2023 World Cup – Berlin: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


After an electric first day, we’re back with the second night of finals from the first stop of the 2023 World Cup in Berlin, Germany.


Day 2 Finals Event Schedule

  • Women’s 400 IM — final
  • Men’s 1500 Freestyle — final
  • Men’s 50 Backstroke — final
  • Women’s 200 Freestyle — final
  • Men’s 200 IM — final
  • Women’s 100 Backstroke — final
  • Men’s 50 Breaststroke — final
  • Women’s 50 Butterfly — final
  • Men’s 100 Freestyle — final
  • Women’s 100 Breaststroke — final
  • Men’s 200 Butterfly — final
  • Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay — final

Records were falling left and right on Day 1, and it looks like the finals session could feature more of the same. Qin Haiyang continued to show his form in the heats of the men’s 50 breaststroke, taking down the World Cup record with a blistering 26.30, a tenth off his Asian record from Worlds.

In the women’s 50 fly, we’ll get a rematch between the gold and silver medalists from Fukuoka, as Sarah Sjostrom and Zhang Yufei clocked the two fastest times of the morning. Zhang holds the edge with a 25.44 compared to Sjostrom’s 25.69 from the heats. At Worlds, it was Sjostrom who came out on top in the final (24.77), while Zhang took silver in an Asian record 25.05. Torri Huske sits 3rd (26.01), after swimming the 200 freestyle earlier in the session.

The women’s 200 freestyle should be another good race, as the newly-minter 400 free World Cup record holder Erika Fairweather takes on Olympic silver medalist Siobhan Haughey. Haughey is coming off an excellent performance at the Asian Games,  where she this event in a Games Record 1:54.12. Fairweather leads the way with a 1:57.12, while Haughey and versatile Dutch star Marrit Steenbergen aim to chase her down.

Women’s 400 IM — Final

  • World Record: 4:25.87 — Summer McIntosh, Canada (2023)
  • World Cup Record: 4:32.30 — Katinka Hosszu, Hungary (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 4:25.87 — Summer McIntosh, Canada (2023)


She was visibly unimpressed with the time, but Katie Grimes had the final heat of the women’s 400 IM under control from virtually the start of the race. As usual, she came back to the field a bit during the breaststroke leg, but the 17-year-old had built up enough of a lead over the first half of the race that Ageha Tanigawa still was not able to make contact with her.

And once she hit the freestyle leg, Grimes started extending her lead again, and touched in 4:37.20, the only person in the field to get under 4:40. Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas looked like she was going to challenge Tanigawa on the final leg of the race, but Tanigawa held on to take silver in 4:42.73, with Kapas in third at 4:45.17.

Men’s 1500 Freestyle — Final

  • World Record: 14:31.02 — Sun Yang, China (2012)
  • World Cup Record: 14:51.61 — Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 14:46.09 — Franko Grgic, Croatia (2019)


  • GOLD: Charlie Clark (USA) — 14:59.21
  • SILVER: Sven Schwarz (Germany) — 15:01.17
  • BRONZE: Victor Johansson (Sweden) — 15:04.22

The men’s 1500 freestyle was a very different race without Florian Wellbrock or Lukas Märtens, but there were still five Germans in the field for the home crowd to cheer for, including Oliver Klemet and Sven Schwarz.

Both Klemet and Schwarz hung with Victor Johanssen through the first 500 meters, about half a body length behind the American Charlie Clark. At the 500 meter mark, Clark turned on the jets and began to extend his lead from the 1 second gap he was holding.

200 meters later, the race situation looked very different. Clark had extended his lead to over 2 seconds, and there wasn’t much of a trio behind him as Schwarz passed Klement and left both him and Johanssen behind. Schwarx made a move over the closing meters and for a moment, it looked like Clark had put in his move a bit too early. However, Clark made a last dig over the final 100 meters to secure the win. He said after the race that he was trying to push his pace earlier in the race than he normally does, and that though he faded, he closed better than he thought he would.

Clark took the win in 14:59.21, with Schwarz second in 15:01.17. Schwarz ended up the only German on the podium, as Johansson secured third with a 15:05.22.

Men’s 50 Backstroke — Final

  • World Record: 23.55 — Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia (2023)
  • World Cup Record: 24.40 — Vladimir Morozov, Russia (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 24.00 — Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia (2018)


Australia’s Isaac Cooper had a strong start and held the lead through the first part of the race, but Michael Andrew charged on the back half of the race. The two fought it out as they came under the flags, but it was Andrew who touched first, earning another win as he holds the virtual lead through the first day of competition in the men’s World Cup standings.

Andrew took the win in 24.47, just seven-hundredths from the World Cup record. He finished a tenth ahead of Cooper, who touched in 24.57. Both are scheduled to race at the next two stops of the World Cup as well, and it should be a good rematch between the two competitors.

Ksawery Masiuk earned third in 25.09, further back from the top two.

