FINA World Cup, Doha: Tom Shields Breaks American Record; Katinka Hosszu Triples

DOHA, Qatar, October 21. KATINKA Hosszu put together a stunning title trifecta tonight at the FINA World Cup stop in Doha, while USA’s Tom Shields blasted an American record in the 100 fly.

Men’s 1500 free
In one of the most competitive mile finishes of the FINA World Cup circuit this year, South Africa’s Myles Brown managed to surge past Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri in an exciting finish.

Brown had to kick it into a higher gear down the stretch to overpower Mellouli as he claimed the victory in 14:36.19. Mellouli checked in with a second place 14:36.46, while usual 1500 free World Cup winner Paltrinieri faded badly down the stretch with a 14:39.18 for third. While Brown (14:30.54) and Paltrinieri (14:27.65) have both been much faster this year, Mellouli is still finding his way back in pool training. He jumped from sixth in the world (14:41.79) to just outside of the fifth-ranked swimmer (Filip Zabaorowski: 14:36.42) so far this year.

Hungary’s Gergely Gyurta (14:43.64), Zaborowski (14:50.06), Denmark’s Mads Glaesner (14:52.03), Japan’s Ayatsugu Hirai (14:52.95) and Austria’s David Brandl (15:06.16) also finished in the top eight in the timed final event.

Women’s 400 IM
World Cup Queen Katinka Hosszu picked up where she left off last night, on the podium yet again. She cruised through the distance medley finale with a winning time of 4:28.91 for her third win of the meet and sixth podium. She’s assured of not only winning plenty more podium paychecks tonight, but will certainly capture the big $50,000 Middle East cluster check to bring her total near $200,000 by the end of the night.

Japan’s Miyu Otsuka took second in 4:30.11, while Spain’s Mireia Belmonte wound up third in 4:31.06. Belmonte is another swimmer vying for some big cluster cash. She’s looking at pulling in one of the top-six ranked paychecks after tonight.

Germany’s Theresa Michalak (4:31.30), Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto (4:35.32), Japan’s Miho Takahashi (4:42.60), Uzbekistan’s Ranokhon Amanova (4:42.94) and Austria’s Joerdis Steinegger (4:43.80) made up the rest of the top eight in the timed final.

Women’s 100 free
It was a full second back of her top time on the tour of a 51.28 from the Berlin stop, but the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo had speed to spare this evening with a 52.29 for the win. She’s dominated the sprint freestyle on the circuit this year, and is in line for big money each and every meet she attends.

Compatriot Femke Heemskerk touched second in 52.71, well off her fifth-ranked season best of 51.28 from Eindhoven, but more than enough for second-place prize money. Meanwhile, Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray picked up another podium with a third-place 53.00.

The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (53.72), France’s Charlotte Bonnet (53.75), Finland’s Hanna-Maria Seppala (54.17), China’s Sun Meichen (54.35) and Hong Kong’s Hang Yu Sze (55.02) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.

Men’s 200 free
One of the most exciting finishes of the evening came by way of Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski. Sitting third throughout most of the swim, he sizzled during the final 50 meters with a strong 25.87 final split. That pushed him past Australia’s Bobby Hurley and South Africa’s Myles Brown, who had been dueling for first and second throughout most of the swim.

Korzeniowski claimed the top check with a 1:44.00, while Hurley touched just behind in 1:44.10. Brown placed third by the slimmest of margins with a 1:44.11 in a razor sharp finale that had the fans excited with the outcome.

Italy’s Luca Dotto (1:45.56), The Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren (1:45.98), France’s Lorys Bourelly (1:47.05), Austria’s David Brandl (1:48.29) and France’s Ganesh Pedurand (1:48.89) comprised the rest of the championship heat.

Women’s 50 breast
Thankfully the fans had an award ceremony to calm down a bit as for the second straight swim of the night it came down to the touch. Russia’s Yuliya Efimova clipped Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson at the wall, 29.22 to 29.25, in the sprint breast finale as Efimova reclaimed a bit of her swagger with the win. Atkinson had been running roughshod through most of her events this past week, but Efimova definitely returned fire with this win.

The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis finished third in 30.40, while Germany’s Dorothea Brandt placed just behind with a fourth-place 30.54.

Germany’s Theresa Michalak (30.77), Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (31.29), Japan’s Kanako Watanabe (31.55) and Norway’s Susann Bjoernsen (31.65) also vied for the sprint breaststroke title here in Doha.

Men’s 100 breast
Showing off his tremendous versatility, Russia’s Vlad Morozov popped a 57.53 in the 100 breast to jump to fourth in the world rankings. Morozov has always been strong in the sprint freestyles, and even has a bit of backstroke ability. But, similar to Roland Schoeman, the Sizzling Siberian also has a world-class breaststroke.

Great Britain’s Michael Jamieson, who is a breaststroke specialist and likely favorite in the event, had a surprise waiting for him as his goggles broke and he did not finish the race. Initially, it looked like Jamieson might have been injured. Luckily for him, it was just an equipment malfunction.

