FINA World Cup, Eindhoven: World Records Are Tumbling

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, August 7. THE first day of the 2013 FINA World Cup kicked off today with a bang as 2012 Queen Katinka Hosszu blasted a world record in the women’s 200-meter IM this morning in Eindhoven.

This evening, she followed up with another world record in the 200 IM, while Chad Le Clos and Ranomi Kromowidjojo both picked up a world record of their own.

Women’s 800 free
New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle took a serious run at Camille Muffat’s world record of 8:01.06, in what proved to be one of the fastest 800 freestyle finales in history. Boyle, out under world-record pace until the 650-meter mark, threw down a remarkable time of 8:01.22. That swim obliterated the previous circuit record of 8:04.61 set by Lotte Friis with an 8:04.61 in 2009, and puts Boyle second all time in the event’s history. Boyle’s best time had been an 8:08.62 from the FINA Short Course World Championships last year, but she obviously is on point just coming off long course worlds.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia, meanwhile, touched just behind with a sizzling 8:01.43 as the third-fastest ever in the event’s history. That’s an age group time drop for Belmonte Garcia, who previously came into the meet with a lifetime best of 8:12.48 from the 2010 Short Course World Championships.

Both Belmonte Garcia and Boyle had breakout meets at the FINA Long Course World Championships last week in Barcelona, and are looking to make some noise in the short pool this week in Eindhoven.

Denmark’s Lotte Friis, who helped Katie Ledecky to an amazing world record in the women’s 1500-meter freestyle long course last week, went out fast with Boyle, but faded to third in 8:09.84. USA’s Chloe Sutton just missed a paycheck with a fourth-place 8:15.13.

The Netherlands’ Sharon Van Rouwendaal (8:16.34), Australia’s Jessica Ashwood (8:21.37), Germany’s Isabelle Harle (8:21.57) and Spain’s Melanie Costa Schmid (8:31.91) rounded out the top eight.

Men’s 400 IM
Japan’s Daiya Seto, the long course world titlist in the distance medley, picked up a close victory ahead of USA’s Conor Dwyer in the men’s 400-meter IM with a 4:00.37 to 4:00.57 triumph. That’s just a second off Seto’s lifetime best of 3:59.15 from last year’s short course world championships as Seto is starting to make 4:00s routine. He already has a handful of them to his credit.

Dwyer, meanwhile, bettered his best time in the event by more than four seconds. The only time on record for Dwyer, who has rarely swum short course meters, is a 4:04.31 from the 2011 Duel in the Pool. That’s a four second drop in just his second swim that is registered in USA Swimming’s SWIMS database, and moves Dwyer to eighth in the world rankings.

Hungary’s David Verrastzo finished third with a 4:01.52 to round out the prizewinners in the event. That’s a second and a half off his sixth-ranked personal best time of 4:00.10 from the 2009 European Championships.

Italy’s Federico Turrini (4:02.60), USA’s Tyler Clary (4:04.35), USA’s Chase Kalisz (4:06.85), Austria’s Jakub Maly (4:09.23) and Canada’s Alec Page (4:09.61) completed the top eight — all under 4:10.

Men’s 100 free
Australia’s James Magnussen scorched the finale of the 100-meter free for the win in 45.60. That cut more than a second off his personal best time of 46.82 and vaulted him to fifth all time. He just missed Tommaso D’Orsogna’s Australian record of 45.52. Magnussen is definitely feeling good this week after winning the world long course title in the 100 free in Barcelona last week against a loaded field that included three Olympic gold medalists. It will be interesting to see what he puts up this week on the European leg of the World Cup circuit.

Russia’s Vlad Morozov raced into second with a 45.64. That’s just off his third-ranked lifetime best of 45.52 done as a relay leadoff for Russia at the 2012 short course championships. The pressure is off Morozov at these pro-style meets now that he’s turned professional following his last season at USC. Now, there’s no worry about turning down some much needed money.

