PHOENIX, Arizona, December 21. THE first day of the Salnikov Cup in Saint Petersburg, Russia is underway. While the majority of competitors hail from Russia, thanks in part to stellar performances by Hungary's Katinka Hosszu and Laszlo Cseh, international competitors ruled the pool on this first day of racing.
Hosszu won the 200 freestyle title in the second event of the day, touching several tenths ahead of Spain's Melani Costa. In a recent interview with Swimming World Magazine, Hosszu spoke about focusing her attention on freestyle events in the coming years, to expand out from her signature butterfly and medley events. The move goes back to when Hosszu represented Hungary in the 200 freestyle in the 2004 Olympics. Hosszu went on to win her second and third titles of the day in the 100 butterfly and 50 backstroke, and took fifth in the 50 freestyle.
On the men's side, Cseh, won the 400 IM, over a half-second ahead of Ukraine's Maxym Shemberyev. Cseh had nearly a two-second lead going into the freestyle leg. Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov dominated the field by nearly a second and a half in the 200 butterfly, causing Cseh to settle for silver in the event. Skovortsov's swim was reminiscent of his 200 butterfly at the Berlin World Cup earlier this year, when he touched nearly a body length ahead of his nearest competitor.
In popular news, South Africa's Chad le Clos is nominated by Cosmopolitan magazine as one of South Africa's sexiest men. He is reportedly a front-runner in the polls voted on by readers, but we'll have to wait until the unveiling ceremony on January 31 in Johannesburg to see if he cinches the honor.
Le Clos' swimming hero, Michael Phelps, also earned major accolades this week. He was named the Associated Press' Male Athlete of the Year. It's the second time the, quote, Greatest Olympian of all Time, won the honors. His first came in 2008 after the Beijing Olympics.
We also have a milestone birthday to recognize today. Masters swimmer Marie Kelleher rings in her 100th year. The centenarian holds masters world records in the 100 and 50 short course meter freestyle events, for the 100-104 age group, and is recognized for having swum the longest distance (100 meters) for anyone her age.
That is it for Streamlined News. Have a great weekend and happy holidays!