Sydney Pickrem Ends Katinka Hosszu’s Seven-Year Unbeaten Bull-Run Over 200m Medley

Foto Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse 21 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. Nella foto: PICKREM Sydney Photo Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse December 21, 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. In the picture: PICKREM Sydney
Sydney Pickrem - Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

Canadian Sydney Pickrem brought Katinka Hosszu‘s bull-run of wins over 200m medley to an end with a 2:09.26 to 2:09.93 win over the Hungarian Olympic and World champion as the two-day Beijing leg of the Fina Champions’ Series came to a close.

Hosszu, who had not been beaten in a major 200m medley since 2012, tested just how far she could give rivals rope during the four-way battle in which as she turned last on butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke before thundering through on freestyle. The World record holder just got past Japan’s Rica Omoto, third in 2:10.09, and 2012 Olympic champion Ye Shiwen, of China, on 2:11.02 – but Pickrem had been given a touch too much rope and was not to be caught.

The ebb and flow:

  • 28.36; 1:01.30 (32.94) 1:38.55 (37.25) 2:09.26 (30.71) Pickrem
  • 29.16; 1:02.44 (33.28) 1:39.75 (37.31) 2:09.93 (30.18) Hosszu
  • 27.79; 1:01.07 (33.28) 1:39.43 (38.36) 2:10.09 (30.66) Omoto
  • 28.70; 1:01.39 (32.69) 1:39.50 (38.11) 2:11.02 (31.52) Ye

Liu Xiang Shaves 0.01sec Off Her Own Asian record


Liu Xiang – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Liu Xiang cracked the Asian Record in the 50m freestyle with a rocketing 24.03 win over 2012 Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo, of The Netherlands, on 24.38, and teammate Femke Heemskerk, 24.79.

All of Liu’s best 50m swims were swum at home in China. Her Asian record had stood at 24.04 since semi-finals at the All-China Games of 2017, where she took the title in 24.07. Liu said:

“I did not expect to break the Asian record since I am still with a cold and cough all the time. My goal is to break the 24-second limit. I have four titles in a row after Shenzhen and Beijing legs. I am happy that I have such a good start of the year.”

Liu’s effort marked the second Asian record of the meet, after Daiya Seto, of Japan, scorched a 1:52 over 200m butterfly yesterday.

The home crowd had much to cheer about in the last solo race of the meet when Yang Junxuan clocked 1:54.98 for victory over 200m freestyle after a stroke-for-stroke battle with Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, on 1:55.21. Femke Heemskerk was back in the fray after the dash earlier in the session, for third on 1:57.67.

At 15, Ryosuke Irie Cracked 2mins over 200 back; days shy of 30, he adds a 1:55 to a towering collection of four-lappers

Japan’s king of aesthetic backstroke Ryosuke Irie continued to pile up one of the most impressive sets of 200m races in history. His 1:55.55 dominated the four-lap action ahead of Americans Jacob Pebley and Matt Grevers, on 1:58.59 and 1:59.80 respectively.

On the Japan all-time performances list you get to No 15 before Kosuke Hagino kicks in as second best from his nation behind Irie’s swiftest 14 efforts, which include seven from the last season of shiny suits in 2009, topped by what remains the Asian record yet, 1:52.51.

Irie’s effort this day in Beijing matched the 48th fastest time of his long career – and his 62nd sub-1:56 swim. Since he broke 2mins for the first time as a 15-year-old, Irie, who turns 30 next Friday, has gone that way 133 times.


Ryosuke Irie – Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In other action:

Matthew Temple, of Australia, overturned the order of Shenzhen midweek when he clocked 51.71 to top the 100m butterfly ahead of the Russian who pipped him at the last leg of the series, Andrei Minakov, on 51.81. American Michael Andrew finished third in 52.18.

On a Dutch record-breaking spree in the past year, Arno Kamminga has taken the challenge to events and rivals far and wide. Today, he faced former world-record holder Ippei Watanabe (2:06.67, 2017) over 200m breaststroke, the race ending in favour of the Japanese ace, 2:08.40 to 2:08.95, Watanabe leading every split in a neck-and-neck to the wall. American Olympic silver medallist Josh Prenot finished third in 2:12.22, the man who finished ahead of him for gold at Rio 2016, Dmitriy Balandin, of Kazakstan, on 2:12.36.

There was Russian 1-2 in the 100m freestyle, Vladimir Morozov the solid winner, on 48.32, Andrei Minakov on 48.78, the Olympic silver medallist Pieter Timmers, of Belgium, on 48.99 in third.

There were also wins for:

  • Liliana Szilagyi, of Hungary, on 2:08.37 in the 200m butterfly
  • Kira Toussaint, of the Netherlands, on 59.64 in the 100m backstroke
  • Sun Yang, of China, way ahead on 3:44.98 in the 400m freestyle
  • Ranomi Kromowidjojo, on 25.91 to Dane Jeanette Ottesen’s 25.92 in the 50m butterfly
  • Joao Gomes, the Brazilian on his second career beyond a doping ban, on 27.08 in the 50m breaststroke
  • You Jingyao, of China, on 1:07.18 in the 100m breaststroke
  • Michael Andrew, on 24.92 in the 50m backstroke