finland’s Hanna-Maria Seppala (24.90), Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk (24.93) and Brazil’s Carolina Dos Santos Pires (24.98) rounded out the championship finale.
Men’s 200 breast
Great Britain’s Michael Jamieson, who stands third in the world with a 2:03.04 from Berlin, pocketed a big-time first-place check this evening in the distance breaststroke event with a 2:06.68. Jamieson is focusing on his short course events in a big way heading into December when he will compete in his native Scotland as part of the European All Star team at the Duel in the Pool.
Slovakia’s Tomas Klobucnik touched second in 2:08.38, while Russia’s Mikhail Dorinov rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 2:09.93.
Luxembourg’s Laurent Carnol (2:11.06), France’s William Debourges (2:11.07), Russia’s Ilya Khomenko (2:12.63), China’s Li Chao (2:13.50) and Slovakia’s Pavol Fazik (2:14.81) turned in fourth through eighth-place times in the finale.
Men’s 100 IM
In the always fun-to-watch sprint medley, Australia’s Kenneth To earned another paycheck tonight with a 51.64 for the win. It’s not as fast as his third-ranked 51.21 from Berlin, but was plenty fast enough to earn him a $1,500 check as the event winner.
Russia’s Vlad Morozov, already a winner in the sprint freestyle earlier in the evening, checked in second with a 51.76, while Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell placed third in 52.38 for another podium check.
Japan’s Shinri Shioura (52.90), Hong Kong’s Geoffrey Cheah (54.70), Hong Kong’s Raymond Mak (55.62), Hungary’s David Foldhazi (55.70) and Finland’s Sami Myren (55.84) comprised the rest of the finale.
Women’s 200 back
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, who has become the backstroke sniper on the World Cup tour so far with a handful of gold medals already, earned yet another open-water victory with a 2:01.66 in the distance dorsal. The swim crushed the rest of the field by nearly four seconds.
Australia’s Emily Seebohm collected yet another podium with a 2:05.04, while Katinka Hosszu wound up third in 2:05.42 for her fifth podium of the night as well.
Australia’s Belinda Hocking (2:05.45), Spain’s Melani Costa (2:06.22), Hong Kong’s Heather Cheng (2:14.44), Egypt’s Mariam Sakr (2:17.38) and Singapore’s Chloe Wang (2:23.75) finished fourth through eighth in the championship heat.
Men’s 50 fly
Proving the man can sprint pretty much anything, South Africa’s Roland Schoeman doubled off his 50 breast with a win in the sprint fly when he touched out Chad Le Clos by the slimmest of margins, 22.27 to 22.28. USA’s Tom Shields wound up third in 23.02.
Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (23.16), Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (23.59), Brazil’s Felipe De Souza Martins (23.67), Serbia’s Ivan Lendjer (23.67) and Hong Kong’s Geoffrey Cheah (24.44) placed fourth through eighth in the final individual event of the night.
Mixed 200 medley relay
Russia’s world record 1:41.70 from last week in Moscow held up to the test tonight. Australia’s Bobby Hurley (23.54), Kenneth To (26.86), Belinda Hocking (27.51) and Emily Seebohm (24.40) won in 1:42.31.
Japan’s Sayaka Akase (27.39), Kanako Watanabe (31.87), Shinri Shioura (22.88) and Kenta Ito (21.01) took second in 1:43.15, while China’s Lin Yongqing (24.58), Li Chao (28.48), Zhou Yilin (26.74) and Sun Meichen (24.63) placed third in 1:44.43.
Brazil (1:46.97), Singapore (1:48.02), Egypt (1:49.13) and UAE Clubs (1:50.66) took fourth through seventh, while South Africa and Norway both drew early relay start disqualifications.