FINA World Cup, Moscow: Missy Franklin Doubles During Day One Finals

MOSCOW, Russia, October 18. THE initial day of short course meter finals is complete at the FINA World Cup stop in Moscow, Russia.

USA's Missy Franklin provided fireworks during day one prelims in the women's 200 back, but settled for a pair of gold medals – one shared with Allison Schmitt, to be the lone multiple titlist of the first evening.

Michael Phelps made his debut with a win in the 100 IM and a surprising third-place finish in the 200 fly. Russia's Nikita Lobintsev, meanwhile, provided the hometown crowd something to cheer for with a pair of podiums en route to $2,500 in earnings this evening.

Women's 800 free
Russia's Elena Sokolova captured the first paycheck of the Moscow stop with a winning time of 8:21.82 in the distance freestyle opener. USA's Hali Flickinger finished a distant second in 8:37.27, while Russia's Alena Kudryashova earned third in 8:49.19.

Russia's Elena Shapovalova (8:49.44), Ukraine's Ganna Stetsenko (8:53.24), Russia's Yulia Dyakina (8:54.43), Russia's Veronika Nagovitsyna (9:07.90) and Russia's Alena Zakurina (9:09.19) rounded out the top eight finishers.

Men's 100 free
Russia's Nikita Lobintsev enjoyed victory in front of a home country crowd with a victorious 47.32. That swim earned him a spot in the top 10 of the early season rankings, and cashed a $1,500 check for the first-place prize. Canada's Brent Hayden placed second in 47.45, just .13 behind, and shy of his fifth-ranked 47.27 from Stockholm. The second-place check for $1,000 pushed his overall tally to $3,000. Australia's Matthew Abood earned third-place honors with a 47.89 for $1,000 in overall circuit winnings.

Russia's Sergei Fesikov (48.33), Russia's Evgeny Lagunov (48.36), Russia's Alexander Sukhorukov (48.46), Australia's Eamon Sullivan (48.56) and Portugal's Tiago Venancio (48.73) also competed in the finale.

Women's 200 free
The United States went on the attack in the event with an impressive podium sweep that included a tie at the top of the podium between Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt with matching 1:53.72s. Those times put Franklin and Schmitt into third in the early season rankings behind Sarah Sjostrom (1:52.92) and Angie Bainbridge (1:53.03). Teammate Chelsea Chenault finished more than three seconds behind, but held off Russia's Vitalina Simonova, 1:57.08 to 1:57.61, for the bronze.

China's Guo Junjun (1:59.51), Russia's Victoria Andreeva (1:59.64), Russia's Veronika Popova (1:59.68) and Russia's Ksenia Yuskova (1:59.90) rounded out the championship heat.

Men's 50 breast
China's Li Xiayan checked in with a $1,500-winning effort of 26.87 in the sprint breast. That swim pushed him to second in the early season rankings behind only Fabio Scozzoli's 26.11 from August in Italy. Something must be in the water in Moscow, as a second tie occurred for second. That's twice as many podium ties as has happened in the previous two circuit stops. Russia's Stanislav Lakhtyukhov and Sergey Geybel shared $1,500 in prize money with matching times of 27.25.

Russia's Igor Golovin (27.42), Russia's Andrey Nikolaev (27.59), Germany's Marco Koch (27.93), Russia's Denis Mitrofanov (27.93) and Canada's Paul Kornfeld (28.11) finished fourth through eighth.

Women's 100 breast
In a close finish at the top of the event, Russia's Valentina Artemyeva touched out China's Sun Ye by the slimmest of margins, 1:06.35 to 1:06.36, for the $1,500 first-place check. Sun doubled her circuit winnings from $1,000 to $2,000 with the runner-up finish, while Russia's Daria Deeva finished .10 behind the leader with a third-place 1:06.45 for $500. Just .23 back of Artemyeva, Korea's Kim Hye Jin wound up fourth in 1:06.58.

Japan's Kanako Watanabe (1:07.31), Russia's Vera Kalashnikova (1:07.37), USA's Andrea Kropp (1:07.71) and Russia's Ekaterina Uymenova (1:08.89) completed the rest of the final field.

Men's 400 IM
Japan's Daiya Seto knocked off Russia's Alexander Tikhonov, 4:07.16 to 4:07.66, in the distance medley en route to a $1,500 paycheck. That performance gave Seto $4,000 overall during his time on the World Cup circuit. Tikhonov picked up his first check, with a second-place $1,000. USA's Chase Kalisz wound up third overall with a 4:09.00, but will be bypassing the $500 to maintain his NCAA eligibility.

