2023 World Cup Series – Budapest: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first day of the final stop of the 2023 World Cup Series has arrived. This stop is in Budapest, a frequent host of high-level international meets. Today’s schedule will follow the same day one schedule as the rest of the series, with the exception of the relay at the end of the session, which will be the men’s 4×100 free this time around.


  • Begins at 11:30am Eastern
  • Women’s 400 free – final
  • Men’s 400 free – final
  • Women’s 50 back – final
  • Men’s 200 back – final
  • Women’s 200 fly – final
  • Men’s 100 fly – final
  • Women’s 200 breast – final
  • Men’s 100 breast – final
  • Women’s 50 free – final
  • Men’s 50 free – final
  • Men’s 4×100 free relay – final

Many of the same faces from the previous stops are still racing in Budapest. Following her World Cup Record of 4:01.09 at the first stop of the series in Berlin in the women’s 400 free, New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather clocked a 4:06.74 for the top time in prelims this morning. Australia’s Lani Pallister could be a threat as well, as she’ll be racing next to Fairweather tonight.

This time around, Australian distance star Sam Short has joined the party. Short was the only swimmer under 3:50 in the men’s 400 free this morning, swimming a 3:49.83 for the top seed tonight.

Speaking of Australian stars, Kaylee McKeown will be making another run at the women’s 50 back World Record tonight. After swimming a blistering 27.02 last week in Athens, McKeown stopped the clock in 27.47 this morning.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom is once again competing, and she’s once again looking for gold in the women’s 50 free. Sjostrom was excellent this morning, posting a 24.14. Given that time, it seems quite plausible that Sjostrom could dip under 24 seconds once again tonight.


  • World Record: 3:55.38 – Ariarne Titmus, Australia (2023)
  • World Cup Record: 4:01.09 – Erika Fairweather, New Zealand (2023)


Erika Fairweather won the women’s 400 free in 4:02.35 tonight, making her the first swimmer of the 2023 World Cup Series to win a triple crown. Fairweather won the 400 free in a new World Cup Record of 4:01.09 in the first stop in Berlin, then took the race in 4:01.90 last week in Athens. While tonight’s performance marked her slowest of the 3 stops, Fairweather still displayed some incredible consistency over the course of the series, keeping all 3 of her races within 1.26 seconds of each other.

Fairweather was pretty conservative with her race tonight, splitting just 2:00.68 on the opening 200m. That lighter front half did allow for her to come home with some serious speed, however. Fairweather was locked in a tight race with Australian Lani Pallister through the 300m turn, but she was able to pull away from Pallister on the final 100. She came home in 2:01.67 on the final 200m, including a speedy 59.79 on the final 100m, tearing into the finish.

Pallister put up a very solid swim as well, hanging tough with Fairweather for most of the race and ending up 2nd in 4:03.43.

Czech swimmer Barbora Seemanova was firmly in 3rd place through the entire race. At the end, Hungary’s Ajna Kesely closed on her and made it a race, but Seemanova was able to hold her off and touch in 4:06.09. Kesely ended up 4th with a 4:06.09.


  • World Record: 3:40.07 – Paul Biedermann, Germany (2009)
  • World Cup Record: 3:43.91 – Danas Rapsys, Lithuania (2019)


Australian Sam Short only showed for this stop of the World Cup, however, he still made his presence known. Short denied Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys from repeating as champion, utterly dominating this final of the men’s 400 free. Out under World Record pace on the first 200m, Short flexed his muscles, speeding to a 3:44.51.

While he cleared the field by a comfortable margin, Short was just off the World Cup Record of 3:43.91, which Rapsys set back in 2019.

Short was just barely unable to hold his pace from the first half of the race tonight, slipping up to mid-and-high-28s on the 50s in the back half. Still, he was able to put together a 1:54.07 on the final 200m, continuing to pull away from the field.

American Kieran Smith also beat Rapsys, clocking a 3:46.80 for 2nd. Smith was 3rd at the 200, trailing Rapsys by a little over a half-second, but he managed to pull ahead on the 3rd 100.

After winning the event at the first two stops of the World Cup, Rapsys found himself in 3rd tonight with a 3:47.00. That time was notably faster than the 3:48.64 he swam for gold last week in Athens.


