By Sharon Robb

August 11, 2017—There was plenty of great racing on opening day of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series in Eindhoven.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.67, seventh fastest all-time performance. Her short course record is 1:02.36.

The women’s race featured the two fastest women of all-time in short course meters, Atkinson, the current short course meters world record holder, and Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania, the co-world record holder, tied in morning prelims in 1:04.75. Atkinson split 29.32 and 33.35 to win the final.

Meilutyte was second in 1:03.79 and American Breeja Larson was third in 1:04.81.

It was Atkinson’s eighth time dipping under 1:03 and fourth fastest in World Cup meets.

Atkinson was also 17th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:14.94.

Atkinson won $1,500 for the gold medal. She was fifth on the money list going into Eindhoven with $6,400. She earned $2,900 in Moscow and $3,500 in Berlin.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom continues to dominate the World Cup Series. She opened the meet breaking her own world record in the 100-meter freestyle in 50.77, dropping .19 off her previous record.

Hungary’s Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu won two gold medals. She won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:00.05, just off her world record of 1:59.23. She also won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:05.01. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis was close behind in second in 2:05.65.

Spain’s Olympic gold medalist Mireia Belmonte was also a double winner in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:03.02 and 800-meter freestyle in 8:07.47.

Russian Vlad Morozov won two gold medals in the 100-meter individual medley in 50.70, sixth fastest all-time performance, and 50-meter freestyle in 20.79.

Masaki Kaneko of Japan won the 100-meter backstroke in a national record time of 49.65. He is the first Japanese man to crack 50 seconds in the event.

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:48.67, just .16 off his world record. American Tom Shields was second in 1:49.29, the third fastest time of his career.

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa won the 50-meter breaststroke in 25.63.

Russian Aleksandr Krasnykh won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:38.35.

The first cluster winds up on Saturday after meets in Moscow, Berlin and the Netherlands.

The second cluster has dropped Dubai as its first meet leaving only two city stops. The series will now open with Hong Kong, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and finish with Doha, Oct. 4-5.

Going into Eindhoven, Sjostrom led in prize money after two stops but Hosszu and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands were awarded $10,000 in bonus money for world records. Sjostrom leads with $30,500 followed by Hosszu with $21,500 and Kromowidjojo with $16,950.

In the men’s money standings, Chad Le Clos leads with $9,000 and Morozov is second with $6,700. There are 62 men and 71 women on the money list.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

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