By Sharon Robb
October 4, 2017—On opening day of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series in Doha, Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden continues to steal the spotlight.
The 23-year-old opened the fifth round of the series at Hamad Aquatic Centre in Qatar with a victory in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:52.00 ahead of Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands in 1:53.11.
Sjostrom also won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.55, less than a second off her world record of 54.61, and 50-meter freestyle in 23.28.
Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO had another easy time in her signature event, winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.21 against a lightly regarded field. She was also seventh in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.19.
Other winners on Wednesday were:
Russian Vladimir Morozov won the 100-meter freestyle in 46.87 and 100-meter individual medley in 51.38.
Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa won the 50-meter breaststroke in 25.70.
Christian Diener of Germany won the 100-meter backstroke in 51.00 in one of the most exciting races. Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki was second in 51.11.
Aussie Emily Seebohm won the 50-meter backstroke knocking off Katinka Hosszu, 26.29-26.30.
Chad Le Clos of South Africa won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:49.59. American Tom Shields, who led most of the race, was second in 1:49.86. Le Clos also won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.45.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu bounced back with a win in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:05.29 ahead of Seebohm in 2:06.65. Hosszu also won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:02.06.
Gabriele Detti of Italy won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:42.57.
Russia’s Kiril Prigoda won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:01.24.
Maksym Shemberev of Azerbaijian won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:06.72.
China’s Jian Jianjiahe set the world junior record in the women’s 800-meter freestyle. It was the first junior world record in the event.
The Netherlands continued its domination in the relay competition winning the 200-meter medley relay in 1:40.92 with Maaike De Waard, Arno Kamminga, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Thom De Boer.
Going into Doha, the top women points leaders were Sjostrom, 353; Hosszu, 272 and Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 155. The men’s leaders were Le Clos, 234; Shields, 147; and Morozov, 138.
The meet continues on Thursday. Only 163 swimmers are competing. Total prize money for the series’ three clusters is $942,000. The top three medal winners earn $1,500, $1,000 and $500.
Stanford women’s team, led by world record holder Katie Ledecky, and Cal men’s team, are ranked No. 1 in the TYR/College Swimming Coaches Association of America pre-season women’s and men’s poll. The next polls will be released Oct. 24.
WOMEN’S POLL: 1. Stanford, 2. California, 3. Texas, 4. Georgia, 5. Texas A&M, 6. Michigan, 7. USC, 8. NC State, 9. Louisville, 10. Indiana. Florida is 18th and Florida State is 23rd.
MEN’S POLL: 1. California, 2. Texas, 3. Stanford, 4. Florida, 5. NC State, 6. Indiana, 7. Louisville, 8. tie, Arizona State and Georgia, 10. Auburn. Florida State is 20th.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org