FINA World Cup, Tokyo: Yuliya Efimova Clips World Record; Aussies Down Mixed Relay WR As Well

TOKYO, Japan, November 10. WITH a world record already going down this morning in the mixed freestyle relay, another global mark was bound to happen tonight in Tokyo on the FINA World Cup circuit. And, that’s just what happened when Russia’s Yuliya Efimova took to the water in the 50 breast.

Additionally, the Aussies blasted the world record in the mixed gender 200 free relay to end the night.

Meanwhile, the Asian and Japanese record books took some serious hits throughout the night as well.

Men’s 1500 free
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino started off what likely will become a sensational night as he blasted the Japanese record in the men’s 1500 free with a 14:32.88. That effort crushed the 14:39.06 set by Takeshi Matsuda back at the Stockholm stop of the 2006 FINA World Cup tour, and also vaulted Hagino to third in the world this year behind Gregorio Paltrinieri (14:27.65) and Myles Brown (14:30.54).

Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, meanwhile, continued to find his pool form after refocusing his attentions away from open water training. He clocked a 14:38.09 for second-place honors. Although, he already posted a seventh-ranked time of 14:36.46 during the Doha stop.

Hungary’s Gergely Gyurta snared the third-place check with a 14:39.06, blasting his previous season best of 14:43.64 and moving him to eighth in the world this year.

Japan’s Yohei Takiguchi (14:48.75), Great Britain’s Roberto Pavoni (14:57.69), Japan’s Fumiya Hidaka (14:59.57), Japan’s Ayatsugu Hrai (15:00.64) and Japan’s Junpei Higashi (15:00.96) rounded out the top eight in the timed final event.

Women’s 400 IM
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu snagged her third gold of the meet thus far with an easy-speed effort of 4:25.97 in the distance medley. She’s going to need that extra energy as she has a full evening ahead of her with a handful of finals swims. Hosszu stunned the world with a sizzling world record of 4:20.85 at the Berlin stop of the World Cup this summer in this event, and hasn’t looked back as she continues to win record amounts of money.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte is another swimmer who has been consistently making cash on the tour. She opened up her cash-winning ways tonight with a silver-winning 4:26.92, while Japan’s Miyu Otsuka also became a prize earner with a third-place time of 4:29.53.

Japan’s Sakiko Shimizu (4:29.59), Great Britain’s Hannah Miley (4:29.94), USA’s Brooke Zeiger (4:34.70), Japan’s Emu Higuchi (4:34.72) and Japan’s Yura Taniguchi (4:35.79) also made the top eight in the timed final.

Women’s 100 free
Australia’s Cate Campbell, who has been on a tear here in Tokyo, nearly moved to the top of the world rankings with a scorcher in the finale.

Campbell blasted the championship heat with a 51.31, thumping her previous second-ranked season best of 51.67 from the Singapore stop, and moving her just outside of Ranomi Kromowidjojo’s top-ranked 51.28 from the Berlin stop. Campbell has been on fire the previous two stops, overtaking the mantel as the top sprinter on the circuit at this point in time.

Australia’s Emma McKeon raced her way to a sizzling 51.69 for silver to vault to third in the world rankings, up from her 51.99 that had put her fourth in the world.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who stands fourth in the world now with a 51.93 from the Moscow stop, rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 52.25.

Australia’s Bronte Campbell (52.42), Great Britain’s Fran Halsall (52.64), Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia (52.93), The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (53.33) and Brazil’s Larissa Oliveira (54.16) also vied for the sprint title this evening, but wound up fourth through eighth.

Men’s 200 free
Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes charted his way to a winning time of 1:42.56 in the 200 free en route to another gold medal on the tour. The swim just missed his fourth-ranked season best of 1:42.47 from the Singapore stop. His compatriot Bobby Hurley checked in second with a 1:43.12, while Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski took third in 1:43.35 to complete the podium placewinners.

South Africa’s Myles Brown (1:43.43), Japan’s Yuki Kobori (1:44.53), Japan’s Syogo Kimura (1:46.05), Japan’s Chiaki Ishibashi (1:46.36) and Australia’s Regan Leong (1:47.48) also competed in the championship finale of the men’s 200-meter freestyle event.

