World Cup Eindhoven Day 3 Finals: World Cup, World Junior Records Tumble

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

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The Eindhoven stop of the 2018 FINA Swimming World Cup featured record-setting performances throughout all days of competition. The short course meters format allowed for two meet and one World Junior Record on day three.

Daiya Seto made the first mark in the men’s 400 IM, narrowly breaking his own World Cup record in this event at 3:57.25. Sarah Sjostrom then did likewise in the 100 Butterfly, breaking 55 seconds for the first time at a World Cup stop. China’s Jianjiahe Wang set the lone World Junior Record in the 800 Freestyle at 8:03.86.

DAY THREE RESULTS

Men’s 400 IM

Seto got the session off to a quick start by setting a new World Cup record in the 400 IM. His time of 3:57.25 bested his own mark set last year in Japan. He is currently the only man under the four-minute barrier in this event so far this year after leading this race from start to finish.

Hungary’s David Verraszto earned runner-up honors in 4:03.14 and was followed by Maksym Shemberev in 4:06.98. China’s Yizhe Wang was not far off the podium in 4:07.50. The latter had a race down to the finish after Wang had a four-second lead at the halfway point. Shemberev’s freestyle split of 56.56 was the fastest in the field, even three-tenths better than that of Seto.

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Women’s 800 Freestyle

China’s Jianjiahe Wang kept the record-breaking going by re-setting her own World Junior mark in the women’s 800 Freestyle. The swim was a huge personal best for the 16-year-old, as she clocked in at 8:03.86. She set the former junior record at this cluster of last year’s World Cup at 8:15.35. Today, the teenager was victorious by over eleven seconds over silver-medalist Leah Smith of the United States.

Russia’s Anna Egorova took third place in the widespread women’s distance race. Her time of 8:21.83 was enough to knock Spain’s Mireia Belmonte off the podium, after the Olympic Champion took fourth in 8:22.28. The latter is also the World Record holder in this event – a standard Jianjiahe is closing in on herself (7:59.34).

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Women’s 100 Butterfly

For the first time ever at a World Cup, Sjostrom found herself under 55 seconds in the 100 Butterfly. While her World Record still stands at 54.61, today’s 54.91 was good for a new World Cup record. The United States’ Kelsi Dahlia was not far off the mark as well, coming in at 55.21. Dahlia had the fastest closing fifty in the field, coming home in a quick 29.09.

China’s Yufei Zhang was also in the mix after being nearly dead even with Dahlia at the fifty. Zhang ultimately finished in 55.87 to take third place.

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Men’s 50 Butterfly

While no records were broken in the men’s 50 Butterfly, three popular names graced the podium. Brazil’s Nicholas Santos, who has four World Championships medals in this event, earned the top spot in 22.08. His efforts put him narrowly ahead of South Africa’s Chad le Clos who raced a 22.09. The latter is the reigning World Champion in this event in the short course format not only from 2016, but 2014 as well.

Russia’s Vladimir Morozov continued his successful weekend with a third-place finish in 22.42.

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Women’s 200 Backstroke

Kathleen Baker of the United States doubled on backstroke victories at this World Cup stop in Eindhoven by taking the 200 title in 2:00.85. The race was close behind her, Emily Seebohm and Katinka Hosszu through the halfway mark, as the latter both flipped at 1:00.20. But Baker was the only swimmer to split under 31 seconds on the third fifty, giving her the edge. Despite a blistering 30.07 final two laps from Seebhom, Baker took top honors this time around.

Seebohm was able to earn second with a 2:01.91 while Hosszu placed third in 2:03.76.

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Men’s 100 Backstroke

Australia’s Mitchell Larkin did likewise, completing his backstroke sweep in Eindhoven. In the 100 distance, his efforts were good enough to touch out Japan’s Ryosuke Irie 50.08 to 50.22. The two led a tight battle, as Russia’s Grigory Tarasevich was close behind for third in 50.79.

The swims were distant from the World Record of 48.90 held by Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov, but were not far behind Larkin’s 2016 World Championship gold-medal time of 49.65. Tarasevich was only two-tenths off his time from this meet where he raced a 50.54 in the semifinals.

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Women’s 50 Breaststroke

Alia Atkinson, three-time Short Course World silver medalist in this event, proved her dominance by winning the 50 Breaststroke in Eindhoven. After a quick start, she was able to fight off a charging Yuliya Efimova of Russia who took second in 29.50. The United States’ Molly Hannis was third in 30.01, just off her 29.76 from the prelims.

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Men’s 200 Breaststroke

The Russian team of Kirill Prigoda and Anton Chupkov provided a one-two punch in the men’s breaststroke event of the day. The two swam nearly identical races coming in at 2:01.59 and 2:01.70, respectively. Chupkov has been on the rise in this event in the long course format since his bronze in Rio and gold at the 2017 World Championships. Teammate Prigoda has steadily placed in all three breaststroke events on the international stage.

Japan’s Seto was out under one minute with the Russian men, but could not hang on after his 400 IM victory, falling to third in 2:04.19. Late efforts from the United States’ Nic Fink almost landed him in the top three, but he ran out of room in the end finishing fourth in 2:04.95.

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Women’s 100 Freestyle

Sjostrom was soon back in the pool for another close race, this time in the 100 Freestyle. Her efforts of 51.21 broke up an otherwise Netherlands-dominated sprint event. The team had the next three-fastest swimmers in Eindhoven, as Ranomi Kromowidjojo (51.42), Femke Heemskerk (51.73) and Kim Busch (52.86) placed second through fourth. Teammate Kira Toussaint also finished eighth in 53.20.

The results are a solid indication of what is to come from this team in sprint relays moving forward.

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Men’s 200 Freestyle

Just week’s after setting the long course World Cup record in the 100 Freestyle, Blake Pieroni of the United States was back for more gold in the 200 distance. His time of 1:41.83 was well of Paul Biedermann‘s 2009 World Record in this event, but would have earned him the bronze medal at the 2016 Short Course World Championships.

Le Clos, as always, was off to a fast lead which he held through the 150 mark. But Pieroni was the only swimmer to split under 26 on the last fifty, coming home in 25.83 to chase down le Clos (1:42.20).

The field was close through this same 150 mark, with Australia’s Mack Horton getting to the wall first among the remaining competitors in 1:43.63. His quick 26.19 final fifty surged him to the wall for third place.

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Women’s 200 IM

The final individual event of this World Cup stop found Hosszu atop the podium – this time in the 200 IM. She put up the fastest butterfly and backstroke splits among her competitors, giving her an early lead. The gap was enough to hold off Melanie Margalis of the United States, who opposingly had the two fastest breaststroke and freestyle splits of 36.26 and 29.71.

Her efforts allowed her to catch and ultimately pass Seebohm who took third in 2:06.82.

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4 x 50 Mixed Medley Relay

As predicted, the Netherlands continued their momentum from the sprint events into the Mixed 4 x 50 Medley Relay. Up against big names Tarasevich and Michael Andrew, Toussaint started the team off in fifth with a 26.20 backstroke leg. Arno Kamminga then put them back into the race with a 26.51 breaststroke split to catch Efimova and Hannis.

Despite a 24.98 butterfly split from Dahlia, Kromowidjojo and Jesse Puts brought home the relay gold for the Netherlands. Of note, Andrew’s leadoff split of 23.33 would have won the 50 Backstroke at this World Cup stop. He finished fourth against all men in the actual event with a 23.73.

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