2018 FINA WORLD CUP – BUDAPEST
Superstars Sarah Sjostrom and Katinka Hosszu easily cruised to the top seed in a pair of events at the final preliminary session of the 2018 FINA World Cup in Budapest, as the Hungarian topped the 200 back and 200 IM fields and the Swede led the 100 fly and 100 free.
Hosszu, who has three gold medals through the first two days of competition, established the top time in the women’s 200 back heats by over two seconds in 2:03.98, leading countrymate Katalin Burian (2:06.16), while big names Kathleen Baker (2:07.77) and Emily Seebohm (2:08.02) advanced in 5th and 6th. At the last stop in Eindhoven, Baker won in a blistering 2:00.85 over Seebohm (2:01.91), but so far in Budapest the Australian has had the hot hand with wins in both the 50 and 100.
Hosszu then cruised to the top seed in the 200 IM in 2:07.17, followed by teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:09.22) and American Melanie Margalis (2:09.38), while Seebohm also made it through in 5th (2:09.90).
Sjostrom, who suffered defeats to Ranomi Kromowidjojo in both the 50 free and 50 fly for the second straight meet on days 1 and 2, leads the 100 fly in 56.84 over Tayla Lovemore (57.79) and Kelsi Dahlia (57.81), while her 52.03 in the 100 free was fastest over Pernille Blume (52.49) and Femke Heemskerk (52.62). Kromowidjojo also made the final.
- Brazilian Nicholas Santos leads the men’s 50 fly field in a time of 22.41, and will look to repeat his Eindhoven win from last week where he tied his South American Record of 22.08. Japan’s Kosuke Matsui qualified 2nd in 22.87, while Michael Andrew (22.93) and Chad Le Clos (23.05) also advanced in 5th and 8th respectively. Le Clos, who has dominated this event in the circuit in the past, will look to take out Santos after losing by just .01 in Eindhoven.
- Le Clos will be looking to improve on another runner-up finish from the last meet in the 200 free, where he took 2nd to American Blake Pieroni. Pieroni asserted himself with the top seed here in 1:44.60, while Le Clos advanced in 6th (1:45.45). Also making the final was Vlad Morozov (1:45.01), Vladislav Grinev (1:45.17) and Mack Horton (1:45.24).
- Mitch Larkin, who has wins in the 200 back and 200 IM over the first two days, leads the men’s 100 back lineup in 51.11 with Andrew sitting 2nd in 51.52.
- Jamaican Alia Atkinson took down Yuliya Efimova in the women’s 100 breast on day 2, and will look to repeat in the 50 today after taking the top seed in 29.70. Efimova was 3rd in 30.13, just behind Molly Hannis (30.10) of the U.S., while Seebohm made a third final on the day in 30.81. In Eindhoven, Atkinson beat Efimova by just over three-tenths in 29.18.
- Russians Kirill Prigoda (2:04.31) and Anton Chupkov (2:05.01) sit 1-2 in the men’s 200 breast, with American Nic Fink (2:06.70) in 3rd.
- The Netherlands (1:40.74) leads the U.S. (1:40.82) and Russia (1:40.95) in the mixed 200 medley relay, with notable splits coming from Jesse Puts (22.45) on fly, Andrew (23.66) on back and Prigoda (25.94) on breast for each respective team.