Australia’s Kenneth To wrapped up the podium with a third-place time of 46.62. That cut a bit off his personal best of 46.89 set on the World Cup circuit last year, and moved him into the top 20 all time in the event.

Australia’s Matthew Abood (47.10), The Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren (47.21), Belgium’s Jasper Aerents (47.52), Australia’s Alexander Graham (47.64) and South Africa’s Darian Townsend (48.11) also competed in the finale.

Women’s 200 free
It took a frenetic pace to hold off the hard-charging Katinka Hosszu in the finale, but Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom managed to capture the women’s 200-meter freestyle this morning.

Sjostrom, out under world-record pace at the 100 with a blistering 54.43, put together a winning time of 1:52.26. That broke her Swedish record of 1:52.58 from 2011, and moved her to second all time in the event behind Federica Pellegrini’s world record of 1:51.17. Femke Heemskerk previously had been second with a 1:52.42 from the 2010 World Cup series.

Hosszu, who already popped a world record this morning and is looking to become just the second female to defend an overall FINA World Cup title along with Therese Alshammar (2006-07, 2010-11), finished second in 1:52.32. She came barreling home in 28.77, 28.64, but ran out of room to track down Sjostrom. That’s a Hungarian record for Hosszu, as she cleared 1:53 for the first time. It broke Evelyn Verraszto’s record of 1:52.61 from the 2009 European Championships, and moved Hosszu to third all time in the event’s history.

Australia’s Emma McKeon held firm at third most of the race, taking bronze with a 1:53.06. She now stands ninth all time in the event, and just missed Kylie Palmer’s Australian record of 1:52.96.

Heemskerk (1:53.16), Spain’s Melanie Costa Schmid (1:53.45), Australia’s Brittany Emslie (1:54.46), New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle (1:55.17) and The Netherlands’ Saskia De Jonge (1:55.89) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.

Men’s 50 breast
He who can sprint anything, Roland Schoeman of South Africa, touched out Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli for the sprint breaststroke title, 25.86 to 25.88. That’s Schoeman’s first time under 26 seconds, breaking his previous best of 26.09 from the 2010 World Cup. He’s among the top sprint breaststrokers ever, and this type of a time just firms that up.

Scozzoli, meanwhile, also broke 26 seconds for the first time as his effort beat his previous top time of 26.11 from the 2011 Italian Nationals. He’s a breaststroke specialist, and likely was favored in the event. But, Schoeman just has this knack for being able to win nearly any sprint event you put in front of him, especially at an action-packed setup like a FINA World Cup.

Ireland’s Barry Murphy broke his Irish record with a third-place time of 26.40. That swim clipped his 26.60 from the 2012 European Championships, and earned him a third-place paycheck along the way.

Germany’s Hendrik Feldwehr (26.55), Germany’s Erik Steinhagen (26.72), Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima (26.83), Switzerland’s Martin Schweizer (26.95) and Russia’s Vlad Morozov (28.08) picked up the rest of the championship finishes.

Women’s 100 breast
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson turned in a 1:03.90 to emerge victorious in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke competition. The swim just missed her lifetime best of 1:03.80 from the 2012 short course world championship. That time puts her third all time in the event behind only Jessica Hardy (1:03.30) and Ruta Meilutyte (1:03.52).

Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen took home second-place honors in 1:04.11, just off her personal best of 1:04.05 also from 2012 short course worlds. Pedersen is coming into this meet red hot after a silver in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke in Barcelona that included a world record during semifinals with a 2:19.11 in the long course event.

The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis comprised the rest of the podium with a third-place effort of 1:04.92. That swim jumped her into the top 15 all time in the event, and pocketed her a third-place paycheck in the process.

Australia’s Sally Foster (1:05.11), Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (1:05.35), Japan’s Rie Kaneto (1:05.85), Canada’s Martha McCabe (1:06.06) and Germany’s Caroline Ruhnau (1:06.57) turned in the rest of the finishes in the finale.