Portugal's Diogo Carvalho (4:13.52), USA's Josh Prenot (4:14.61), Russia's Ilya Volovnik (4:18.49) and Russia's Sergey Kashperskiy finished fourth through seventh in the final heat, while Russia's Sergey Strelnikov drew a disqualification.

Women's 100 fly
China's Lu Ying picked off short course specialist Therese Alshammar of Sweden, 56.63 to 57.04, in the 100 fly. Lu came up short of her second-ranked season best of 56.44 from Stockholm, but still enjoyed a $1,500 for the victory. That effort increased her circuit winnings to $3,500. Alshammar, meanwhile, cracked the $5,000 mark in overall winnings to move to $5,500 during the World Cup this year. Her time fell well short of her top-ranked 55.99 from Stockholm. Russia's Irina Bespalova checked in with a third-place time of 58.56 for $500.

Russia's Anastasia Lyazeva (58.78), China's Gong Jie (59.17), Russia's Maria Ugolkova (59.25), Germany's Daniela Schreiber (59.82) and Russia's Veronika Popova (1:00.57) also vied for the title.

Men's 100 back
Three new swimmers became money winners on the circuit as the total men to cash a check moved to 58. China's Cheng Feiyi edged Russia's Artem Dubovskoy, 52.14 to 52.19, for the $1,500 top prize. The swimmers moved to sixth and seventh in the early season rankings. Russia's Sergey Makov pocketed $500 with a third-place 52.34.

Russia's Vitaly Borisov (52.87), Russia's Vitaly Melnikov (53.16), Russia's Anton Anchin (53.49), USA's Jacob Pebley (53.63) and Russia's Mikhail Noskov (54.96) earned the rest of the championship finishes.

Women's 50 back
Australia's Rachel Goh continued her sprint back supremacy with a 26.91 to 26.94 pipping of Russia's Anastasia Zueva. That gave Goh another $1,500 to raise her total circuit earnings to $4,500. Her victorious time fell a bit short of her top-ranked 26.63 from Stockholm, while Zueva became just the second person under 27 seconds this season. Russia's Kseniya Moskvina picked up third-place honors with a 27.71.

Russia's Alexandra Papusha (27.88), Russia's Margarita Nesterova (28.16), Russia's Olga Klyuchnikova (28.19), Belarus' Aliaksandra Kavaleva (28.55) and Russia's Maria Gromova (28.85) placed fourth through eighth in the finale.

Men's 200 fly
Japan's Hidemasa Sano went out fast and would not be denied in the distance fly as he ripped off a 1:51.62 for the victory. That swim came up a bit short of his top-ranked 1:51.33 from Stockholm, but added $1,500 to his winnings, which improved to $3,500 for the circuit. South Africa's Chad Le Clos, the star of the circuit thus far, grabbed another $1,000 for $17,000 overall with a second-place 1:51.95. That swim missed his season best of 1:51.88 from Stockholm, that ranks only behind Sano's top time.

Superstar Michael Phelps had a tough time on the walls, and finished a surprising third with a time of 1:53.24. That effort came up short of his American record time of 1:52.26 set in Berlin in 2009, but did put a third-place $500 in his pocket.

Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski (1:54.15), Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov (1:56.43), Serbia's Velimir Stjepanovic (1:57.06), Portugal's Diogo Carvalho (1:59.10), Russia's Sergey Strelnikov (1:59.87) rounded out the championship heat.

Women's 200 IM
Canada's Erica Morningstar has certainly been making a name for herself during the circuit thus far. In the 200 IM, she clocked a 2:08.46 to clip Japan's Izumi Kato (2:08.62) for the top prize. Morningstar has qualified for $4,000 in earnings so far during the circuit, and has the top time in the world this year in the event with a 2:07.90 from Stockholm. Kato, meanwhile, fell short of her third-ranked 2:08.46 from Stockholm, but pushed her overall winnings to $6,000 with a $1,000 check for second-place. Korea's Choi Hye Ra earned third with a 2:08.81 to improve her fourth-ranked time of 2:09.39. She also has earned $2,000 during the circuit so far.

Russia's Ekaterina Andreeva (2:11.66), Korea's Kim Seo Yeong (2:11.71), Russia's Daria Belyakina (2:13.15), Russia's Victoria Andreeva (2:13.38) and USA's Andrea Kropp (2:16.39) also competed in the finale.

