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SWC 2012, Berlin day 1: World Cup record for Daiya Seto (JPN) in the 400m IM

Swimming World Cup

BERLIN, Germany - Traditionally the World Cup meeting in Berlin is one of the strongest of the whole circuit. This year it does not make any exception. Though it has a strong “local” significance, from the point of view of the overall participation it may be more appropriate to label it as “glocal”, for its heavily significant international presence.

There are the French, who, this morning, have easily qualified for the finals: Camille Muffat with the fastest time in the 200m freestyle (1:54:21, best performance of the morning with 922 points), Yannick Agnel with the 5th time (a modest 48.65) in the 100m freestyle.

There are numerous Americans, with a junior team of great quality and two veterans - the sprinters Anthony Ervin and Jessica Hardy - to lead them (both qualified for the final with the third fastest respectively in the 100m freestyle and the 50m freestyle). Hardy made the final also in the 100m breaststroke with the fastest time, 1:07:13, just a hundredth better than the Japanese Rie Kaneto. Here is the list, in order of this morning appearance, of the USA’s junior quota:
- Leah Smith, 1995, 6th time in the 200m freestyle in 1:58.97;
- Gunnar Bentz, 1996, best time in the 400 individual medley in 4:16.85;
- Tom Shields, 1991, 2nd time in the 200m butterfly in 1:55.88; *
- Celina Li, 1995, best time in the 200 medley in 2:11:14 (two hundredths better than the Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and seven hundredths better than the other Magyar Zsuzsanna Jakabos);
- Sean Mahoney, 1988, best time in the 200m breaststroke in 2:08:08; *
- Kylie Stewart, 1996, 2nd time in the 200m backstroke in 2:07:46.
* Not junior but part of an emerging second line.

Japan is displaying some emerging junior too, namely Mie Motegi (1994), 3rd time in the women's 100 breaststroke (1:07.94), and Daiya Seto (1994), 5th  time in the men’s 200 m butterfly.


Women’s 800m freestyle: One more junior American, Rebecca Mann, 1997 (15-year old), won the race in 8:16.58 (928 points), a good time for her age. She won clearly in front of compatriot Leah Smith, who clocked an excellent time too, 8:17.96 (921 points). Both follow in the wake of their 15-year old compatriot Cathleen Ledecky, who won the Olympic gold medal at London. World Cup record holder Lotte Friis, of Denmark, was relegated to 3rd place, in 8:22.04.

Men’s 100m freestyle: Anthony Ervin, 31-year old celebrated on 26 May, won neatly in 46.71, ahead of Australia’s Tommaso D’Orsogna, also below the 47 cut in 46.99. South Africa’s Darian Townsend outswam Yannick Agnel by 0.02 seconds and was 3rd in 47.02. In 5th place, also under 48secs., Italy’s Luca Dotto (47.93).

Ervin said: “I worked a lot on technique and this is my first time under 47. I’m obviously very happy”.

Women’s 200m freestyle: Olympic silver medallist Camille Muffat swam a solitary race to win in a spectacular time of 1:52.28, a national record, just 0.20 seconds slower than the World Cup record (which belongs to American Alison Schmitt). The time was worth 970 points and it represents the best World Cup performance so far this year. For the second place there was a shared silver medal: the young French swimmer Charlotte Bonnet (1995) and the Hungarian Katinka Hosszu tied at 1:55.14. Jakabos was fourth in 1:55.60, a mere one hundredth faster than Jessica Morrison (AUS).

Men’s 50m breaststroke: The 24-year old Italian specialist Fabio Scozzoli swam always in front and comfortably won this dash event in 26.31. Erik Steinhagen (GER/Club) and Glenn Snyders (NZL) were respectively second in 26.71 and third in 26.79.

Women’s 100m breaststroke:
Jessica Hardy, 25, had no competitor. The American dominated in an excellent 1:04.58 (915). Two Japanese, Mio Motegi and Rie Kaneto in second and third, respectively with 1:06.8 and 1:06.52.

Men’s 400m individual medley:
18-year old Japanese Daiya Seto filed his fifth consecutive victory in this race at the World Cup. He improved on his previous pb and won in 4:00.12, a World Cup record, worth 943 points. The previous World Cup mark belonged to Brazil’s Thiago Pereira, with 4:00.63. Seto beat two Hungarians: Laszlo Cseh (4:01.42) and David Verraszto (4:03.19).

