2020 FINA Champions Series – Beijing: Day 1 Live Recap

2020 FINA Champions Swim Series – Beijing

Day 1 of the second competition in the FINA Champions Series sees the same events schedule as we saw in Shenzhen; 15 events in total, starting with the Women’s 200m backstroke. Many of the same athletes who competed at the beginning of the week are racing again, with some notable additions to the startlists too.

Daiya Seto joins the startlist and is racing the 200m butterfly and the 200IM. He set one of the most recent World Records in the 400IM back in December at the ISL Final in Las Vegas. Katinka Hosszu is back in action in the same two events as day 1 in Shenzhen; the 200m backstroke and 100m butterfly. Danas Rapsys and Sun Yang will do battle again in the men’s 200m freestyle, a much anticipated race after Rapsys out-touched Yang by a mere 0.03 of a second last week. Ryosuke Irie joins the lineup in the Men’s 100 Back, with Pieter Timmers also heading in to the Men’s 200 Free.

Women’s 200m Backstroke

  1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2:09.95
  2. Liu Yaxin (CHN) 2:11.46
  3. Sydney Pickrem (CAN) 2:12.78
  4. Kira Toussaint (NED) 2:15.03

Hosszu took this race out hard, splitting a whole second faster after her first 50 than she did in Shenzhen. She held on to her dominant lead throughout to take the win in a time of 2:09.95. Winner of this event at meet 1, China’s Liu Yaxin, was a second slower this time round, but managed to hold off Pickrem to finish second. Kira Toussaint added 3 seconds on to her time from meet 1 to finish fourth.

Men’s 200m Butterfly

  1. Daiya Seto (JAP) 1:52.53
  2. Tamas Kenderesi (HUN) 1:55.87
  3. Masato Sakai (JAP) 1:56.23
  4. Denys Kesyl (UKR) 1:58.25

Daiya Seto‘s pace was too much for the rest of the field in this event. He stormed down the first 50 and increased that lead throughout this race to finish in a new Asian Record time of 1:52.53. It quickly became a race for second place, with the winner of this event in meet 1, Tamas Kenderesi, holding off Sakai just as he did last week to claim silver.

Women’s 100m Butterfly

  1. Elena di Liddo (ITA) 58.09
  2. Jeanette Ottesen (DEN) 58.74
  3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) 59.17
  4. Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 1:00.20

It was exactly the same finish in this event. Italy’s Elena di Liddo touched just 0.05 ahead of Jeanette Ottesen at the turn, but her searing underwaters meant she popped up half a body length ahead.

Last week the quick turn around between the 200 back and the 100 fly proved too much for the Iron Lady who touched in 1:02.32. However, this week she scraped a respectable 2 seconds off that but still finished a second behind the rest of the field.

Men’s 50m Freestyle

  1. Vladimir Morozov (RUS) 21.55
  2. Krisitan Gkolomeev (GRE) 21.86
  3. Michael Andrew (USA) 21.89
  4. Anthony Ervin (USA) 22.90

The best start in the field came from Russian sprinting gun Vladimir Morozovwho shaved 0.15 off his time from Shenzhen. Undoubtedly beginning as he means to go on, his start to this year places him directly in the mix with the rest of the male sprinting field ahead of this year’s Olympic Games.

Anthony Ervin was the only swimmer who didn’t slip under the 22 mark this time round, but finished just 0.01 slower than he did at meet 1. Michael Andrew was just out-touched by Gkolomeev in the last 5 metres to finish 0.14 off his own World Junior Record.

Women’s 200m Breaststroke

  1. Yu Jingyao (CHN) 2:24.52
  2. Ye Shiwen (CHN) 2:25.61
  3. Martina Carraro (ITA) 2:28.80
  4. Sydney Pickrem (CAN) 2:30.31

A very definite lead was established by China’s Yu Jingyao after the first 50, splitting a 32.12 ahead of her countrymate Ye Shiwen. Shiwen made her move on the 3rd 50 and closed the gap significantly, making for an exciting final 50. Her efforts weren’t enough to deny Jingyao another victory, but she did finish 0.5 faster than she did at meet 1.