  • World Record: 26.98 – Liu Xiang, China (2018)
  • World Cup Record: 27.02 – Kaylee McKeown, Australia (2023)


She did it! She finally did it! Australian Kaylee McKeown completed her triple crown in the women’s 50 back tonight, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. After popping a 27.02 in Athens last week, it seemed like it was on the table that McKeown would be able to take down the World Record of 26.98, which China’s Liu Xiang set back in 2018. McKeown shattered the record tonight, blasting a 26.86, taking 0.12 seconds off the World Record and 0.16 seconds off her own World Cup Record.

It was meant to be from the start. McKeown led the field with her reaction time on the start, which was 0.57 seconds. For reference, anything under 0.6 seconds on a backstroke start is a very good reaction time. She broke out and started pulling a way from the field. Even though it did looked like McKeown might have gotten a little stuck at the finish, it didn’t matter, she still cleared the WR handily.

Meanwhile, the Canadian duo of Ingrid Wilm and Kylie Masse tied for silver tonight, each touching in 27.68.


  • World Record: 1:51.92 – Aaron Peirsol, United States (2009)
  • World Cup Record: 1:53.17 – Mitch Larkin, Australia (2015)


Rocking some stylish facial hair, Switzerland’s Roman Mityukov managed to close on Italy’s Thomas Ceccon on the final 50 and get his hand on the wall 1st by 0.01 seconds. The World Record holder in the 100 back, Ceccon was out the fastest, splitting 56.91 on the opening 100m, while Mityukov was 2nd in 57.50. Ceccon actually out-split Mityukov 30.33 to 30.36 on the 3rd 50 as well. It was on the final 50 that Mityukov found another gear, tearing home in 29.10, which was over half a second faster than Ceccon’s 29.73.

It was a great swim for Mityukov and another very strong swim for Ceccon, who prior to this World Cup, didn’t race the 200 back much. After putting up the times he has over the last few weeks, it will be interesting to see if he opts to go for the event in Paris.

There was a tie for Bronze tonight, as Greece’s Apostolos Christou and Hungary’s Adam Telegdy each finished in 1:58.62. Speaking of incredible closing speed, Telegdy led the field tonight on the final 50, clocking a blistering 28.74 on that lap.


  • World Record: 2:01.81 – Liu Zige, China (2009)
  • World Cup Record: 2:06.33 – Cammile Adams, United States (2015)


China’s Zhang Yufei completed her triple crown in the women’s 200 fly, saving the best for last. She was on it from the start tonight, getting out under 1:00 and holding on. Zhang roared to the finish in 2:05.65, marking not only a great time for her personally, but shattering the World Cup Record of 2:06.33 as well. That WC Record had stood for 8 years.

Though her pace did fade as the race progressed, Zhang still continued to pull away from the field on the back half. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Lana Pudar touched 2nd, swimming a 2:08.19. Meanwhile, Hungary managed to pick up another medal in front of the home crowd, seeing Boglarka Kapas take 3rd in 2:10.27.


  • World Record: 49.45 – Caeleb Dressel, United States (2021)
  • World Cup Record: 51.04 – Chad le Clos, South Africa (2015)


Switzerland picked up their second gold medal of the night, seeing Noe Ponti claim victory in the men’s 100 fly. Ponti swam a conservative race, hitting the 50m turn in 7th place, splitting 25.54. He came home with great speed, however, clocking 26.84 on the 2nd 50m, which got him into the finish in 51.38.

The slower first 50 was working tonight, as South Africa’s Matt Sates was 6th at the 50 tonight, splitting 24.45, then went on to finish 2nd in 51.66. Similarly, Australian Jesse Coleman was 5th at the turn, splitting 24.42, then ended up earning bronze in 51.88 at the finish.

Meanwhile, it was fellow Australian Ben Armbruster who was the fastest going out, splitting 23.99 on the opening 50, then he finished just off the podium, touching 4th in 52.18.


  • World Record: 2:17.55 – Evgeniia Chikunova, Russia (2023)
  • World Cup Record: 2:22.13 – Tes Schouten, Netherlands (2023)


We’ve seen yet another triple crown winner named her tonight. Dutchwoman Tes Schouten completed her sweep of the women’s 200 breast tonight, breaking the World Cup Record in the event for the second time in three weeks. Schouten At the Berlin stop (first stop), Schouten popped a WC Record of 2:22.13, and dipped under 2:22 tonight, swimming a 2:21.52 for gold.

