With obvious fatigue setting in, both from the swimmers, the fans, and the writers, the final day of the 2014 FINA World Cup series in Singapore was Sunday.
The most fatigued was the swimmer who’s been the best at this series, Katinka Hosszu, but even a fatigued Hosszu was good for 5 medals total in Singapore.
Her chief World Cup rival Mireia Belmonte, on the other hand, looked almost at her strongest in this final meet, repeatedly putting away her competition by accelerating in the last 50 meters of her races.
Full meet results available here.
Full day 2 results (by event) available here.
Men’s 1500 Free – Timed Finals
The session nearly started off with a new World Cup Record, as Hungarian Gergely Gyurta swam to a comfortable 14:28.35 in the men’s 1500 free. That beat out Canadian Ryan Cochrane (14:35.97) and South African Myles Brown (14:38.80) for the gold medal.
Gyurta’s times at this year’s World Cup have been up-and-down, but overall it’s been very smartly played by the 23-year old. He’s conserved energy where possible, given his focus on long races, and coming into Singapore was 11th on the season money list (and will place higher than that when the dust settles here in Singapore).
Women’s 400 IM – Timed Finals
Mireia Belmonte, after winning the 800 free on Saturday, seems to have figured out Katinka Hosszu’s number in Singapore. The Spaniard won the timed final of the women’s 400 IM on Sunday, swimming a 4:22.68 to beat the World Record holder’s 4:23.66. Once again, Belmonte was able to push away from Hosszu on the last 50 meters: not something that often happens to Hosszu.
This is a very good finish to the series for Belmonte, now one month out from the World Short Course Championships, and she should have some confidence heading back to Doha. This result was the only time this season that Hosszu has lost the 400 IM, and the result is three seconds faster than Belmonte has been this season.
In 3rd-place in this race, and improving her already third-ranked in the world time, was American Caitlin Leverenz in 4:26.80. She beat out country mate Elizabeth Beisel, who was 4th in 4:27.41. The result between those two, given that it’s November, wouldn’t have been a big surprise one way or another, but how it happened maybe was. Leverenz, known as a fantastic breaststroke-IM’er, was only able to gain about seven-tenths of a second on Beisel on the breaststroke leg, who is not known as a great breaststroker. That’s the equalizer that short course can provide.
On the other hand, Leverenz did her work early with a 1:00.94 split on the fly leg: slower than only Belmonte and Hosszu (both butterfliers).
Women’s 100 Free – Finals
Australian Emma McKeon picked up her first World Cup win of the 2014 season, and the third of her career, with a win in the women’s 100 freestyle in 52.45. That swim picked-off Netherlands’ Inge Dekker, who was second in a solid time of 52.84.
McKeon’s victory was just the 4th by the Australians on this final Southeast Asian leg of the World Cup. Although in Tokyo, she was faster, there Britain’s Fran Halsall beat her for gold. Halsall didn’t swim the final on Sunday after being the 5th fastest in prelims.
Katinka Hosszu, 4th-fastest in prelims, also scratched the final. That’s a rare scratch for her, as typically, even when clearly exhausted, we’ve seen Hosszu stick out finals swims even at more of a “cool down” pace than a “race pace.”
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor took 3rd in 53.29, and the other Australian in the final Marieke D’Cruz was 4th in 53.56.
American Katie Drabot, who’s been very good in the 200 free this week, swam a 55.06 for 7th in the women’s 100 free on Sunday, which is slightly faster than she was in Tokyo last week (55.11).
Men’s 400 Free – Finals
South African Myles Brown took his third win of the 2014 World Cup series in the men’s 200 free with a 1:43.39. That time is eight-tenths faster than the one with which he won the event in Beijing, but according to FINA points, still not as good as his 400 free silver medal from earlier in the meet.
Britain’s James Guy swam a new personal best of 1:43.74 for second, and Japan’s Daiya Seto was 1:43.90 for 3rd.
The World Record holder Paul Biedermann was just 4th in 1:44.10, and Serbian Velimir Stjepanovic, the European Champion in long course, was 5th in 1:44.27.
Women’s 50 Breast – Finals
Jamaican Alia Atkinson, for the second time in two days, came close to a breaststroke World Record. On Saturday, she just missed the 100 record, and then on Sunday she swam a 29.00 to came up just two-tenths short of Jessica Hardy’s 28.80 all-time best.
