2014 FINA World Cup Doha: Day 1 Finals Real-Time Recaps

Jared Anderson contributed to this report.

With only one really exciting swim in prelims, Katinka Hosszu’s World Cup Record in the 200 free, there’s really not a whole lot of setup worth having on the first day of the Doha World Cup in finals – because it’s going to be like a whole new meet.

The most interesting question is how Hosszu will play her swims. She’s already scratched out of the 100 fly final, where she struggled a little bit in prelims after her fast 200 free, but still has swims in the 50 back, 200 IM, and 200 back to think about.

Women’s 800 Free – Timed Final

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte struck first gold, literally, of the 2014 FINA World Cup Series by beating four opponents with an 8:14.99 in the women’s 800 free. Continuing the very different tone from last year’s world cup that we saw in the morning, Belmonte-Garcia’s time was 15 seconds slower than her World Record done in Berlin early in the World Cup series last year, but was plenty to pick up big points and a $1,500 cash prize.

The second-place finisher was Liechtenstein’s Julia Hassler in 8:18.37, and 3rd went to Katinka Hosszu in 8:29.48. For Hosszu, that swim was about picking up points and a few dollars, with the 200 free target looming within an hour.

Germany’s Fransizska Hentke, best known as an outstanding butterflier, took a chance on this race. She wound up just 4th in 8:38.87, but did improve her lifetime best by 10 seconds.

Men’s 400 IM – Timed Final

Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes couldn’t even crack the podium in the 400 IM at the Pan Pac Championships on the Gold Coast last week, but on Wednesday he began his World Cup with a much loftier ranking in the short course meters version of this event.

Fraser-Holmes swam a 4:00.39 to beat out the European Champion David Verraszto of Hungary (4:02.53).

Those two were well ahead of the pack, with the front-half specialist Fraser-Holmes opening up a two-second lead on the butterfly leg and maintaining throughout. Verraszto made up a little ground on the breaststroke, but Fraser-Holmes has a good anchor and finished the race off.

Ous Mellouli took 3rd in 4:07.99, splitting a huge 26.52 last 50 meters, after a very casual swim by his standards, to overtake Jakub Maly by .01 seconds.

Men’s 100 Free – Final

South Africa’s Chad le Clos picked up his first points toward his overall World Cup title defense with a 46.29 in the men’s 100 free. He was pushed in the first 50 big by Poland’s Konrad Czerniak, who split 21.96 going out to Le Clos’ 22.21.

But Le Clos responded coming off of the turn, and pulled by Czerniak for the win. The Polish swimmer took 2nd in 46.52, with Germany’s Steffen Deibler taking 3rd in 47.22.

The first American to appear in a final in this meet was Josh Schneider, who was 4th in 47.81. The second South African Leith Shankland was 5th in 47.84, followed by Japans Kenta Ito 47.93), and the Finish 6’10” record-holder Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (48.21).

Women’s 200 Free – Final

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu took her second medal, and already upped her total to $2,500 for a day’s work, by winning the women’s 200 free in 1:51.41. While the competition was a little closer in finals than they were in prelims, “closer” still didn’t translate to “close” as Evelyn Verraszto took 2nd in 1:55.81 and Danielle Villars was 3rd in 1:57.90.

Hosszu’s swim re-broke her 1:51.84 done in prelims as the new World Cup Record. She split basically an identical race in finals as she did in prelims (to a frightening level, in fact – each of her first three splits were within a tenth), but then finished four-tenths faster to get the record.

As far as we can tell, that’s also the fastest 200 short course meter freestyle ever done in textile, clearing the 1:51.65 done by French swimmer Camille Muffat at the 2012 French Short Course Championships.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke – Final

South Africa took their second-straight men’s event when Roland Schoeman, who revives his sprint breaststroking every fall for the World Cup, won the race in 26.35. While that time is slower than anything he did at last year’s World Cup, it continues his streak to 9-straight World Cups.

Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli placed 2nd in 26.54, and Switzerland’s Martin Schweizer was 3rd in 26.80. Schweizer’s swim broke the old Swiss National Record by .09 seconds. South African Giulio Zorzi, a former Worlds medalist in the long course version of this event, was 4th in 26.94.

The top American was Mike Alexandrov, who placed 6th in 27.06.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke – Timed Final

There weren’t enough swimmers to justify a prelims in this women’s 100 breaststroke, so the racing went straight through to finals. There, Alia Atkinson won in 1:03.79, which continues the success she had in winning the race at 6 of 8 World Cup stops last year.