Martina Carraro and Sydney Pickrem were both off their marks from the start of the week, adding roughly a second each.

Men’s 100m Backstroke

  1. Ryosuke Irie (JAP) 52.97
  2. Xu Jiayu (CHN) 52.97
  3. Matt Grevers (USA) 53.71
  4. Jacob Pebley (USA) 54.55

A blistering last 10 metres from Japan’s Ryosuke Irie resulted in a joint first place finish between himself and Xu Jiayu of China. Xu had the best start of the lot and carved out a slight lead early on, but it wasn’t enough to stay ahead of the Irie who made up significant ground in the last 10m of the race.

American countrymen Matt Grevers and Jacob Pebley finished 3-4, both posting faster times than they did in Shenzhen, earning themselves $6,000 and $5,000 respectively.

Women’s 400m Freestyle

  1. Ajna Keseley (HUN) 4:09.10
  2. Boglarka Kapas (HUN) 4:11.35
  3. Anna Egorova (RUS) 4:11.55
  4. Wang Jianjiahe (CHN) 4:13.86

18-year-old Ajna Keseley of Hungary stuck to a similar race plan here as she did in Shenzhen to claim her second victory in this event. She led from the beginning, followed closely by teammate Boglarka Kapas. However, Kapas didn’t managed to stick with her as she did just a few days ago, adding almost 2 seconds on to her time of 4:09.64.

Russia’s Anna Egorova had a fantastic final 75 metres to pull away from Wang. She almost managed to nab second place from Kapas but finished 0.2 behind her.

Men’s 50m Butterfly

  1. Nicholas Santos (BRA) 22.95
  2. Michael Andrew (USA) 23.18
  3. Andrii Govorov (UKR) 23.19
  4. Oleg Kostin (RUS) 23.30

The only swimmer to slip under the 23 mark was 39-year-old Brazilian swimmer and winner of this event Nicholas Santos. He claimed his second victory while shaving a considerable 0.3 off his time from Shenzhen.

World Record holder Andrii Govorov was out-ouched by 20-year-old American sprint specialist Michael Andrew by a mere 0.01 of a second.

Women’s 100m Freestyle

  1. Siobhan Haughey (HKG) 53.33
  2. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) 53.52
  3. Femke Heemskerk (NED) 53.81
  4. Michelle Coleman (SWE) 54.13

Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey finished just 0.01 of a second off her own National Record of 53.32 today. She led the field at 50m turning in 25.68, this time 0.01 faster than her split from Shenzhen.

The rest of the field had a mix up with Kromowidjojo moving from 4th to 2nd place in what was a tight finish between her and teammate Femke Heemskerk, who currently ranks as world #4 with a time of 53.23 which she posted in December.

Men’s 200m IM

  1. Daiya Seto (JAP) 1:55.55
  2. Wang Shun (CHN) 1:56.81
  3. Jeremy Desplanches (SUI) 1:57.66
  4. Michael Andrew (USA) 2:01.59

Daiya Seto claimed his second victory today over home favourite Wang Shun. He split half a second under WR pace at the first 50 and his high stroke-rate backstroke maintained a slight lead over Shun at the 100m mark.

The breaststroke leg allowed both Seto and Jeremy Desplanches to make considerable gains over their competitors, making for a tight race for second place coming down the last 50. Michael Andrew‘s heavy schedule this weekend started to show in the last 50 where he split 30.51 in the freestyle leg.

Women’s 50m Breaststroke

  1. Molly Hannis (USA) 30.34
  2. Alia Atkinson (JAM) 30.44
  3. Martina Carraro (ITA) 30.79
  4. Ida Hulkko (FIN) 30.86

Alia Atkinson looked like she was going to take victory in this event all the way until the touch where we saw that Hannis had nabbed the win. She made up considerable ground in the last 10 metres to deny Atkinson the win.

Winner of this event in Shenzhen Martina Carraro started well but didn’t manage to do the double in Beijing, finishing 0.4 off her previous winning mark of 30.38.