Women’s 100 fly
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray, who is coming off a victory in the 50-meter fly at long course worlds in Barcelona, snatched another fly title as she clocked a 55.97 in the women’s 100-meter fly to win this evening. Tonight’s effort vaulted Ottesen Gray to sixth in the all time rankings, and started Ottesen Gray off right on this year’s FINA World Cup circuit.

Canada’s Katerine Savard continued her career summer, popping a 56.49 to take second overall in the finale. That outing downed the Canadian record of 56.64 set by Noemie Thomas at the 2012 short course world championships, and kept Savard climbing through the ranks as one of the better butterfliers in the world.

Ellen Gandy, now swimming for Australia after previously competing for Great Britain, snatched third-place honors with a time of 56.58.

Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi (57.47), USA’s Claire Donahue (57.48), Singapore’s Li Tao (57.78), Canada’s Audrey Lacroix (57.91) and The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (58.30) rounded out the top eight.

Men’s 100 back
In the first tie of the circuit, the Australian accomplished a podium sweep in the men’s 100-meter back. Ashley Delaney and Bobby Hurley put up matching times of 50.42 to share the title, while compatriot Mitchell Larkin wound up third in 50.53 in what proved to be a pretty loaded finale.

Delaney vaulted into the top 15 with his time, while Hurley has much more in the tank as the FINA World Cup rolls on as he clocked a lifetime best 50.18 during last year’s series. Hurley earned plenty of cash last year and could be looking at some special swims just a year later. Larkin also jumped into the top 15 all time with his performance tonight.

USA’s David Plummer (50.88), Japan’s Ryosuke Irie (50.98), Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki (51.00), France’s Ben Stasiulis (51.01) and Canada’s Russell Wood (52.08) also made their way into the finale.

Women’s 50 back
Japan’s Aya Terakawa, one of the top sprint backstrokers in the history of the sport, pushed the pace en route to a winning time of 26.20 in the event. That’s just off her fourth-ranked lifetime best of 26.05 from the Japanese Short Course Championships in February of this year.

Poland’s Alexandra Urbanczyk raced her way to second in 26.38, clearing her personal best of 26.50 from last year’s short course worlds. She moved into a ninth-ranked with Kseniya Moskvina on the all-time performers charts with the swim.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm earned the third-place check with a bronze-winning time of 26.64, while teammate Belinda Hocking just missed the podium with a fourth-place 27.04.

Canada’s Chantal Van Landeghem (27.17), Colombia’s Carolina Colorado Henao (27.49), Australia’s Meagen Nay (27.80) and Finland’s Anni Alitalo (27.80) also vied for the sprint backstroke title.

Men’s 200 fly
South Africa’s Chad Le Clos made his way to a bit of an unorthodox world record as he clipped the mark in the men’s 200-meter fly this evening en route to a $10,000 world record bonus.

Le Clos didn’t dip under the world record pace until an amazing final split of 27.73, closing out a stunning time of 1:49.04 for the title, and the record. His swim broke the previous record of 1:49.11 set by Kaio Almeida during the 2009 World Cup circuit at the Stockholm stop. That’s Le Clos’ first world record in short course competition as he cut a full second off his previous best of 1:50.15 from the 2011 World Cup. With Michael Phelps retired, Le Clos has assumed the throne as the top 200 flier in the world.

Kaio Almeida
24.80, 53.43 (28.63), 1:20.24 (26.81), 1:49.11 (28.87)
Chad Le Clos
24.88, 53.45 (28.57), 1:21.31 (27.86), 1:49.04 (27.73)

Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov finished a distant second in 1:50.99, well off his best time of 1:49.46, but good enough for a second-place check. USA’s Tom Shields clinched third-place honors in 1:51.38 to break the American record in the event. Davis Tarwater had owned the record with a 1:51.90 from the Duel in the Pool in 2011.

Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (1:51.80), Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:51.90), Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda (1:52.34), Canada’s Zack Chetrat (1:53.67) and USA’s Tyler Clary (2:02.69).

