As we roll into day 2 of the 2012 FINA World Cup’s opening stop in Dubai, the level of competition at this year’s event immediately jumps out. It is still a bit thin – especially in the longer races, there are many local club swimmers who are still sneaking into finals, but as compared to past years at this Dubai stop, the top-end talent seems to be significantly better.
Over two days, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won a total of 10 medals in 10 finals (she was 10th in prelims of the 200 breaststroke): 8 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze (including two in relays). It’s hard to believe that she can keep that pace up throughout the meet, but for now she’s raking in some serious cash.
Full money list here.
Hungarian Olympian Gergo Kis won in a time of 15:00.65. David Brandl of Austria was close behind him in 15:0170, and Sergii Frolov of Ukraine right behind that in 15:02.98. There was nothing too special about any of these times, given that there was only one meet at last year’s series where the winner didn’t crack 15 minutes.
Still, this continued a cash haul for the Hungarians who will leave Dubai, as a country, with the biggest pile of money.
Women’s 100 free
After being defeated in the 50 Tuesday, German world record holder Britta Steffen came back strong in the 100, swimming a 53.39 to take the gold. This time, though, the race was absent Sweden’s Therese Alshammar, who won that 50 on Tuesday. Alshammar scratched the prelims of the 100 following a two-win performance; let’s hope that the neck injury that plagued her through the Olympics didn’t flare-up again after a busy first day of competition. A good swim later on in this session, though just one, indicates that she’s probably ok.
Steffen’s 27.2 on the back-half pulled her ahead of a close field. Sweden’s Michelle Coleman in 54.00 was good for silver, edging out Hang Yu Sze of Hong Kong, who was third in a time of 54.48. Yu Sze is really having an impressive meet for her native country, as this is a third podium. She racked up a total of $2,500 of cash for her two days’ worth of work.
Men’s 200 free
Darian Townsend, Arizona-trained but representing South Africa, went out in a blazing 50.5 in the 200 free, over 6 tenths ahead of anyone else. His bold start paid off, and he managed to hold off closers in the last 50, going 1:42.71 to take first. His final time was more than half-a-second faster than the second place time of 1:43.37, swam by Robert Hurley of Australia.
Tommaso D’Orsogna picked up another podium spot for Australia with a time of 1:44.65. Japan’s Daiya Seto, coming off of a difficult triple on Tuesday, just missed out on a medal when he finished six hundredths behind D’Orsogna in 4th place.
Women’s 50 Breast
Sweden’s Jennie Johansson picked up her second breaststroke victory of the meet by winning the 50 in a time of 30.62. The podium was identical to that of the 100 breast, with Fumiko Kawanabe of Japan and Joline Hoestman of Sweden finishing second and third. Kawanabe and Hoestman were separated by just .01, swimming 31.61 and 31.62, respectively.
Men’s 100 Breast
After winning the 50 Tuesday, short course 50 and 100m breaststroke world record holder Cameron Van Der Burgh continued his reign Wednesday, winning the event in a time of 58.33–nearly three seconds slower than his world record time set in 2009. The top four finishers all swam 58s: Glenn Snyders of the New Zealand with a 58.42, Germany’s Marco Koch was 58.90, and Van Der Burgh’s fellow South African Neil Versfeld (who outsplit Koch by half a second on the second 50) just missed medal position with a 58.91.
Women’s 400 IM
After winning three events Tuesday, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu continued her dominance on Wednesday, winning the 400 IM in a time of 4:31.34 to kick off her second day schedule.
Her teammate, Zsuzsanna Jakabos finished second with a 4:36.93; Jakabos is in the unfortunate position of having basically the same event preferences as Hosszu, and has been right on her tail throughout this meet. Though she hasn’t picked up any wins, she’s still going to walk away with a nice chunk of cash.
Kathryn Meaklim of South Africa was third in 4:38.92.
Men’s 100 Fly
Chad le Clos proved Wednesday that the 200 isn’t the only fly distance he can swim, going a 49.82 to win the event as the only swimmer in the field to break 50 seconds. That’s the 13th-best time of all-time, and breaks the National Record held by Garth Tune from late 2009 (at the Singapore stop of the World Cup).
Tom Shields finally landed himself on the podium with a 50.97 for 3rd place (though we have confirmed he’s remaining an amateur and rejoin will Cal in the spring, it’s not clear if he’s going to be able to accept money to cover his expenses). He was behind Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin who went 50.67. That silver medal position is the same where Korotyshkin landed in London.
Women’s 100 Back
After winning the 50 Tuesday, Australia’s Rachel Goh picked up another victory Wednesday in the 100. Her time of 57.67 beat Darya Zevina of Ukraine and Noriko Inada of Japan, who went 58.07 and 59.29. Goh, the former Auburn Tiger star, is a short course specialist.
Men’s 50 Back
Stanislav Donets of Russia seems to be going for a triple-victory here. In a warmup for the 200, which has been his best event in long course but not short course, Donets won in a time of 23.47, beating Australians Robert Hurley (23.61) and Ashley Delaney 23.77).
