Katinka Hosszu and Vlad Morozov didn’t race on day 1 of the 2013 Salnikov Cup, but Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom still brought plenty of star-power to the first day in Russia in the Short Course Meters meet.
Sjostrom won both the 100 fly (56.36) and 50 free (23.96) on the first day of competition individually. In the 100 fly, she beat a very good field that included the Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (57.10), Belarus’ Aleksandra Herasimenia (57.86), and Russia’s own Veronika Popova (58.03). Sjostrom was only half-a-second shy of the lifetime best she swam to win gold in Herning at the Euro SC Championships last week.
In the 50, she again bested some of those same competitors, with Herasimenia taking 2nd in 24.09, and Russian 16-year old star Rozaliya Nasretdinova taking 3rd in 24.18.
Though the visitors got a few good shots in, the home team defended their turf well, especially in the breaststroke races.
In the men’s 200 breaststroke, Vyatcheslav Sinkevich won in 2:04.65, bettering his teammate Oleg Kostin in 2:05.63. In the women’s 100 breaststroke, Yulia Efimova continued her momentum from a record-breaking European Championship performance by going a 1:03.86 to win against a weak field.
In the only other breaststroke race of the day, the Russians didn’t have anyone that could compete with the prowess of South African World Champion Cameron van der Burgh, who won in 26.10. The Worlds rematch between him and Australian Christian Sprenger wound up as a bit of a one-sided battle, with Sprenger taking 2nd in 26.72. Russia’s Kirill Strelnikov was 3rd in 26.80. Expect van der Burgh to have a tighter battle in the 100 breaststroke on Saturday.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh won the men’s 400 IM in 4:05.69 in a runaway, and Nikolay Skvortsov did the same in the men’s 200 fly. Skvortsov is the European Record holder, and though he wasn’t near that mark, he was a 1:52.30 in this race, which is a relatively solid result (though his result at Euros was a bit of a disappointment as well). His swim was the highest-scoring by FINA power points of the men’s swims.
Also ranking high were the two Russians who finished at the top of the men’s 100 free: Nikita Lobintsev won in 46.46, and his teammates Danila Izotov (46.49), Alexander Sukhorukov (46.84), and Andrey Grechin (46.87) were close behind. The entire A-final was made up of Russians, save for the Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren, who placed 6th in 47.75.
Lobintsev was also the winner in the men’s 400 free, where he swam a 3:43.18 to beat Canada’s Ryan Cochrane, who was a 3:43.88.