Women’s 200 IM
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu demonstrated that she’s just unreal, especially in short course meter competition. This morning, she blasted a 2:04.39 in prelims to set the world record in the women’s 200-meter IM. Well, that proved to be just a wake-up swim for the phenom.

This evening, Hosszu took the record to another stratosphere with a blistering time of 2:03.20. That’s just a remarkable progression of the record, cutting more than a second off the previous record of 2:04.60 held by USA’s Julia Smit coming into today.

Julia Smit
27.22, 58.60 (31.38), 1:34.54 (35.94), 2:04.60 (30.06)
Katinka Hosszu Prelims
27.09, 58.37 (31.28), 1:34.87 (36.50), 2:04.39 (29.52)
Katinka Hosszu Finals
26.69, 57.58 (30.89), 1:33.81 (36.23), 2:03.20 (29.39)

That’s Hosszu’s second $10,000 check of the day, and it could keep growing. FINA’s Cornel Marculescu told swimmers in advance of this week’s meet in Eindhoven that the world-record bonus cap of $50,000 has been removed for this stop. Plain and simple, FINA wants a lot of world records, and doesn’t want the incentive to have a regulator on it.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm collected another podium check with a 2:06.24 for second, well back of Hosszu’s jaw-dropping swim. Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Jakabos wound up with a third-place check in 2:06.29.

Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto (2:07.72), Germany’s Theresa Michalak (2:09.06), The Netherlands’ Wendy van der Zanden (2:09.09), Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia (2:09.72) and Finland’s Tanja Kylliainen (2:11.69) also swam in the historic heat.

Men’s 400 free
Following back-to-back world records, world-record holder Yannick Agnel of France put it on auto-pilot as he won the men’s 400-meter freestyle finale.

Agnel checked in with a 3:37.75, five seconds off his world record, to earn the first-place check in the middle distance event. South Africa’s Myles Brown earned second-place honors in the finale with a 3:37.91. That’s a huge personal best for Brown, stomping his 3:42.76 from the 2012 short course world championships, and moving him into the top 10 all time in the event’s history.

USA’s Conor Dwyer rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 3:40.65, while teammate Michael Klueh finished behind with a fourth-place effort of 3:42.09.

The Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman (3:42.19), USA’s Tyler Clary (3:44.87), Australia’s David McKeon (3:45.42) and Russia’s Artem Lobuzov (3:46.53) finished fifth through eighth in the middle distance event.

Women’s 50 free
The fourth world record of the day, in the third event, went down in the women’s 50-meter free splash-and-dash finale.

The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo took down the world record in the event by the slimmest of margins with a blistering time of 23.24. That swim clipped the 23.25 set by compatriot Marleen Veldhuis in 2008 with a 23.25. Kromowidjojo has been hunting the world and Netherlands record for years, with her best previous time having been a 23.37 at the 2010 short course world championships. She finally managed to pull it off this evening to stand on top of the sprint freestyle mountain.

Canada’s Chantal Van Landeghem crushed the Canadian record with a second-place time of 23.85. That performance smashed the 24.19 set by Victoria Poon back in 2010, and jumped Van Landeghem into the top 15 all time in the event’s history.

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray, already the winner of the 100 fly earlier this evening, checked in with a 23.89 for third-place honors. That’s her first time under 24 seconds, breaking her previous best of 24.00 from the 2012 short course world championships.

Germany’s Dorothea Brandt (24.03), The Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk (24.26), Poland’s Alexandra Urbanczyk (24.29), Australia’s Brittany Elmslie (24.42) and Canada’s Sandrine Mainville (24.63) collected the rest of the finishes in the finale.

Men’s 200 breast
World-record holder Daniel Gyurta took down the World Cup circuit record in the distance breaststroke event this evening.

Gyurta, fresh off a stellar week at the long course world championships in Barcelona, rolled through the 200-meter breaststroke finale this evening in 2:01.44. That time blasted the previous circuit record of 2:02.56 owned by Neil Versfeld since 2009. It wasn’t close to Gyurta’s world record of 2:00.67, but he didn’t need that type of speed to win tonight.

