TOKYO, Japan, November 6. ONE thing to look forward to with each stop on the FINA World Cup circuit is the young athletes each host country sends to race against the elite world-ranked swimmers. Japan provided plenty of fresh, young talent on the first night of the Tokyo World Cup, and swimmers representing Japan dominated the heat sheets. The Japanese also made their mark on the first night of finals, controlling the medal stand in the men's 400IM, 200 butterfly and 200 breaststroke.
So what can World Cup enthusiasts expect on the second night in Tokyo? For tonight, Swimming World has compiled a list of repeat offenders who continue to dominate in certain events.
Germany's Britta Steffen has had a stronghold on the sprint events throughout the circuit. Tonight's 100 freestyle will be Steffen's to lose.
Katinka Hosszu dabbles in everything, and sees success throughout. Our best bet is that she'll come away with at least three new gold medals tonight. She is racing in the 400 IM, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle and 100 IM.
The Netherland's Inge Dekker has been a force in the sprint butterfly events, and she'll probably repeat her 50 butterfly title tonight, especially coming off a win in the 100 butterfly yesterday. The same is true for the United State's Jessica Hardy, who will race the 50 breaststroke tonight, coming off a win in the 100.
The United States' Michael Kleuh raced his way to victory in last night's 400 freestyle. He will defend his 1500 freestyle title tonight from Beijing, and with the way he's been swimming these last two circuit stops, it's going to be tough to top him.
Japan's Daiya Seto will try for the 400-200 medley double, with the 200 IM slated for tonight. He raced his way to a circuit best in the 400 yesterday in finals, but will still feel pressure from Australi's Kenneth To, who has had a remarkable circuit run.
Can the Japanese maintain their monopoly on the podium in the men's breaststroke and butterfly events? Or will the United States' Sean Mahoney and Australia's Christian Sprenger upset their stronghold in the 100 breaststroke? In the 100 butterfly, outside competition looks sparse.
Then there is everyone's favorite 50 freestyle rivalry between Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell and the United State's Anthony Ervin. We'd venture a guess at the winner, but it's more exciting leaving it up to chance. Both are heading into tonight with gold medals from yesterday's finals under their belts (100 freestyle for Ervin, 100 IM for Bovell), it should be noted.
Check out the heat sheets for today's prelims below, and be sure to follow Swimming World's live coverage of the event on Twitter @SwimmingWorld #FINAWorldCup and on the website homepage.