2019 FINA Champions Swim Series – Guangzhou: Day 1 Live Recap


The opening day of the FINA Champions Swim Series in Guangzhou will feature seven men’s events, seven women’s events, and the mixed 400 free relay to close things out.

One change made from the initial schedule is that the male and female relays have all been scrapped, leaving just the mixed events. For those, teams were chosen out of a hat by FINA officials, with strokes (or order) being assigned by the teams themselves.

Katinka Hosszu will be a busy swimmer early on in the session, competing in the first four women’s events on the schedule.

Women’s 400 Free

  1. Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 4:05.16
  2. Li Bingjie, CHN, 4:05.21
  3. Zhang Yuhan, CHN, 4:07.39
  4. Wang Jianjiahe, CHN, 4:07.57

In what was a cat and mouse race throughout, with swimmers competing for place rather than time (all four have at least one more swim this session), Katinka Hosszu made her move on the sixth 50 and opened up a lead of six-tenths.

Li Bingjie closed some of that gap by the 350 turn, and then the two had an all-out sprint to the wall. Li had the faster split in 29.07, but it was Hosszu who held on for the win by just .05 in 4:05.16. She gave a very brief post-race interview with three events still left on her schedule.

Hosszu moves into sixth in the world this year.

Men’s 100 Free

  1. Pieter Timmers, BEL, 48.60
  2. Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS, 48.75
  3. Vladimir Morozov, RUS, 49.10
  4. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 49.25

Russian Kliment Kolesnikov opened up the slight lead at the halfway mark in the men’s 100 free, flipping in 23.30, but it was Belgian Pieter Timmers who closed well in a blazing 24.90 to pickup the win in a time of 48.60.

Kolesnikov was 0.15 back for second in 48.75, with Vladimir Morozov and Chad Le Clos both slightly over 49 seconds for third and fourth.

Women’s 100 Back

  1. Fu Yuanhui, CHN, 59.60
  2. Georgia Davies, GBR, 1:00.51
  3. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 1:01.99
  4. Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 1:02.99

Fu Yuanhui broke away from Georgia Davies on the second half of the women’s 100 back to win in a time of 59.60, much to the delight of the home crowd. That ranks her eighth in the world this year.

Davies, coming off of British Nationals last week, was a clear second in 1:00.51, and Hosszu was well back in fourth after only a few minutes in between events. She’ll have the 200 fly shortly.

Men’s 200 Back

  1. Xu Jiayu, CHN, 1:55.24
  2. Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 1:56.24
  3. Li Guangyuan, CHN, 1:57.42
  4. Danas Rapsys, LTU, 1:58.77

Xu Jiayu led from start to finish to make it two in a row for China, touching in a time of 1:55.24 to improve on his season-best of 1:55.65 that ranks him second in the world behind Russian Evgeny Rylov (1:54.00).

Ryosuke Irie made a late push with a 29.74 final 50 but was still a full second back in the runner-up position in 1:56.24. He currently ranks third in the world with a 1:55.79 from early this month.

Women’s 200 Fly

  1. Zhang Yufei, CHN, 2:07.36
  2. Kelsi Dahlia, USA, 2:09.77
  3. Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 2:11.95
  4. Zhang Yuhan, CHN, 2:12.28

Zhang Yufei outlasted Kelsi Dahlia down the stretch to win the women’s 200 fly and keep the Chinese streak alive, clocking 2:07.36 to move up from tenth to fourth in the world in 2019.

Dahlia led the way at the 100m wall and was less than two-tenths back at the 150, but faded on the final 50 (34.33) to fall back by two seconds and settle for second in 2:09.77.

Hosszu held off Zhang Yuhan for third.

Men’s 50 Fly

  1. Nicholas Santos, BRA, 23.01
  2. Michael Andrew, USA, 23.27
  3. Andrii Govorov, UKR, 23.28
  4. Ben Proud, GBR, 23.34

Short course metres world record holder Nicholas Santos prevailed in a tight men’s 50 fly final, putting up a time of 23.01. About two weeks ago Santos went 22.77 which ranks him second in the world.

American Michael Andrew was clearly beaten off the start but seemed to gain ground as the race went on and ended up a close second in 23.27, out-touching Andrii Govorov by .01. Andrew moves into a tie for eighth in the world after previously sitting ninth (23.36).

