By Sharon Robb
October 1, 2017—Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu just missed the 100-meter individual medley world record on Day Two of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series in Hong Kong.
The final session featured some of the world’s best swimmers and series leaders including Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos.
In the race of the night, Hosszu pulled away from Sjostrom to win the 100 individual medley in 56.97, off her world record of 56.51 and ahead of Sjostrom in 58.62. The two have been the stars of the series.
Hosszu also won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.20 ahead of Aussie Emily Seebohm in 56.71.
Hosszu finished the meet with a win in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:33.55, pulling away from South African Jessica Whelan in 4:50.24.
Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO won her second gold medal of the meet in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.26. She also took third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:26.70; was fourth in the 100-meter individual medley in 59.57; and fifth in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.32. Atkinson automatically qualified for finals and did not have to swim prelims.
On Saturday she won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.09. It was her seventh gold medal of the 2017 series. She has also taken three bronze medals after three of the eight series stops.
Other winners were:
Sjostrom won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.99 ahead of Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 52.53. She also won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.62 just missing the world record of 24.38.
Le Clos won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.88 ahead of American Tom Shields in 1:43.58. Le Clos also won the 100-yard butterfly in 50.28, again ahead of Shields in 50.82.
Cameron van der Burgh won the 100-yard breaststroke in 56.43.
Florida State alum Pavel Sankovich of Belarus won the 50-meter backstroke in 23.03. It was his first win of the weekend meet.
China’s Zhang Yufei won the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.64.
Russian Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:54.81 just out-touching Hong Kong’s Kenneth To in 1:54.83.
Femke Heemskerk won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:04.30.
Russian Vladimir Morozov won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.91, the only sub-21 in the final. Le Clos was second in 21.48.
Canadian Kierra Smith led from start to finish to win the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:18.48.
Christian Diener of Germany won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:51.25.
China’s Qiu Ziao knocked off 800 world champion Gabriele Detti of Italy in the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:44.09. Detti took silver in 14:46.44.
Netherlands won the 4×50 freestyle mixed relay in 1:32.11 with Thom de Boer (22.04), Kyle Stolk (21.69), Femke Heemskerk (24.21) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.17).
Next up is Doha, Qatar Oct. 4-5.
FINA has increased the prize money for the top reward among overall series winners from $100,000 to $150,000 for first, $100,000 for second and $50,000 for third. The increase in prize has not attracted more top level swimmers for the remainder of the series. Most of the world’s top swimmers from national teams are not competing.
Coaches and swimmers are planning to start a new pro tour in 2018. It features the concept of a pledge to pay 49 percent of all revenue generated to athletes. FINA’s spend on swimmers amount to less than five percent of available funds.
Missouri men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted the 12th annual Show-Me Showdown, competing against teams from all over the state. The Tigers won 21 combined events on both the men’s and women’s sides.
The women’s team had 700 points and men’s team, led by NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming Club alum Jordy Groters of Aruba this season, finished with 676 points. Groters, a senior, is one of six returning All-Americans, along with junior Mikel Schreuders, also Aruban. Schreuders won the 100-yard freestyle in 46.00 and was a member of the winning 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. Both Groters and Schreuders are coming off this summer’s FINA World Championships.
The Tigers next meet is Oct. 14 at home. The men will swim SEC foe South Carolina and women will battle South Carolina and Arkansas.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org