Atkinson, Larkin Shine On Day 2 Of Budapest World Cup


Day 2 of the 2018 FINA World Cup stop in Budapest was another fast one, with plenty of close races and a few records falling (and many more being scared).

In one of the biggest upsets of the day, Jamaican Alia Atkinson took down Russian Yuliya Efimova to win the women’s 100 breast in a time of 1:02.80. Efimova has been absolutely dominant thus far on the circuit over all three breaststroke distances, including a victory over Atkinson at the last stop in Eindhoven by other three-tenths.

Atkinson, who shares the SCM world record in this event with Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte at 1:02.36, turned the tables on Efimova in the race tonight as she out-split her on both 50s to win by close to seven-tenths of a second. Efimova was near identical to her swim from Eindhoven in 1:03.48, and her Russian countrymate Vitalina Simonova (1:04.67) snagged 3rd over American Molly Hannis (1:04.85).

Another race that really stood out for the session was the men’s 200 IM, where Australian Mitch Larkin continued his recent string of success in the event with a victory by over two seconds in 1:52.96. The 25-year-old had missed the final of the event in Eindhoven, but was really dominant here with the top backstroke (28.19) and freestyle (26.84) splits in the field. The swim puts him less than a second off of the Oceanian and Australian Records of 1:52.01 set by Kenneth To (who now represents Hong Kong) in 2013.

In an incredibly close race for 2nd, Hungarian IM legend Laszlo Cseh got his hand on the wall in 1:55.05 to get by American Nic Fink (1:55.10), countryman David Verraszto (1:55.15) and Japan’s Ryosuke Irie (1:55.75). Spaniard Hugo Gonzalez, who was the top qualifier out of the heats in 1:55.40, faded back to 7th in 1:57.60.

Not long before that swim we saw Larkin looking to repeat as the winner of the men’s 50 back after getting the job done in Eindhoven, but he was upstaged by Michael Andrew (23.19) and Vlad Morozov (23.29), settling for 3rd in 23.37. The swim for Andrew was a personal best time and put him #4 all-time among Americans.

Morozov’s second swim of the night came in the 100 freestyle, where he followed up his Eindhoven win with a blistering 45.30 performance to come within .07 of his Russian National Record. In the runner-up position, Blake Pieroni swam a 46.25 to tie Ian Crocker’s 14-year-old American Record set at the 2004 NCAA Championships (the meet was contested SCM due to it being an Olympic year).

Belgian Pieter Timmers (46.67) and another Russian Vladislav Grinev (46.97) also broke 47 seconds in what was a very quick race.

Another record fell in the men’s 50 breast, where Wang Lizhuo broke his own Chinese Record by over three-tenths in 26.31 to place 5th behind a stacked field.

Brazilian Felipe Lima repeated as the winner, improving his 25.92 from Eindhoven down to 25.88, and Peter Stevens (26.04) and Kirill Prigoda (26.06) also got faster to remain in the 2nd and 3rd positions. Andrew was 4th in 26.20 to give him another best time.


  • Katinka Hosszu won her third gold of the meet to start the session off in the fastest timed final heat of the women’s 400 IM, clocking 4:23.55 to improve on her 4:25.15 from Eindhoven. Yui Ohashi of Japan improved her time from that meet by a few tenths to return to the runner-up spot in 4:27.23, and Hosszu’s fellow Hungarian Zsuzsanna Jakabos was 3rd in 4:30.00.
  • Aussie Mack Horton delivered a personal best to win the men’s 1500 free, recording a 14:39.84 to top Hungary’s David Lakatos (14:47.74) who finished less than a second off of his best time.
  • After a pair of 2nd place finishes on day 1 in the 100 IM and 50 free, Sarah Sjostrom made her way on to the top of the podium with an impressive 1:51.60 in the women’s 200 freestyle, edging out Femke Heemskerk (1:52.04) of the Netherlands and newly minted world record holder (in the 400) Wang Jianjiahe (1:53.31) of China.
  • She didn’t win either event in Eindhoven, but Emily Seebohm managed to finish off the 50/100 back double with a 55.81 victory in the 100, coming exactly half a second off of her Commonwealth Record. Kathleen Baker, who set the American Record last time around in winning in 55.91, was 2nd in 56.04, just ahead of Hosszu (56.08).
  • Ranomi Kromowidjojo managed to defeat Sjostrom for the second straight meet in both the 50 free and 50 fly, taking her out in the fly today in 24.65 to Sjostrom’s 24.82. In 3rd, American Kelsi Dahlia (24.97) was just .03 off of her own American Record.
  • After squeaking into the final in 8th, Chad Le Clos exploded early on from lane 8 in the men’s 200 fly, splitting 51.69 at the 100m wall to sit well over a second under world record pace. He fell off on the back half, but still held on for the victory in 1:50.29. Daiya Seto (1:51.01) and Yuya Yajima (1:51.80) of Japan took 2nd and 3rd, while Cseh was 4th in 1:53.25.
  • The Netherlands repeated as winners in the mixed 200 free relay, with Heemskerk (23.31) and Kromowidjojo (23.26) delivering the top two female splits by a wide margin to clinch the win in 1:30.01 over the U.S. (1:30.63). The Americans had a fast 21.01 lead-off from Andrew, a new personal best for him, and they managed to hold the lead until Kromowidjojo ran down Dahlia on the anchor. Hungary (1:31.03) took 3rd over Russia (1:31.45), with Maxim Lobanovskij giving them a big boost as he equalled his National Record on the lead-off in 21.18.

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4 years ago

For the Aussies, Seebohm and Larkin did well, hard to split them.

Miss M
Reply to  Torchbearer
4 years ago

But Seebohm beat Baker, so for a US centric audience, it’s not worth a full write up. Larkin winning in soft competition is apparently more impressive.

4 years ago

Different subject – can we please have a State teams wrap up from Canberra, Australia.. – you’ve done one the last few years .

4 years ago

After Wang Jianjiahe earned 56 points in one race there was no way for Sjostrom to win this cluster. On the other hand it made her life easy. To be the winner of this world cup she just needs to increase the distance between her and following her Hosszu and Efimova. And that is what she is doing swimming better than they do. Since Wang hasn’t swum the first cluster she won’t be able to catch Sjostrom even if she wins each stop of last cluster.

4 years ago

Morozov is an enigma. He was pretty awful at Euros, but super fast before and after. Not for the first time either. Kromowidjojo has had a similar ‘pattern’ this year.

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

isnt he always like that? when it matters he doesn’t deliver?

Cooked Lays
4 years ago

Nice to see Cseh on the podium.

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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