Day 2 of the FINA World Cup in Tokyo is in the books, which leaves just a single meet left of this year’s most global swimming series in Singapore.
The day started off with another Michael Klueh win, adding to his 400 freestyle victory from Tuesday, in 14:38.64. That’s the best time of the year by 5 seconds as he outdueled Faroese swimmer Pal Joensen (14:44.83). The two were about even through 800 meters, but at that point Klueh stepped on the gas while Joensen held steady, and maybe slipped-off a little.
The American was really in a pretty awesome groove, as he went for a few hundred meters where on each lap, he’d extend his lead by half-a-second. Finishing in 26.91, he didn’t crack at the end either (that was the fastest closing split). Overall, a fantastic performance by Klueh that is 5-seconds faster than anybody has been in this year’s series.
Katinka Hosszu looked great as well on this 2nd day of competition, picking up two more victories to push her Tokyo total to 5. In the 400 IM, she was able to delve back into the 4:28 range with a 4:28.14 for the win: after trailing her countrymate Zsu Jakabos headed into the breaststroke leg of the 400 IM, she rallied on the breaststroke and freestyle to open up a modest gap. Jakabos would finish 2nd in 4:28.96: the only swimmer close to Hosszu.
Katinka would come back about half-an-hour later and top the 200 fly in 2:05.90. While not a best time for the series, it’s a far-shout better than the 2:10’s she was swimming in the Middle Eastern swing of the tour. Jakabos was 2nd in 2:06.79. She was able to finish the race much better here than she did in Beijing, and almost held the gap even against Hosszu’s great finishing kick, but was still too far behind. She did well to leave the gap under a second.
Hosszu’s only minor stumble at this meet came in her final event, the 100 IM, where she was 2nd in 59.80. That placed her behind British swimmer Sophie Allen in 59.50, but just ahead of Kotuku Ngawati in 59.90.
Britta Steffen dominated the women’s 100 free, which is not a huge surprise given that the Asian continent is pretty weak in the sprint freestyles. Despite the lack of competition (Jeanette Ottesen was closest to her in 53.49), Steffen back-halved her way to a 52.42: the number-one time in the world this year. She, as sort of the anti-Ervin, had splits of 25.52-26.90 on each half of this 100, meaning she finished a full second better than the runner-up Ottesen did.
Australia’s Kotuku Ngawati was 3rd in 53.59, and Mel Schlanger was 4th in 53.86.
In a follow-up to his Asian and World Cup records in the 400 IM on Tuesday, Japan’s Daiya Seto took the 200 IM title in 1:52.48: another all-time Asian best and a time that now ranks him 7th on the all-time global list.
Much like he did in the 400, Seto took over this race on the breaststroke leg. There, he blew by South Africa’s Darian Townsend (ultimately the runner-up in 1:53.30) and his countrymate Kosuke Hagino (ultimately 3rd in 1:53.76) and didn’t look back.