BERGEN, Norway, April 21. IN what has become a swimming spectacle now designed to memorialize Alexander Dale Oen, the short course meter Bergen Swim Festival featured some intense swimming, including tournament rounds in the 50s, this weekend.
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, who made her mark with her incredible workloads during the FINA World Cup series where she captured the overall crown, continued to undertake amazing levels of activity while still putting up strong efforts.
She opened up with a women's 200-meter freestyle victory in 1:55.99, with Cecilie Johannessen (2:00.94) and Line Jorgensen Bruun (2:04.50) placing second and third. Denmark youngster Mie Nielsen beat Hosszu to the wall in the 100-meter back, 58.13 to 59.44. Ingvild Snildal touched third in 1:00.18.
Jeanette Ottesen Gray scorched her way to victory in the women's 50-meter free tournament with a 25.25, while Hosszu placed second in 25.55. Johannessen placed third overall in 26.36.
Hosszu returned to the top of the podium in one of her signature events with a 2:08.56 in the women's 200-meter fly. Snildal finished second overall with a 2:09.95 for her second podium of the meet, while Klara Farkas placed third in 2:14.61.
Hosszu's third gold medal of the meet came by way of the ultra-fun 100-meter IM as she dropped a 1:00.09 for the win. Rikke Pedersen took second in 1:01.17 with a strong breaststroke leg, while Snildal quickly began showing that she was Hosszu's wingmate in swimming a remarkable schedule with a third-place 1:02.88.
Gray returned for another sprint tourney victory as she clocked a 26.61 to the women's 50-meter fly title. Snildal (27.31) and Nielsen (27.89) placed second and third. Hosszu was knocked out in the first round after a 27.64.
Hosszu ascended the top of the podium for the fourth time of the meet with a 2:10.85 in the women's 200-meter back. Veronica Bjorlykke finished a distant second in 2:13.59, while Christine Pedersen placed third in 2:17.62.
Hosszu fell to another specialist in the 100-meter breast as Pedersen dropped a 1:05.38 for the win. Hosszu took second in 1:10.01, while Stina Colleou earned third in 1:11.61. Pedersen then won another head-to-head breaststroke victory against Hosszu with a 30.94 in the women's 50-meter breast tournament. Hosszu finished second in 31.96. Colleou placed third in 33.35.
Title number five for Hosszu came by way of the women's 400-meter free. Most versatile swimmers at meets like this tend to eschew the longer distance events, but Hosszu relishes in the challenge and the 400-meter-plus events is where she made her key mark on the FINA World Cup last year en route to a six-figure payday. Hosszu won the middle-distance event in Bergen with a 4:22.19. Line Bruun placed second in 4:23.84, while Malene Pedersen earned third in 4:29.05.
Hosszu topped the podium for a sixth time in the 200-meter IM with a 2:07.47. Snildal placed well behind with a second-place 2:15.36, while Sofie Reisaenen took third in 2:19.35. Nielsen claimed another head-to-head win ahead of Hosszu, this time in the women's 50-meter back tournament. Nielsen won the final round in 27.64 with Hosszu sprinting to second in 27.82. Christine Pedersen placed third in 30.69.
Gray turned in a title trifecta with a 57.36 to top the women's 100-meter fly. Snildal had a rare head-to-head win ahead of Hosszu, 58.32 to 58.75, for second-place honors in the finale. Pedersen returned with a 2:19.56 to win the women's 200-meter breast, while Hosszu (2:30.74) and Colleou (2:30.80) produced the identical podium in all three breaststroke finales.
Johannessen clinched the women's 100-meter free crown in 55.38 with Hosszu posting a 55.40 for second. Nielsen snuck her way into third with a 55.43.
Cameron van der Burgh, who left the burst-pipe plagued South African Nationals midway through the meet to honor his friend Alexander Dale Oen, smashed the 100-meter breast with a 57.82. Daniel Gyurta took second in 59.33, while Martti Aljand earned third in 59.90. Van der Burgh claimed his second title of the meet with a sterling 27.14 in the men's 50-meter breast tournament. Aljand finished second in 27.60, while Bram Dekker took third in 28.06.
Simon Sjodin clinched the men's 200-meter free title in 1:47.88. Pal Joensen (1:50.49) and Henrik Christiansen (1:50.74) finished second and third in the event. Ralf Tribuntsov dominated the men's 100-meter back in 51.97. Lavrans Solli (54.41) and Runar Borgen (57.26) rounded out the top three.
Niksja Stojkovski took home the men's 50-meter free tournament title in 23.83, while Emil Gregersen (23.92) and Christian Tronvoll (25.10) took second and third. Viktor Bromer topped the men's 200-meter fly in 1:57.13, while Sindri Jakobsson (1:57.29) placed just behind. Duarte Mourao earned third in 2:01.48.
Aljand touched out Sjodin, 54.25 to 54.37, in the men's 100-meter IM, while Tribuntsov took third in 54.87. Jakobsson returned in the men's 50-meter fly tournament with a 24.67 for the win. Bromer (25.03) and Mourao (25.61) completed the top three.
Sjodin doubled with a 2:00.63 to crush the field in the men's 200-meter back. Zsombor Szana touched second in 2:05.13, while Armin Porobic picked up third in 2:05.16. Joensen pocketed the men's 400-meter free title in 3:49.63, while Christiansen (3:52.06) and Szana (3:59.20) touched second and third behind him.
Sjodin's third title occurred in the men's 200-meter IM with a 1:57.98 for the win. Bromer took second in 2:00.48, while Markus Lie wound up third in 2:04.49. Tribuntsov doubled up with a 24.77 to prevail in the men's 50-meter back tournament. Solli placed second in 25.20, while Sebastien Strandberg earned third in 27.43.
Sjodin moved his title tally to four with a 54.05 to 54.08 touchout triumph ahead of Bromer in the men's 100-meter fly. Jakobsson turned in a third-place time of 54.14 in one of the closest finishes of the weekend. Gyurta won the men's 200-meter breast in 2:06.48 with Michael Jamieson taking second in 2:06.84. Andrew Willis wound up third in 2:09.22.
Tribuntsov earned his third crown of the meet with a 48.43 in the men's 100-meter free. Stojkovski (50.76) and Gregersen (51.27) finished second and third in the event.