Australia’s Kenneth To powered his way to another paycheck with a 58.05, while France’s Giacomo Perez Dortona took third in 59.03.

Germany’s Hendrick Feldwehr (59.35), Ukraine’s Igor Borysik (59.73), Slovakia’s Tomas Klobucnik (59.86) and Russia’s Mikhail Dorinov (59.99) also competed in the finale.

Men’s 100 fly
In a big upset, USA’s Tom Shields lowered his own American record with a sterling time of 48.80 to beat the top butterflier in the world — Chad le Clos. Shields’ time beat the 49.01 he swam at the Berlin stop this summer that also had stood as the top swim in the world this year. Shields went out in 23.02 and came home in 25.78.

Le Clos never had a chance. He went out in 23.27 and came home in 25.78 to place second in 49.05 and beat his second-ranked time of 49.08 from the Eindhoven stop of the World Cup. Poland’s Konrad Czerniak placed third in 50.33.

France’s Fred Bousquet (52.80), Brazil’s Luiz Pedro Ribeiro Pereira (53.01), France’s Jorda Coelho (53.09), France’s Mehdy Metella (53.35) and Norway’s Sindri Jakobsson (53.85) also swam in the championship field.

Women’s 100 back
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina delivered yet another close call finish tonight with a 57.48 to 57.49 touchout of Katinka Hosszu. Zevina dropped a 29.39 to move from second to first, while Hosszu nearly passed her with a 28.99 final split as she powered home from fourth at the turn.

Zevina has been winning backstroke titles with regularity, while Hosszu captured her seventh podium of the two-day meet as she continues to rack up World Cup points heading for the big money at the end of the cluster. Japan’s Sayaka Akase, who led at the 50 with a 27.76, wound up third in 57.54.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm (57.81), Australia’s Belinda Hocking (59.06), Israel’s Amit Ivry (59.89), France’s Cloe Credeville (1:00.05) and South Africa’s Lehesta Kemp (1:01.51) finished fourth through eighth behind the podium finishers.

Men’s 50 back
France’s Jeremy Stravius demolished the top time in the world in the sprint dorsal event with a blistering 22.99. Not only did that challenge the world record of 22.61 set by Peter Marshall of the USA in Singapore in 2009, it far surpassed Bobby Hurley’s previously top-ranked 23.20 from Berlin.

Hurley, however, kept pace with Stravius as he dropped a 23.08 for second-place honors. That time nearly clipped Hurley’s Australian record of 23.04 from the 2012 World Short Course Championships last December. France’s Florent Manaudou wound up third in 23.43 tonight.

Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki (23.75), Israel’s Guy Barnea (23.78), Russia’s Vlad Morozov (23.84), France’s Ben Stasiulis (24.05) and Great Britain’s Liam Tancock (24.38) comprised the rest of the swimmers in the finale.

Women’s 200 fly
There’s been a joke going around Twitter that Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu should change her nickname from Iron Lady to Money Bags. It might just be more than a joke when she gets done this year. Tonight, she captured her second gold medal of the night, fourth of the meet, and eighth podium overall, with a 2:06.60 in the distance fly event. It’s not like her top-ranked 2:03.05 from Eindhoven, but was speedy enough for the big check tonight.

Great Britain’s Sophie Allen raced to second in 2:07.20, while Japan’s Miyu Otsuka touched third in 2:07.66. Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi continued her fly-and-die strategy on the World Cup tour so far. She went out had with a 1:00.70 at the 100, then dropped to fourth in 2:07.68.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (2:08.77), China’s Yu Yue (2:12.44), Ukraine’s Ganna Dzerkal (2:13.32) and France’s Lara Grangeon (2:16.84) posted the rest of the championship finishes.

Men’s 200 IM
After a touchout loss to Tom Shields in the 100 fly, South Africa’s Chad le Clos responded well with a win in the 200 IM as he clocked a 1:53.32 to easily outdistance the field. It wasn’t his second-ranked 1:52.11 speed from Berlin, but was more than enough for gold this evening.

Australia’s Kenneth To, who has the best swim in the world this year with a 1:52.01 in Berlin, clinched second-place honors in 1:54.36, while Hungary’s David Verraszto touched third in 1:56.14.

Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (1:56.16), Israel’s Gal Nevo (1:57.46), Uzbekistan’s Aleksey Derlyugov (1:58.21), Hungary’s David Foldhazi (1:59.02) and Australia’s Travis Mahoney (2:00.34) snared fourth through eighth in the medley this evening.

Women’s 400 free
Spain’s Melani Costa posted an easy-speed 3:59.88 to capture the middle distance finale this evening. She’s been on fire in the freestyles, taking multiple podiums throughout the meet to rack up some much-needed World Cup points.

France’s Coralie Balmy (4:01.66) and Camille Muffat (4:03.28) continued the French presence here in Doha with second and third-place finishes in the event.