Germany’s Marco Koch (2:02.80) and Great Britain’s Michael Jamieson (2:04.01) comprised the rest of the podium well behind Gyurta’s top time, but enough to earn some cash via the World Cup race winnings setup.

Russia’s Marat Amaltdinov (2:06.11), Slovakia’s Tomas Klobucnik (2:06.65), USA’s Chase Kalisz (2:07.00), Germany’s Christian vom Lehn (2:07.07) and The Netherlands’ Sebas Van Lith (2:09.41) also competed in the finale.

Men’s 100 IM
Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell clipped his personal best in the sprint medley this evening at the World Cup stop here in Eindhoven.

Bovell hit the wall in 51.15 for the win, undercutting his top time of 51.20 from last year’s World Cup circuit as he is among the top five in the world all time in the specialty event.

Australia’s Kenneth To threw down a second-place time of 51.31 to clear his Australian record of 51.38 set during last year’s short course world championships, while Russia’s Vlad Morozov rounded out the podium with a third-place effort of 51.50.

Australia’s Daniel Tranter (52.09), Germany’s Markus Deibler (52.56), The Netherlands’ Mike Marissen (52.97), South Africa’s Darian Townsend (53.17) and Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima (53.20) finished fourth through eighth off the podium.

Women’s 200 back
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina overpowered the field down the stretch to win the women’s 200-meter backstroke tonight.

Zevina turned in a swift 30.51 final split en route to a winning time of 2:02.04. That’s just off her personal best of 2:01.97 from the 2012 European Short Course Championships that ranks her in the top 10 all time in the event. She still has some time to make up if she wants to challenge the stunning world record of 2:00.03 clocked by Missy Franklin back in 2011.

Australia’s Belinda Hocking (2:02.13) and Emily Seebohm (2:02.13) tied for second-place honors, while Canada’s Hilary Caldwell wound up fourth in 2:02.56. That’s another Canadian record for Caldwell, who blasted the 2:03.31 set by Katy Murdoch back in 2009.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (2:03.04), Spain’s Melanie Costa Schmid (2:06.18), Australia’s Meagen Nay (2:07.25) and Hungary’s Evelyn Verrastzo (2:07.35) wound up fifth through eighth in the finale.

Men’s 50 fly
World-record holder Steffen Deibler touched out South Africa’s Roland Schoeman, 22.17 to 22.22, for the men’s sprint fly title to close out individual events this evening. Deibler has a bit more in the tank with a 21.80 world record from the Berlin stop of the 2009 World Cup circuit.

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, fresh off his world record in the 200 fly, clocked a third-place 22.62 for another check.

Ukraine’s Andrey Govorov (22.77), USA’s Tom Shields (22.87), Belgium’s Francois Heersbrandt (23.06), Ireland’s Barry Murphy (23.28) and Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (23.46) also competed in the sprint fly finale.

Mixed 200 medley relay
Germany’s Theresa Michalak (27.95), Hendrik Feldwehr (26.18), Steffen Deibler (22.11) and Dorothea Brandt (23.14) clinched the relay victory in 1:39.38.

Australia’s Ashley Delaney (23.67), Kenneth To (26.72), Ellen Gandy (26.00) and Emma McKeon (24.00) finished second in 1:40.39. The Netherlands’ Wendy van der Zanden (27.96), Bastiaan Lijesen (27.14), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.94) and Jasper Van Mierlo (21.23) taking third in 1:41.27.

Canada field a pair of teams with Russell Wood, Martha McCabe, Coleman Allen and Chantal Van Landeghem finishing fourth in 1:41.71, while Hilary Caldwell, Ashton Baumann, Katerine Savard and Chris Manning earned fifth in 1:42.07.

Finland (1:42.92), Ukraine (1:42.99) and USA (1:45.35) comprised the rest of the championship heat.

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