TOKYO, Japan, November 9. WITH continental records falling with regularity, you would think you would be hard pressed to find a single standout swimmer tonight at the FINA World Cup, but South Africa’s Chad Le Clos managed to do just that with a tremendous title trifecta in Tokyo.
The Australians also closed down the show with a mixed gender world record after Swimming Australia put a hurting on the Commonwealth record books.
Women’s 800 free
New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle continued to get the best of world-record holder Mireia Belmonte as Boyle squashed the field in the women’s 800-meter freestyle with a time of 8:06.15. That’s still well back of her second-ranked 8:01.22 from the Eindhoven stop, where she took second behind Belmonte’s world record 7:59.34, but was plenty enough for the win tonight.
After turning in her ridiculously fast world record in Eindhoven, Belmonte has settled for piling up podium points without winning much more on the tour. She took second tonight in 8:08.40. Meanwhile, U.S. Junior National Teamer Becca Mann snared bronze in 8:18.47 to move to seventh in the world rankings. That’s some lofty places for the youngster.
Great Britain’s Hannah Miley (8:22.76), Japan’s Marie Kamimura (8:29.21), Germany’s Sarah Kohler (8:30.13), Japan’s Emu Higuchi (8:31.72) and Japan’s Yukimi Moriyama (8:32.38) made up the rest of the top eight in the timed final event.
Men’s 400 IM
Chad Le Clos crushed his African record in the event, demonstrating that he’s on point here in Tokyo. Le Clos, who cracked the world record in the 200 fly in Singapore, followed up with a 3:59.23 in the distance medley tonight. That swim blasted his national record of 4:02.18 from the 2009 Berlin World Cup stop, and vaulted him to second in the world rankings this year behind only Daiya Seto’s 3:58.84 from Berlin this summer. There’s no telling how fast Le Clos can go the rest of the circuit.
Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes followed suit in what was an incredibly fast finale. The Aussie threw down a scorching 3:59.92 for the win to not only break his Australian record of 4:01.98 from the Singapore stop, but also to trounced the Commonwealth mark of 4:01.63 set by Joe Roebuck of Great Britain in Istanbul. Fraser-Holmes now stands fourth in the world rankings behind Conor Dwyer (3:59.90).
Seto, meanwhile, checked in with a third-place time of 4:00.72 as the top three swimmers were in a class of their own.
Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli (4:06.69), Japan’s Takeharu Fujimori (4:07.36), Australia’s Travis Mahoney (4:08.43), USA’s Jay Litherland (4:08.66) and Hungary’s Gergely Gyurta (4:11.45) also made the top eight.
Men’s 100 free
The Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov just missed his season best of 45.64 from the Eindhoven stop as he sprinted his way to gold in the finale with a 45.65. Morozov has been on point on the tour, and has been winning the 100 free with regularity aside from James Magnussen’s top-ranked 45.60 from the Eindhoven stop.
Poland’s Konrad Czerniak snared silver with a 46.73 after turning fifth at the 50-meter mark with a 22.52. He powered home in 24.21 to overtake the rest of the field. USA’s Anthony Ervin showed veteran poise to wind up with a third-place time of46.93.
Australia’s Tommaso D’Orsogna (47.05), Brazil’s Nicholas Santos (47.31), Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (47.50), The Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren (47.85) and Brazil’s Fernando Silva (48.15) also competed in the finale.
Women’s 200 free
In one of the more exciting finishes on the circuit so far with three swimmers all in contention for the title, FINA World Cup Queen Katinka Hosszu dropped the hammer in the final 50 meters with a 28.19 en route to winning the 200 free in 1:53.12. She had been third heading into the 150-meter mark.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who had led at the 150 with a 1:24.54, wound up second in 1:53.15, while Australia’s Emma McKeon moved from fourth to third with a 1:53.32 to round out the podium.
Spain’s Melani Costa (1:54.27), New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle (1:55.28), Great Britain’s Siobhan Marie O’Connor (1:56.57), USA’s Quinn Carrozza (1:56.72) and Australia’s Brittany Elmslie (1:58.61) also finished fourth through eighth.
