DURBAN, South Africa, October 16. THE first night of action at the 2009 FINA World Cup stop held in Durban featured six World Cup records and plenty of national records tumbling throughout the evening.
Notably, Jessica Hardy and Peter Marshall both took down American records en route to World Cup standards. Meanwhile, Roland Schoeman took down two World Cup marks in sprint events, while Hinkelien Schreuder and Therese Alshammar also checked in with World Cup records.
Women's 800 free
South Africa swept the podium in the women's 800 free as Kathryn Meaklim and Jessica Pengelly battled the entire race with Meaklim keeping Pengelly in her hip pocket. Meaklim captured the gold medal with an 8:29.51, while Pengelly checked in with a silver-winning 8:29.97. Rene Warnes completed the podium with a bronze-winning 8:47.83.
Men's 100 free
Russia's Sergey Fesikov overtook South Africa's Lyndon Ferns in the back half en route to the gold medal with a time of 46.30. Fesikov turned fourth with a 22.33 at the 50 compared to Ferns' 21.98. Ferns faded to third with a 46.57. Sweden's Stefan Nystrand remained second throughout the swim with a 46.53.
Fesikov's time lowered the Russian national record of 46.64 set by Evgeny Lagunov last December at the European Championships.
Women's 200 free
Australia's Felicity Galvez cruised to victory in the 200 free with a 1:57.60, while South Africa's Kayla Ferreira provided a bit of motivation with a second-place 1:59.43. South Africa's Jessica Pengelly, who just finished second in the 800 free, came back with a bronze in 2:00.67.
"I am just trying to go out and win it with as good of a time I could," Galvez said. "I have the 100 fly in about 20 minutes, so I am trying to reserve something for that."
Men's 50 breast
Roland Schoeman upset fellow South African Cameron van der Burgh out of lane one to claim the World Cup record with a 25.90. Schoeman's time broke van der Burgh's mark of 25.94 set in Stockholm last year.
"I am pretty happy for Roland, not the best of swims for myself," van der Burgh said. "We've been working hard in the gym, and not much swimming. I think this is a great start for me as the World Cups move on."
Van der Burgh settled for second with a swift time of 25.94, matching his previous World Cup record, while Neil Versfeld provided a South African sweep with a third-place 26.47.
Women's 100 breast
Jessica Hardy of the United States went out under world-record pace and nearly claimed the world record with a 1:04.15. The time clipped the World Cup record of 1:04.37 set by Leisel Jones in Sydney 2007, and lowered her American record previously standing at 1:04.22 from the 2008 World Short Course Championships.
"I am feeling pretty tired, and traveled a lot," Hardy said. "Really good to get the first race out of the way. It was fun. I am loving it here, it is my first time ever in South Africa."
Sweden's Joline Hostman wound up second in 1:05.74, while Germany's Caroline Ruhnau captured third in 1:06.06.
Men's 400 IM
South Africa's Chad Le Clos won the race going away with a top time of 4:05.04 out of lane 8. South African swept the podium in the race with Riaan Schoeman finishing second overall in 4:08.00. Compatriot Jay-Cee Thompson wound up third with a 4:08.26, just finishing behind Schoeman.
Le Clos smashed the South African record of 4:08.19 set by Terence Parkin back in 2002.
Women's 100 fly
Against a loaded final field, Sweden's Therese Alshammar downed the World Cup record in the sprint fly with a time of 56.12. She went out under world-record pace with a 25.90 split at the 50, but could not keep up the pace to down Jessicah Schipper's world record of 55.68. Her time cleared the World Cup standard of 56.28 set by Singapore's Li Tao at the Berlin stop last year.
Australia went 2-3 to conclude the podium-winning performances. Felicity Galvez checked in with a 56.24, also under the previous World Cup record. Meanwhile, Marieke Guehrer took bronze with a 56.72, just downing Inge Dekker of The Netherlands' 56.78.
