Men’s 1500 Free
After dominating a wide variety of events at this World Cup so far, Japan’s Daiya Seto took a stab at a new one today, the 1500 free, and with a total derth of elite competition, he cruised to a 15:03.02 win for an easy $1,500 (though not exactly an impressive time). Anton Goncharov of the Ukraine was 2nd in 15:25.92, and Mauricio Villanueva from Peru.
Women’s 100 Free
American Jessica Hardy gave Britta Steffen a good challenge in the 50 free, but after turning nearly-even in the 100, Steffen ripped away from her competitor to win in 52.92. Hardy placed 2nd in 53.74.
Russian Natalia Lovtcova finished 3rd in 54.47.
Men’s 200 Free
As the trend of separation from an elite top end of this meet continued, the men’s 200 free saw a very tight battle in the final 50 meters. Though none of the three led at the halfway mark, Darian Townsend, Paul Biedermann, and Tommasso D’Orsogna tore away from the field.
Biedermann had the biggest final charge, but he waited about a length too long to make it, as the World Record holder couldn’t run down Townsend. The final touch saw Townsend winning in 1:44.26, followed by a tie between Biedermann and D’Orsogna in 1:44.49.
Women’s 50 Breaststroke
Swimming safely after a DQ in the 100 on Wednesday, American Jessica Hardy was clearly the class of this breaststroke field. She won in 30.29.
The Finnish team continues to improve their standing in the swimming world, as 17-year old Jenna Laukkanen took 2nd here in 31.03, followed by Russia’s Valentina Artemyeva in 31.14. Japan’s Rie Kaneto, who won the 100 breast, was only 4th in this race in 31.19.
Men’s 100 Breaststroke
With New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders skipping the 100, and therefore without a whole lot of competition, Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli skated easily to a win in the final breaststroke event in 58.32. He’s not often very good in-season, but usually hits his tapers very well (at the Olympics, for example, he dropped a full second from his season best at the Olympics, as he did the year before).
China’s Biaorong Gu was 2nd in 58.72, and Russia’s Sergei Geibel 3rd in 58.89.
American Sean Mahoney, after winning his first event of the series yesterday in the 200, was 4th here in 59.44. Germany’s Marco Koch was also a bit disappointing in 59.56 for 6th.
Women’s 400 IM
After a few small stumbles on day 1 of this meet, the Hungarians were back to dominating as Katinka Hosszu and Zsu Jakabos went 1-2 in the 400 IM in 4:30.14 and 4:30.80, respectively. Every single edition of this race so far during this year’s World Cup has been a close race, but Jakabos hasn’t yet found a way to break through. This time, though, she was able to swim a better closing 50 than her countrymate, so that’s progress.
Becca Mann and Celina Li went 3-and-4 for the Americans, with Mann in 4:35.87 and Li in 4:39.45. Seeing how powerful the two world-class Hungarians are will have made for a good education for the young swimmers from the U.S, though for Mann at only 15 to finish on the podium here is a great result. Kaitlyn Jones finished 9th in a 4:48.0.
Men’s 100 Fly
If bronze medals were gold, Tom Shields would be rolling in gold medals. He continued his run of perfect third-place finishes in this 100 fly on the series, taking his familiar position again in 50.89. Though the ultimate placing has been the same, Shields has been creeping closer-and-closer to a top two spot, as a bit of a long finish was the only thing that cost him at least another $500 here.
He was behind Russia’s two Olympics qualifiers, Evgeny Korotyshkin and Nikolay Skvortsov in 50.56 and 50.82, respectively.
Shields is so dominant in yards racing at the NCAA level, swimming against some of the world’s best will help him really see what he needs to work on to be right there with them: the finish. These Russians are still so strong coming up off of their last turn, and that’s where they get Shields every time. That’s what this World Cup is all about for him: testing the international waters and learning.
Women’s 100 Back
Rachel Goh is on a roll, again winning the 100 backstroke to go 6-for-8 in the four meets of this World Cup so far, with the lone exception beind Doha where she was swept. She didn’t have her best time of the series, but was still solid in 57.80 leading wire-to-wire ahead of a pair of Brazilians: Etiene Medeiros (58.93) and Fabiola Molina (59.25).
American Kylie Stewart took 4th in 59.40, just missing a second individual podium of this meet.
Men’s 50 Back
Russia’s Stanislav Donets continued to shred the backstroke races, this time winning in 23.31. That’s not quite as good as his 100 was earlier in this meet, but that would be really splitting hairs at this level.
Bobby Hurley was 2nd in 23.73, and Brazilian Guilherme Guido was 3rd in 23.81.
Women’s 200 Fly
Another tight race, and another 1-2 finish for the Hungarians Katinka Hosszu and Zsu Jakabos. The two were back-and-forth throughout this event, but it was Hosszu, as she does in this short course 200 fly specifically, coming off of the turn with 50 meters to go and just pulling away from the competition, winning 2:05.77 to 2:06.06. That’s a bit of a revenge victory, as Jakabos finally knocked Hosszu off in this event earlier in the week in Sweden.
Becca Mann landed in the top three yet again with a 2:11.35; fellow American Michelle Cefal was 5th in 2:12.91.
Men’s 200 IM
Seto from Japan took another win, his 2nd on the day, in this 200 IM with a 1:53.93. Hungary’s Cseh made this race much closer than the 400 IM was, but again gave up too much ground on the breaststroke to hang tight, finishing 2nd in 1:54.31.
Darian Townsend added a bronze here to his win in the 200 free earlier, tying with Aussie Kenneth To in 1:54.63. That’s Townsend’s second tie in as many days here in Moscow.
Women’s 400 Free
This women’s 400 free might have been a bit of an upset to outside observers, but not to those in Russia who instead might see it as a continued “resurgance” from 21-year old Elena Sokolova. This is a swimmer who was going 4:06′s in long course as a 17-year old, and then went in the wrong direction until the short course season last year.
She’s now winning World Cups, with a 4:04.83 in this race. Close behind her was American Leah Smith in 4:05.04, and finally by New Zealand’s Melissa Ingram in 4:06.20.
Men’s 50 Free
In another great back-and-forth battle for George Bovell (he’s been in a lot of those this year), he dipped below 21 seconds again to win a second-straight 50 free in 20.90. Anthony Ervin finished 2nd close behind in 21.11 – his slowest “best time” of the series so far (though remember that in Dubai he was better in prelims than finals).
Evgeny Lagunov was 3rd in 21.80, somehow getting fingertips ahead of Finnish giant Ari-Pekka Liukkonen.
Women’s 200 Breast
Japan’s Rie Kaneto was much better in this 200 than she was in the 50 earlier in the day, winning in 2:20.08. She faded a little bit on the last 25 meters, but still had a huge margin over Russia’s Maria Temnikova, who went from 4th to 2nd on the closing lap to touch in 2:22.94.
Kaneto’s teammate Mio Motegi was 3rd in 2:23.02.
Women’s 100 IM
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu won another 100 IM, this time in a personal best of 59.69. The top three in this race all cleared a minute, with Theresa Michalak and Sophie Allen tied in 59.98.
Men’s 200 Backstroke
The Japanese went 1-2 in this 200 backstroke, with Yuki Shirai winning in 1:50.80, followed by Mayate Matsbuara in 1:51.96. Australian Ashley Delaney finished 3rd, with the next 5 all hailing from Russia.
Women’s 50 Fly
No Therese Alshammar, no Britta Steffen, no problems. The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker dominated en route to a season-best of 25.65, ahead of 100 fly victor Ilaria Bianchi (26.21) and Russia’s Daria Tcvetkova.