2015 FINA World Cup Tokyo: Day 1 Finals Live Recap



The current Japanese record holder in this event, Katsumi Nakamura got the job done once again in Tokyo, claiming the win in the men’s 100 free in a time of 49.17. This marks Nakamura’s 3rd consecutive World Cup win in the event.  Runner-up today was speedy teammate Shinri Shioura, the Japanese 50m national record holder, who touched the wall in 49.33, followed by Aussie Blake Jones who clinched 3rd in 49.79.  Rio Sakata, who ended up 4th, represented the last of the top men who were the only ones to manage a sub-50 mark on the race (49.87).


#IronLady Katinka Hosszu exerted dominance right off the bat, dominating the women’s 200m freestyle event. Her time of 1:56.67 is within the world’s top 15 on the year, and is just less than a second off her Hungarian National Record, the 1:55.89 she registered at this summer’s FINA World Championships. Hosszu has now claimed the top prize in this event a total of 20 times at the World Cup. Behind her today was countrymate Zsuzsanna Jakabos who touched in 1:58.11, followed just .10 of a second behind by Australian Leah Neale who earned 3rd in 1:58.21.


Current World Cup point leader, Cameron Van der Burgh (South Africa), added to his total, reaping in the win in the men’s 50m breaststroke in a time of 27.18, a mark which registers within the world’s top 10 for the year. This is VDB’s 5th consecutive win in the event just this year, as he has claimed victory in each of this year’s World Cup stops. Finishing 2nd in the race was VDB’s teammate, Giulio Zuzi (27.93), followed by Japanese swimmer Ryouta Nomura (28.04).


With Jamaican superstar Alia Atkinson surprisingly out of this evening’s final, American Molly Hannis capitalized on her opportunity to make her World Cup debut a golden one.  That she did, charging to the wall first in a very close race, clocking 1:07.71 for her efforts.  Although the time was slower than her prelims mark of 1:07.12, Hannis’ performance was enough to hold off 2nd place finisher Runa Imai (JPN) who touched less than two tenths behind in 1:07.87, followed by Australian Leiston Pickett in 3rd, registering 1:07.96.


The women’s 100m butterfly was on-fire, as winner Rikako Ikee cranked out a new Japanese National Record of 57.56….at just 15 years old! Ikee’s mark of 57.56 surpassed that of Yuka Kato’s 57.77 that had been on the books since the 2012 Japanese National Championships.  Ikee’s time is the 8th-fastest in the world thus far in 2015. *Note – FINA announced this as a new World Junior Record; however, records show that China’s Xinyi Chen actually still holds that distinction with the 56.61 she registered at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. In today’s race, USA’s Felicia Lee nabbed silver in 59.15, followed by this year’s world champion in the 200m butterfly distance, Natsumi Hoshi (JPN).


Double world champion, Mitch Larkin, showed once again why he’s the one to beat in this discipline, firing off a gold medal-winning time of 52.48, the only competitor of the field to dip beneath the 53-second threshold. Japanese backstroking maestro, Ryosuke Irie, claimed silver in his time of 53.27, while American David Plummer clinched bronze in 53.39.  Of note, Larkins’ time here in Tokyo would have tied France’s Camille Lacourt for silver at this year’s World Championships.  Surprisingly for Larkin, this event marks just his 2nd gold at a World Cup.


Countrymate Emily Seebohm immediately follows up Larkin’s win with a gold medal of her own, touching the wall first in the women’s 50m back in a time of 27.49. Seebohm registered the only sub-28-second swim of the day, with USA’s Natalie Coughlin touching in 28.25, followed by Japanese swimmer Miyuki Takemura in 3rd in a time of 28.33.  Today’s win represents Seebohm’s 2nd-fastest time on the year and her 6th victory in the event across all World Cups. As if that wasn’t enough, her time of 27.49 is just .02 shy of the Australian National Record, a time she owns from this year’s Australian National Championships.


In a heavily-Japenese represented final where 6 out of the 8 competitors came from the host country, Masato Sakai came out on top, winning the event in a time of 1:55.75.  He was followed by Nao Horomura who finished in 1:56.17 and Yuuya Yajima would earned 3rd place in a time of 1:57.55. For Sakai, this win makes it his 3rd in a row at a World Cup in this event, the first swimmer to accomplish the feat since South Africa’s Chad Le Clos’ run in 2013/2014. Of note, American Tom Shields swam the prelims of this event, but failed to make the final, finishing in 21st this morning with a time of 2:00.74.


