2018 FINA World Cup Kazan Day 2 Finals: Efimova Is Automatic


Day 2 brought more World Cup Records by the same swimmers who knocked them down on day 1. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom rocked a winning 50m fly time of 25.39 to take gold here in Kazan while also overtaking the previous World Cup Record of 25.51. Russia’s Vlad Morozov notched his 2nd World Cup Record as well, taking the men’s 50m back in a mark of 24.43. That surpassed the previous series mark of 24.58.

You can read more about Sjostrom’s impressive effort here and Morozov’s thriller here.

Prior to her butterfly victory, Sjostrom already hooked a top podium spot in the women’s 200m freestyle. Collecting the only sub-1:56 time of the field, the Swede finished in 1:55.98 by splitting 56.62/59.36. Silver medal tonight went to Femke Heemskerk in her time of 1:56.89, while Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu rounded out the top 3 in a mark of 2:00.27.

The 200m free was just 1 of 4 appearances for Hosszu on the evening, as the Olympic champion kicked off night 2 with the 400m IM event. Hosszu holds the World Cup Record with the 4:33.88 she registered back in 2015, but it took her just 4:37.82 to still win by over 10 seconds here in Kazan. Her teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos made it a 1-2 finish for the nation with a time of 4:47.93.

Hosszu battled Netherlands’ Kira Toussaint in the 100m backstroke, with the Dutch national record holder coming out on top with the only sub-minute time of the pack. Clocking 59.80, Toussaint was able to deny Hosszu the gold and instead add another medal to her own tally, which includes 50m back gold from yesterday. Hosszu settled for 100m back silver this evening in 1:00.77.

The mixed 4 x 100m freestyle also saw Hosszu take to the pool, as the 29-year-old anchored Team Hungary in 55.82 to help them land bronze in 3:36.21. The top 2 teams in the relay race were Netherlands and Russia, who finished with respective times of 3:27.42 and 3:30.94.

America’s Michael Andrew collected 2 medals on the night, finishing just .06 behind Morozov in the 50m back with a silver medal-garnering mark of 24.49, while also taking bronze in the 50m breast with a mark of 27.30. Taking that breast win was Brazil’s sole swimmer, Felipe Lima, who took the race in 26.90.

Another American made it onto the podium in the form of Blake Pieroni in the men’s 100m freestyle. Although Morozov took the gold in a time of 48.26, Pieroni nailed the 4th fastest time of his career – 48.30 – for silver. Pieroni’s fastest 100m free ever was the 48.08 he threw down at U.S. Nationals this past summer, followed the 48.21 and 48.23 he notched at this year’s Pan Pacs and last year’s World Championships, respectively.

100m free bronze tonight went to Belgium’s Pieter Timmers, who stopped the clock in 49.22. Just last month Timmers was in the hospital with meningitis, a situation which forced the Olympic silver medalist to withdraw from the European Championships.

Olympians Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Yuliya Efimova of Russia raced their way to gold medals this evening in their respective 200m fly and 100m breast events. For Le Clos, he was able to beat out Russian Daniil Pakomov, taking the top prize in 1:56.68 to the Russian’s 1:56.90.

Efimova won more handily, however, as she rushed to the wall to take the 100m breast in 1:05.94, falling just .01 shy of Alia Atkinson’s World Cup Record of 1:05.93 from 2015. Efimova represented the only swimmer to delve under the 1:07 mark tonight.

1:05.53 is what Efimova produced in Glasgow to take the 2018 European Championships crown in a new meet record, so the 26-year-old was in good form stopping the clock less than half a second behind that result.

Additional Winners:

  • Russia’s Yaroslav Potapov won the men’s 1500m free in a time of 15:27.92.
  • Australia’s sole competitor, Mitch Larkinwas tonight’s 200m IM winner for the men, notching the only sub-2 minute effort of the final in 1:59.47.

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masters swimmer
3 years ago

Would anyone like to comment/answer why there are so few pro USA swimmers at these events? It seems like a great opportunity to race the top international swimmers from other countries, win prize money, and build brand awareness for swimmers and their sponsors. I get it that college swimmers can’t win prize money and are in school, however, there are plenty of top USA pros on both women’s and men’s side.

Reply to  masters swimmer
3 years ago

Geography. Flights across the oceans are tough on the body. If the World Cup stops we’re in North America, you would see the attendance with Europe flip flop.

Reply to  2Fat4Speed
3 years ago

Maybe the case, but don’t come dragging there’s no money to make in swimming if you aren’t competing in the World Cup.

I’m not a huge fan of it either, FINA is out of touch for the most part regarding the rules but it’s a good opportunity to make a buck. Way more than the american series and the average GP meets. Especially for the overall race. Not to mention it’s basically the only big international meets in the autumn.

Swimming is only alive every two years/fours years because good swimmers choose not to compete. Imagine if you could see all the big names in a GP series like in T&F. Thus money stays low forever.

Tea rex
Reply to  masters swimmer
3 years ago

There is some prize money, but not that much if you aren’t Katinka Hosszu. It takes a couple podiums just to cover travel expenses.

Also, even most pro Americans train with college teams, which spend the fall cranking out heavy yardage.

Reply to  Tea rex
3 years ago

Worth pointing out that many elite athletes get their travel expenses covered, such as was the case with Blake Pieroni.

Reply to  masters swimmer
3 years ago

has there ever been a world cup event in the US?

Reply to  swimcoach
3 years ago

Yep! Indianapolis, Orlando, DC (twice), and New York (x5) have each hosted World Cup meets. East Meadow in 2005-2006 was the last time there was an American stop.

Cheatin Vlad
3 years ago

Splitting a 32/33 on that 100m Breast was impressive by Yuliya.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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