That time is just short of Atkinson’s lifetime best (28.94), but is the 5th-best performance of all-time.
Atkinson once again fought off the world’s best sprint breaststroker over the last two years Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuania. Meilutyte placed 2nd in 29.26.
American Katie Meili took 3rd in 30.35, and her junior teammate Lily King was 4th in 30.79. That bronze for Meili will line up with one of the same color in the 100 meter race on Saturday.
Japan’s Runa Imai was 5th in 31.43, followed by Russian Maria Astashkina (31.50) and Ireland’s Fiona Doyle (31.63).
Men’s 100 Breaststroke – Finals
Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, older brother of 1500 winner Gergely, picked up gold of his own on Saturday with a 56.87 in the men’s 100 breaststroke. That gives Gyurta a perfect 7-for-7 sweep of the event at this year’s World Cup, and 8-straight wins dating back to last season.
South African Roland Schoeman, who’s very good in the 50 but doesn’t often extend to the 100, took 2nd in 57.31, and Britain’s Andrew Willis was well back in 3rd in 59.28.
The top American finisher was Michael Andrew with a 4th-place finish in 1:01.05. That’s the same spot in which he finished the 50 breaststroke a day earlier.
Men’s 100 Fly – Finals
For the third-straight butterfly race in Singapore, South African Chad le Clos came within three tenths of the World Record, but was just short in 48.74. He and Evgeny Korotyshkin (not seen here) now combine for the 6 fastest performances in history, though the record belongs to the Russian in 48.48.
At the present moment, Le Clos is undeniably the best butterflier in the world in all three distances and in both courses (so long as Michael Phelps is suspended, at least), and while he’s proven the best in textile in the short course meter sprints, he’s been unable to get the last breakthrough in those races to get the World Record.
Germany’s Steffen Deibler took 2nd in this race in 50.10, and Japan’s Daiya Seto was 3rd in 50.71.
Women’s 100 back – Finals
After an unusually long (for her) 45 minute break from the women’s 400 IM, Katinka Hosszu was able to get her first win of the day in the women’s 100 backstroke, swimming a 56.94. Coming into this season, the backstrokes weren’t necessarily Hosszu’s specialty, but after this win she will finish the World Cup series with 7-meet sweeps of both the 100 and 200 meter backstrokes.
Men’s 50 Back – FINALS
The top three finishers in this men’s 50 backstroke may not all be American, but all three train in America, led by the only actual-American in the final Eugene Godsoe. He took the win in 23.21, just touching-out Club Wolverine training partners Miguel Ortiz (23.24) of Spain and Bobby Hurley (23.43) of Australia.
Chris Walker-Hebborn tied Hurley for 3rd place in that swim, meaning the two will split the points and the money.
Women’s 200 Fly – FINALS
Mireia Belmonte got a second win of the day in the final of the women’s 200 fly with a 2:04.57. This time, it wasn’t quite her season-best, but it was the first win she’s earned in this event since the first stop of the series in Doha.
Germany’s Franziska Hentke took 2nd in 2:05.84, with most of that 1.3-second margin coming on the final 50. Katinka Hosszu had a better finish than she did in the 400 IM earlier to jump from 5th to 3rd, but 3rd was all she could get in 2:07.26.
That last-50 move by Hosszu kept three Americans off of the podium, as the stars-and-stripes occupied the next three finishing spots. 15-year old Cassidy Bayer took 4th in 2:07.96, Hannah Kukurugya took 5th in 2:08.77, and Kimberly Williams was 6th in 2:12.78.
Men’s 200 IM – FINALS
Japan’s Daiya Seto took an easy win in the men’s 200 IM, swimming a 1:54.14 and capitalizing on a two-second margin over Canadian Coleman Allen on the breaststroke leg.
Allen, who took 2nd overall in 1:28.00, built a small early lead after his specialties the butterfly and backstroke legs, but Seto’s back-half was too strong.
Japan’s Takeharu Fujimori was 3rd in 1:56.68, and Great Britain’s Lewis Coleman was 4th in 1:57.39.