Women’s 200 Freestyle — Final

  • World Record: 1:52.85 — Mollie O’Callaghan, Australia (2023)
  • World Cup Record: 1:55.41 — Katinka Hosszu, Hungary (2015)
  • World Junior Record: 1:53.65 — Summer McIntosh, Canada (2023)


  • GOLD: Siobhan Haughey (Hong Kong) — 1:55.10 (World Cup record)
  • SILVER: Erika Fairweather (New Zealand) — 1:56.11
  • BRONZE: Lani Pallister (Australia) — 1:56.50

It was the same podium as the women’s 400 freestyle, just in a different order here in the 200 free. This time, it was Siobhan Haughey who earned the win in a new World Cup record, with Erika Fairweather in silver (1:56.11) and Lani Pallister with bronze (1:56.50).

Torri Huske led the race at the first turn, but by the halfway point, Siobhan Haughey had taken control of the lead. She charged ahead over the middle 100, widening the gap between herself and both Fairweather and Pallisterwho were running 2nd and 3rd. Haughey faded a bit down the stretch, allowing the other two women to close on her. But, Haughey had enough in the tank to get her hand on the wall first in 1:55.10.

Pallister’s bronze place time was not too far off her personal best, which is a 1:56.03 from June 2023. After leading at the 50, Huske finished 7th.

Men’s 200 IM — Final

  • World Record: 1:54.00 — Ryan Lochte, United States (2011)
  • World Cup Record: 1:57.06 — Mitch Larkin, Australia (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 1:56.99 — Hubert Kos, Hungary (2021)


  • GOLD: Matthew Sates (South Africa) — 1:58.01
  • SILVER: Danas Rapsys (Lithuania) — 1:59.69
  • BRONZE: Kieran Smith (United States) — 2:00.07

Matthew Sates put the hammer down on the breaststroke leg to earn his first win of this World Cup series. Danas Rapsys led the field after the backstroke leg, with Sates running second. The South African split 33.69 on the breast leg, distancing himself from the rest of the field. He clocked 1:58.01 for the win.

Behind him, Jaouad Syoud and Kieran Smith made their moves as well, pulling themselves from the middle of the pack up to 2nd and 3rd. Rapsys–who won the 400 free from lane 8 yesterday–came charging home on the freestyle leg, splitting 27.42 to move himself back onto the podium in 2nd after being 5th at the final turn.

Rapsys swam 1:59.69, nearing his personal best 1:59.14 from 2019. Smith, in lane 8 himself after Andrew’s scratch, joked after the race that he was “trying to channel [Rapsys]” as he held on for bronze.

Women’s 100 Backstroke — Final

  • World Record: 57.45 — Kaylee McKeown, Australia (2021)
  • World Cup Record: 58.34 — Emily Seebohm, Australia (2015)
  • World Junior Record: 57.57 — Regan Smith, United States (2019)


  • GOLD: Kaylee McKeown (Australia) — 57.95 (World Cup record)
  • SILVER: Kylie Masse (Canada) — 1:00.02
  • BRONZE: Ingrid Wilm (Canada) — 1:00.41

Kaylee McKeown earned her second win in Berlin with another World Cup record. McKeown blazed home on the second 50, splitting 29.37 to stop the clock at 57.95, a half-second off her own world record. She took down her country-mate Emily Seebohm‘s World Cup record of 58.34, set back in 2015.

McKeown was the only one in the field to break 1:00, but behind her it was a tight race to get onto the podium. Maaike de Waard had been second to McKeown at the halfway point, but the two Canadians, Kylie Masse and Ingrid Wilm, pulled it out on the back half to both secure spots on the podium. The Canadian women were forces at the 2022 World Cup, and they seem to have not missed a step this year.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke — Final

  • World Record: 25.95 — Adam Peaty, Great Britain (2019)
  • World Cup Record: 26.30 — Qin Haiyang, China (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 26.97 — Nicolo Martinenghi, Italy (2017)


Qin Haiyang continues to impress this year. This time, he erased the World Cup record that he’d just set in the heats of the men’s 50 breaststroke, swimming 26.29 for the win. Qin has been remarkably consistent in this event this season–he swam 26.20 for an Asian Record at Worlds, and since then has been within a tenth of that record here and at the Asian Games.

The entire podium got under 27 seconds, with Arno Kamminga hitting 26.97 for silver. And, after finishing 6th in the 100 breast yesterday, Adam Peaty got back on the podium todayPeaty earned third in 26.98, just a hundredth behind his longtime competitor Kamminga.

Women’s 50 Butterfly — Final

  • World Record: 24.43 — Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden (2014)
  • World Cup Record: 25.22 — Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden (2018)
  • World Junior Record: 25.46 — Rikako Ikee, Japan (2017)


It was a great race between the Fukuoka gold and silver medallists, Sarah Sjostrom and Zhang Yufei. Both took wins on Day 1 of the competition, Sjostrom in the 50 free and Zhang in the 200 fly. As they came under the flags, it looked like Zhang had gotten the better of Sjostrom in this Worlds rematch, but Sjostrom managed to get her hands on the wall first again.

Sjostrom clocked 25.06, breaking her own World Cup record from 2018. It’s the 3rd World Cup record broken in as many events, building on the momentum that has been building since yesterday.