Men’s 50 breast
South Africa’s Roland Schoeman, who is the top-ranked sprint breaststroker in the world this year with a 25.65 from Berlin, clinched the title in 26.12 tonight as he won by more than .10 seconds. Australia’s Christian Sprenger raced into second with a 26.26, while Japan’s Kouichirou Okazaki snared bronze in 26.47.
Brazil’s Felipe Lima (26.49), Brazil’s Joao Gomes Jr. (26.59), Germany’s Hendrik Feldwehr (26.61), Japan’s Hiromasa Sakimoto (26.98) and Japan’s Ryo Kabayashi (27.13) rounded out the rest of the championship field.
Women’s 100 breast
She just missed her Jamaican record of 1:02.91 from the Dubai stop, but she likely didn’t mind as Alia Atkinson picked up yet another gold medal on the FINA World Cup circuit with a 1:02.99. Atkinson has been one of the revelations this year, as a handful of swimmers usually have breakouts during the World Cup each and every year. That’s definitely been Atkinson as she’s now moved herself into regularly beating world record holders.
One of those world record holders, Yuliya Efimova of Russia, wound up taking second in 1:03.02. That’s a season-best time for the Russian, as her previous best had been a 1:03.53 from the Moscow stop. She still holds third in the overall rankings behind Ruta Meilutyte (1:02.36) and Atkinson.
Japan’s Mio Motegi raced to third in 1:05.43, just shy of her seventh-ranked season best of 1:05.29 from the Singapore stop.
Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (1:06.24), Japan’s Maya Hamano (1:06.25), Japan’s Kanako Watanabe (1:06.35), Sweden’s Joline Hostman (1:06.95) and Japan’s Runa Imai (1:07.70) placed fourth through eighth in the finale.
Women’s 100 fly
Australia’s Alicia Coutts made a run at Diane Bui Duyet’s world record of 55.05 in the event, but settled for a scorching fast Commonwealth and World Cup record time of 55.30. Out in 26.16 and back in 29.14, Coutts blasted the previous World Cup mark of 55.46 set by compatriot Felicity Galvez at the Stockholm stop in 2009. Coutts also tracked down Galvez’ Commonwealth mark of 55.43 from the 2010 World Short Course Championships.
That’s a monster swim for the Olympic gold medalist as she continues on her path towards the 2016 Rio Olympics. This past summer, she had too many silver medals at Worlds for her own liking with five silvers in Barcelona. She’s likely enjoying a win against international competition here in Tokyo.
Notably, Coutts also smashed the previously top-ranked time of 55.94 set by Jeanette Ottesen at the Berlin stop this year.
Japan’s Yuka Kato took second in 56.09 to stand third in the world rankings, while Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom placed third tonight in 56.14 for fourth in the world rankings.
The top-end speed did not end with the podium as Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu took fourth in 56.24 to better her previously fourth-ranked season-best of 56.58 from the Singapore stop, while The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker finished fifth in 57.33.
Canada’s Katerine Savard (57.35), Brazil’s Daynara De Paula (57.36) and Singapore’s Li Tao (58.30) rounded out the top eight.
Men’s 100 back
USA’s Eugene Godsoe picked up the big check with a strong 49.87 for the win and for the top of the world rankings this year. No one had beaten 50 seconds so far, with Bobby Hurley previously on top with a 50.01 from the Berlin stop. Godsoe’s sizzling swim nearly moved him into American record contention, currently held by Peter Marshall with a 49.64 from the 2008 Berlin World Cup stop (although Nick Thoman is the fastest American with an unratified 48.94 from 2009)
Hurley, meanwhile, joined Godsoe under 50 seconds with a 49.92 for silver tonight. That’s the third Commonwealth record of the night as he beat his Australian record of 50.01 from earlier in the year, and cleared George Du Rand’s 50.00 from the Stockholm stop of the 2009 World Cup.
Australia’s Mitch Larkin won the battle for third with a 50.83, while Ashley Delaney wound up fourth in 50.96.
Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto (51.25), Miguelgen Ozeki (51.50), Yuki Shirai (51.82) and Junya Koga (52.16). comprised the rest of the championship heat.