To say the #IronLady owns this event on the World Cup circuit is an understatement, as the current world record holder in the event, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu laid waste to the competition, winning today in a time of 2:09.85, the 5th-fastest in the world this year.  This means Hosszu is unbeaten in now 20 World Cups in this event, winning a total of 25 gold medals in the event across the series as a whole.  2nd in today’s race was American Caitlin Leverenz, who picked up silver in a time of 2:11.26, followed by Japan’s young Runa Imai in 3rd with her effort of 2:11.45.


After posting bronze in this event in both 2012 and 2013, Yousuke Miyamoto earned gold in the 400m free today, winning in a time of 3:49.58, the only sub-3:50 mark in the race. This is Myamoto’s 2nd-fastest time of 2015, after the 3:48.58 he threw down at the Japanese Nationals back in April. Runner-up in tonight’s competition was Naito Ehara with his time of 3:50.77, followed by the only non-Japanese swimmer in the race, American Zane Grothe who clocked a 3:51.75 for 3rd.


Australia’s Melanie Wright claimed the top prize in the extremely tight race, winning the 50m free gold in a time of 24.92. Just .03 behind was Japan’s Miki Uchida, who registered another Japanese National Record on the night. Her time of 24.95 slithered just beneath the 24.96 she clocked at the Japanese Interscholastic Meet just this past September. 3rd in tonight’s 50m race was Rikako Ikee, who broke the 100m butterfly Japanese record earlier this session.


Japan goes 1-2 with Yukihiro Takahashi taking gold in 2:09.50, followed by teammate Ippei Watanabe who registered a time of 2:09.94.  3rd went to Russian Oleg Kostin with his time of 2:10.92. With his win, Takahashi gives Japan its 15th World Cup gold in this event, yet 2015’s series has seen an array of winners thus far. Germany’s Marco Koch, USA’s Nic Fink, Japan’s Akihiro Yamaguchi and China’s Mao Feilian have all logged World Cup 200m breaststroke wins this year. Of note, in tonight’s final, the 4th seed headed into the race, American Kevin Cordes, wound up 8th in a time of 2:12.82.


Hot, hot, hot is the only way to describe Aussie backstroker Emily Seebohm who collected her 2nd win on the night! Doubling up on her earlier 50m backstroke victory, Seebohm was back at it in the 200m distance, laying waste to the field with her clocking of 2:08.08, the 5th-fastest time in the world this year. Runner-up Katinka Hosszu settled for silver in a time of 2:10.11, with Japanese backstroker Natsumi Sakai earning bronze in 2:10.73.


It was a 1 and 3 American finish in the event, with Giles Smith topping the podium in a time of 23.68 and youngster Michael Andrew stepping into bronze with his time of 23.94.  In between tonight was Japanese swimmer Takeshi Kawamoto who earned silver in 23.81. For Smith, he represents the first American winner of the event at a World Cup this century.


Japan claimed another gold on the night in the form of Yukimi Moriyama‘s victory in the women’s 800m freestyle. Her time of 8:40.98 topped runner-up Katinka Hosszu (8:42.87), who was swimming her 6th event on the night, but that’s nothing new for the World Cup points leader. Japanese swimmer Asari Wada rounded out the top 3, claiming bronze in a time of 8:45.83.


Japan’s Takeharu Fujimori led the race through 350 meters, but just couldn’t hold off a surging David Verraszto (HUN), a man determined to move his World Cup event winning record in to the event to 5-0. Fujimori led the grueling race until Verraszto threw down an impressive 28.32 final split to the Japanese swimmer’s 29.24 to give the Hungarian the final edge.  Verraszto earned his 5th consecutive gold in the event in a time of 4:15.60 to Fujimori’s silver-winning time of 4:16.04. Keita Sunama (JPN) claimed bronze in 4:19.81.

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wonder how many swimming fan can actually watch the live stream provided by FINA?


Miki Uchida went 24.95…


Mr Larkin is on fire! The USA is in trouble.


Larkin and Seebohm will be dangerous in Rio in the 100 and 200. They seem to be putting up good times so effortlessly.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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