PHOENIX, Arizona, October 18. THE first day of swimming in Moscow at the FINA world cup gave us some pretty exciting racing.
Hidemasa Sano of Japan and Chad Le Clos of South Africa took down Michael Phelps in the 200 butterfly, using strong final 50 meters to take down the Olympic champ. Sano touched first in 1:51.62, and Le Clos was second in 1:51.95. Phelps was well back in third in 1:53.24 and rebounded later in the meet to win the 100 IM in 52.19.
Missy Franklin was the bright spot for the American contingent in Moscow, tying with Allison Schmitt in the 200 free and winning the 200 back. Franklin and Schmitt touched together in 1:53.27, with California teen Chelsea Chenault getting third with a 1:57.08. Franklin came back later in the meet to win the 200 back in 2:03.61 after posting a 2:02.81 in prelims.
Several members of the U.S. youth team are in Moscow to get international experience. Franklin was part of the 2009 team that traveled to the World Cup meets, and now is showing her peers what could be possible for them in a couple of years. In addition to Chenault’s third-place in the 200 free, the youth team racked up another bronze from Chase Kalisz in the men’s 400 IM and a silver from Hali Flickinger in the women’s 800 free.
Ye Shiwen and Li Xuanxu gave notice that they could be a threat for medals at the Olympics in the 400 IM next year with two fast swims at the Chinese National City Games. Ye Shiwen won the race in 4:33.66, a personal best that is now second in the world behind Elizabeth Beisel’s 4:31 from worlds. Li Xuanxu swam a 4:34.33, which is a best time for her this year and moves her to fifth in the world. Ye is the reigning world champion in the 200 IM and finished fifth at worlds in the 400 IM. Li was right behind at worlds in sixth place.
The gold medals continue to pile up for the United States and Brazil at the Pan American Games. While many of the times are not meeting expectations, it should be noted that the pool is located at 5,000 feet, so the altitude is likely affecting many swimmers. The highlight of last night’s competition was the controversy surrounding Leonardo de Deus in the men’s 200 fly. After touching first in 1:57.92, officials disqualified the Brazilian after they determined that he had an unauthorized sponsor on his cap. Meet rules state that only the manufacturer of the cap could be advertised, and as you can see, the cap shows a non-swimming cap sponsor on the side. This is likely the cap de Deus used at the world championships, since all athletes are required to wear a cap showing “Yakult” on one side. The Brazilian federation appealed the ruling and won, officially giving de Deus the gold medal. Dan Madwed of the US prevented a Brazilian podium sweep with a second-place finish time of 1:58.52 to Kaio Almeida’s 1:58.78.
Other top swims included a 1-2 finish in the women’s 100 breast with Annie Chandler and Ashley Wanland and a surprise victory in the 100 back by IM specialist Thiago Pereira.
Tonight’s finals will be highlighted by the men’s 200 freestyle in which all eight swimmers posted in the 1:50 range in prelims this morning. Matt Patton and Scot Robison of the US are in the final, as are brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser of the Cayman Islands, both of whom are former NCAA champions in the event.
You can find full recaps of all the meets mentioned on today’s show by going to our world channel at swimmingworld.com.
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