STOCKHOLM, Sweden, October 13. KATINKA Hosszu put together her best night of an already jaw-dropping FINA World Cup circuit, as she completed another title trifecta and upgraded her usual bronze in the 200 back to silver. She's now on schedule to have an even stronger outing at the Stockholm stop than she had at either the Dubai or Doha stops.
Additionally, Japan's Daiya Seto and Australia's Robert Hurley continued to pile up wads of cash with plenty of podium finishes between the two. Seto leads all the men after day one of the Stockholm stop with $14,500, while Hurley has now won $10,500.
For a quick refresher course, the FINA World Cup is a global circuit of two-day meets all swum in short course meters (25m) setups. Swimmers vie for cash earnings with first-place individual winners earning $1,500, while second place wins $1,000. Third place in each event also takes home $500. Relays are not money races.
The overall circuit winners for the men and women by the end of the eight-meet series next month will win $100,000 each. Chad Le Clos and Therese Alshammar both banked six-figure paydays last year with Le Clos topping out at $145,500, including nearly $50k in just race winnings alone. Thus far this year, Katinka Hosszu and Daryna Zevina are tied for the women's overall lead, while Kenneth To tops the men's overall standings after the second stop in Doha, Qatar.
Women's 800 free
While Denmark's Lotte Friis served up a tougher challenge in the third stop of the FINA World Cup circuit, but Hungary's Katinka Hosszu still managed to start how she started in Dubai and Doha — with a win in the 800 free. Hosszu raced to victory with an 8:24.48, powering down the final 200 meters to beat Friis by more than a second. Friis settled for silver with an 8:25.96, her first podium of the circuit. Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos, meanwhile, collected third-place honors with an 8:31.96 to move to $9,500 in winnings thus far.
Hosszu's win is her 15th gold of the circuit already, with a tally of $23,500 in race winnings so far. She's well on her way to posting the most race winnings in World Cup circuit history. She also cut a huge amount of time from the 8:29.31 she used to win in Doha, and would have ranked in the top 25 last year.
Men's 100 free
Australia swept the podium in the 100 free with Tomasso D'Orsogna trumping early 2012 FINA World Cup leader Kenneth To, 47.05 to 47.24. Meanwhile, Kyle Richardson raced to third in 47.33, with USA's Anthony Ervin missing the podium with a fourth-place 47.50. To still holds the top 100 free swim on the circuit, with a scorching 46.89 in Dubai. D'Orsogna, meanwhile, bettered the 47.10 he and To used to tie for the title in Doha. To now has $6,750 in winnings, while D'Orsogna improved to $4,250. Richardson has settled for a trio of bronzes to earn $1,500.
Women's 200 free
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu completed her third straight 800/200 freestyle double on the circuit as she claimed a one-second triumph in the 200 with a sterling 1:55.30. Her running-mate Zsuzsanna Jakabos clinched second-place honors with a 1:56.31, while Great Britain's Hannah Miley swam to the podium in her first stop of the circuit with a third-place 1:56.58. Australia's Jessica Morrison just missed with a fourth-place 1:56.65.
Hosszu swam a bit slower than the 1:54.79 she used to win in Doha, but likely wasn't worried after collecting her 16th individual gold medal thus far. With $3,000 already in the bag tonight, she moved her overall tally to $25,000. Jakabos, who has consistently finished on the podium, now has $10,500 in winnings.
Men's 50 breast
New Zealand's Glenn Snyders walked right through the open door of opportunity with Cameron van der Burgh going home to train after the first two stops as Snyders touched out Brazil's Joao Gomes Jr., 26.61 to 26.69 for the sprint breast triumph. Meanwhile, Norway's Aleksander Hetland turned in a third-place time of 26.83. Snyders, who has been finishing behind van der Burgh often during the circuit, moved his race winnings to $4,500. Van der Burgh has the best time of the circuit thus far with a 25.95 from the Doha stop.