The Netherlands’ Rieneke Terink (4:04.52), Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (4:06.22) and Germany’s Sarah Kohler (4:08.36) finished fourth through sixth, while Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu continued her warmdown during the 400 free with a seventh-place time of 4:12.62. Austria’s Joerdis Steinegger took eighth in 4:17.07.

Men’s 50 free
The timing system hasn’t been working the best during men’s sprint freestyles this week on the FINA World Cup tour. A few days after some issues during the 100 free, FINA initially reported that Roland Schoeman won in 20.96. A quick double-check of the timing system corrected the results with the Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov taking his second win of the night with a 21.03.

Following the close call pattern of the night, Schoeman turned in a second-place time of 21.04, while USA’s Anthony Ervin earned third in 21.23. Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell just missed with a fourth-place time of 21.31.

France’s Jeremy Stravius (21.34), Japan’s Kenta Ito (21.52), Japan’s Shinri Shioura (21.54) and Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (21.78) finished fifth through eighth in the splash-and-dash.

Women’s 200 breast
Japan’s Kanako Watanabe turned in her top swim of the meet with a 2:18.90 to win the distance breaststroke finale. That dropped more than a second from her previous season best to move to fourth in the world behind compatriot Rie Kaneto’s 2:18.66 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup tour.

Russia’s Yuliya Efimova, who stands second with a 2:18.50 from Moscow, cruised to second in 2:19.48, while Japan’s Miho Takahashi wound up third in 2:19.96. Takahashi improved on her ninth-ranked season best of 2:20.89 from Moscow with this swim.

Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (2:23.17), The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis (2:25.54), Ukraine’s Ganna Dzerkal (2:29.00), Norway’s Sofie Reisaenen (2:30.25) and France’s Fantine Lesaffre (2:32.49) rounded out the top eight.

Women’s 100 IM
The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu turned in an amazing triple tonight with some seriously heavy volume of swimming. After already winning the 400 IM and 200 fly earlier in the evening, along with swimming the 100 back and 400 free, she popped a 58.43 to win the sprint medley this evening. That’s her astonishing ninth podium of the two-day meet out of an incredible double-digit event schedule.

Israel’s Amit Irvy raced her way to second in 58.66, crushing the Israeli record of 59.38 she set during the Dubai stop of the World Cup this year. Germany’s Theresa Michalak wound up third in 59.49.

Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk (59.66), Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto (1:00.21), Australia’s Emily Seebohm (1:00.31), The Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk (1:00.36) and Finland’s Hanna-Maria Seppala (1:01.24) also vied for the title.

Men’s 200 back
Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki topped the distance dorsal in 1:48.93, crushing the rest of the field after what had been an exciting night of close calls at the finish. USA’s Tom Shields collected more prize money following his American record in the 100 fly with a second-place 1:51.64 as he continues to learn the ropes of maximizing his cash-winning by taking advantage of weakness in the assembled fields at the World Cup. Australia’s Ashley Delaney, one of the World Cup veterans who do have event scheduling down to a science, took third in 1:52.90.

Switzerland’s Lukas Rauftlin (1:54.49), Israel’s Yakov Yan Toumarkin (1:54.69), Hungary’s David Foldhazi (1:57.67), Brazil’s Nelson Da Silva Jr. (1:58.40) and Australia’s Travis Mahoney (1:58.95) placed fourth through eighth.

Women’s 50 fly
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray smashed the field in the sprint fly finale with a 25.06, while France’s Melanie Henique touched second in 25.60. The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker wound up third in 25.66.

Singapore’s Li Tao (25.74), The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo (25.91), Norway’s Elise Olsen (26.45), Norway’s Monica Johannessen (26.80) and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (27.20) made up the rest of the finale with Hosszu taking what might as well have been a victory lap and warm down after collecting a serious amount of money tonight.

Mixed 200 free relay
France picked up its second world record in as many days as Florent Manaudou (21.22), Jeremy Stravius (20.87), Melanie Henique (24.61) and Anna Santamans (24.44) posted a 1:31.14 for the global mark. The swim beat the world record set by Japan in Dubai a few days ago with a 1:32.52, but is still well short of Australia’s world best of 1:29.31 from the Eindhoven stop of the World Cup this year when Matt Abood (21.21), James Magnussen (20.64), Brittany Elmslie (23.97) and Emma McKeon (23.49) posted a swift time in the event.

Not to sound like a broken record, but until these mixed relay marks find cohesion it will be a necessity. FINA elected to officially recognize world records in the mixed short course meter 200 medley and freestyle relays this year, beginning in late September. So, the top times legally recorded in these events from the last year will only be seen as World Bests.

China’s Liu Xuewu (22.05), Zhu Menghui (24.80), Sun Meichen (24.49) and Yong Qinz Lin (21.40) took second in 1:32.74, while Japan’s Shinri Shioura (21.87), Sayaka Akase (25.70), Kenta Ito (21.07) and Kanako Watanabe (25.16) clocked a third-place 1:33.80.

Norway (1:34.73), Hong Kong (1:34.82) and Singapore (1:42.57) also competed.