Vlad Morozov: “I’m Glad Grinev Wasn’t In Doha”

FINA WORLD CUP SERIES – DOHA

The 2019 FINA World Cup Series wrapped up over the weekend as action concluded at the final stop in Doha, Qatar.

Look for a post specifically breaking down how Vlad Morozov of Russia and Cate Campbell of Australia accumulated enough points to earn the overall World Cup titles, but, in the meantime, hear from some of the stars on how their final stop shook out.

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos was missing from the bulk of this year’s circuit due to his racing as part of Team Energy Standard in the International Swimming League (ISL). However, the multi-Olympic medalist made his presence known in Doha, taking the gold medal in both the 100m and 200m butterfly events.

He first topped the men’s 100m fly field in a time of 51.70 on Thursday. Post-race, the 27-year-old said of the racing spot, “It’s really a lucky place for me. Doha’s my second home. I’ve been training here for 10 years.”

Specific to his 100m fly, Le Clos said, “I was a little nervous for tonight. On Monday, I did 15.7 kilometers quality work. The first time I’ve done that in a long time.”

On Friday, Le Clos clocked a time of 1:57.66 in the 200m fly to reap his 145th World Cup gold medal. He tried to make it a 3-gold haul but fell short of the men’s 200m free podium on the final day of competition.

Behind winner Danas Rapsys of Lithuania (1:45.50), runner-up Alex Graham of Australia (1:47.23) and bronze medalist Antonio Djakovic of Switzerland (1:48.21), Le Clos collected a 4th place finish in a time of 1:48.76.

Le Clos said after his 200m free, “I knew it was going to be hard to win because Danas is in great form. After 1: 25, I was completely dead. I was hurting so much. But I’m happy. It was a great environment to race in.”

Morozov mastered the art of going 7-for-7 across several events, but the men’s 100m free wasn’t one of them. Morozov lost out to teammate Vladislav Grinev at their home nation stop of Kazan, where Grinev broke Morozov’s World Cup Record in a winning time of 47.78.

Here in Doha, however, Morozov cleared the 100m free field easily in a time of 48.50 to claim his 20th gold medal this World Cup season. Morozov said of his race, “I’m definitely happy [Grinev isn’t here in Doha] because he would have beat me. I’m far away from being fresh.”

Finally, through her speedy efforts across the 50m fly, 50m free and 100m free throughout the series, Aussie Campbell pulled off the overall World Cup win, capped by her 100m free time of 52.61.

“To be honest,” Campbell said, “I didn’t look at the scores, I didn’t look at the points. I had no idea. I knew that I was close because people came up and told me. I just needed to focus on executing a good race, and that’s exactly what I did.”

All quotes courtesy of FINA.

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