Women’s 100m butterfly: Ilaria Bianchi, 22, followed up with her victory in Moscow and won also in Berlin. The Olympic finallist – she was 5th in London - improved again on her Italian record and won in 56.86 (907 points). Louise Hansson of Sweden was second in 57.55 while Inge Dekker (NED) was third in 57.65.

Men’s 100m backstroke:
Russia’s Stanislav Donets, 29, also dubbed his Moscow’s win and touched first in 50.02 (936 points), well ahead of the Australian pair Robert Hurley (50.73) and Ashley Delaney (51.04); instead Brazil’s Guilherme Guido was narrowly excluded from the podium with 51.07. Donets had also won the race in Dubai (moreover he won all 50m backstroke races so far).

Women’s 50m backstroke: Australia’s Rachel Goh, 27, won in 26.80. However the attention has to be drawn on the second and the third placed, respectively the Chinese Shiming Chen, 15, (born in 1997) and the Brazilian veteran Fabiola Molina, 37 (born in 1975): a rare age difference of 22 years between them. For the record, Chen clocked 27.11, Molina 27.29. In Brazil, Molina, who besides swimming has done modelling and commercials, is both a swimming and a beauty icon.

Men’s 200m butterfly: Nikolay Skvortsov, of Russia, clinched victory in 1:51.77 (930 points). He swam always in the lead and his supremacy was never in doubt. For the second place the talented young Japanese Daiya Seto beat USA’s Tom Shields by just 0.05 seconds: 1:52.22 and 1.52.27 were their respective times.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley:
Sophie Allen, of Great Britain, took a clear cut victory in 2:07.52 (932 points) over Zsuzsanna Jakabos, of Hungary (2:08.54) and American Celina Li (2:08.95). Hosszu was just fourth in 2:09.14 while the second American Kaitlyn Jones was fifth in 2:10.34. Celina Li outswam Hosszu for the second time in this race on this day. It is to be noted that after winning as many as 25 gold medals (plus another five of different colours) in the previous World Cup meets, here in Berlin Hosszu did not manage any victory so far.

Men’s 400m freestyle:
As expected, Germany’s Paul Biedermann comfortably won “his” race. However the time of the two-time world champion, 3:42.21 (877 points), was nearly 10 seconds slower than his world (also World Cup) record of 3:32.77. Austria’s David Brandl was a distant second in 3:45.28.

Women’s 50m freestyle:
Three veterans on the podium. Biedermann’s companion Britta Steffen, 29 (she will be 30 in less than a month, on November 16th) celebrated victory too touching in 24.16 (891 points), ahead of Jessica Hardy (24.43) and Inge Dekker (24.56). Another veteran, Hanna-Maria Seppala, of Finland, was 7th in 25.05.

Steffen said: “I’m not completely satisfied as I wanted to swim under 24 seconds”.

Men’s 200m breaststroke: USA’s Sean Mahoney dominated all through and won in 2:04.55 (909 points). Brazil’s Henrique Barbosa (2:06.20) and Germany’s Marco Koch (2:06.84) took the other medals.

Men’s 100m Individual Medley: Trinidad’s George Bovell touched first in 51.20; Kenneth To (AUS) took second in 51.53. Bovell’s time is worth 974 points, the best performance in the meet so far, while To’s time is equivalent to 955 points.

Women’s 200m backstroke: New Zealander Melissa Ingram was the winner in 2:04.28 (900 points). American junior Kylie Stewart was a close second in 2:04.70. The others came much behind.

Men’s 50m butterfly:
Another swimmer from down under, Australia’s Matthew Targett took gold in 22.30 (934 points) leaving the other medallists – Steffen Deibler (GER, 22.83) and Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS, 23.31) - much behind.

Mixed 4x50m Medley Relay:
Anthony Ervin anchored the USA relay to victory with a fast dash, 20.50; Kylie Stewart swam the backstroke leg in 27.70, Hardy the breaststroke in 29.82 and Tom Shilds the butterfly in 22.47. The overall time of the US quartet was 1:40.49. Italy was second in 1:41.64 (Barbieri 27.46, Scozzoli 26.48, Bianchi 26.06, Dotto 21.63). The Italian freestyler left the block 0.02 seconds in advance (an advanced start till – 0.03 is tolerated). China came in third with 1:43.51.