Women’s 50 breast
After a particularly rough FINA World Cup circuit during which she’s drawn disqualifications on a routine basis, Russia’s Yuliya Efimova finally had her major breakthrough as she clipped the world record in the sprint breaststroke event. Efimova raced her way to a 28.71 in the event to take down Jessica Hardy’s 2009 effort of 28.80 posted at the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup circuit that year.

That’s another world record for Efimova this year as she was part of the epic revision of the women’s breaststroke world records this summer in the long course events, but did not wind up remaining in possession of any of the three. Tonight, however, she was able to collect a hefty $10,000 world-record bonus for her efforts.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson raced her way to second in 29.06, just off her now third-ranked season best of 28.94 from the Singapore stop, while Germany’s Dorothea Brandt picked up third-place honors in 30.16.

Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (30.35), Japan’s Mina Matsushima (30.93), Japan’s Mio Motegi (31.01), Japan’s Saki Ikuyama (31.10) and Japan’s Maya Hamano (31.32) also were part of this historic finale.

Men’s 100 breast
Australia’s Christian Sprenger turned on the afterburners down the stretch to capture the title in the 100 breast. He finished the race in 57.14 to vault himself to third in the world rankings behind only Fabio Scozzoli (56.49) and Daniel Gyurta (56.79) so far this year.

Gyurta, meanwhile, pulled into second with a time of 57.37 as he moved from third to second after the turn, while Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki checked in with a third-place time of 57.41. That swim just edged Brazil’s Felipe Lima (57.45) who had led at the 50-meter mark with a 26.83 split.

Japan’s Ryouta Nomura (57.76), Takuya Amagai (58.62), Ryo Kobayashi (58.66) and Hiromasa Sakimoto (59.13) rounded out the top eight.

Men’s 100 fly
South Africa’s Chad Le Clos blasted a season best with a 49.01 to win the 100 fly this evening, his fourth gold of the meet so far. That swim bettered his 49.05 from the Doha stop, but still did not manage to eclipse Tom Shields’ American record 48.80 as the top time in the world this year.

Shields, meanwhile, shook off a rough day yesterday to earn himself a second-place paycheck with a 49.49, while Japan’s Kohei Kawamoto snagged third in 50.03. Kawamoto jumped into fourth in the world with his swim.

Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (50.24), Australia’s Tommaso D’Orsogna (50.45), Japan’s Takaya Yasue (51.03), Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto (51.15) and Russia’s Viacheslav Prudnikov (51.47) placed fourth through eighth in the championship heat.

Women’s 100 back
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, who has owned the 200 backstroke this year on the FINA World Cup tour, decided to demonstrate some speed with a 56.87 in the 100 to win tonight. That swim bettered her third-ranked season best of 56.91 from the Moscow stop, but wasn’t enough to move ahead of Aya Terakawa (56.10) or Emily Seebohm (56.59) for a top-two spot in the world rankings. It was still enough to pull another $1,500 paycheck for the win, however.

Meanwhile, Seebohm grabbed the second-place check with a time of 57.09 while Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds turned in a 57.20 to win bronze and the accompanying third-place check this evening.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu just missed another podium with a fourth-place time of 57.33, while Australia’s Madison Wilson earned fifth in 57.71.

Japan’s Sayaka Akase (57.99), Japan’s Emi Moronuki (58.61) and Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros (59.74) turned in sixth through eighth-place finishes in the finale.

Men’s 50 back
USA’s Eugene Godsoe leapfrogged Bobby Hurley into second in the world rankings with a winning time of 23.07 in the sprint dorsal event. That swim bettered his third-ranked 23.12 from Singapore, and moved him ahead of Hurley’s 23.08 from the Doha stop. He still trails Jeremy Stravius (22.99) for the best swim this year, however, as the Frenchman broke 23 seconds in Doha.

Hurley wound up hitting the wall in 23.23 to win second-place tonight, good enough for more World Cup points and podium cash. Brazil’s Guilherme Guido managed a third-place time of 23.31 as the top three all had plenty of separation from the pack.

Japan’s Miguelgen Ozeki (23.65), Japan’s Junya Koga (23.67), Australia’s Ashley Delaney (23.68), Brazil’s Daniel Orzechowski (23.90) and Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto (24.63) comprised the rest of the heat.