That swim was actually a hair faster than where Atkinson began the series in 2013, though with the same gold medal result, so if history continues, she’ll continue to get faster as this series goes on.

American Breeja Larson, who made the quick turnaround trip to Doha while most of Team USA is just arriving home from Pan Pacs, took 2nd in 1:05.06. That’s a lifetime best for her, though it’s only the second time she’s swum the race in short course meters. Hilda Luthersdottir from Iceland, a former Florida Gator, was 3rd in 1:06.88.

Finland’s Jenna Laukkanen took 4th in 1:07.04, and American Laura Sogar finished out the top 5 with a 1:07.33.

Women’s 100 Fly – Timed Final

Dutch butterflier Inge Dekker swam the fastest time of her career in textile with a no-doubt win in the women’s 100 fly. She swam a 56.05, which is especially noteworthy because she was out in 26.06 and back in 29.99 – the first time in her career (suited or not) that she’s finished in better than 30 seconds.

That’s very different from at last week’s European Championships, where Dekker finished 4th, but struggled on the back-half of her race. This is perhaps an indicator that she was just a few days early on her taper, or alternatively a sign of improved underwaters.

Australia’s Marieke D’Cruz, a former overall World Cup champion in 2008, took 2nd in 57.88, with Switzerland’s Danielle Villars earning another podium by placing 3rd in 58.48.

Of note, Germany’s Franziska Hentke, after the early 800 swim in this session, was just 5th in this 100 fly final in 59.74. She was three-tenths faster in long course in May at Germany’s Long Course Nationals.

Men’s 100 Backstroke – Final

Germany’s Christian Diener won a nail-biter of a race over American Eugene Godsoe in the men’s 100 back final, by a margin of 50.49. The two were a hair in front of the field throughout the race, but Godsoe held the lead at the feet when the swimmers hit the halfway turn.

Diener, however, fought back to beat Godsoe by .08 seconds for a $1,500 grand prize. Godsoe earned $1,000 for 2nd, and Australian Bobby Hurley was 3rd in 51.42.

Japan’s Hayate Matsubara took 4th in 52.05, and Spain’s Miguel Ortiz, a former NCAA standout at Michigan, was 5th in 52.19.

Women’s 50 Backstroke – Final

Katinka Hosszu pushed her early winnings up to $4,000 so far at this meet by taking a second event title. This one came in 26.18, which is a new lifetime best and Hungarian National Record for her by almost a second. The backstrokes are something that Hosszu has been toying with for the last two years, and this swim shows how scary she can be there now that things are really clicking for her.

Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk took 2nd in 26.44, and Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina was 3rd in 26.66.

Men’s 200 Fly – Final

American Tom Shields knew the 1:55 that he did in prelims wouldn’t hold up in a final with a lot of talent sitting behind him. So he stepped on the gas in finals and dropped exactly five seconds to go a 1:55.08 and win pretty easily. He tied up at the end of the race, making things a little tense for a moment, but had plenty of margin over Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (1:51.18) at the final touch.

That’s a new American Record for Shields, breaking the 1:50.61 that he set at last year’s Duel in the Pool. (Read more about that record here).

Russia’s Nikolay Skvorstov took 3rd in 1:52.23, followed by his countrymate Aleksandr Kudashev in 1:53.53.

Women’s 200 IM – Final

As the dust was still settling from Shields’ American Record, Katinka Hosszu came back for her 4th swim of the night and did one better – breaking the World Record in the women’s 200 IM.  She swam a 2:02.61 to break her own record of 2:03.20 that was set last year. (Read More about that record here).

American Caitlin Leverenz, who took bronze in the long course 200 IM at Pan Pacs last week, was a distant 2nd in 2:02.61.

Hosszu was dominant in three of the four legs of this race, with nobody coming close to her splits on butterfly, backstroke, or freestyle. The only spot where she was matched was on the breaststroke leg against two very good breaststrokers: Leverenz and Austria’s Lisa Zaiser (3rd – 2:08.32).

But even then, nobody gained more than three tenths on her, which wasn’t nearly enough to do any damage. That makes 11-straight 200 IM wins for Hosszu at the World Cup, and 15 out of the last 17 victories. The last time she didn’t win this race was at the Beijing stop of the 2012 World Cup.

