2018 FINA WORLD CUP – SINGAPORE
- Thursday, November 15th – Saturday, November 17th
- OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore
- SwimSwam Meet Preview
- Start Lists
With just 15 points separating Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, the battle is on at the last stop of the final circuit of the 2018 FINA World Cup Series. Hosszu was originally entered in an incredible 15 events to try to give herself the best chance possible to nip Sjostrom’s narrow series lead, although only the top 3 finishes per athlete count toward point rankings.
Hosszu kicked off the night with a stellar morning swim in the 100m IM, clocking 57.18. She holds the World Record in 56.51 and has already been 57-low just last weekend in Tokyo.
Sjostrom threw down some easy speed this morning, nabbing the 2nd seed in 58.10, while Australia’s Emily Seebohm is in the mix for a podium spot, claiming the 3rd seed in 59.13.
Seebohm was right back in the pool for the very next event, the women’s 50m back, where she nabbed the 2nd seed in a solid 26.70. Ahead of her is Dutch racer Kira Tousaint in 26.44, trying to recoup her national record lost to Ranomi Kromowidjojo in Eindhoven.
Kromo earned the 3rd seed this morning in 26.75 while Aussie teen Minna Atherton, who upset Seebohm with a 100m back victory in Tokyo, is also in the hunt with a morning effort of 26.82. Of note, Hosszu was listed in this event on the ‘entries book’, but wound up not swimming. The same holds true for the 400m freestyle, which was tonight’s first event.
Sjostrom took the top seed of the morning in the women’s 50m free, collecting a time of 23.48. She has gone back-and-forth with Kromo in this event, as well as the 50m fly and 100m free across the series, so the two will most likely put on a show come this evening’s final.
U.S. dynamo Michael Andrew stood tallest in the men’s 100m IM this morning, stopping the clock at 51.74 ahead of runner-up Kenneth To (52.08) of Hong Kong and Vladimir Morozov (52.12) of Russia.
Morozov has been virtually unstoppable in this sprint even so far this series, setting and then matching a World Record of 50.26 at Eindhoven and Tokyo, respectively. In addition to Andrew and To, China’s Wang Shun and Australia’s Mitch Larkin will be among tonight’s top 8.
Andrew and Morozov were also in the water to contest the men’s 50m free, an event in which the American produced the top seed of 21.15 ahead of Morozov’s 21.25 in prelims. Australian freestyle ace Kyle Chalmers rounded out the top 3 in 21.40, while Pieroni claimed the 4th seed in 21.62.
Home country hero Joseph Schooling was in the pool tonight for 1 of 2 events he’ll be swimming here in Singapore. In the men’s 100m fly, Schooling put up a promising morning swim of 50.97 to earn the 2nd seed behind Chinese national record holder Li Zhuhao.
Li scored 50.61 to slide ahead of Schooling into lane 4 for tonight, but expect this race to go down to the wire this evening. Notably, Pieroni earned a reserve slot, finishing 10th in 52.04 in this off event for the freestyle ace.
- Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk notched the fastest 400m swim this morning for the women, touching in 4:08.62 as the only sub-4:10 swim of the field.
- Aussie Mack Horton, the Olympic gold medalist who has been rather quiet in this World Cup thus far, put his mark on the men’s edition of the 400m free, ranked #1 out of prelims in 3:45.83. America’s Blake Pieroni will have the opportunity to chase him down tonight, carrying a 3:48.91 AM effort for 2nd seed. Mediterranean Games multi-medalist Velimir Stjepanovic also made the final as the 5th seed in 3:50.10.
- Larkin earned the men’s 200m backstroke pole position with an AM time of 1:52.02.
- China’s 400m IM Olympic champion from 2012, Ye Shiwen, took the top seed in the women’s 200m breast, clocking 2:23.57. Russia’s Yuliya Efimova has been undefeated in this race across her World Cup stops, however, so she is the favored to take gold this evening.
- Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus was the fastest 100m breaststroker for the men, registering a morning time of 57.13. He holds his nation’s record in 56.40 from last year.