Men’s 100m Breaststroke

  1. Yan Zibei (CHN) 58.83
  2. Arno Kamminga (NED) 58.95
  3. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ) 1:00.00
  4. Ilya Shymanovich (BLR) 1:00.29

There was a 1-2 swap this time round in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke between Zibei and Kamminga. This field was slower than that which we saw in Shenzhen, with Yan Zibei’s winning time 0.2 off Kamminga’s mark of 58.61. Zibei led from the start just as he did in Shenzhen, but this time Kamminga’s efforts to chase him down fell short by just 0.1 of a second.

Women’s 50m Backstroke

  1. Liu Xiang (CHN) 27.58
  2. Anastiia Fesikova (RUS) 27.90
  3. Kira Toussaint (NED) 28.22
  4. Caroline Pilhatsch (AUT) 28.28

Anastasiia Fesikova’s entry into this event caused upset for Toussaint and Pilhatsch who last week went 2-3. The Russian National Record Holder was 0.7 off her own mark which she set back in 2018.

Men’s 200m Freestyle

  1. Sun Yang (CHN) 1:45.55
  2. Danas Rapsys (LTU) 1:45.74
  3. Dominik Kozma (HUN) 1:48.98
  4. Pieter Timmers (BEL) 1:51.94

The much anticipated rematch between Danas Rapsys and Sun Yang did not disappoint. They were tit-for-tat throughout with Rapsys touching first at 50 but Sun overtaking him at 100 by 0.1. The margin between them never grew by more than 0.5, with Sun getting the touch on the wall after they both stormed down the last 50 (splitting 26.67 – Sun and 26.74 – Rapsys).


Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay

  1. Team Andrew (Andrew, Minakov, Kromowidjojo, Wang) 3:29.72
  2. Team Grevers (Grevers, Wang, Heemskerk, Szilagyi) 3:30.21
  3. Team Christou (Christou, Kenderesi, Toussaint, Coleman) 3:30.39
  4. Team Rapsys (Rapsys, Kostin, Haughey, Ye) 3:34.34

Danas Rapsys had virtually no turn-around time between the 200 and leading out the relay for his team, where he split 51.54. The third leg of this relay saw Dutch teammates Heemskerk and Kromowidjojo go head-to-head, where Heemskerk was able to create a lead for Team Grevers ahead of the final 100. Wang managed to edge the win for her team over Hungarian Szilagyi.

Michelle Coleman had a fantastic anchor leg for her team, charging down the last 50 to split 53.89. This was versus 56.66 and 57.39 from Wang and Szilagyi, respectively.

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M d e
3 years ago

Ervin doing his best Katinka last meet impression on the 50 free

3 years ago

Vlad owns MA

3 years ago

10-20 years ago, most really fast swimmers didn’t swim extremely fast in ‘in season’ meets. Now, many swimmers put up really fast times throughout the year, January included. In my opinion, fast in season times don’t mean nearly as much as they used to. I’m sure there are many reasons why this happens, but the two that comes to mind are always wearing a fast suit and changes in training.

I’ll be very interested to see how much faster Seto goes in his events when he’s ‘rested and shaved.’

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
3 years ago

don’t think he has much body hair to shave! lol

Coach Mike 1952
3 years ago

A shout out to Ryosuke Irie, one of Japan’s finest ever & well liked as well.

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
3 years ago

One of the long lasting Veterans with Grevers still kicking ass , fantastic

3 years ago

Seto rly out here saying he wasn’t rested

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Kevin
3 years ago

Scary good if true.

3 years ago

Daiya SLAYto

3 years ago

Two guys 58s in January. Another man under 58s in Tokyo?

Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

very scary year starting off in swimming …..

3 years ago

Anyone else expecting more from Cleman individually in this Series?

Reply to  Tokyo2020
3 years ago


Reply to  Tokyo2020
3 years ago

Her relay split was 53.89

Reply to  Samesame
3 years ago

Her PB is 53.04 just recently from November