Women’s 200 Free

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 1:57.62
  2. Li Bingjie, CHN, 1:59.40
  3. Wang Jianjiahe, CHN, 2:00.93
  4. Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 2:02.56

Sarah Sjostrom had no trouble cruising to the win in the women’s 200 freestyle, with the other three participants having already raced in the session (and Hosszu swimming her fourth event in about 45 minutes). Sjostrom out-split the field on all four 50s to win it by two seconds in 1:57.62. She currently ranks second in the world with her 1:55.29 from earlier in April.

Li Bingjie had a solid swim coming off the 400, taking second in 1:59.40.

Men’s 50 Breast

  1. Felipe Lima, BRA, 26.68
  2. Joao Gomes, BRA, 26.70
  3. Michael Andrew, USA, 27.07
  4. Fabio Scozzoli, ITA, 27.11

Brazilians Joao Gomes and Felipe Lima established the top two times in the world a few weeks ago in Brazil, both clocking 26.4, and showed they’re still on great form here by going 1-2. Lima edged out Gomes (26.70) for the win by .02, registering a very quick 26.68. Besides the two of them, only Adam Peaty has been faster than what they went here this year.

Michael Andrew had a quick turnaround after the 50 fly and impressed with a third-place showing of 27.07, tying him for eighth in the word.

Women’s 100 Breast

  1. Ye Shiwen, CHN, 1:07.48
  2. Molly Hannis, USA, 1:08.33
  3. Yu Jingyao, CHN, 1:08.51
  4. Imogen Clark, GBR, 1:08.99

Ye Shiwen emerged from a tight field on the second 50 after sitting in last at the wall to win the women’s 100 breast in 1:07.48, becoming the first swimmer to record a personal best so far this session with her old PB sitting at 1:09.26.

Molly Hannis of the U.S. was third at the 50, but moved through Yu Jingyao and Imogen Clark to grab second place in 1:08.33.

Men’s 200 IM

  1. Wang Shun, CHN, 1:57.24
  2. Qin Haiyang, CHN, 1:57.89
  3. Wang Yizhe, CHN, 2:02.61
  4. Michael Andrew, USA, 2:04.26

The men’s 200 IM quickly turned into a two-man race between countrymen Wang Shun and Qin Haiyang. After Wang opened up the early lead, Qin closed the gap with a 33.67 breast leg, but Wang answered back by out-splitting him on the freestyle to take the win in 1:57.24. He currently sits second in the world with his 1:56.66 from March.

Qin was six-tenths back in 1:57.89, less than a second off his best time and putting himself ninth in the world this year.

Michael Andrew was well back in fourth swimming his third straight event.

Women’s 100 Fly

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 57.16
  2. Kelsi Dahlia, USA, 58.25
  3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, NED, 58.77
  4. Dana Vollmer, USA, 1:00.78

Sarah Sjostrom made it look easy as she becomes the first swimmer to win two events at the competition in the women’s 100 fly, posting a very impressive 57.16 to come half a second off her season-best 56.69 which is the top time in the world.

Kelsi Dahlia (58.25) moved past Ranomi Kromowidjojo (58.77) on the second 50 to finish in the runner-up spot for the second time this session (also 200 fly), and Kromowidjojo’s showing for third was a new personal best (previously 59.20).

Men’s 100 Back

  1. Xu Jiayu, CHN, 52.98
  2. Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 53.25
  3. Robert Glinta, ROU, 53.70
  4. Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS, 53.99

Xu Jiayu and Robert Glinta were almost even at the 50 wall, with Xu holding a slight lead in 25.80, and as Glinta began to fade down the stretch Ryosuke Irie picked it up. However, Xu still managed to out-split Irie on the back 50 as he joins Sjostrom with two wins here in a time of 52.98, six-tenths off his world-leading 52.27.

Irie posted 53.25 to take second, moving up one spot to fifth in the world rankings.

Women’s 50 Back

  1. Fu Yuanhui, CHN, 27.60
  2. Liu Xiang, CHN, 27.85
  3. Georgia Davies, GBR, 28.08
  4. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 29.40

Fu Yuanhui joins Sjostrom and Xu with her second win of the session in the women’s 50 back, as the 2015 World Champion put up a time of 27.60 to improve on her season-best by .01 (keeping her at second in the world).

Her countrymate Liu Xiang, the only woman ever sub-27 in this event, was second in 27.85, putting her in a tie for tenth in the world.