Men’s 400 Free – Final

This men’s 400 free was one of the most hyped races coming into the meet in Doha, with the European Champion Velimir Stjepanovic, the Pan Pacs Champion Thomas Fraser-Holmes, and the regional-star Ous Mellouli all scheduled to compete.

Mellouli scratched the final of the race, surprisingly, but it still lived up to its pre-meet billing.

Stjepanovic took to the charge early in the race and set the early break. He turned halfway in 1:47.91, which is four-tenths better than Fraser-Holmes.

By the 300 meter mark, though, it was the Australian who lept into the lead, though over the next 50 he wasn’t able to get much separation.

Then, in the last 50 meters, Fraser-Holmes accelerated away from the younger Stjepanovic, and took the win 3:39.30-3:40.46 (though the race was much closer than the final result).

With Mellouli out, his fellow Tunisian Ahmed Mathlouthi was able to get onto the podium in 3rd place with a 3:41.05. Russia’s Aleksandr Krasnykh was 4th in 3:41.45.

Women’s 50 Free – Final

It was Inge Dekker of the Netherlands who picked up her second win of the night here, going 24.04 to run away with the women’s 50 free. Dekker, who won the 100 fly earlier in the session, is continuing a strong effort on Doha after being mostly overshadowed in her top events at the European Championships.

Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk was the runner up at 24.29, and things really spread out from there with just one more swimmer under 25. That was Australia’s Marieke D’Cruz at 24.59 in what was a pretty top-heavy 50 free, especially with third seed Katinka Hosszu out of the final.

 Men’s 200 Breast – Final

The longing for a rewind and Daniel Gyurta in the men’s 200 breaststroke final at Euros last week grew even stronger on Wednsday, after he swam a 2:01.60 to win in Doha and break his own World Cup Record of 2:01.30 done last year in Tokyo.

Gyurta beat out Germany’s Marco Koch (2:01.71) in the race; Koch is one of the swimmers he would’ve faced in that 200 breaststroke final that was one for the ages. Koch won that European title in fact with a new Meet Record.

In true Gyurta fashion, he won this race on the back-half, splitting 58.58 – 1:02.48. Koch split 58.52 – 1:03.19, for comparison.

Japan’s Yukihiro Takahashi was well back in 3rd with a 2:05.14, and American Cody Miller was 4th in 2:06.42.

Men’s 100 IM – Final

Trinidad & Tobago’s George Bovell is used to getting great competition in the men’s 100 IM, primarily from Kenneth To, Vlad Morozov, and Kosuke Hagino, over the last two years at this World Cup.

While the race wasn’t quite as exciting as we’ve seen in the past, Bovell was able to win pretty easily in 52.80 – off of his normal speedy pace at these meets. South Africa’s Leith Shankland took 2nd in 53.77, and Austria’s Martin Spitzer was 3rd in 54.77.

Australian Bobby Hurley placed 4th in 55.13 after taking the lead halfway. Liukkonen was 5th in 56.03.

Women’s 200 back – Final

It was four wins in five swims for Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu tonight. The defending World Cup points champion won the 200 back with ease to continue to add to her earnings today. Hosszu was 2:01.60 to win by almost three seconds. She now leaves day 1 with four golds and a bronze medal, plus the World Record cash bonus as she looks to match her astounding money total from a year ago on the circuit.

Second place went to Daryna Zevina of the Ukraine back at 2:04.56, and things dropped off even further to the bronze medal with Carolina Colorado going 2:06.75 for Colombia.

Men’s 50 Fly – Final

After Chad le Clos‘s absence in the 200 fly prevented a matchup with rising American Tom Shields, the two finally met in the 50 fly. Le Clos pulled out a 22.17 to pick up the win, his second today after taking the 100 free earlier on. Shields finished second in 22.63, unable to add a second gold medal to his 200 fly win.

Just a tick behind Shields was South African veteran Roland Schoeman in 22.69, giving South Africa two of the top three finishers. Germany’s Steffen Deibler was also in the 22s, going 22.84 to just miss out on the top three.

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New PB for Le Clos, previous was a 46.60!!


Hosszu with a very impressive 1:51.41, not too long after swimming a 8:29 800m! Completely rested she will be able to swim a 1:50 200m free!


Hosszu is truly incredible 26.18 50m BACK!!!! Now less than half a second off that world record which is truly incredible, anyone know what the textile best is in that event?


I believe a Chinese girl (Gao Chang?) swam 25.9 in 2010.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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