Katinka Hosszu dominated day one of the Beijing World Cup stop to no surprise, with a win and Hungarian national record in the 800 freestyle, also taking home wins in the 200 free, 200 IM and 200 backstroke.
On the men’s side, the most glaring absence was that of American Tom Shields and Australian Thomas Fraser-Holmes. Without Shields to rival him in the fly, Chad Le Clos came home with wins in both the 50 and 200 as well as a 100 freestyle victory.
Daniel Gyurta, who’s also been very dominant over the World Cup Series, finished third in the 50 breaststroke and first in the 200.
After a silver in the 400 IM last night, Hungary’s Gergley Gyurta came home with a gold in the first event on day two with a 14:38.27 performance. That time put him well ahead of the rest of the field as second place finisher, Myles Brown from South Africa, touched in at 14:47.22 to take the silver.
Behind Brown was Jintong Yang of China. Yang swam a 15:01.38 to finish well behind both the winner, and second place finisher, in order to take the bronze medal.
Womens 400 IM
Katinka Hosszu added her fifth gold in just two days with a 4:25.66 win in the 400 IM over Spain’s Mareia Belmonte. Belmonte was fast enough to grab the silver in 4:27.70 beating out China’s Xinyl Chen who rounded out the top three with a 4:29.89.
The two Americans, Elizabeth Beisel and Caitlin Leverenz finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Womens 100 Free
Inge Dekker blasted a 52.72 to demonstrate her raw speed here in Beijing, taking the gold over second place finisher Duo Shen. Shen, from China, swam a 53.51 to finish far behind Dekker, however managed to hold off teammate Meichen Sun who finished third with a swift 53.54.
Mens 200 Free
After his second place finish in the 1500, South Africa’s Myles Brown came back swinging with a big 200 freestyle win over Germany’s Paul Biedermann.
Brown clocked in at 1;44.12 to Biedermann’s 1:44.48, with China’s Yongquing Lin also in the mix grabbing himself a third place finish not far behind in 1:44.58.
At the halfway point, Brown was only in fourth place. Heading into the last 50 however he moved up to second, and split a 25.94 coming home to pass Lin who was leading and hold-off a charging Bidermann who came home in 26.20.
Also in the race was Vladamir Stjepanovic from Serbia who finished fourth despite leading at the 100 meter mark.
Womens 50 Breast
After asserting her breaststroke dominance in the 100 last night, Alia Atkinson came flying home for another breaststroke win to take the 50 on day two. Atkinson won by almost a full second throwing down a 29.15 to be the only swimmer under the 30 second mark.
Second to the wall was Sally Hunter of Australia who clocked in at 30.11 for silver. Behind Hunter was Yun He of China who grabbed the bronze with a 30.60.
Mens 100 Breast
Daniel Gyurta regained his breaststroke crown with a 100 breast win tonight to add to his 200 victory and 50 bronze from the night before. Gyurta had a comfortable win in 57.25 with second place finisher Yunkun Huang finishing in 58.89.
Behind Huang was Roland Schoemann of South Africa who put together a 59.98 to take the bronze.
Mens 100 Fly
With Chad Le Clos and Tom Shields both absent in the 100 fly, Germany’s Steffan Deibler was able to come home with a win, touching the wall in first at 49.96. No other swimmer broke 50 seconds as American Giles Smith touched-in for the silver in 50.98.
Rounding out the top three was China’s Yuxin Wang who finished in 51.62 for bronze.
American age-group star Michael Andrew put together a 53.66 to finish eighth overall in the final.
Womens 100 Back
To give her, her second win of the night, Katinka Hosszu put up a 56.73 to win the 100 backstroke by over a full second. The Hungarian star took down second place finisher Madison Wilson of Australia who was well behind Hosszu, clocking in at 57.94 for silver.
Touching the wall behind Wilson was Haihua Cheng who put together a 58.33 to take home the bronze.
Mens 50 Back
Jiayu Xu of China won the 50 backstroke over a very fast field which included the likes of Australian backstroker Mitchell Larkin and American Eugene Godsoe with a 23.29. Xu wasn’t far ahead of Larkin who finished second overall in 23.41 just barely holding off a charging Godsoe who came in red-hot in 23.43.
American Michael Andrew who finished eighth in the 100 fly grabbed another eighth place in this 50 back with a time of 25.13.
Womens 200 Fly
A new Chinese 200 butterfly threat is emerging in an event that they’ve dominated for the last 6 years on the world scene, and that’s 20-year old Li Shuang. On Saturday, she took down three of the best 200 butterfliers in history swimming a 2:04.34. That’s a second-and-a-half better than her countrymate, the World Record holder Liu Zige was for second place (2:05.68).
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, the 2010 World Champion in this event, was 3rd in 2:05.91, and Katinka Hosszu, the 15-time World Cup event winner in this event, was 4th in 2:06.14. Hosszu had won the race at the three prior stops coming into this meet, but hasn’t appeared at her best all weekend long.