Women’s 200 fly
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, the Iron Lady of the FINA World Cup circuit, collected her fourth gold of the meet with a 2:04.03 in the distance fly event. She had to drop a 31.24 down the stretch to accomplish the feat, powering past Japan’s Yai Watanabe (2:04.67) for the win in the process.

Hosszu’s time fell a second short of her top-ranked 2:03.05 from the Eindhoven stop, but was enough for the win. Watanabe, meanwhile, jumped to sixth in the world rankings, ahead of Miyu Otsuka (2:07.02) as the top Japanese swimmer this year. Germany’s Franziska Hentke moved to third in 2:04.97 after leading at the 100-meter mark in 1:00.79.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (2:05.01), Japan’s Haruno Ito (2:07.68), Japan’s Otsuka (2:07.80), Japan’s Misuzu Yabu (2:08.65) and Japan’s Yuna Kikuchi (2:08.93) also competed against Hosszu for the win.

Men’s 200 IM
It’s been a career night for Japan’s Kosuke Hagino. After setting the Japanese record in the 1500 free to start the night off, he returned with a scorching 1:51.50 to win the 200 IM. That swim crushed the previous Asian record of 1:52.48 set by Daiya Seto here in Tokyo last year on the FINA World Cup tour, and clipped Darian Townsend’s 1:51.55 from the Berlin stop of the 2009 World Cup for the circuit record.

Incidentally, Hagino also is the first to break 1:52 this year, skyrocketing to the top of the world rankings, ahead of Kenneth To’s 1:52.01 from Berlin. Additionally, that makes Hagino the second-fastest all time behind Ryan Lochte’s amazing world record of 1:49.63.

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, who had appeared unstoppable for gold this weekend after four wins already, wound up with silver in 1:52.31. That’s just off his now third-ranked 1:52.11 from Berlin. China’s Wang Shun earned third-place honors in 1:52.82, crushing the previous Chinese record of 1:56.61 set by both Liu Weijia (2011) and Mao Feilian (2013).

Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori (1:54.54), Brazil’s Henrique Rodrigues (1:55.35), Japan’s Takeharu Fujimori (1:57.44), Japan’s Tatsuya Ito (1:57.96) and Japan’s Kazuki Nagura (1:59.43) comprised the rest of the championship heat.

Women’s 400 free
No one could touch New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle tonight in the middle distance event as she crushed the competition en route to a 3:57.68. That performance was still a few seconds off her second-ranked season best of 3:55.16 from the Eindhoven stop, but was still several seconds ahead of the pack.

Spain’s Melani Costa touched out compatriot and world-record holder Mireia Belmonte by the slimmest of margins for second, 4:01.64 to 4:01.64, while USA Junior National Teamer Quinn Carrozza demonstrated she’s one of the best middle distance up-and-comers in the States with a 4:04.11.

China’s Shao Yiwen (4:05.85), Great Britain’s Hannah Miley (4:06.06), USA’s Becca Mann (4:07.85) and Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi (4:08.29) finished fifth through eighth.

Men’s 50 free
Heading into the final intermission of the night, the rockstars came out to swim in the men’s sprint freestyle event of the night. The Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov checked in with a 20.72 to smash the rest of the field. That swim, however, was well short of his top-ranked time of 20.59 from the Moscow stop.

USA’s Anthony Ervin surged to second-place honors with a time of 21.10, while Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell managed to capture the third-place check in 21.21. South Africa’s Roland Schoeman, who has been pretty dominant in terms of cashing sprint checks this circuit, had a surprising fourth in 21.24.

Brazil’s Nicholas Santos (21.27), Japan’s Kenta Ito (21.36), Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (21.50) and Japan’s Miguelgen Ozeki (21.54) also vied for the men’s sprint crown.

Women’s 200 breast
After posting a startling world record in the 50 breast that jumpstarted the evening, Russia’s Yuliya Efimova returned with her second win of the night as she cruised to a 2:17.37 in the distance event. That’s more than a second better than her second-ranked season best of 2:18.50 from Moscow, but short of Rikke Moller Pedersen’s top-ranked 2:15.93 from the Berlin stop.

