10TH BERGEN SWIM FESTIVAL
The 10th Bergen Swim Festival is being held at Alexander Dale Oen Arena, Norway, however, it was the visiting foreign talent who kicked the meet off in fast fashion on day 1. Hungary’s ‘Iron Lady’ wasted no time topping the podium in the first event of tonight’s finals, handily winning the women’s 400m IM event by almost 20 solid seconds in 4:36.42. That time is just off her season-best of 4:35.36 notched at the Euro Meet in Luxembourg.
Per her usual, Hosszu took on a monster schedule in Bergen, following that grueling event win up with the short and sweet 50m backstroke. The Bergen Festival sets each non-free 50m race up as 3 rounds, with Denmark’s Mie Nielsen touching first in the first 2 rounds of the women’s splash n’ dash backstroke event. After clocking 29.12 in round 1, then 28.76 in round 2, Nielsen was overtaken by Hosszu in the final medal-determining round, where Hosszu charged to the wall first in 28.37.
The women’s 200m butterfly was Hosszu’s final victim, where the Hungarian won easily in 2:15.98. Hosszu seemingly swam just to the level needed to clinch gold, performing well-off her time of 2:08.05 clocked earlier this Spring at the Swedish Open in Stockholm.
Of note, swimmer Katrine Bukh Villesen earned her junior finals’ win in a time quicker than Hosszu, touching in 2:13.11. Hailing from Denmark, Villesen is the reigning Danish Open Champion of 2017 having earned a time of 2:13.13 just this past April at the championship meet. Tonight’s time fell within .02 of that outing to register as the 2nd fastest of the 17-year-old’s young career.
Hosszu didn’t have enough gas leftover to compete against the big guns in the women’s 100m freestyle, however, as the trio of terror that is Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, along with the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk blew the pool apart in both the morning and evening.
In the 100m free heats this AM, Heemskerk led the pack in a swift 54.33, followed closely by ‘Kromo’ in 54.56 and Sjostrom in 54.93. The final arrangement of the women fell into place with Sjostrom’s rocket-fast 52.86 in the final to score the only sub-53-second time of the field. That earned her the gold in Bergen and also checks-in among only a handful of 52-point outings conducted around the world this season. The Swedish speed demon owns the world’s fastest time thus far of 52.54 from the Swedish Open, so her time tonight fell within .32 of that eye-popping feat.
Kromowidjojo wound up with the silver tonight in 53.72, while Dutch teammate Heemskerk touched in 54.00 for bronze. For the former, that time matches exactly what Kromo produced in Eindhoven to rank as the 11th fastest time in the world. For the latter, Heemskerk was slightly quicker in Eindhoven, holding the world’s 12th fastest effort in 53.77.
- Simon Sjodin won the final round of the men’s version of the 50m backstroke skins, clocking a 3rd round time of 25.94.
- Iceland’s Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir got the job done in the women’s 100m breaststroke, taking the gold in a time of 1:07.44.
- The men’s 100m breaststroke saw Arno Kamminga take the win in 1:00.85, representing the only swimmer under the 1:01 threshold.
- Viktor Bromer won the men’s 200m butterfly in 1:57.16 as the only male under 2 minutes in the event.
- The men’s 100m freestyle was sluggish, with no one clocking a time under 50 seconds. Jesse Puts, the Dutch national record holder in the men’s 50m freestyle, only managed a time of 50.34 for 3rd.