SWC 2012, day 2: France's Muffat, queen of Berlin
October 21, 2012 BERLIN - Today the French won the 400m freestyle missing the World record by just one hundredth. Camille Muffat was definitely the best swimmer of the meet. The French swimmer, who is based in Nice, France, and is coached by Fabrice Pellerin, today set the best performance of the meet when she won the 400m freestyle in 3:54.93, a World Cup record, just one hundredth shy of the world record. On the first day Muffat set the second best performance among women in the 200m freestyle. Overall, two World Cup records were set in Berlin, including that of Daiya Seto (JPN) on the first day.
There were nine double winners, three men and six women. Men: Stanislav Donets (RUS, backstroke), Fabio Scozzoli (ITA, breaststroke), Anthony Ervin (USA, sprint freestyle). Women: Ilaria Bianchi (ITA, butterfly), Britta Steffen (GER, sprint freestyle), Camille Muffat (FRA, freestyle), Jessica Hardy (USA), Katinka Hosszu (HUN).
Men’s 1500m freestyle: All three medallists swam under 15 minutes. David Verraszto (HUN) claimed gold in 14:51.29 (867 points) ahead of Mateusz Sawrymowicz (POL, 14:55.02) and Richard Nagy (SVK, 14:58.91).
Women’s 100m freestyle: At only a few metres from the end, Jessica Hardy (USA), who had raced in front all the way, appeared to be the sure winner. Instead , thanks to a formidable rush in the final metres, Britta Steffen took gold in 52.88 (897 points). Hardy touched just 0.12 seconds behind and took silver. Jessica Morrison (AUS) was third 53.31.
Men’s 200m freestyle: The expected duel between Paul Biedermann (GER) and Yannick Agnel was won by the French, whose acceleration in the conclusive 40 metres was irresistible. His time of 1:42.10 (921 points) nears his personal short course best of 1:41.95, which he had set in Dubai at the 2010 FINA World Swimming Championships. Until the 150-metre turn the race was animated by the duel between Darian Towsend (RSA) and Tommaso D’Orsogna (AUS). The pair faded a bit in the last two laps and had to content respectively with the third and fourth place.
Agnel said: "I wanted to swim this final in the same fashion as the heat: to start slowly and ending fast, and I did it. I am also very happy with my time". Biedermann acknowledged that he needs "to improve on his current for" but was not disappointed for having been beaten by "a world class swimmer like Agnel".
Women’s 50m breaststroke: Jessica Hardy (USA) won comfortably in 30.13 (873 points). Great Britain's Kathryn Johnstone was second in 30.89.
Men’s 100m breaststroke: Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli dubbed his gold medal of yesterday in the 50m taking gold also in the 100m. Once more he beat Glenn Snyders of New Zealand: 57.61 (899 points) and 57.89 were théier respective times. Brazil’s Henrique Barbosa was third in 58.50.
Women’s 400m IM: Eventually Katinka Hosszu managed to claim her first gold medal here. She won in 4:28.88 (915 points) and her win was never in doubt. Hungary went 1-2 thanks to Zsusanna Jakabos, second in 4:29.78. USA’s 15-year old Rebecca Mann was a distant third in 4:37.03.
Hosszu explained: “Today I felt better than yesterday. Unfortunately in Moscow was ill but now I’m feeling better and have still to swims to go”.
Men’s 100m butterfly: When Tom Shields (USA) eventually realised that he had managed to beat Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS), he exploded with joy. He won in 50.03 (909 points), leaving the rival 0.11 seconds behind. Nikolay Skvortsov, also from Russia, was third in 50.89.
Korotyshkin explained his defeat: “I tried to swim at my best but in last lap I did not see the American. Perhaps my tactic today was not best. Nevertheless I’m happy with my result as after the Olympics I had allowed myself a long pause”.
Women’s 100m backstroke: Rachel Goh (AUS) swam always in front and dominated the race in 57.02 (908 points). Brazil’s veteran Fabiola Molina, 37, was second in 58.87, while American Kaitlyn Jones took bronze in 58.91
Men’s 50m backstroke: No surprise: Stanislav Donets (RUS) won in 23.16 (930 points); Robert Hurley (AUS) was second in 23.57 and Brazil’s Guilherme Guido took bronze in 23.63.
Women’s 200m butterfly: Second gold medal of the day (27 overall in the series) for Hosszu, definitely more brilliant than yesterday: her time 2:05.78 (885 points). Jakabos was second in 2:06.99 with the 17-year old American Celina Li taking bronze in 2:07.16.
Men’s 200m IM: Swimming from lane 1, South Africa’s Darian Towsend won in 1:53.44 (913 points) ahead of Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh (1:53.59) and Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:53.84).
Women’s 400m freestyle: Camille Muffat was off in front to swim a solitary race. The French, Olympic champion in London in this race, won in a display of perfect stroke, swim efficiency and self-confidence. At half way her split was under the World record, and so it was at the 300-metre turn and at 350m when it was 0.36 seconds under the World record split. The World record was in sight but what a disappointment when scoreboard denied, by just one hundredth, her and the enthusiastic crowd, who cheered all the way, a World record that would have been well deserved. Pity! However her time of 3:54.93 (999 points) was a new World Cup record. American juniors Leah Smith and Rebecca Mann were respectively a distant second and third, more than ten seconds behind.
Muffat’s comments were philosophical: “It’s not the end of the world. There will be more opportunities (at the European Championships coming up soon in Chartres, France). I started faster than usual. I tackle the 400m short course as a long sprint”.
Men’s 50m freestyle: Anthony Ervin dubbed his 100m gold medal of yesterday with gold in the 50m dash. The American won in 20.85 seconds (922 points) ahead of George Bovell (TRI, 20.97) and Matthew Targett (AUS, 21.12). The happy 31-year old Californian said: “This was my personal best time, and an American record too. Berlin was very good for me”.
Women’s 200m breaststroke: One-two for Japan. Rie Kaneto took gold in 2:19.96 (888 points) while Mio Motegi was second in 2:20.57. The pair swam always well in front of the rest of the field.
Women’s 100m IM: Germany’s Theresa Michalak won in 59.62 (908 points) ahead of the Hungarian pair of Katinka Hosszu (1:00.23) and Zsusanna Jakabos (1:00.53).
Men’s 200m backstroke: One more gold and silver for a Japanese pair. Yuko Shirai won in 1:49.94 (899 points) edging Ayate Matsubara (1:51.93) and Australia’s Ashley Delaney (1:52.82).
Women’s 50m butterfly: Second win also for Ilaria Bianchi. The Italian added the 50m win to the 100m gold medal of yesterday. She did it in 25.96 (828), just 0.02 seconds ahead of Dutch veteran Inge Dekker, 32, who admitted being “disappointed”. Dekker added: “My start wasn’t good and I could not recover ”.
Mixed 4x50m freestyle: The United States dominated the relay and won in 1:31.16. The American gained immediately the lead with Ervin (20.92); Shields swam the second leg in 21.58; the women swam the last two legs: Hardy in 23.81 and Stewart in 24.85. Denmark and Brazil were respectively second and third.