SWC 2013, Moscow Day 1: Meilutyte sets WR in 100 breast, team Russia in mixed relay
On day 1 of the third leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2013, all eyes were set on the new Efimova–Meilutyte duel. At the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Yulia Efimova from Russia claimed two wins (50m and 200m breaststroke) while Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuania emerged victorious in the 100m.
The women’s 100m breaststroke in Moscow was the first race for the two swimmers, meeting this time in 25m pool. But it came out that Efimova didn’t have hunger for revenge.
Post-race, Efimova said: "I’m better at long course than at short course. Besides that I started my training for a new season only three weeks ago, so I’m not in my best shape. But I’m willing to compete, to beat my winter records and to prepare for the European short-course Championships next December. By then, I’ll be ready to deal with Meilutyte."
So the winner of the much-anticipated duel was Meilutyte, who managed to win in a World Record time of 1:02.36. Efimova came second in 1:03.53, a new national record. Jamaica's Alia Atkinson touched for third in 1:04.64.
On her new WR, Meilutyte said: "I didn’t expect I could swim so fast today. It wasn’t the aim to beat a record or to beat Yulia Efimova but it was nice to win. I got back to training just a few weeks ago. I had some injuries, I was ill, but slowly going to proper training to prepare for the European short-course. My plan for this season is to improve myself as much as I can."
As usual it was a thrilling men’s race in the 100m freestyle. Local star Vladimir Morozov remained unchallenged, dominating from the start and touching first in 45.68. Kenneth To (AUS), last year's World Cup winner, was second in 46.87 while Konrad Cherniak (POL) completed the podium, clocking 47.34.
Chad Le Clos (RSA) - credit: Sergey Savostyanov
Morozov was also victorious in the 100m IM in 51.61. Kenneth To captured silver again in 51.83 while George Bovell (TRI) claimed the bronze in 52.88.
On his performance, Morozov said: "The 100m IM race was tougher than the 100m freestyle. But I’m waiting for tomorrow's 50m freestyle. I’ll try my best to beat the World Record. This is the only way to take the lead in the overall ranking of the FINA World Cup. I’m currently second after Chad Le Clos."
Chad le Clos (RSA) finished first in the 200m butterfly (1:49.83), beating Tom Shields (USA), second in 1:51.98, and Pawel Korzeniowski (POL), third in 1:52.06.
Katinka Hosszu (HUN), the 2012 World Cup winner and current leader of the 2013 Series, claimed "only" one victory, that in the 200m IM (2:06.86). Sweden's Sarah Sjoestroem prevailed in the 50m (24.20) and 200m freestyle (1:53.76), as well as the 100m butterfly (57.04).
Hosszu said: "I’m not disappointed. My goal was to be in the top-3 in every race. There is a new rule: you get points for every medal. So this was a pretty good day for me with five podiums and one gold."
At the end of day 1, team Russia-1 bettered the world mark in the mixed 4x50m medley relay, winning in 1:41.70. Team Russia-2 came second in 1:43.16 while team Japan completed the podium in 1:43.36.
mixed 4x50m medley relay podium
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