2019 FINA WORLD CUP STOP #1 – TOKYO, JAPAN
Japanese Olympic medalist Daiya Seto is coming off of a huge World Championships in Gwangju, becoming his nation’s first-ever 200m IM/400m IM double gold medalist.
He continued some of that magic tonight during the final session of the first stop of the 2019 FINA World Cup Series in Tokyo, Japan, firing off a quick 4:11.41 winning 400m IM time for gold. His outing also checks-in as a new World Cup Record overtaking the previous mark of 4:13.44 set by Hungary’s David Verraszto last year.
Seto topped the podium at Worlds in a time of 4:08.95, but didn’t need to be that quick this evening, with his time of 4:11.41 beating the field by over 4 seconds.
Runner-up was represented by Spanish swimmer Joan Pons, with the 22-year-old putting up an effort of 4:15.68 for silver. He owns the Spanish National Record in 4:13.13 from Gwangju. Another Japanese swimmer got on the men’s 4IM podium in the form of Takumi Uchiyama, clocking a bronze medal-worthy time of 4:17.08.
Another World Cup Record bit the dust tonight, courtesy of Aussie Kiah Melverton‘s winning time of 8:22.24 in the 800m free. Melverton finished 7th in this event in Gwangju in a slower mark of 8:25.07, so the 22-year-old’s effort tonight was almost 3 seconds quicker en route to gold in a new World Cup Record.
Following up on her 400m IM victory from earlier in the meet, posting her best time in 2 years, Spaniard Mireia Belmonte took silver in this 800m in 8:24.28. Belmonte had a disappointing Worlds, missing out on the final in each of her individual events, save the 1500m free where she made the top 8 due to American Katie Ledecky’s scratch.
Japan’s Yukimi Moriyama rounded out the women’s 800m free podium tonight in 8:32.40, a time that would have placed 2nd at this year’s Japan Swim.
Louise Hansson of Sweden put up the 6th fastest time of her career in the women’s 100m fly, touching the wall in 57.92 for gold. Hansson, the NCAA Record holder in this event representing the USC Trojans, marked the only swimmer of the final here to dip under 58 seconds. The Swede finaled in this event in Gwangju, posting a time of 57.16 for 7th place.
Silver tonight went to Ai Soma of Japan, while bronze went to Brianna Throssell of Australia, with the women touching in respective efforts of 58.29 and 58.31.
Aussie Mitch Larkin produced a World Cup Record in the men’s 200m IM earlier in the meet and rocked a solid 100m back outing tonight for more hardware. Hitting the wall in 53.76, Larkin’s winning time tonight represented the only sub-54 second outing of the field. His time was about a second outside the 52.77 he posted in Gwangju for bronze in the race behind winner Xu Jiayu of China (52.43) and Evgeny Rylov of Russia (52.67).
Canada’s Markus Thormeyer was behind Larkin tonight, clocking a silver medal-worthy effort of 54.05 while America’s Jacob Pebley produced 54.28 for bronze.
Touching the wall in a time just .24 outside of her own Jamaican National Record, veteran racer Alia Atkinson took the women’s 50m breaststroke tonight in 30.25. She owns the aforementioned national standard in 30.11 when she won silver in this event at the 2015 World Championships in Gwangju.
America’s Andrew Wilson continued his red-hot swimming streak by taking the 200m breast event tonight in a huge personal best of 2:07.77. You can read more about Wilson’s impressive swim here, but the man who took 6th in this event in Gwangju shaved .19 off of his previous personal best of 2:07.96 from the semi-finals there.
Behind Wilson this evening was host nation’s Yasuhiro Koseki, who posted a time of 2:08.49, while Ryuya Mura hit the wall in 2:10.05 for bronze.
After falling to Sweden’s Michelle Coleman earlier in the meet in the women’s 50m freestyle race, Aussie Cate Campbell fought back with a huge 100m freestyle to close out her Tokyo World Cup. The 27-year-old cranked out a winning 100m free time tonight of 52.64, including splits of 25.46/27.18, a mark that would have placed 4th in the final of this event at this year’s World Championships.
Despite leading the field heading into the Gwangju final, C1 fell short of gold, posting a time of 52.43 behind winner Simone Maneul of America and her gold medal mark of 52.04.
Coleman took bronze this evening in 53.83, a time just .20 off her season-best, while Italy’s Federica Pellegrini snagged silver in 53.40.
For Pellegrini, who took the 200m free world title in Gwangju to mark her 8th podium appearance in the event, her 53-low tonight represents the 2nd fastest time of her entire career. She holds a personal best in this 100m free of 53.18 from 2016, so tonight saw the Olympic icon’s fastest time in 3 years.
Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys saw his 200m free gold in Gwangju slip away via a false start, but the man got some consolation tonight with a new World Cup Record to take the 2free title here in Tokyo. Posting a time of 1:45.74, Rapsys crushed the previous WC Record of 1:46.50 set by Australia’s Daniel Smith back in 2015.
Rapsys’ time this evening would have placed 6th in the Gwangju final, with the top 8 also consisting of tonight’s silver medalist Dominik Kozma of Hungary. In Gwangju, Kozma finished 7th in 1:45.90, but he was faster this evening by .13, touching in 1:45.77.
USA’s Blake Pieroni got on the podium here in 1:46.62. He didn’t swim this event individually in Gwangju, althoug he was a member of the bronze medal men’s 4x200m free relay.
The silver medalist in the men’s 200m free, Katsuhiro Matsumoto, became Japan’s first-ever World Championships medalist in this event. Tonight he settled for 4th in 1:47.95.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu topped Japnaese rival Yui Ohashi in the women’s 200m IM event tonight just as she did in the 400m IM earlier. This evening, the Iron Lady punched a time of 2:08.63, while Ohashi settled for silver just .17 behind in 2:08.80. Ohashi’s teammate Miho Teramura was next to the wall in 2:10.23 for bronze.
The host country of Japan ended its night on top, with the combination of Natsumi Sakai, Koseki, Naoki Mizunuma and Rika Omoto earning a winning time of 3:44.75 in the mixed medley relay. Sakai split 1:00.19, with Koseki hitting 59.68, while Mizunuma and Omoto wrapped up the race in splits of 51.53 and 53.35, respectively.
The squad’s time enters a new World Cup Record, overtaking the previous standard of 3:46.10 set by the Netherlands last year.
- Ukrainian World Record holder Andrii Govorov nailed the quickest 50m fly time tonight, albeit by just .01. Govorov touched in 23.10 for gold, while Hungary’s Sebastian Sabo slid into the wall a fingernail later in 23.11. America’s Michael Andrew rounded out the top 3 in 23.24 for bronze. Andrew knows how Sabo feels, having finished just .01 outside the bronze in Gwangju, hitting a time of 22.80 for 4th place in that Worlds final.
- Aussie National Record holder Emily Seebohm doubled up on her 100m back victory from last night with another win this evening, clocking a winning time of 2:09.03 in the 200m back. The 2017 World Champion in this event registered the only time of the field under 2:10.