Men's 400 free
Germany's Paul Biedermann nearly cracked the $5,000 mark with a $1,500-winning time of 3:40.40. That swim gave him $4,500 for the circuit, and smashed the previously top-ranked time in the early season rankings. Robert Hurley had owned the top time with a 3:42.15 from July in Australia. The time cut three seconds from Biedermann's best time of 3:43.45 in Stockholm.

Russia's Nikita Lobintsev added silver to his earlier gold with a 3:43.02 to move to third in the world, and push his winnings to $2,500 for the evening. Russia's Denis Garanin cashed $500 with a third-place 3:44.83.

Russia's Mikhail Polishchuk (3:46.06), Serbia's Stefan Sorak (3:46.54), Russia's Evgeny Kulikov (3:46.63), Russia's Dmitry Bokankhel (3:50.11) and Russia's Victor Polyakov (3:53.00) comprised the rest of the finale.

Women's 50 free
Sweden's Therese Alshammar moved past Izumi Kato atop the overall winnings chart with $1,500 for her first-place 24.27 in the splash-and-dash. That effort pushed her earnings to $7,000, ahead of Kato's $6,000. Her time fell off her top-ranked time of 23.80 from Stockholm, but was more than enough to beat USA's Allison Schmitt (24.74) for the win. Germany's Daniela Schreiber snagged third-place honors with a 24.89.

Ukraine's Darya Stepanyuk (25.02), China's Zheng Yifei (25.14), USA's Lia Neal (25.15), Serbia's Miroslava Najdanovski (25.21) and Russia's Natalia Lovtsova (25.27) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.

Men's 200 breast
Japan's Naoya Tomita captured the distance breaststroke crown with a 2:06.51, just holding off a hard-charging Viacheslav Sinkevich (2:06.77) for the win. Tomita improved to $3,500 thus far during the circuit, but fell short of his third-ranked 2:06.36 in the early season rankings. Japan's Kazuki Otsuka took third in 2:07.12

Russia's Oleg Kostin (2:08.22), USA's Chase Kalisz (2:09.26) and Russia's Sergey Silin (2:09.65) finished fourth through sixth, while Canada's Michael Brown and Russia's Anton Blednykh each drew disqualifications in the finale.

Men's 100 IM
USA's Michael Phelps enjoyed a victorious time of 52.19 in the sprint medley, giving him something to build on heading into the second day of competition after a disappointing finish in his 200 fly. That effort put him second in the early season rankings behind Kenneth To's 51.93 from July in Australia. To placed second this evening in 52.82 to push his circuit winnings to $4,000, while Russia's Dmitry Zhilin checked in with a third-place 53.88.

Japan's Daiya Seto (54.78), Russia's Andrey Grechin (55.32), Japan's Yuma Kosaka (55.53), Portugal's Diogo Carvalho (55.64) and Russia's Stanislav Lakhtyukhov (55.73) earned fourth through eighth.

Women's 200 back
USA's Missy Franklin teased the world with a potential look at either an American or World record during the evening after she clocked a smoking fast time of 2:02.84 in prelims. Franklin, however, swimming by herself the entire race, settled for the win with a 2:03.61. After tying Allison Schmitt for the 200 free earlier, she finished the day with two golds. Russia's Anastasia Zueva showed some range with a second-place 2:07.33 for her second gold, increasing her tally to $2,000. China's Liu Jing rounded out the podium with a 2:08.85.

Russia's Alexandra Papusha (2:09.16), Russia's Maria Gromova (2:10.79), Russia's Kristina Vershinina (2:11.66), Russia's Maria Bobrovnik (2:13.40) and Russia's Valentina Zapatrina (2:13.80) also competed in the finale.

Men's 50 fly
Australia's Geoff Huegill capped the first night of swimming with a 22.96 in the sprint fly. That swim came up short of his top-ranked 22.70 from Stockholm, but was good enough to increase his winnings to $3,500 for the circuit. Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin placed second in 23.26 to also push his earnings to $3,500 for the circuit, while Serbia's Milorad Cavic cashed his first check with a $500 23.28.

USA's Tyler McGill (23.36), Portugal's Tiago Venancio (23.74), Russia's Alexander Padalets (23.97), Azerbaijan's Evgeniy Lazuka (24.16) and Russia's Nikita Prokofyev (24.21) touched fourth through eighth in the final swim of the night.