World Cup Doha Day 1: Sjostrom Triples, Le Clos Takes Back 200 Fly


Although South African Chad Le Clos saw American Tom Shields take the 200m butterfly title at the first stop of this FINA World Cup cluster, the Olympic medalist raced his way back on top tonight. Competing at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha, Le Clos fired off a time of 1:49.59 to collect the men’s 200m butterfly gold ahead of Shields, who stopped the clock in 1:49.86 for runner-up status.

Shields actually led the race through the 150m mark, splitting 24.30/28.24/28.42 along the way. However, Le Clos was able to drop a 28.13 to Shields’ 28.90 on the final 50 to ultimately overtake the American for the win. Le Clos would go on to win the 50m butterfly as well, clocking a time of 22.45 to double up on golds tonight.

Russia’s Vladimir Morozov was another monster present in the pool today, taking the men’s 100m freestyle gold in a time of 46.87. Morozov cranked out a wicked-fast 21.99 opening split to set himself too far ahead of the competition, which included Germany’s Damian Wierling who touched in 47.82 for silver in the race.

Morozov also stepped onto the podium in the bronze position in the men’s 100m backstroke, where his time of 51.13 fell just .03 shy of gold. Germany’s Christian Diener managed to edge out a tight race with his winning time of 51.00, while Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki touched by the smallest of margins later to earn silver in 51.11.

Morozov’s 2nd gold medal came as the Russian easily took the 100m IM win in 51.38, more than a second ahead of Belarusian Pavel Sankovich.

Swedish speedster Sarah Sjostrom continued her characteristic sprint domination, taking gold across her 3 individual events tonight. She kicked off racing with a mark of 1:52.00 in the 200m freestyle to take the win over runner-up Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands and Shen Duo of China. Heemskerk and Shen finished in times of 1:53.11 and 1:56.28, respectively.

Sjostrom’s next victim was the 100m butterfly race, where the Swede crushed the field by just under 2 seconds. Splitting 26.05/29.50, Sjostrom stopped the clock at 55.55 to check-in with the only sub-57 time of the night. China’s Zhang Yufei was the next competitor to finish, touching in 57.31, while Hong Kong’s Chan Kin Lik earned a time of 57.98 for bronze. For Lik, her outing tonight represents a new national record, overtaking the 58.02 that’s been on the Hong Kong record books since 2010.

The women’s 50m freestyle saw Sjostrom collect a huge 994 FINA points with her head-turning time of 23.28. She was able to hold-off a charging Dutch swimmer in Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the newly-minted world record holder in the event, who secured silver this evening in 23.82.

World Champion backstroker Emily Seebohm of Australia split her 2 races of that discipline tonight, taking the women’s 50m backstroke in 26.29, just .01 ahead of Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s 26.30. In the 200m distance, however, Hosszu proved too tough to beat, with the Hungarian taking the World Cup Doha title in 2:02.06 to Seebohm’s 2:04.15.

Hosszu also made her usual mark in the 200m IM, winning the race in 2:05.29 over Seebhom’s 2:06.65.

Finally, the crowd was treated to a teenage duel in the women’s 800m freestyle, as Chinese swimmers Wang Jianjiahe and Li Bingjie battled it out. Asian continental record holder Bingjie led the race through about the 350m mark, but Jianjiahe starting gaining ground every 50 thereafter to ultimately take the race home. Jianjiahe finished with a time of 8:15.35 for gold, establishing  a new World Junior Record in the process.

Additional Winners on Day 1:

  • Italy’s Gabriele Detti touched first in the men’s 400m freestyle, stopping the clock at 3:42.57. After a back-and-forth race for the top prize, Poland’s national record holder Wojciech Wojdak came up just short on the final 50, finishing the race in a time of 3:42.98 for silver.
  • Kirill Prigoda of Russia was tonight’s 200m breaststroke winner, taking the event in a mark of 2:01.24. That falls less than a second behind the world record time of 2:00.44 set by Germany’s Marco Koch last year.
  • Azerbaijan athlete Maksym Shemberev topped the men’s 400m IM field tonight, earning gold in a time of 4:06.72.
  • The women’s 100m breaststroke saw Jamaican world record holder Alia Atkinson easily take the top prize in a time of 1:04.21.

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crooked donald
6 years ago

Leclos’ fly range is incredible. Beats Shields in the 50 by over half a second, then comes back on the last 50 of the 200 to outsplit him by nearly a second (granted, there was a piano that should share credit).

Reply to  crooked donald
6 years ago

28.2/28.4/28.9 is hardly a piano. I wish more of my swimmers could split that consistently.

6 years ago

Maxsim has changed his nationality to Azerbaijan . I had not noticed it before but one of many to desert a ( insert your view) Ukraine ship post 2014.

6 years ago

I take it that Vlad’s second gold was in the 100IM?

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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