Men’s 200 Fly

  1. Masato Sakai, JPN, 1:56.44
  2. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 1:58.31
  3. Li Zhuhao, CHN, 1:58.51
  4. Wang Zhou, CHN, 1:59.61

2016 Olympic silver medalist Masato Sakai put on a clinic in the men’s 200 fly, winning by almost two full seconds in a time of 1:56.44. That improves on his season-best set at the Japan Swim less than a month ago (1:56.65).

Chad Le Clos held off a late push from Li Zhuhao, who was the only swimmer to close sub-30 in 29.97, to take second in 1:58.31 to Li’s 1:58.51.

Mixed 400 Free Relay

  1. Team 3 (He, Proud, Kromowidjojo, Davies), 3:28.84
  2. Team 2 (Minakov, Le Clos, Hosszu, Li), 3:30.55
  3. Team 1 (Morozov, Timmers, Wang, Vollmer), 3:31.40
  4. Team 4 (Kamminga, Andrew, Clark, C.Campbell), 3:31.55

With the teams for the relay chosen out of a hat by FINA officials, there was an interesting mix amongst the teams. At the end it was Team 3 winning going away in a time of 3:28.84, producing four solid legs: He Junyi (49.09), Ben Proud (49.30), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (54.52) and Georgia Davies (55.93).

Andrei Minakov gave Team 2 a lead opening up in 49.02, but a disastrous 51.20 split from Chad Le Clos (coming directly after the 200 fly, of course) had them trailing by over two seconds going into the female legs. Katinka Hosszu (55.35) and Li Bingjie (54.98) collectively out-split Team 1’s Wang Jianjiahe (56.57) and Dana Vollmer (57.04) by over three seconds to grab second in 3:30.55.

Team 1, with the fastest male leg in the field of 48.55 from Pieter Timmers, narrowly held off Team 4 for third in 3:31.40, with Cate Campbell providing the fastest female leg by a landslide for them in 51.94. No one else broke 54.5. Campbell erased 5.10 of a 5.25 second deficit to Team 1 on her leg.

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2 years ago

So Hosszu upstages the Chinese in the 400 free. Wang J’s time was disappointing.

Reply to  Troy
2 years ago


2 years ago

Go Hosszu!!

2 years ago

prediction for hosszu’s times:
400 free: 4:17
100 back: 1:01
200 fly: 2:11
200 free: 2:03

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  ytho
2 years ago

Only missed the 400 by, say, nearly half a lap.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Thought she will take that one easy to focus on the events she has a bigger chance to take gold in

Reply to  Ytho
2 years ago

I don’t think so because in that case you would have written very different times in 100 back and 200 fly.

Reply to  ytho
2 years ago

I mean yeah, I was quite pessimistic with that 400 free time, but the others were on point, so dont let my comment drown in downvotes :'(

Reply to  Ytho
2 years ago

aww :/

2 years ago

Hossu is fenomen. She turns 30 on may 4rd of this year but very good long distance swimmer.

Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

No long distance(400IM,400,800 and 1500free)swimmer who is over 30 years old won olympics medals.

Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

She’ll prolly be the first in the 400im

Open Water
Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

That’s where you’re wrong, Greece’s Spyridon Giannotis (forgive my spelling if that’s incorrect) won an Olympic medal in Rio for the longest distance race of them all — the 10k. He was 35, if I’m remembering correctly.
Edit: he was actually 36

Human Ambition
Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

Spiros yes! And Angela Maurer gold at worlds in Rome at 34 and medal in Kazan some days before her 40th birthday. Thomas Lurz Olympic medal at 32 and World Champion at 33

Old Man Chalmers
2 years ago

They held the 50 fly swimmers for almost no time on the blocks, maybe the starter wanted fast times in that race?

2 years ago

Sarah Sjöström won 200m freestyle!

2 years ago

Ye shewien going a best time by 2 secs in a bit suspect👀

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  50free
2 years ago

Its just that she lost her breastroke with puberty . As the olympic & world 200 & 400, & s/c champs she obviusly had 4 good strokes but did not race the 100 breast much . So it is just 69. .The last time I saw her she was doing a good fly/ back to 2.13 then a whopping 1.27 breast leg & she basically gave up .. She just could not get her stroke together .Other imers have made breastroke improvements at a similar age eg Biesel ( which then brought on pelvic muscle strains . ) It is not easy but Shi should be congratulated .. Its been 8 years since she burst onto the scene .& if… Read more »

Reply to  50free
2 years ago

Not really when she went a 2:22 in the 200 breast a few weeks ago.

2 years ago

20 minutes after the 200 and Sjöström goes 57.16 WOW!!!🔥🔥🔥

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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