Women's 100 breast
London Olympic surprise gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania undercut Sweden's Jennie Johansson for the breaststroke victory, 1:05.02 to 1:05.39. Meanwhile, Japan's Rie Kaneto touched out 2009 FINA World Cup champion Jessica Hardy of the U.S., 1:05.44 to 1:05.50, for the final podium spot. Meilutyte and Johansson finished well ahead of the 1:06.11 Johansson used to win this event on the last stop in Doha, while Meilutyte would have finished ranked sixth in the world last season. Meiltutye is returning to swimming after an ascendant summer that witnessed her score a surprise win in the 100-meter breaststroke at the London Olympics, beating heavy favorite Rebecca Soni. Johansson, meanwhile, has had a consistent World Cup circuit so far, pushing her race winnings to $7,000.
Men's 400 IM
Japan's Daiya Seto gave the World Cup record in the distance medley a run with a smoking time of 4:00.85 for the win. That swim just missed the 4:00.63 clocked by Brazil's Thiago Pereira way back in 2007. The win gave Seto a men's leading race winning tally of $12,500. Meanwhile, Hungary's Laszlo Cseh earned silver in 4:01.01 to increase his circuit winnings to $4,000. Israel's Gal Nevo rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 4:08.32. Seto and Cseh both blasted the time Seto used to win on the last stop in Doha of 4:02.51, while Seto would have ranked third in the world last season behind Ryan Lochte (3:59.52) and Tyler Clary (4:00.35), who posted their top times at the Duel in the Pool in December 2011.
Women's 100 fly
She might not be able to catch up to this year's dynamic efforts from Katinka Hosszu, but FINA World Cup veteran, and multiple-time winner Therese Alshammar of Sweden is still cashing checks. She won the 100 fly this evening in 56.68 by more than a second. That swim was faster than the 57.22 she used to win in Doha, and pushed her past the $10,000 mark in race winnings with $10,500 thus far. Norway's Ingvild Snildal (57.98) and Finland's Emilia Pikarainen (58.48) were both new entrants to the podium, having missed the first two stops. Alshammar led the way last season with a 55.62 at the Berlin stop of the World Cup, and still has more in the tank as the circuit continues.
Men's 100 back
Australia's Robert Hurley continued to pile up the cash, as he topped the men's 100 back with a 50.38 to 50.42 touchout triumph over Russia's Stanislav Donets, replicating the 1-2 finish from Doha in the event. Hurley fell a bit off the time he used to win in Doha of 50.18, while Donets turned up the heat after clocking a 50.47 in Doha. Australia's Ashley Delaney earned third-place honors with a 51.35. Hurley now has $9,000 in circuit race winnings, second behind Seto's $12,500 among the men. Donets ran his tally to $6,500 with his silver-winning effort. Both times would have been among the top 10 in the world last season as Hurley and Donets continue to put on a show in the backstroke events.
Women's 50 back
Australia's Rachel Goh improved her race winnings to $6,500 with another sprint backstroke triumph. She clocked a 26.94, using her strong underwaters throughout the swift race. Sweden's Magdalena Kuras (27.50) and Brazil's Fabiola Molina (27.58) took second and third as circuit newcomers, who elected not to swim the Middle East leg of the circuit this year. Goh topped the time Noriko Inada used to beat her in Doha, 27.29 to 27.67. She also cleared 27 seconds for the first time this year, bettering the 27.02 she used to win in Dubai. Her time this evening would have put her in the top 10 last season. She already ranked fourth with a 26.60 from the Beijing stop of the World Cup last year.
Men's 200 fly
With 2011 FINA World Cup winner Chad Le Clos returning home to train, it looked like Daiya Seto might be a runaway winner in the distance fly. His teammate Kazuya Kineda, however, had different plans claiming a 1:51.95 to 1:52.12 victory over Seto. USA's Tom Shields, meanwhile, took home third-place honors with a 1:52.80. Seto downed Le Clos in Doha, 1:51.30 to 1:51.31, in an exciting finish. Seto just did not have enough to overtake his compatriot tonight. Kineda's time would have put him in the top 10 last season. He finished sixth overall then with a 1:51.05 from the Tokyo stop of the World Cup circuit.
