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SWC 2013, Beijing Day 1: Hosszu continues to shine at Water Cube on opening night

Swimming World Cup

Katinka Hosszu (HUN)Though no World record or World Cup record was broken, World champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary still took the spotlight by winning two gold medals and one bronze, out of five race, while Cate Campbell of Australia slammed three titles on Day 1 of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2013 at Beijing's iconic Water Cube on November 13.

Current leader of the overall rankings after seven meets, Hosszu collected her first victory in the 200m freestyle, clocking 1:53.82, while Melanie Costa of Spain and Lauren Boyle of New Zealand came in 1:54.57 and 1:55.20, respectively. Hosszu later celebrated her second gold in the 200m IM in a swift 2:05.34, 2.14 seconds shy of her own World record set in Eindhoven last August. Alicia Coutts of Australia came second in 2:06.23 while Sophie Allen of Britain claimed bronze in 2:06.71.

It was Coutts who stopped Hosszu's unbeaten run first in the 100m butterfly by clocking 56.00. Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden and Hosszu came second and third, respectively in 56.17 and 57.40. Elizabgeth Simmonds continued to deny Hosszu's title hope in the 50m backstroke, powering home for the win in 26.83. Hosszu placed fifth in 27.11 after China's World runner-up Fu Yuanhui 26.95 and Daryna Zevina of Ukraine, 27.07. Hosszu later finished fourth in the 200m backstroke in 2:06.14 while Zevina took out the event in 2:01.47.

"I'm tired, really tired after I competed in five races. But I'm definitely happy with my two golds and a bronze medal. Tomorrow, I'm assuming to have the five events and I hope to get on more podiums," said Hosszu.

Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell gave Australia a 1-3 finish in the 50m freestyle, with respective times of 23.65 and 24.13. Francesca Halsall of Britain squeezed to take the silver in 24.04. Cate Campbell also swept the 100m freestyle in 51.31.

Jamaica's Alia Atkinson enjoyed a class of her own in the 100m breaststroke, touching first in 1:03.81. She was followed by Sophie Allen of Britain, 1:05.74, and Liu Xiaoyu of China, 1:06.24. Mirela Belmonte of Spain led the women's 800m freestyle in 8:07.59, beating Lauren Boyle of New Zealand and teammate Melanie Costa, 8:10.47 and 8:18.03, respectively.

Olympic and World champion Chad Le Clos of South Africa bagged another gold in his pet event, the 200m butterfly, posting a swift 1:51.70. He beat Wang Shun of China into second, in a time of 1:51.94. In the 100m freestyle, Le Clos produced a personal best (46.60), well behind pace setter Russian Vladimir Morozov, winner in 45.88.


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Chad Le Clos (RSA) - credit: Fei Maohua

Morozov later snatched the gold in the 100m individual medley in 50.97, beating George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago (51.72) and Le Clos (52.14).

"I'm really tired but I'm happy with my 100m freestyle. I really want to know how fast I can swim the freestyle," said Le Clos, current leader of the Series.

Australian Thomas Fraser-Holmes showed his worth in middle distance again, winning the 400m individual medley in 4:04.05 and 400m freestyle in 3:39.86. 

In other men's events, Daniel Gyurta of Hungary topped the 200m breaststroke (2:03.09); Eugene Godsoe from the USA took out the 100m backstroke (50:15) and Roland Schoeman of South Africa lifted the title in the 50m breaststroke (25.95).

Composed by Robert Hurley, Christian Sprenger, Alicia Coutts and Cate Campbell, the Australia team never looked back in the mixed 4x50m medley relay, touching home in 1:38.23, 0.39 slower than the World record they set in Tokyo at the previous stop. China rallied to finish second in 1:39.55 thanks to a 25.28 butterfly split from Lu Ying and a 20.59 freestyle split from young star Ning Zetao. Brazil completed the podium in 1:42.07.

"It's a big blow for all of us. Coming up few days with meets, we've been swimming pretty well. I think we all know it is a hard event and we thought we could be faster. We planned to break the World record again, but it's OK. We'll try tomorrow," Hurley said.

BEST PERFORMERS AFTER DAY 1

Men
1. MOROZOV Vladimir (RUS): 50.97 - 984 pts - 100m IM
2. SANTOS Nicholas (BRA): 22.13 - 955 pts - 50m fly
3. GYURTA Daniel (HUN): 2:03.09 - 942 pts - 200m breast
3. BOVELL George (TRI): 51.72 - 942 pts - 100m IM

Women
1. HOSSZU Katinka (HUN): 2:05.07 - 988 pts - 200m IM
2. ZEVINA Daryna (UKR): 2:01.47 - 964 pts - 200m back
3. COUTTS Alicia (AUS): 2:06.23 - 961 pts - 200m IM