Women’s 50 back
A newcomer to the circuit so far this year, Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros overhauled the sprint backstroke field with a 26.61 to 26.62 touchout triumph ahead of Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds. The swim moved Medeiros to fourth in the world rankings, while Simmonds bettered her previous best of 26.63.
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, usually the odds on favorite in the 200 back, wound up with third-place money in the sprint with a 26.81.
Australia’s Emily Seebohm (26.88), Great Britain’s Fran Halsall (27.00), Australia’s Madison Wilson (27.15), Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (27.18) and Japan’s Emi Moronuki (27.37) also competed in the finale.
Men’s 200 fly
World record holder Chad Le Clos doubled up in his pet event this evening with a monster final split of 27.42 en route to a winning time of 1:50.33. That’s not even close to his brilliant world record swim of 1:48.56 from the Singapore stop, but was more than enough to overhaul the field for his second gold medal as he continues to march to an almost-guaranteed FINA World Cup circuit win.
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, who had led through 150 meters with a 1:22.45 and managed a 28.57 final split, wound up fading to second in 1:51.02 as he moved to fifth in the world rankings. Teammate Takeshi Matsuda finished third in 1:51.55 to better his previously sixth-ranked season best of 1:52.34 from the Eindhoven stop.
Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (1:51.70), Japan’s Masaki Kaneko (1:52.89), Japan’s Masato Sakai (1:54.38), Japan’s Ko Fukaya (1:54.78) and Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus (1:55.02) clinched the rest of the finale finishes.
Women’s 200 IM
The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu cruised to her second victory of the night with a winning time of 2:04.52 in the medley. That’s still a second off her world record of 2:03.20 from the Eindhoven stop, but was enough to keep on her pace to win more than $300,000 in race earnings this year on the FINA World Cup tour.
Australia’s Alicia Coutts tracked down her second Commonwealth record of the night with a strong 2:05.63 for second place. That swim downed her previous record of 2:05.82 set in Sydney in August of this year as she stands second in the world behind only Hosszu’s world record this year. Great Britain’s Sophie Allen rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 2:06.99
Australia’s Emily Seebohm (2:07.37), Germany’s Theresa Michalak (2:08.31), Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (2:08.84), Great Britain’s Siobhan Marie O’Connor (2:09.13) and Japan’s Miyu Otsuka (2:09.25) also vied for the title this evening.
Men’s 400 free
Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes delivered some outside smoke with a win from out in lane 8. He clocked a time of 3:38.29 for the win, moving himself to fourth in the world rankings as he bettered his previous season best of 3:38.92 from the Singapore stop.
Teammate Bobby Hurley collected another podium check with a second-place 3:39.04, while Japan’s Naito Ehara snared third in 3:43.10 to make up the rest of the top three finishers.
Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, refocusing on the pool after a few years of being in the open water circuit primarily, took fourth in 3:43.11. Great Britain’s James Guy (3:43.21), Great Britain’s Roberto Pavoni (3:44.95), Japan’s Fumiya Hidaka (3:45.01) and Japan’s Junpei Higashi (3:45.46) finished fifth through eighth in the finale.
Women’s 50 free
Yet another Commonwealth record nearly fell as Cate Campbell of Australian blitzed the field in 23.47 for the win. That swim crushed her Australian record of 23.73 set during the Singapore stop that ranked her second in the world behind Ranomi Kromowidjojo’s world record of 23.24, and nearly beat Fran Halsall’s Commonwealth mark of 23.44 from 2009.
Germany’s Dorothea Brandt matched Campbell’s sister Bronte for second-place honors as the duo posted matching 23.91s to split the silver.
Halsall, meanwhile, wound up fourth overall in 23.97, while Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom managed a fifth-place 24.09.
Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia (24.21), The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (24.33) and Australia’s Emma McKeon (24.34) produced the rest of the finishes in what proved to be a stacked finale.
Men’s 200 breast
Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta raced his way to the second World Cup mark of the night as he downed his Berlin mark of 2:01.37 with a strong 2:01.30 this evening. He had a pretty lonely swim, considering he won by more than two seconds with Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki taking silver in 2:03.63.
