Hosszu Makes It 6-for-6, Le Clos Exacts Revenge On Day 2 Hong Kong

2017 FINA WORLD CUP – HONG KONG

After dominating performances on day 1 in Hong Kong where they each won 3 individual events, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and Swede Sarah Sjostrom were back in full force to close out the first stop of World Cup cluster #2. The cancellation of the Dubai stop of this series opened up the tour’s second cluster to more entries per meet. Typically capped at 4 entries per meet in each of the cluster’s three meets, the entries are now expanded to 6 individual entries per meet in each of cluster 2’s two meets. As expected, both Hosszu and Sjsotrom made the most of their 6 appearances at the Victoria Park Swimming Pool.

Adding to her haul from yesterday, which included gold across the 50m back, 200m IM and 200m back events, the ‘Iron Lady’ of Hungary nailed the 100m back victory in a time of 56.20. That was enough for Hosszu to top runner-up Aussie Emily Seebohm, who threw down a solid 56.71 for silver, while the next-closest competitor, China’s Chen Jie, was well back in 3rd with a time of 58.69.

Hosszu’s next victim was the 100m IM event, where she went head-to-head with Sjostrom to determine who could clear Hong Kong with a perfect 6-for-6 record. The Hungarian came out on top in commanding fashion, taking gold in a time of 56.97. That time is within half a second of her own world record of 56.51 set at the Berlin stop of cluster 1 of this year’s World Cup.  Sjostrom finished in 58.62 for silver, with Seebohm right behind in 58.77 to claim bronze.

The 400m IM final was where Hosszu took her 6th and final individual medal, crushing the field by over 15 seconds to take the top prize. She wrangled up the win in 4:33.55 to easily take gold in the small 6-person field.

Sjostrom collected wins on day 1 across the 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle and was able to add 2 more golds to her kitty tonight. Although she fell to Hosszu in the 100m IM for her sole silver, the Swedish speed demon fired off a wicked-fast 51.99 to easily take the women’s 100m freestyle over two Dutch rivals. Ranomi Kromowidjojo clocked 52.53 for silver, while Femke Heemskerk was 3rd in 53.02.

The women’s 50m butterfly was no contest, as Sjostrom scored the victory in the only sub-25 second time of the field. 24.62 is what Sjostrom fired off for the victory, coming within range of Therese Alshammar’s world record of 24.38 that still stands from way back in 2009. ‘Kromo’ picked up another silver by stopping the clock in 25.46, while Dutch teammate Maaike de Waard touched in 25.79 for bronze in the race.

For the men, South African world record holder Chad Le Clos exacted revenge on his day 1 nemesis, Tom Shields of the USA, beating him twice tonight. Their first battle came in the 200m freestyle, where Le Clos, who earned a silver in the LCM version of the event at the 2016 Olympic Games, took the win tonight in a solid 1:42.88 over Shields’ mark of 1:43.58.

Their next contest came in the 100m butterfly, where Le Clos dominated once again, clocking a time of 50.28 to Shields’ 50.82 to collect another gold.

But Le Clos wasn’t immune to defeat, as the South African saw Russian Vladimir Morozov take the 50m freestyle win in 20.91, the only sub-21 second time of the field. Le Clos was next behind in 21.48, while Germany’s Damian Wierling clocked 21.58 for bronze. American Anthony Ervin finished off the podium in 22.24 for 6th.

Shields was also a player in the men’s 200m backstroke race, where he earned a time of 1:52.51 good enough for bronze. Topping that men’s race was Germany’s Christian Diener with his time of 1:51.25, just beating out Radoslaw Kawecki of Poland by .32.

The men’s 200m IM was a thrilling battle between Russia’s Kirill Prigoda and home crowd favorite Kenneth To, the former Aussie national teamer who now represents his birthplace of Hong Kong. To led the race through the 150m mark, but that’s when Prigoda found another gear to pound out a final 50m split of 27.11. That crushed To’s final 50m of 28.88 to win the race in a gold medal-garnering time of 1:54.81 and beat To by just .02 of a second.

Additional Winners on Day 2:

  • Canada’s Kierra Smith topped the women’s 200m breaststroke field with a winning time of 2:18.48.
  • Alia Atkinson of Jamaica added a 50m breaststroke win to her 100m victory from night 1. Tonight she took the splash n’ dash in a time of 29.26, the only sub-30 second swimmer of the field.
  • China’s Zhang Yufei made her mark in the 200m butterfly event, taking the race in 2:08.64. She and Australia’s Christina Licciardi, who touched in 2:09.51 for silver, were the only athletes to stop the clock under 2:10 in tonight’s race.
  • Dutch freestyle ace Femke Heemskerk was tonight’s 400m freestyle winner, leading wire-to-wire to earn gold in 4:04.30. 15-year-old Li Bingjie of China touched in 4:09.13, good enough for silver.
  • World record holder Cameron Van der Burgh of South Africa proved fast enough with his time of 56.43 to win the men’s 100m breaststroke event. That was added to his 50m victory from night 1.
  • Pavel Sankovich of Belarus was tonight’s 50m backstroke winner with a time of 23.03.
  • Chinese swimmer Qiu Ziao took the men’s 1500m freestyle in 14:44.09. Italy’s Gabriele Detti was the only other swimmer under the 15-minute mark, finishing in 14:46.44 for silver in tonight’s race.
  • The Netherlands squad of Thom De Boer, Kyle Stolk, Femke Heemskerk and Ranomi Kromowidjojo collectively clocked a time of 1:32.11 to take the mixed medley 4x50m gold.

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3 Comments on "Hosszu Makes It 6-for-6, Le Clos Exacts Revenge On Day 2 Hong Kong"

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I’d be interested in seeing how the race between Hosszu and Sjostrom went down in the 100 IM. E.g., did Hosszu pass Sjostrom on the back or the breast, and how close was she after the fly?

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Hosszu was almost a full second ahead at the 50, and gained even more lead in the second half.

Sjostrom was ahead to the wall on the butterfly, but coming up on the backstroke after the turn was 1m behind. Hosszu’s turns are too superior for anyone to realistically contest her in that race, as long as she’s on top of her game. Sjostrom is probably the only one in the world that can match her stroke for stroke(Mireia can too for longer distances), but doesn’t have the turns.

That race where Sjostrom did 57.1 she probably outswam Katinka, all the time difference was in the turns to backstroke and freestyle. Sjostrom’s breaststroke is all frequency and strength but it actually works in the 25m pool, you’d think that would be the critical point but against Katinka it’s not.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

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