For her part, Zhang grabbed silver in 25.14, just .09 seconds off the Asian Record she swam for silver at Worlds. In her second race of the night, Huske finished 3rd with a 25.85.

Men’s 100 Freestyle — Final

  • World Record: 46.86 — David Popovici, Romania (2022)
  • World Cup Record: 47.78 — Vladislav Grinev, Russia (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 46.86 — David Popovici, Romania (2022)


Thomas Ceccon won his second race here in Berlin, this time collecting gold in the 100 freestyle. He’s a staple on Italy’s 4×100 freestyle relay, but it’s not often that we get to see him race the individual 100 free in international competition. He attacked the race on the first half, opening just of world record pace in 22.83.

Ceccon clearly paid for it in the closing 15 meters, but he was still comfortably in the lead and was able to hold on to get under 48 seconds with a 47.97, which is less than three-tenths off his personal best.

Silver medallist Zac Incerti got even closer to his best time, clocking 48.55 to come just four-hundredths from his PB. This is Incerti’s return to international competition, as he did not race at Australian World trials to rehab a shoulder injury. Incerti touched about two-tenths ahead of last year’s World Cup champion Dylan Carter, who earned third in 48.73.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke — Final

  • World Record: 1:04.13 — Lilly King, United States (2017)
  • World Cup Record: 1:05.93 — Alia Atkinson, Jamaica (2015)
  • World Junior Record: 1:04.35 — Ruta Meilutyte, Lithuania (2013)


  • GOLD: Eneli Jefimova (Estonia) — 1:06.50
  • SILVER: Letitia Sim (Singapore) — 1:06.86
  • BRONZE: Dominika Sztandera (Poland) — 1:07.01

2023 World Champion Ruta Meilutyte took the race out hard, turning in a 31.07 first 50 to hold a commanding lead over the field. But, she paid for her early speed on the second 50, tightening up and coming back to the field down the stretch. The eight swimmer were all in line with each other, and it was anyone’s race.

At the wall, it was Estonia’s Eneli Jefimova who earned the win in 1:06.50, .32 seconds off her own Estonian record. Jefimova is coming off a successful World Juniors meet, where she made the podium in each breaststroke distance, earning a gold (50), silver (100), and bronze (200).

Letitia Sim kept her momentum rolling after a great first day of competition, adding a silver medal. She took down her own Singapore national record here, breaking 1:07 for the first time with a 1:06.86. She’d set the record at 1:07.13 not two weeks ago at the Asian Games.

Poland’s Dominika Sztandera got on the podium in 3rd, adding another bronze medal for Poland in this session.

Men’s 200 Butterfly — Final

  • World Record: 1:50.34 — Kristof Milak, Hungary (2022)
  • World Cup Record: 1:54.18 — Chad le Clos, South Africa (2015)
  • World Junior Record: 1:53.79 — Kristof Milak, Hungary (2017)


We got treated to a typical Trenton Julian 200 fly race. Both he and Sates were in their second race of the night, as they’d both raced the 200 IM earlier in the session. As we’ve seen so many time before, Julian took the race out hard, and held a big gap over the field at the 100.

He was still int he lead at the 150, and it looked like this time, he might be able to hold off the field as Richard Marton was running 2nd more than a half-second behind him. But then, Sates came charging home on the final 50 meters. Sates split 29.47, fastest in the field on the final 50 by over a second. It earned him not only his second win of the session, but a new personal best. His 1:55.87 betters the 1:56.13 best he swam at the Acropolis Open.

Takumi Terada rounded out the podium with a 1:57.03.

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Games Juy
2 months ago

Crazy how even the split of up and down votes is

Bob Swims
2 months ago

SwimSwam – why no bio links for the mile??

Reply to  Bob Swims
2 months ago

Anti-mile bias.

2 months ago

Leaderboard so far coming into final Berlin session (swimmers who have won 2+ events only, based on their top 2):

McKeown – 39.4
Sjostrom – 38.8

McKeown seems favourite to win at least 1 of her 2 events next session. Sjostrom needs to beat Haughey in the 100 free to stay close.

Qin – 39.1
Ceccon – 38.1
MA – 37.7
Sates – 37.6

Qin seems pretty safe to win this leg with the 200 breast to go.

Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Ya know who’s leading the women’s table though?

Torri Huske. Even without winning a race.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

She won’t be after tonight.

Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago


2 months ago

Bronte went 53.86 in the heats for her first long course 100 free since Tokyo

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

Women’s 100 free final at 2024 Australian trials will be electric.

2 months ago

In other news, Yufei and Haiyang are officially and unsurprisingly named MVPs of Asian Games

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  CY~
2 months ago

Well deserved!

2 months ago

Masse struggling to break a minute. Father Time is undefeated

2 months ago


2 months ago

I don’t understand why Trenton Julian continues to try the exact same strategy in the 200 fly over and over again. If he just slightly adjusted his pacing, he would make the worlds/Olympic team for the US

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Swimfan27
2 months ago

Because he thinks he’s Milak

Reply to  Swimfan27
2 months ago

He can’t change his strategy. There are a lot of swimmers like him who can’t do anything but take it out and die. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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