FINA World Cup Singapore Day 2 Finals: A Historic Night All Around


Night 2 in Singapore was ripe with fireworks, as Russian Vlad Morozov became just the 2nd swimmer ever to dip under the 45-second threshold in the men’s SCM 100 freestyle. The 26-year-old fell just .01 shy of Frenchman Amaury Leveaux World Record of 44.94 from way back in 2008. You can read more about Morozov’s historic swim here.

However, also in that race were Olympians Kyle Chalmers and Blake Pieroni, each throwing down a monumental performance in their own right. For Chalmers, the 20-year-old Olympic champion fired off the 2nd fastest Australian performance of all-time with his silver medal-garnering effort of 45.54. His effort was within .10 of Matthew Abood’s NR of 45.46 and comes in as Chalmers’ own personal best in this SCM event. It beat the 45.78 Chalmers scored in Tokyo this series.

For Pieroni, the stars n’ stripes swimmer came within .01 of his own American Record shared with Ian Crocker. That stands at 46.25, so former IU Hoosier Pieroni’s time was just painstakingly .01 away in 46.26 for bronze this evening. He remains the #3 swimmer in the world this season behind the aforementioned Morozov and Chalmers.

2018-2019 SCM MEN 100 FREE

44.95 *WC
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Additionally, Michael Andrew fired off a new American Record in the men’s 50m breaststroke. Although his mark of 26.10 carried MA to 4th place and off the podium, the teen still overtook the previous American Record of 26.15 set by Olympic bronze medalist Cody Miller at the 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships. You can read more about Andrew’s performance in this piece.

Winning gold in that men’s 50m breast, however, was Belarusian star Ilya Shymanovich, who has been making his presence known in the last few stops of this World Cup Series. Shymanovich nailed a new National Record this evening with his gold medal-earning 25.95, representing the only swimmer under the 26-second threshold tin the race. His performance moves keeps him as the 10th fastest performer of all-time.

Kirill Prigoda took silver behind Shymanovich in 26.01, while Slovenia’s Peter John Stevens earned bronze in 26.04.

Let’s talk about the other stellar performances that took place tonight, starting with another tight battle between Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo. As the pair of Olympians have done throughout this World Cup, they fought to the very end of the race, in this case the women’s 50m fly, where the Swede out-touched the Dutch racer by only .01.

Sjostrom took tonight’s 50m fly in 24.63, while Kromo settled for silver in 24.64. South African Tayla Lovemore lowered her own National Record from this morning to a new time of 24.54 for bronze in the race. Of note, Pernille Blume of Denmark, the 2016 Olympic champion in the 50m freestyle, was also in this 50m fly race tonight and took 4th in 25.66.

Andrew was already in the pool once before his 50m breast, entering the men’s 50m back as the top seed. He slid one spot to silver in 23.11, but managed to establish a new personal best by shaving .02 off of his AM time of 23.13.

Winning the race was Xu Jiayu of China, who produced a podium-topping time of 22.71, just .01 off his own NR set in Beijing.

The story of the men’s 50m back, however, may just have been how a relatively unknown American in Christopher Staka got on the podium. Cranking out a career-fastest of 23.54, the former Alabama student-athlete scored bronze and got his name on the World Cup earnings book. This is Staka’s first-ever meet representing the United States on foreign soil, so he made the most of this unique opportunity.

A former Roll Tide swimmer, Staka is currently enrolled in Cabrillo College and is reportedly in the process of transferring to another NCAA Division I program.

China’s Wang Shun took the men’s 200m IM this evening with a time of 1:51.84. That fell within half a second of his own National Record, and held off Aussie Mitch Larkin who touched in 1:52.21 for silver. Larkin became the 2nd fastest Aussie ever with his time this evening, which was only .20 off the Aussie standard held by none other than Kenneth To. 

To has since switched national federations to Hong Kong and wound up finishing 8th in this men’s 200m IM race tonight in 1:57.86. Bronze went to Hiromasa Fujimori in 1:53.86.

Topping the podium in the women’s 400m IM was Hungary’s Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu, who nabbed gold in 4:24.02. That gave Hosszu a solid 943 FINA points, but the damage was most likely already done with Sjostrom’s winning time in the 50m fly (969 points), as well as yesterday’s events. We’ll still continue to keep an eye on how the super close dual rages on in terms of the World Cup standings between the Hungarian and the Swede.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson came out victorious in the women’s 100m breaststroke over World Cup rival Yuliya Efimova of Russia. Atkinson dipped under the 1:03 threshold with a beautiful effort of 1:02.74, while Efimova touched well back in 1:03.58 tonight.

For Atkinson, her time tonight overtakes her previous season-best of 1:02.80 that ranked as #1 in the world. It also slides into the all-time rankings as the 10th fastest performance ever.

2018-2019 SCM WOMEN 100 BREAST

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Following up on her 50m back national mark from last night, Kira Toussaint of Netherlands raced her way to a gold in the 100m sprint this evening. Notching another national standard in 55.92, Toussaint held off 2 Aussies in Minna Atherton and Olympic medalist Emily Seebohm. Ahterton touched in 56.21, while Seebohm finished in 56.47.

Hosszu was also in the race, but settled for 4th in 56.66.

Additional Winners:

  • Mack Horton doubled up on his 400m free win from night 1 with a convincing victory in the men’s 1500m this evening. He clocked 14:44.22 to represent the swimmer under the 15:00 mark in the race.
  • The women’s 200m free was without Sjostrom in the morning or evening, but Femke Heemskerk reaped the rewards with a wining effort of 1:52.57.
  • China’s Li Zhuhao came within .04 of his own National Record in the men’s 200m fly, clocking 1:50.96 for the win. Of note, Taiwanese (Chinese Taipei) swimmer Wang Kuan-Hung got his nation on the board by way of his silver in this men’s 2fly race. Kuan-Hung notched a time of 1:52.38 to establish a new National Record in the event.
  • Australian won the mixed 4 x 50m freestyle relay in a time of 1:31.57, highlighted by Chalmers’ 2nd leg split of 20.94.

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3 years ago

There is no need to “continue to keep an eye on how the super close dual rages on in terms of the World Cup standings between the Hungarian and the Swede.” It is done already. Sjostrom got her three gold medals and the only hypothetical chance Hosszu has is to earn more than 15 bonus points tomorrow. To have that happened she needs to be better than Sjostrom in addition to the help from Kromowidjojo or Efimova who also have to be better than Sjostrom but not better than Hosszu. Too much to ask especially if to remember that Hosszu was never better 950 points in 200IM this season.
Where indeed the dual is raging that is between Dutch… Read more »

3 years ago

Chalmers beating a SC swimmer if Pieroni’s caliber (who has swum 48low) makes me think he’s in 47.5 shape again with a full taper if not faster

Reply to  John26
3 years ago

I was impressed with his 50 swim, for a swimmer not known for his early speed nor his turns, it’s a very good sign.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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