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SWC 2013, Moscow Day 2: Meilutyte nearly takes down WR in 50m breast, Russia sets first WR in mixed free relay

Swimming World Cup

On day 2 of the third stage of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2013, team Russia set the official mixed 4x50m freestyle relay World record. Rozaliya Nasretdinova, Dmitriy Ermakov, Artem Lobuzov and Maria Reznikova triumphed in 1:33.01 ahead of the teams of Brazil, second in 1:33.43, and Japan, third in 1:33.48. On the WR, Nasretdinova said: “We wanted to beat this record badly. Maybe these seconds are not so solid. But we are the pioneers. And that is cool!”

Another highlight of the day was the women’s 50m breaststroke final. Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) took out the event in a blistering time of 28.89, beating Alia Atkinson (JAM, 29.33) and Dorothea Brandt (GER, 30.35). Local hope Yulia Efimova drew a disqualification.

This disqualification wasn’t the only mischance for Efimova, who was targetting a second silver medal in the dash event. In Barcelona last August, Efimova's records set in the morning session were beaten by her rivals immediately after, which happened again in Moscow. Efimova beat the European record in the 50m breaststroke semi-final (29.27), bettering Meilutyte's mark of 29.44 set at last year's FINA World Swimming Championships in Istanbul. After today’s finals the ever-impressive Lithuanian swimmer improved again the European mark, rattling Jessica Hardy’s World record of 28.80 in the event.

Speaking about her bad luck, Efimova said: "What a fight! The judges missed my record at first. I asked my father and coach to check the timing. Only after that I was officially announced as a new European record-holder. But even at that time I was sure that Ruta, who had already beaten the World record in the 100m, would swim as fast as she could in the finals. As for me I don't have so much advantage on my opponent in short course. My starts and turns leave much to be desired."

Current World Cup leader and defending winner Katinka Hosszu (HUN) added two more gold medals to her impressive collection at the Moscow meet (an overall tally of 10 medals: three gold, four silver and three bronze). In the 400m IM, Hosszu comfortably won in 4:30.65. Miyu Otsuka (JPN) came second in 4:32.35 while Mirea Belmonte (ESP) came third in 4:36.55.


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Efimova & Meilutyte - credit: Sergey Savostyanov

In the 200m butterfly, the Hungarian claimed a win in 2:06.80. Sophie Allen (GBR) and Mirea Belmonte (ESP) took respectively silver and bronze in times of 2:07.92 and 2:10.77.

On beating no records this time, Hosszu said: "My physical conditions are pretty good. We've just come from training and I'm a little bit tired. We didn't really rest for this meet. But I'm happy with my results. I'm doing much better than last year in Moscow. I was not thinking about records because I'm kind of feeling tired and I'm focusing on so many races. It would be a good thing to set one more World record after six at two previous stages of the World Cup but hopefully I'll get more gold."

Meanwhile Chad Le Clos (RSA) faced pressure from Russian Vladimir Morozov, who is challenging his domination in the 100m IM and freestyle events. In Moscow, Le Clos touched first in the 100m butterfly, clocking 49.34, bagging a second gold in the 200m IM (1:53.04).

On his performance, Le Clos said: "Last night was not so good for me. The main goal here in Moscow was to try to keep my lead in the overall rankings of the Series. Three gold and one silver is not a bad way to start this season. Next week in Dubai I can have another good meet. So I’m excited."


THE BEST PERFORMERS IN MOSCOW

Men

1. LE CLOS Chad    (RSA): 1:49.83 - 980 pts - 200 fly
2. MOROZOV Vladimir (RUS): 20.59 - 958 pts - 50 free
3. TO Kenneth (AUS): 51.83 - 936 pts - 100 IM

Women
1. MEILUTYTE Ruta (LTU): 1:02.36 - 1016 pts - (WR) 100 breast
2. EFIMOVA Yuliya (RUS): 1:03.53 - 961 pts - 100 breast
3. HOSSZU Katinka (HUN): 58.69 - 952 pts - (heats) 100 IM


PROVISIONAL LEADERS OF THE OVERALL RANKING (Moscow only)

Men

1. LE CLOS Chad (RSA) - 24 pts
2. MOROZOV Vladimir (RUS) - 18 pts
3. TO Kenneth (AUS) - 12 pts

Women
1. MEILUTYTE Ruta (LTU) - 24 pts
2. EFIMOVA Yuliya (RUS) - 18 pts
3. HOSSZU Katinka (HUN) - 12 pts