Women’s 400 Free – FINALS
Belmonte’s 3rd win of the day, and 4th-and-final win of the meet, came in the women’s 400 free with a 3:59.88. She cruised for the first 200 meters of this race, but just past the half-way mark, she made a big charge for the lead and nobody would come close to matching her closing speed, once again.
In 2nd place was American Elizabeth Beisel in 4:01.92. In the last year, she’s done a lot of work on improving her distance freestyle races, and that paid off with a $1,000 check in Singapore.
Britain’s Jaz Carlin was 3rd in 4:02.89, and the American juniors again occupied the 4th and 5th positions with Kathleen Baker swimming 4:05.57, and Katie Drabot swimming 4:07.29.
Katinka Hosszu was 8th.
Men’s 50 Free – Finals
Trinidad’s George Bovell hasn’t been as successful in the 2014 World Cup as he was the prior two years, and has been relatively quiet since winning the 100 IM at the first-leg stops in Doha and Dubai.
He bookended his meet, however, with a win in the men’s 50 free in 21.37 – beating out one of the deepest fields we’ve had in this meet.
Russian Sergei Fesikov was 2nd in 21.45, followed by Germany’s Steffen Deibler (21.52) and South Africa’s Roland Schoeman (21.58). Schoeman is the current World Cup and World Record holder in the race, though neither of those standards was challenged on Sunday.
Miguel Ortiz was 5th in 21.67 and Ben Proud was 6th in 21.81. The two Canadians Luke Peddie (22.14) and Yuri Kisil (22.21) finished off the A-Final.
Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Finals
Jamaican Alia Atkinson completed a Singapore sweep in the breaststroke events with an easy 2:17.83 win in the 200. She sprinted out to a huge lead of almost four seconds by the 150, and while she faded just a touch on the last 50, nobody was close enough to notice.
Japan’s Runa Imai took 2nd in 2:20.61, and Russia’s Maria Astashkina was 3rd in 2:21.92.
American Lily King took 4th in 2:23.48.
Women’s 100 IM – Finals
Katinka Hosszu was able to get back on her game and win the women’s 100 IM on Sunday, making that event a sweep of the series. She swam a 58.40 that just edged-out Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (58.54) and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte (59.00) for the win.
Hosszu didn’t have the best front-half in that race (that belonged to O’Connor); nor did she have the best back-half in the race (an honor for Meilutyte); but she had exactly what she needed to win, and that’s why Hosszu has been the most dominant IM’er we’ve ever seen at the World Cup.
Men’s 200 Backstroke – Finals
Japan’s Masaki Kaneko won his first event of the season in the men’s 200 backstroke, which also marks the second World Cup victory of his career, in 1:50.24. That’s about half-a-second slower than his last World Cup win, which came in Tokyo last year.
He closed hard on Germany’s Christian Diener, who was a 1:51.06 for 2nd place after leading the entire race until about the last 25.
Americans Eugene Godsoe (1:52.54) and Patrick Mulcare (1:55.04) finished 3rd and 4th, while Canadian Russell Wood (1:55.79) was 5th.
Women’s 50 Fly – Finals
Coming into the final leg of the 2014 FINA World Cup Series Dutchwoman Inge Dekker was undefeated across all four of the events she’s raced this year: the 50 free, the 50 fly, the 100 free, and the 100 fly.
By Singapore, only one of those remained in-tact, and Dekker held on strong to take the final women’s 50 fly in 25.13 and earn the first event sweep of her career.
For reference, an event sweep, on its own, without cluster and overall bonuses (which Dekker is in line for as well), is worth a breezy $10,500. She now cruises well past $100,000 in overall series earnings for just over two months worth of work, and has had a very successful, and very consistent, stretch.
Tao Li of Singapore took 2nd in 25.72, and Marieke D’Cruz was 3rd in 25.77. American Felicia Lee, after a very successful day 1 in Singapore, couldn’t get another podium on Sunday, and took 4th in 25.99 ahead of Emma McKeon (26.36) and En Qi Hoong (26.80).
Mixed 200 free relay
The Russians won another mixed relay on Sunday, but again were wholly uninspiring in 1:33.88. The lead-off leg from Sergei Fesikov in 21.2 was solid, but his teammates couldn’t pick up that load to challenge any records.
Singapore was 2nd in 1:35.30, and the American A-relay, made up entirely of swimmers from their junior contingent, was 3rd in 1:36.59.