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SWC 2013, Eindhoven Day 1: World Cup debut with four WR

Swimming World Cup

Chad Le Clos (RSA) - credit: Kees_Jan van OverbeekeThree days after the conclusion of the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona (ESP) the records continue to fall in the first session of the inaugural leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup, organised in Eindhoven (NED) on August 7-8. In the main annual FINA rendezvous in 25m-pool, some of the stars in the Catalan capital continued to shine: no less than four World and two World Cup records were established in this first day.

It all started in the morning, when Katinka Hosszu (HUN), the winner of the 2012 series, smashed the WR in the women’s 200m individual medley, clocking a convincing 2:04.39, and improving the previous best mark (2:04.60) owned by Julia Smit (USA) since December 2009. The Magyar star was the natural favourite the win the decisive race, but she wanted more than the gold: at the end, she improved her morning performance and settled the WR in an amazing time of 2:03.20.

Shortly before, Chad Le Clos (RSA) was very solid in the men’s 200m butterfly, improving the WR (1:49.11) set in November 2009 in Stockholm by Kaio Almeida, from Brazil. In Eindhoven, Le Clos touched home in 1:49.04. The fourth best global mark of the day was obtained by local hero Ranomi Kromowidjojo in the women’s 50m free: victory in 23.24, a mere 0.01 faster than her teammate Marleen Veldhuis in Manchester 2008.

The two World Cup records were set by Daniel Gyurta, also from Hungary, in the men’s 200m breaststroke – the Magyar won in 2:01.44, better than the previous best time (2:02.56) of Neil Versfeld (RSA) from November 2009. In the women’s 800m free, one of the revelations in Barcelona, New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle, was also brilliant, clocking 8:01.22, improving the competition previous best time, owned since November 2009 by Lotte Friis (DEN), in 8:04.61.

Friis was in control of the race in Eindhoven and even swam under WR pace, but Boyle’s final effort paid off, while Mireia Belmonte, from Spain also managed to overcome the Danish athlete and get the silver.

Other highlights of the day:
In the men’s 100m free, Vladimir Morozov (RUS) leaves like a missile, but as in Barcelona, James Magnussen, from Australia, comes back for the victory in 45.60. In the shortest breaststroke event (50m), Roland Schoeman (RSA) triumphs in 25.86, but Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli (silver) sets a new European record in 25.88. In the 100m backstroke, Ashley Delaney and Robert Hurley, from Australia, share the gold in 50.42, while in the 400m free, the duel between Yannick Agnel (FRA) in lane 4 and Myles Brown (RSA) in lane 8 ends up in the French’s favour (3:37.75 against 3:37.91). Finally, in the 50m butterfly, Schoeman turns first at the 25m-mark, but an excellent turn allows the triumph of Steffen Deibler, from Germany (22.17)

Among women, the most thrilling race was the 200m backstroke, with five swimmers fighting for the victory. The gold went to Daryna Zevina (UKR) in 2:02.04, while Australians Belinda Hocking and Emily Seebohm shared the silver in 2:02.13. In the 100m breaststroke, Alia Atkinson (JAM) starts fast, and a vigorous recovery from Rikke Pedersen (DEN) seemed to dictate the European win, but the Jamaican still managed to get the gold in 1:03.90 (Pedersen clocked 1:04.11).

The best three performers of this first day in Eindhoven were:

Men
LE CLOS Chad (RSA): 1:49.04 - 1001 points - WR 200 fly
GYURTA Daniel (HUN): 2:01.44 - 981 points - WCup 200 breast
BOVELL George (TRI): 51.15 - 974 points - 100 IM

Women
HOSSZU Katinka (HUN): 2:03.20 - 1034 points - WR 200 IM
KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi (NED): 23.24 - 1001 points - WR 50 free
BOYLE Lauren (NZL): 8:01.22 - 999 points - WCup 800 free

Provisional leaders after Day 1:

Men
LE CLOS Chad (RSA): 38 pts
SCHOEMAN Roland (RSA): 21 pts
DWYER Conor (USA): 15 pts

Women
HOSSZU Katinka (HUN): 61 pts
KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi (NED): 32 pts
SEEBOHM Emily (AUS): 24 pts