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SWC 2013, Doha Day 2: Unstoppable Hosszu wins big

Swimming World Cup

Katinka Hosszu (HUN)France set a new World record in the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay. With a swift start by Olympic champion in the 50m free Florent Manaudou (21.22), teammates Jeremy Stravius, Melanie Henique and Anna Santamans completed the race in 1:31.14, ahead of China (1:32.74) and Japan (1:33.80).

Hungarian swimming icon Katinka Hosszu finished her meet on a high note with three more wins in the 400m IM (4:28.91), 200m fly (2:06.60) and 100m IM (58.43). Hosszu also picked up silver in the 100m back (57.49), a hundredth of a second behind Daryna Zevina from Ukraine (57.48). In this race, Japan's 19-year-old Sayaka Akase took third, 6 hundredths of a second behind the winner.

Hosszu's medal tally in Doha includes five gold, one silver and two bronze, out of 12 contested finals. After five World Cup stops, Hosszu totals 20 gold, nine silver and seven bronze.

Spain's Melani Costa, World champion in the 400m free in 2012 in Istanbul, dominated the race, touching first under 4 minutes (3:59.88) for the first time since the Moscow leg. Costa took advantage over France's Coralie Balmy (4:01.66) and Olympic champion Camille Muffat (4:03.28). Mireia Belmonte (ESP), whose form was not excellent, took third in the 400m IM in 4:31.06 and fifth in the 200m fly and 400m free.

In the 100m free, Dutch Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.29) and Femke Heemskerk (52.71) finished 1-2, ahead of Danish Jeanette Ottesen (53.00). Ottesen later took out the 50m fly in 25.06, touching out France's Melanie Henique (25.60) and Dutch Inge Dekker (25.66).

Japan's young, tremendous charges

In addition to Sayaka Akase showing talent in backstroke events, her teammates produced fine performances in the 200m breast, 200m fly and 400m IM: 17-year-old Kanako Watanabe won the first event in 2:18.90, ahead of Russian Iulia Efimova (2:19.48) and Mihi Takahashi (2:19.96). 19-year-old Miyu Otsuka picked up silver in the 400m IM in 4:30.11 behind Hosszu and bronze in the 200m fly in 2:07.36 behind Australian Sophie Allen (2:07.20).

Efimova lost to Kanako Watanabe (JPN) in the 200m breast but bounced back to win the 50m breast in 29.22, prevailing by a slim margin over closest challenger Alia Atkinson (JAM, 29.25). Moniek Nijhus (NED) completed the podium in 30.40.

Israel's Amit Ivry took second in the 100m IM (won by Hosszu) in 58.66, ahead of German Therese Michalak, third in 59.49.


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Kanako Watanabe (JPN) - credit: Alexandra Panagiotidou

World best time and American record for Shields

The men's top performance on day 2 was that of Thomas Shields from USA in the 100m fly (980 points), setting a season's best time in 48.80, a new continental record. Shields owned the previous record, 49.01, set on August 11 in Berlin. In this final, Shields faced pressure from South African Chad Le Clos (49.05) and Poland's Konrad Czerniak (50.33).

Shields also climbed the podium in the 200m back, picking up silver in 1:51.64. The race was comfortably won by 2012 short-course World champion Radoslaw Kawecki from Poland (1:48.93). Australia's Ashley Delanay claimed the bronze (1:52.90).

After his loss in the 100m fly, Le Clos bounced back to win in convincing fashion the 200m IM, his third victory in the event in this year's Series. Le Clos led from start to finish, touching home in 1:53.32, ahead of Kenneth To (AUS, 1:54.36) and David Verraszto (HUN, 1:56.14).

Another swimmer to win the same event for the third time in Doha was Russia's Vladimir Morozov, who had a surprising victory in the 100m breast in 57.53, beating Kenneth To (AUS, 58.05) and Giacomo Perez Dortona (FRA, 59.03).

Morozov prevailed again in the 50m free, clocking 21.03 ahead of Roland Schoeman (RSA), a hundredth of a second behind, and Anthony Ervin (USA, 21.23).

France's only individual victory in Doha was that of Jeremy Stravius in the men's 50m back (22.99), beating Australian Robert Hurley (23.08) and compatriot Florent Manaudou (23.43).

Freestyle events brought their lot of surprises with the victory of young South African Myles Brown in the men's 1500m (14:36.19), ahead of Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli (14:36.46) and 2012 World champion Gregorio Paltrinieri from Italy (14:39.18).

Pawel Korzeniowski offered Poland the second gold of the day in the men's 200m free (1:44.00), beating Australian Robert Hurley (1:44.10) and Myles Brown (1:44.11).


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Thomas Shields (USA) - credit: Alexandra Panagiotidou

THE BEST PERFORMERS IN DOHA

Men

1. SHIELDS Thomas (USA): 48.80 - 980 points - 100m fly
2. TO Kenneth (AUS): 51.19 - 972 points - 100m IM
3. LE CLOS Chad (RSA): 49.05 - 965 points - 100m fly

Women
1. HOSSZU Katinka (HUN): 2:05.45 - 979 points - 200m IM 
2. ZEVINA Daryna (UKR): 2:01.17 - 972 points - 200m back
3. ATKINSON Alia (JAM): 1:03.38 - 968 points - 100m breast


PROVISIONAL LEADERS OF THE OVERALL RANKING (after Doha)

Men

1. LE CLOS Chad (RSA) - 332 points
2. MOROZOV Vladimir (RUS) - 231 points
3. TO Kenneth (AUS) - 192 points

Women
1. HOSSZU Katinka (HUN) - 579 points
2. BELMONTE Mireia (ESP) - 187 points
3. ATKINSON Alia (JAM) - 165 points