Japan’s Mio Motegi (2:19.29) and Maya Hamano (2:21.30) managed to place a distant second and third place to round out the podium.

Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (2;22.65), Japan’s Runa Imai (2:23.58), Sweden’s Joline Hostman (2:23.61), Japan’s Miho Takahashi (2:24.20) and Japan’s Reona Aoki (2:25.75) made up the rest of the finals finishers.

Women’s 100 IM
In an amazingly exciting finale, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu and Australia’s Alicia Coutts battled back and forth in the sprint medley as Coutts was under world record pace at the 50-meter mark with a 26.14. Hosszu, however, would not be denied as she raced home in 30.93 to force a tie as Hosszu and Coutts posted matching 57.53s.

The times nearly cleared Hosszu’s world record of 57.45 from the Berlin stop, while Coutts bettered her Commonwealth record of 57.71 from Sydney earlier this summer. The duo is now the only swimmers under 58 seconds this year after that amazing finale.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson touched third in 58.28 as she used her powerful breaststroke leg to clinch a third-place check and better her third-ranked season best of 58.45 from the Dubai stop.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm (59.07), Great Britain’s Siobhan Marie O’Connor (59.18), Germany’s Theresa Michalak (59.50), Japan’s Tomoyo Fukuda (1:01.06) and Japan’s Emu Higuchi (1:01.31) made up the other swimmers in the championship heat.

Men’s 200 back
Japan’s Masaki Kaneko rattled the Japanese record in the event with a winning time of 1:49.76, powered by a sterling 27.19 on the way home. That time came up just short of Yuki Shirai’s record of 1:49.69 from the Tokyo stop of the 2012 FINA World Cup tour. The time did push Kaneko to third in the world rankings and ahead of Ryosuke Irie (1:50.63) as the fastest man from Japan this year.

Australia’s Mitch Larkin finished second in 1:49.89, just missing Ashley Delaney’s Australian recor of 1:49.62 from 2009, while Shirai wound up third tonight in 1:50.32.

Delaney (1:52.29), Japan’s Hayate Matubara (1:54.25), Japan’s Kazuki Watanabe (1:54.59), Japan’s Syun Ueshima (1:56.49) and USA’s Tom Shields (1:57.23) rounded out the top eight this evening.

Women’s 50 fly
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom cracked 25 seconds for the first time this year with a winning 24.91 in the sprint fly. That time bettered her second-ranked 25.34 from Singapore, but didn’t clear Jeanette Ottesen’s top-ranked 24.87 from the Eindhoven stop.

Japan’s Yuka Kato downed her Japanese record of 25.62 from 2010 with a 25.34 for second in the sprint fly tonight, while The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker took third in 25.43.

Great Britain’s Fran Halsall (25.59), Singapore’s Li Tao (25.59), Brazil’s Daynara De Paula (25.84), Australia’s Alicia Coutts (26.32) and Japan’s Misato Yamazaki (26.46) also vied for the sprint title tonight.

Mixed 200 free relay
The Australian foursome of Tommaso D’Orsogna (21.48), Travis Mahoney (21.59), Cate Campbell (23.10) and Bronte Campbell (23.44) nearly unified the world record and the world best in the mixed gender 200 free relay with a winning time of 1:29.61.

That swim crushed the world record of 1:31.13 set earlier this morning by Tommaso D’Orsogna, Regan Leong, Bronte Campbell and Cate Campbell, but is still short of the top time legally swum in the event of 1:29.31 by way of Australia’s Matt Abood (21.21), James Magnussen (20.64), Brittany Elmslie (23.97) and Emma McKeon (23.49) at the Eindhoven stop of the World Cup this year.

FINA only began officially recognizing a world record in the event in late September, which hatched plenty of thoughts regarding who would first set the record. Indiana University first laid claim to the mark with a 1:41.16 before watching the record disappear quickly thereafter and nearly re-align with the Australian record in the event.

Brazil took second in 1:30.41, also under the former world record, while Australia’s B team took third in 1:33.25.

Konami (1:34.31), Wakayama (1:34.73), Toyo (1:34.85), Niigata (1:34.97) and Waseda (1:35.44) also put up times in the finale.