In addition to the World Cup Record, Schouten’s performance marks a new career best and a new Dutch Record in the event. Her previous best was a 2:21.63, which she set at the World Championships in Fukuoka a couple months ago and stood as the Dutch Record as well.

Australian Jenna Strauch was excellent tonight as well, rising on the 3rd 50 of the race to challenge Schouten. While she wasn’t able to fully catch the Dutchwoman, Strauch put up an excellent time for her, earning silver in 2:22.83.

Czech swimmer Kristyna Horska clocked a 2:24.62 for bronze tonight.


  • World Record: 56.88 – Adam Peaty, Great Britain (2019)
  • World Cup Record: 57.69 – Qin Haiyang, China (2023)


China’s Qin Haiyang became the latest swimmer to complete their triple crown, throwing down a sizzling 57.82 in the men’s 100 breast. While the performance was just off his World Cup Record and Asian Record of 57.69, it’s still very notable because it marks yet another sub-58 from the newly-minted superstar.

Haiyang was excellent from start to finish once again, getting out a very fast 26.88 on the first 50m. He came home in 30.94, which was also the fastest 2nd 50 split in the field tonight.

Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga put up a very solid race as well, clocking a 58.68 for silver.

Nic Fink (USA) was in 7th at the turn, but battled his way back into it and managed to touch out World Record holder Adam Peaty at the finish.

Also of note, this performance was the best by Adam Peaty since he returned to racing in Berlin a few weeks ago. Peaty pushed the pace tonight, splitting 27.25 on the opening 50m, which was the 2nd-fastest split in the field, behind only Qin. He faded quite a bit on the back half, however, he managed to clock a season best 59.25, finishing just 0.04 seconds off the podium.



She’s done it again. The greatest women’s sprinter we’ve ever seen has earned the triple crown in the women’s 50 free tonight. While she was a bit off the World Cup Record of 23.83, Sjostrom did managed to go under 24 seconds yet again this year, clocking a 23.97. It was an incredible race from Sjostrom, who won the race by 0.33 seconds.

Behind her, Siobhan Haughey blasted a new personal best, taking 2nd in 24.30. Not only does the swim mark a new career swim for Haughey, she also lowered her own Hong Kong Record with the swim.

In a rare occurrence, the Campbell sisters tied for 3rd tonight. Bronte Campbell and Cate Campbell, two of the greatest sprinters in Australian history, both clocked 24.42, each earning a bronze medal with the swim.


  • World Record: 20.91 – Cesar Cielo, Brazil (2009)
  • World Cup Record: 21.27 – Vlad Morozov, Russia (2019)


In an electric final race of the day, Great Britain’s Ben Proud ripped a 21.77 to win the men’s 50 free, touching out a pair of guys who were also under 22 seconds.

American Michael Andrew picked up the silver medal with a 21.85, coming in under the 21.96 he won gold with last week in Athens.

Meanwhile, Australian Isaac Cooper was also faster than last week, earning bronze in 21.92. In Athens, Cooper finished 2nd, but was a little slower, clocking a 22.07.


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6 months ago

Only 1.15 to go for MA!

6 months ago

Sam Short out of 1500?

6 months ago

The W2Fl WR is from 2009 not 2018 correct?

6 months ago

Andrew had a nice swim. 21.8 is pretty good.

6 months ago

Great time for Australia 400 free relay: 3.14.54 in October and without the swimmers who won the title in Fukuoka is remarkable. Incerti 47.64 as anchor and Giuliani’s 48.51 lead-off; while the best split was Nemeth’s 47.43 anchor for Hungary.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  nuotofan
6 months ago

Yea, AUS men have some nice depth. Incerti 47.64 is really impressive.

6 months ago

Fab first night of racing in Budapest, such a great atmosphere and fast times all around!

Scuncan Dott v2
6 months ago

This commentator is frustrating to listen to

Alison England
Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
6 months ago

Not too bad today, but why does he persist in saying that Sarah had a shoulder injury? She actually broke her elbow!

Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
6 months ago

I know this guy comments a lot of the diving stuff, but he’s rubbish for swimming.

6 months ago

Proud needs to lift more.