Donets’ time would have been the 4th-best in all of 2011, and as the 2010 world leader, he’s likely just getting warmed-up.
Women’s 200 Fly
Katinka Hosszu, back to her core with a second primary event of the day, grabbed win number 5 in this 200 fly. Her finishing time of 2:10.43 showed that she’s starting to fatigue after so many races (a total of 10, including relays, in two days), but fortunately her only real competition in this race is her countrymate Zsu Jakabos (2:11.57) who has raced just as much.
Slovenia’s Spela Bohinc picked up an easy $500 by placing 3rd in 2:17.74.
Men’s 200 IM
South Africa got another win, this time from Darian Townsend in 1:53.25 in the men’s 200 IM: another new South African Record (the second, combined, on the day). Last year, we probably would’ve seen his countrymate le Clos in this race as well, but he seems to be taken a step back from his monstrous schedules of last year’s series (like the one that Hosszu is trying this year) to focus more on times and staying stronger through December.
Daiya Seto slowed down his tear just a bit on day 2 of this meet, with a 1:53.90 in the 200 IM. That is a best time, coming after winning the 400 IM yesterday. Kenneth To was 3rd in 1:54.86.
Women’s 400 Free
Katinka Hosszu wrapped-up number 7 in the women’s 400 free, completing a sweep of the three longer freestyles. She touched in 4:04.43 – which is a personal best by 7 seconds (though she hasn’t swum the race in five years).
She was very smart in this race, riding the hip of the more experienced (and more rested) distance freeestyler Melissa Ingram of New Zealand, but slingshot past her on the last 50 meters for the win. Ingram took 2nd in 4:04.91, with the Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina 3rd in 4:05.64.
Zsu Jakabos was well back in 4th in 4:12.99.
Men’s 50 Free
The next race was one that the American fans have been waiting for all week: Anthony Ervin in the 50 free. After a great opening half to his 100 earlier in the meet, we knew something big was waiting. He didn’t disappoint: after a 21.07 in prelims, he came back with a 21.18 to win the final.
His prelims time is the 4th-fastest ever by an American, and ranks him in the top 20 of all time. It’s a personal best for a swimmer who, in his first incarnation in the early 2000’s, was once a World Record holder in the event in short course meters.
The long, tall George Bovell nearly out-touched him, but settled for 2nd in 21.23, withKyle Richardson in 3rd in 21.58.
Roland Schoeman was close behind in 21.65, followed by a New Zealand National Record from Cameron Simpson – who like many of his teammates eschewed their National Championships this week to swim in Dubai.
Women’s 200 Breaststroke
Japan’s Fumiko Kawanabe won the women’s 200 breast in 2:23.01, followed by Joline Hostman jumping from a third-place finish in the previous two breaststroke races to second here (2:23.87). Her countrymate Johansson didn’t even attempt this race after sweeping the previous two, leaving the Ukraine’s Anna Dzerkal in 3rd in 2:24.60.
Women’s 100 IM
Katinka Hosszu wrapped the individual portion of her meet with her stunning 4th victory of the day and 7th in two days by winning the 100 IM in 1:00.75. She barely pulled past her teammate Jakabos (1:00.99) on the back-half of this race, as Jakabos in relative terms has a bit more speed than Hosszu does.
Germany’s Britta Steffenstepped a bit outside of her sprint-free bubble to take third-place honors, and $500, in 1:01.95, followed by Hong Kong’s Hang Yu Sze.
Men’s 100 Backstroke
Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki, after a bit of a sub-par performance in the 100 on Tuesday, roared back to win the 200 in 1:51.03. He’s one of the best in the world in this event, and a 1:51.0 is a great way to kick off his short course season. Even in polyurethane suits, the 21-year old wasn’t this good this early in the season.
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, already winner of the 400 free, added a silver here in 1:51.04. Though Kawecki led the race wire-to-wire, Hagino charged very hard in the last 25 to almost run down the Pole, but ultimately came up .01 short. Kazuki Watanabe was 3rd in 1:52.20.
Women’s 50 Fly
Alshammar again looked pretty healthy for her 3rd win of the meet with a 25.56 in the women’s 50 fly. This continues an incredible streak where, in the last three years’ worth of World Cups, she’s only lost this race twice, including a perfect 2010 season.
Inge Dekker from the Netherlands was 2nd in 26.08, and Sze from Hong Kong 3rd in 26.83.
200 Mixed Free Relay
With only 5 teams mustering the strength to enter relays, and two of them being local club teams, the Hungarians took a win, giving Hosszu an even 10 medals on the trip. There were no really mind-blowing splits, but the team was consistent across all four legs to finish in 1:35.44. They put their men in the first two legs and rode clean water to a victory.
The Ukraine was 2nd in 1:35.85, and the only other National relay, Hong Kong, was 3rd in 1:37.91. For the Ukraine, Andrii Govorov anchored in a very nice 21.22.
Full, live results available here.