2017 FINA WORLD CUP – SINGAPORE
- Saturday, November 18th & Sunday, November 19th
- OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore
- Prelims 9:30am local/Finals 6pm local
- Day 1 Recap
Although Russian Vlad Morozov edged out South African Chad Le Clos for the cluster #3 bonus, Le Clos and Swedish superstar Sarah Sjostrom finished as the overall World Cup Series winners for the 2017 season. For Le Clos, this marks the 7th overall title earned by a South African and represents the first time a man has won 4 crowns. Le Clos previously won the overall title back in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
As for Sjostrom, the Swedish sprinter has broken the 5 consecutive World Cup title-winning streak of Hungary’s Iron Lady, Katinka Hosszu. Factoring into the overall point totals were Sjostrom’s record-breaking swims early on in the first cluster, as well as the fact that, new to this season, swimmers were held to just 4 individual events per leg. That rendered a severely tapered schedule from the entering-almost-every-event type program Hosszu maintained in all World Cups but this one.
Sjostrom’s wins tonight came in the women’s 50m butterfly and 200m freestyle events, where the 24-year-old Olympic gold medalist earned times of 24.61 and 1:51.63, respectively. In the fly splash n’ dash, Sjostrom led Dutch star Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who also went sub-25 in a mark of 24.73, while Australian speedster Cate Campbell rounded out the top 3 in a very respectable time of 25.29. As such, Therese Alshammar’s 50m fly 2009 World Record of 24.38 survives another World Cup Series.
In the 200m free, Sjostrom was charged with a wicked-fast 25.87 opening 50 to easily take the gold over runner-up Emily McKeon of Australia and Hosszu. The aforementioned finished in respective silver and bronze with times of 1:53.31 and 1:53.74.
For Le Clos’ part, the 25-year-old world record holder smashed a quick 49.49 in the 100m butterfly to represent one of two swimmers venturing into sub-50 second territory. Right behind him, just .04 later, was Chinese athlete Li Zhuhao, who touched in 49.53 for a new World Junior Record. Li’s outing surpasses the 50.53 benchmark standard set by FINA at the origination of WJR’s. Zhuhao was a one-time WJR holder of the long course 100 fly until Hungary’s rising star Krisof Milak took it over this past summer.
Le Clos had earlier earned silver in the 100m freestyle behind his cluster #3 nemesis Morozov, who earned the winning time in 45.56. Morozov’s result is within .4 of his own World Cup Record mark of 45.23 from Berlin earlier this season. Le Clos scored silver in 46.00, followed by Japanese sprinter Shinri Shioura, who touched in 46.82 for 3rd. Australia’s Cameron McEvoy, the fastest 100 LCM freestyler ever in a textile suit, wound up 4th in 46.91.
Russia’s Kirill Prigoda already had 1 gold in Singapore under his belt with last night’s 50m breaststroke win, but tonight he topped the 200m breaststroke field. Hitting the wall in 2:01.18, Prigoda narrowly beat out Japanese Olympian Daiya Seto, who finished in a mark of 2:01.30 to surge from 3rd to 1st on his back half.
Seto’s time tonight is a huge personal best, smashing the 2:04.57 produced at the Australian Short Course Championships in October. In fact, Seto’s outing tonight checks-in as a new Japanese national record, further supporting the evidence that the 23-year-old is honing in on this stroke and it may be a game changer in the IM’s come Tokyo 2020.
The Japanese powwerhouse later won the men’s 200m IM easily, stopping the clock at a time of 1:51.88 to win by over 2 seconds.
Additional Winners on Day 2:
- Jamaican world record holder Alia Atkinson doubled up on her 100m breaststroke victory from day 1 with a win in the 50m distance tonight. Atkinson rushed to the wall in 29.29 for the gold over Australia’s Emily Seebohm, who raced in this off-event ‘just for fun.’ Seebohm also scored a mark under the 30-second threshold in 29.96, a time just .7 outside the Australian national record. Of note, Roanne Ho of Singapore finished 4th in 30.49, which checks-in as a new national record for the athlete.
- Hosszu took the women’s 400m IM victory in 4:25.88, adding to her 200m IM gold from day 1. Finishing behind her was Korean athlete Kim Seoyeong, who earned her 2nd national record in as many days. Clocking 4:28.11, Seoyeong lowered her own NR mark.
- Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich was tonight’s 50m backstroke winner for the men touching in 22.82 to top the field.
- Seebohm snared the women’s 100m backstroke win over young Regan Smith of the United States. The former wound up at the wall first in 56.23 to Smith’s runner-up time of 56.33. Also making the podium in the event was Alex Walsh of the United States who checked in with a time of 57.86 to snag bronze.
- The men’s 1500m freestyle event saw Hungarian Gergely Gyurta take gold in 14:33.89.