Men's 100 back
Peter Marshall rattled the world record with a time of 49.40 for a World Cup and American record. Aschwin Wildeboer's global mark of 49.20 withstood the charge, while Marshall took down his own World Cup record of 49.63, which also stood as the American record.
Austria's Markus Rogan finished second in 50.52 to down his national record of 50.61 set March 2008, while Russia's Stanislav Donets took third in 50.83. South Africa's George Du Rang checked in with a fourth-place 50.87 to break his national standard of 51.50 set in 2008 at the Durban stop.
Women's 50 back
The Netherlands Hinkelien Schreuder raced to a World Cup and Netherlands' record with a time of 26.55. She downed the 26.83 set by Li Hui at the 2001 Shanghai World Cup stop, and beat her own national record of 26.78 set in 2008.
Brazil's Fabiola Molina grabbed silver in 26.63 to crush her previous national record of 27.34 set at the 2008 Moscow stop of the World Cup circuit, while Australia's Marieke Guehrer finished third in 27.12.
Men's 200 fly
South Africa's Chad Le Clos came off a win in the distance medley to put together an impressive double when he clocked a 1:54.45 in the 200 fly. That performance cleared the South African mark of 1:55.73 set by Sebastien Rousseau at the 2008 Durban stop.
Compatriot Wesley Gilchrist claimed second in the event with a 1:56.09, while Russia's Maxim Ganikhin finished third in 1:57.09.
Women's 200 IM
Whitney Myers of the United States won the 200 IM going away with a time of 2:09.10, finishing just off the World Cup record of 2:08.44 set by Yana Klochkova back in 2003.
Kathryn Meaklim claimed second with a 2:09.91 for South Africa after winning the 800 free to open the evening. Argentina's Georgina Bardach completed the podium with a bronze-winning 2:11.01. She lowered her national record of 2:12.56 set back in 2005.
Men's 400 free
Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry smashed his national record in the middle distance event with a 3:42.09. The readout wiped out his previous mark of 3:45.62 set back in 2004 in Durban as well.
South Africa's Jay-Cee Thompson claimed second in 3:43.30, while compatriot Herman Heerden took third in 3:47.02.
Women's 50 free
In the women's splash-and-dash, Sweden's Therese Alshammar touched out Hinkelien Schreuder of The Netherlands, 23.74 to 23.76, for the victory. Ranomi Kromowidjojo of The Netherlands gave her team a 2-3 finish with a third-place 23.84.
Men's 200 breast
South Africa swept the podium in the 200 breast event with Neil Versfeld leading the entire way with a 2:03.35. The swim shattered his national record of 2:04.88 set earlier this year in Pietermaritzburg.
William Diering claimed second place with a time of 2:06.35, while Terence Parkin grabbed third overall in 2:08.64.
Men's 100 IM
The sprint medley provided an exciting finish with Russia's Sergey Fesikov becoming the first Russian under 52 seconds in the event. He clocked a 51.96 to down his national standard of 52.63 set last December.
South Africa's Darian Townsend finished second overall in 52.37, while teammate Gerhard Zandberg claimed third in 53.16.
Women's 200 back
The United States' Whitney Myers completed a strong first evening of the circuit with a 2:07.26 to win the event. She easily outpaced South Africa's Amanda Loots, who wound up taking second overall in 2:09.11. Jessica Pengelly continued a breakthrough meet with another podium, this time in 2:11.53 to touch out compatriot Jessica Ashley-Cooper (2:11.56).
Men's 50 fly
Roland Schoeman of South Africa concluded an incredible night of swimming with another World Cup standard, this time in the sprint fly with a 22.32. The swim broke the World Cup mark of 22.50 set by Matt Jaukovic at the 2008 Sydney stop. He also downed his South African mark of 22.74 set in Germiston in 2008.
Germany's Steffen Deibler touched just behind with a 22.40 for second. He lowered the German record of 22.62 set by Johannes Dietrich last year. South Africa's Lyndon Ferns grabbed third overall in 22.90.