Gyurta still has awhile before he will catch up to his techsuit-fueled world record of 2:00.67 from 2009, but he’s continuing to inch his textile-best times to that scorching fast global mark.
Great Britain’s Michael Jamieson placed third in 2:04.32, while Japan’s Kazuki Kohinata finished fourth in 2:04.77.
The Kosuke Kitajima effect was easily seen in the 200 breast as just two of the top 20 finishers weren’t from Japan. Ippei Watanabe (2:06.94), Takatoshi Ikeshita (2:07.21), Naoki Taguchi (2:07.33) and Yukihiro Takahashi (2:08.26) also finished in the top eight.
Men’s 100 IM
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino crushed the Asian record in the sprint medley with a blazing time of 51.58 for the win. That swim far surpassed the 52.36 set by Japan’s Takuro Fujii at the 2010 World Championships, and vaulted Hagino to fourth in the world rankings. That’s a remarkable time, considering he chopped nearly a second off the continental mark.
Should Hagino keep rolling this year on the World Cup, he could finally find his sweet spot in competition. This past summer, Hagino made the mistake of swimming in way too many events at the World Championships in Barcelona, and came up short of his intended goals.
Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell picked up silver in 51.65, short of his second-ranked 51.15 from Eindhoven but plenty fast enough to earn a second-place check. Russia’s Vlad Morozov wound up third in 51.98.
Japan’s Shinri Shioura (52.68), Australia’s Tommaso D’Orsogna (52.78), Japan’s Takuro Fujii (53.16), Australia’s Mitch Larkin (53.26) and Japan’s Daiya Seto (54.27) placed fourth through eighth in the championship heat.
Women’s 200 back
If it is the 200 back on the FINA World Cup, that usually means that Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina is cashing in another $1,500 check, and that’s just what happened for the seventh straight time on the tour as she posted an easy speed 2:01.70 for the win. She’s been a bit faster with a top-ranked 2:00.81 from the Berlin stop of the tour.
Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds took second in 2:02.34, while Australia’s Emily Seebohm placed third in 2:04.13.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (2:04.18), Japan’s Sayaka Akase (2:04.35), Japan’s Marie Kamimura (2:05.74), Canada’s Hilary Caldwell (2:07.00) and Australia’s Madison Wilson (2:08.46) also battled in the championship final.
Men’s 50 fly
He finished just off his third-ranked season best of 22.24 from Singapore, but South Africa’s Chad Le Clos was still smiling with a 22.26 as he earned his third title of the night in what was a pretty strong evening of swimming across the board. With his swims tonight, he and Katinka Hosszu are just steamrolling to inevitable overall World Cup tour wins.
Brazil’s Nicholas Santos took second in 22.33, while South Africa’s Roland Schoeman placed third in 22.46. USA’s Tom Shields finished just off the podium with a fourth-place time of 22.68.
Japan’s Kohei Kawamoto (22.72), USA’s Eugene Godsoe (22.89), Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto (23.42) and Japan’s Yoshinori Muramatsu (23.54) completed the rest of the finale.
Mixed 200 medley relay
The Australians ended what was an amazingly successful for the squad from Down Under with a world record in the mixed gender 200 medley relay.
Bobby Hurley (23.46), Christian Sprenger (25.91), Alicia Coutts (25.19) and Cate Campbell (23.28) took the record under 1:38 with a sizzling 1:37.84. Although this record suffered from a bit of controversy since it first was recognized as a FINA-official event in September, the Australian’s have eliminated all doubt after first unifying the world best and the world record in Singapore with a 1:38.02 before taking the event to a new level tonight.
Russia’s Vlad Morozov (23.66), Yuliya Efimova (28.61), Viacheslav Prudnikov (22.89) and Elizaveta Bazarova (24.53) finished second in 1:39.69, while Brazil’s Daniel Orzechowski (23.97), Raphael Rodrigues (26.39), Daynara De Paula (25.96) and Larissa Oliveira (23.89) took third in 1:40.21.
Toyo University (1:41.78), Chuo University (1:42.49), Konami (1:42.61), Mikihouse (1:43.14) and Nippon Sports Science University (1:43.31) also swam in the finale.