Americans Finish as Top Seed in Five Events at Hong Kong World Cup

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Photo Courtesy: Maria Dobysheva

The final stop of the FINA World Cup circuit opened up Saturday morning in Hong Kong, and the American swimmers, including Olympians and National Junior Teamers, all arrived ready to swim fast. Four different U.S. swimmers picked up the top seed in five different events during the session.

The USA’s Breeja Larson finished a tenth ahead of Jamaican co-world record-holder Alia Atkinson in the women’s 100 breast, 1:05.18 to 1:05.28. Russia’s Yulia Efimova was a close third in 1:05.43. Another American finished as top qualifier in the women’s 100 fly as Kelsi Worrell posted a 57.09. U.S. Junior team member Eva Merrill qualified second in 58.04, ahead of Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen (58.28) and Hosszu (58.31).

The USA’s Michael Andrew topped all qualifiers in the men’s 50 breast, finishing in 27.03, just ahead of Brazil’s Felipe Lima (27.05). Russia’s Vladimir Morozov came in third at 27.23, and South Africa’s Roland Schoeman was fourth in 27.41.

Andrew picked up his second top seed of the morning when he clocked 53.93 in the men’s 100 IM, but he will have some tight competition in the final. Morozov (54.24), fellow American Josh Prenot (54.57), Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich (55.07), Australia’s Mitch Larkin (55.15) and Japan’s Daiya Seto (55.25) all figure to have something to say about the final result.

Regan Smith, a member of the U.S. National Junior team competing in Hong Kong, led the way in the women’s 200 back in 2:04.77, but she will face a tight field in the final. Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina qualified second in 2:04.95, just ahead of Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (2:05.34), American Lucie Nordmann (2:05.45) and Australia’s Emily Seebohm (2:05.95).

New Zealand’s Daniel Hunter edged Kenneth To for the top seed in the men’s 100 free, 48.47 to 48.49. Olympic bronze medalist Pieter Timmers of Belgium qualified third in 49.10, just ahead of Germany’s Phillip Heintz (49.12) and 50 free Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin (49.20).

China’s Wu Yue edged out Hosszu by three tenths in the women’s 200 fly. Wu earned the top seed in 1:57.04, Hosszu was second in 1:57.34, and another Hungarian, Zsuzsanna Jakobos qualified third in 1:58.37.

Larkin finished well ahead of the field in the men’s 100 back with a 51.54. China’s Peng Wang touched out Sankovich in their heat, 52.83 to 52.85, and those two will go into the final ranked second and third, respectively. Seebohm then led the way in the women’s 50 back with a 27.08. Nordmann qualified second in 27.25, ahead of Zevina (27.38), Worrell (27.44) and Hosszu (27.58).

Taiwan’s Tsai Yi-Lin finished first in the men’s 200 fly prelims with a 2:00.03. Second place went to Japan’s Masato Sakai, the Olympic silver medalist, who came in at 2:01.00. Canada’s Nicholas Dane Dekker qualified just behind in third in 2:01.02, ahead of Seto (2:01.42) and South Africa’s Chad le Clos (2:01.67).

Efimova qualified first in the women’s 200 IM in 2:09.94. American Brooke Forde picked up lane five for the final in 2:11.03, and Hosszu was third in 2:11.29. Canada’s Michelle Williams cruised to the top spot in the women’s 50 free in 24.35, and she was followed by Worrell (24.59), Ottesen (24.61) and Seebohm (24.75).

Ukraine’s Mychailo Romanchuk finished just ahead of Hungary’s Peter Bernek after the two went head-to-head in heat three. Romanchuk touched in 3:45.24, just ahead of Bernek’s 3:45.56. Great Britain’s James Guy picked up the third seed in 3:49.30.

Germany’s Marco Koch dominated prelims of the men’s 200 breast, finishing in 2:08.97. Americans Prenot (2:11.27) and BJ Johnson (2:11.28) went 2-3, and Japanese Olympic finalists Yasuhiro Koseki (fourth, 2:11.99) and Ippei Watanabe (sixth, 2:15.60) also made the top eight. To finished the morning session with a top-seeded 22.90 in the men’s 50 fly. Wang qualified second in 23.33, and Schoeman came in third in 23.52.


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