Mens 200 IM
The entire final of the men’s 200 IM was made up of Asian swimmers, and two of the three medals went to the Japanese. Daiya Seto swam a 1:54.21 for the win, topping China’s Mao Feilian (1:55.22) and the other Japanese swimmer Takeharu Fujimori (1:58.20).
The battle was really between Seto and Mao in this race. While Seto took a predictable lead on the first 100 meters, Mao fought back on the breaststroke and backstroke legs. A comparison of the 100 meter splits between the two:
- Seto: 53.3/1:00.9
- Mao: 55.9/59.3
Ultimately, Seto’s front-half speed was enough to give him the win, but that back-half for Mao was very good even by his standards.
Womens 400 Free
Once again in this women’s 400 free, the World Record holder was knocked off by a young Chinese swimmer for a gold medal, big points, and big cash rewards.
19-year old Cao Yue swam a 4:00.72 – improving her seed by seven seconds, to beat the World Record holder Mireia Belmonte (4:01.08).
Generally speaking, Belmonte is the better distance swimmer and Cao is the better 200 freestyler among the two, but ironically it was Cao who had the endurance to burst to the lead with a 28.59 split over the last 50 meters while Belmonte faded in 29.34.
In fact, Belmonte was almost caught by Yufei Zhang (4:01.36) and Yuhan Zhang (4:01.37) who also both had better splits than Belmonte.
Yiwen Shao was 5th in 4:01.41 in a very tight, very bunched finish. The top seed Katinka Hosszu faded again to just 7th in 4:11.87, and American Elizabeth Beisel was 8th in 4:12.91.
Mens 50 Free
Chad le Clos continued to tinker with different schedules on this World Cup tour, and after not having to race the 100 fly final he was fresh for a stacked 50 free that went 5 deep with bona-fied stars.
That little bit of extra rest seems to have paid off for le Clos, who took the victory in 21.28 ahead of Germany’s Steffen Deibler (21.34).
The finish order:
- Le Clos – 21.28
- Debler – 21.34
- Ning Zetao – 21.35
- George Bovell – 21.40
- Roland Schoeman – 21.92
That swim for Zetao for 3rd place is another new Chinese National Record, breaking the 2011 swim done by Lu Zhiwu in Singapore (21.56). The Chinese, who don’t often put a lot of focus on short course races, have been lighting-up their own record book this week.
Similarly, the time of 6th-place finisher Kuo-Chi Chang, 22.14, broke the Taiwan National Record of 22.42 that he set in 2013.
Womens 200 Breast
Australian Sally Hunter led wire-to-wire in her best event, the 200 breaststroke, to win in 2:19.26. Her lead started off modest early, but on the 3rd 50 meters where she split 35.70, the field broke open and she earned clean water for the duration of the race.
Japan’s Runa Imai lurked in the middle of the pack for most of the race, but a good last 50 pulled her just barely ahead of China’s Yun He for the win: 2:21.74-2:21.75.
Russia’s Maria Astashkina, meanwhile, fell from 2nd to 4th in the last 50, just another .02 behind He, in 2:21.77
American Breeja Larson took 7th in 2:26.68.
Womens 100 IM
Hosszu had a little bit of a bounceback swim in the women’s 100 IM, swimming a 58.11 to top Chinese IM queen Shiwen Ye (58.36). It was actually Ye, known for her finishing freestyle speed, who led halfway, and Hosszu reeled her back in coming home.
Jamaican Alia Atkinson used a big back-half effort, which is her best part of the IM, to pull into 3rd in 59.05.
American Caitlin Leverenz placed 4th in 1:01.33. She finished the meet with just one medal: a runner-up finish in the women’s 200 IM.
The two Spaniards Duane da Rocha (1:02.52) and Mireia Belmonte (1:02.73) finished 7th and 8th.
Mens 200 Back
After finishing 2nd in both the 50 and 100 backstrokes, Australian Mitch Larkin jumped up to 1st in the 200 backstroke, his best event, with a speedy 1:48.69. That breaks the 2009-set Australian Record of 1:49.62 held by Ash Delaney.
China’s Xu Jiayu took 2nd in 1:50.61, and Japan’s Masaki Kaneko was 3rd in 1:51.39.
Womens 50 Fly
After an upset in the 100 fly on Friday, Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker got back on track the rest of the meet, keeping her perfect streak this season alive in the 50 fly with a 24.97. By standards of the 50 fly, she won with relative ease over China’s Lu Ying (25.55). Qiu Yuhan took 3rd in 25.82.
Hosszu was 8th in 27.51.
Mens 4×50 Free Relay
The Chinese 200 free relay of Hexin Yu, Yi Tang, Qiu Yuhan, and Ning Zetao combined for a 1:31.69, including a 20.99 anchor for Zetao. The next-closest relay was Russia in 1:41.66, and the rest of the entries were filled up by Chinese club relays.