Women's 200 IM
Katinka Hosszu remained on schedule for a similar seven gold, one bronze finish as she's already posted at the first two stops. Hosszu completed the tough 800/200 free/200 IM triple with a winning time of 2:08.13. Meanwhile, Great Britain's Sophie Allen and Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos tied for silver with matching times of 2:09.05. The victory gave Hosszu $26,500 in circuit winnings thus far, and bested her Doha-winning time of 2:09.86 by far. Her time tonight would have finished in the top 10 last season, when she took sixth in the world with a 2:07.64 from the Duel in the Pool in December 2011. Jakabos moved her tally to an impressive $11,000 with her second-place tie, while Allen became a podium-winner for the first time this circuit as she skipped the Middle East leg.
Men's 400 free
Australia's Robert Hurley cleared the $10,000 mark in circuit winnings with his second win of the night. He topped the middle distance event with a backhalf strategy that equated to a 3:43.75 for the win. Germany's Paul Biedermann checked in with a second-place time of 3:45.14, while Brazil's Marcos Oliveira earned third in 3:45.89. Hurley's time tonight was more than enough to win, but well off his Doha-winning effort of 3:42.89. Beidermann and Oliveira, meanwhile, are newcomers to the circuit, picking up their first prize checks.
Women's 50 free
The hometown fans weren't too happy with the result, but Germany's Britta Steffen surfaced from a stocked finale with Sweden's Therese Alshammar taking second, 24.08 to 24.24. USA's Jessica Hardy got on the board with a third-place 24.41, while The Netherlands' Inge Dekker (24.74) and Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte (25.03) finished fourth and fifth. Steffen threw down the top time on the circuit thus far, besting the 24.50 Alshammar used to win in Dubai. Steffen's time is nearly better than her 24.01 season best from last year from the Euro Short Course Champs, which ranked her seventh overall. Alshammar's time is now the second-best on the circuit so far this year. Steffen now has $7,500 in winnings, while Alshammar moved up to $11,500.
Men's 200 breast
Germany's Marco Koch, a distance breaststroke specialist and veteran on the World Cup tour, held off Japan's Daiya Seto for the victory, 2:06.09 to 2:06.65. South Africa's Neil Versfeld, one of the few South Africans to continue on the circuit, took third in 2:07.63. The times this evening were slow compared to Doha, where Seto knocked off Koch, 2:04.87 to 2:05.72. Koch now has $4,500 in winnings, while Seto pushed his men's leading tally to $14,500.
Men's 100 IM
Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell upset Australia's Kenneth To in the sprint medley, 51.56 to 51.75. Australia's Kyle Richardson completed the top three in 52.78. Bovell bettered the 51.58 To used to beat him in Doha, and nearly caught the Australian record 51.43 To used to win in Dubai. Tonight's time would have put Bovell at the top of the world last season, and is well ahead of lifetime best of 51.87 from Doha. He has now moved up to seventh all time in the event's history.
Women's 200 back
While New Zealand's Melissa Ingram definitely dominated the distance dorsal event with a 2:04.84, the top story might wind up being Katinka Hosszu taking second in 2:07.44. During her phenomenal finishes in Dubai and Doha, Hosszu collected bronze in this race. She's now ahead of schedule, and could finish with an even stronger medal and cash haul in Stockholm with strong competition. Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos earned bronze with a 2:08.71. With early FINA World Cup points leader Daryna Zevina not competing, Ingram did not need to come close to the 2:02.99 Zevina used to win in Doha. She did, however, best her second-place 2:04.95 from Doha. Ingram now has $5,500 in winnings, while Hosszu has an astonishing $27,500. Jakabos moved her winnings to $11,500.
Men's 50 fly
Australia's Matt Targett joined the circuit for the first time, and walked away with a winning check after a 22.51 in the sprint fly. Kenya's Jason Dunford took second in 22.99, while Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin placed third in 23.02. Roland Schoeman still has the top time on the circuit with a 22.34 from his win in Doha.
Mixed 200 medley relay
Norway's Lavrans Solli (24.56), Aleksander Hetland (26.42), Ingvild Snildal (26.16) and Henriette Brekke (24.69) dominated the mixed relay for the night with a winning 1:41.83. Brazil's Gabriel Mangabeira (24.63), Diogo Yabe (27.44), Fabiola Molina (26.58) and Daynara De Paula (25.27) took silver in 1:43.92. Sweden's second team of Petra Grandlund (28.05), Marcus Svensson (28.14), Martina Granstrom (26.28) and Robin Andreasson (21.78) completed the podium with a third-place 1:44.26.