2021 FINA World Cup Budapest Day Three: Emma McKeon Crushes 50.58 100 Freestyle, Moves to No. 2 All-Time

world-cup-MCKEON Emma LON London Roar (LON) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 6 day 1 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Emma McKeon -- Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

2021 FINA World Cup Budapest Day Three: Emma McKeon Crushes 50.58, Moves to No. 2 All-Time in 100 Freestyle (SCM)

Australia’s Emma McKeon is only months removed from the meet of her career and the most prolific Olympic performance ever by a female swimmer. She won seven medals total at the Tokyo Games, four of them gold, and two of those golden efforts came in individual events, the 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle. And after a quick post-Olympics break, McKeon has has steadily built back up to elite form during her brief short course season.

This week, McKeon is competing at the FINA World Cup (short course) in Budapest, and McKeon posted the highlight swim of the third and final day of the event. In the 100 freestyle, she swam a 50.58. That tied the World Cup record of 50.58 set by Sarah Sjostrom back in 2017, a mark that was, at the time, the world record.

The only swimmer to ever go faster is McKeon’s fellow Australian Cate Campbell, who swam a 50.25 for the world record in October 2017. McKeon will be back in action during the ISL playoffs in November in Eindhoven and then the ISL final early next year, so she will have more chances to chase Campbell’s record — or perhaps even the vaunted 50-second barrier. Already, McKeon has become the second-fastest performer in history in the long course 100 free (51.96), so we’ll see if she has a magical short course performance in store over the next few months.

Meanwhile, in the same race, Sweden’s Michelle Coleman finished second in 52.07, and another Aussie, Madison Wilson, finished third in 52.16.

Matt Sates Holds Off Kyle Chalmers Again

One week after 18-year-old South African Matt Sates knocked off Australian star Kyle Chalmers in the 200 free at the previous stop of the FINA World Cup in Berlin, the teenager repeated his effort in Budapest. Sates built a slight lead going out and extended that margin to a half-second on the third 50. But then Chalmers, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 100 free and silver medalist in Tokyo, closed hard (25.17), but Sates had just enough to hang on.

Sates swam a time of 1:41.51, compared to Chalmers’ 1:41.60. In Berlin, the results had been Sates 1:40.65 and Chalmers 1:40.82, so the Australian cut the margin in half while both men were a bit slower this time around. Last week’s efforts moved Sates to sixth all-time in the 200 free and jumped Chalmers up to ninth.

Meanwhile, Hungarian superstar Kristof Milak put up a 1:42.61, beating out Olympic finalist Danas Rapsys (1:41.80). Milak is not swimming all his best events this week (including butterfly), but he has had some nice efforts in front of a home crowd in Budapest.

Earlier in the same session, Sates comfortably won the 400 IM in 4:04.21. That was about two seconds off the 4:01.98 he swam in the event last week in Berlin. The Hungarian duo of Balazs Hollo (4:09.07) and Hubert Kos (4:09.24) finished second and third, respectively, but they were a full five seconds behind the winner.

World Junior Record in Mixed 200 Medley Relay for United States Teenagers

The mixed 200 medley relay concluded this World Cup stop, and a quartet from the United States won by more than two seconds while knocking three tenths off the world junior record set by the Americans six days earlier at the World Cup in Berlin. The group of Quintin McCarthy (24.07), Zhier Fan (26.75), Charlotte Hook (26.27) and Kristina Paegle (24.12) combined for a time of 1:41.21, compared to the previous record of 1:41.55.

South Africa’s group placed second in 1:43.68, and third went to Sweden in 1:44.37.

Check out the rundown of the rest of the day’s action from Berlin.

Women’s 800 Freestyle

Cavan Gormsen, a 16-year-old from the United States in Budapest as part of the U.S. junior team travel group, won this event by almost three seconds with her 8:16.76, but she trailed Germany’s Isabel Gose for most of the race and only took a narrow lead after 700 meters. Gormsen then split 1:01.24 on the final 100 meters (compared to 1:03.62 for Gose) to pull away. Gose ended up second in 8:19.62, and third went to Australia’s Leah Neale in 8:20.55.

Women’s 100 Butterfly

It was another win for the U.S., this time from a veteran. Linnea Mack put up a 56.77 to win the 100 fly, overtaking early leader Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands and then holding tough down the stretch as Switzerland’s Maria Ugolkova closed hard. Mack had enough to hold off Ugolkova (56.81) by just four hundredths. De Waard grabbed third in 57.12.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

It has been a strong month of racing in both the International Swimming League and on the World Cup circuit for Tom Shields, and he won his third butterfly race in as many tries in Budapest. He swam a 21.99 in the 50 fly to beat out Hungary’s Sebasztian Szabo by a quarter-second, 21.99 to 22.24. Shields’ time took down Caeleb Dressel’s American record of 22.04 set during ISL Semifinal #2 last year and moved the 30-year-old to sixth-fastest all-time in the event. Shields’ previous best was 22.09, which ranked him ninth in history.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Vladimir Morozov placed third in 22.52.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands, better known for her abilities in the sprint backstroke events, established an early lead in the eight-length backstroke race and held on for dear life as Australia’s Minna Atherton ran her down on the final 50. But Toussaint had just enough to hold on and win by a margin of three tenths, her final time a 2:02.09. Atherton took second in 2:02.39. The rest of the field was three seconds behind that duo, and a pair of American teenagers, Kennedy Noble (2:05.33) and Jojo Ramey (2:05.80) finished third and fourth, respectively.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

Tom Shields has focused almost exclusively on butterfly for the entirety of his professional career, but during his high school days, he was a standout 200 freestyler, and during his college swimming career at Cal-Berkeley, he swam the 100-yard back — and won three individual NCAA titles in the event. For at least one day, Shields revisited backstroke on the World Cup circuit, and he turned in a dominant performance. He swam a 50.50 to win the 100 back, more than a second ahead of runner-up Yakov Toumarkin of Israel (51.64). Third went to the U.S.’s Daniel Diehl in 52.27.

Women’s 50 Breaststroke

In a tight finish, Russia’s Nika Godun beat out American Lydia Jacoby by just 0.16 in the shortest breaststroke race on the program. Godum touched in 29.81, compared to a 29.97 for Jacoby, and another American, Emma Weber, took third in 30.73.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

The Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga, who captured Olympic silver in both breaststroke events at the Tokyo Olympics, was dominant in the 200 breast in Budapest. Kamminga led by eight tenths at the first 50 and pulled away to win by 3.5 seconds. He swam a time of 2:02.07, just off his 2:01.97 from last week’s meet in Berlin that ranks No. 10 all-time. Second place went to Germany’s Fabien Schwingenschlogl in 2:05.84, and the USA’s Zhier Fan took third in 2:06.18.

Women’s 200 IM

The final event of the meet was the women’s 200 IM, and Switzerland’s Maria Ugolkova went wire-to-wire for the win in this one. She led by nine tenths after the breaststroke leg, and then she doubled that margin on freestyle. Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato placed second in 2:08.78, and Turkey’s Viktoria Gunes finished third in 2:08.94.

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