Jia Li, FINA Press Correspondent in China

The fierce races of the second leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2019 in Jinan, China, continued on Friday as Hungary’s Olympic and World champion Katinka Hosszu, who won the 200m fly on day 1, touched home first in the 400m IM. The World Record holder led all the way to win the race in 4:36.99, though 10.63 seconds slower than her world record at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. She also won the event at the Gwangju Worlds for the fourth consecutive time.

Teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos finished second in 4:45.28, while China’s Liu Xin closed the podium in 4:49.72.

The “Iron Lady” never stopped her pace as she won the 100m back later the same night.

The home audience was particularly looking forward to the men's 1500m free final as Shandong native Ji Xinjie took part in the long distance race. Ji kept good pace in the final and snatched the gold with a time of 15:16.15.

“I focused only on myself, and I think it is the most important,” Ji said. “I didn’t swim well in the mid 500m, but I kept the rhythm and did well in the last sprint.”

The men’s 50m back was a battle between Russia's Vladimir Morozov, American Michael Andrew and China’s Xu Jiayu. The three swimmers took the gold, silver and bronze respectively in this order. Morozov touched the wall in 24.43, the same with his World Cup record which was set last year in Russia.

“There are a lot of things I need to learn from other world top swimmers,” said a modest Xu. “Actually I am quite relaxed here in Jinan.”

Morozov then collected his third gold medal in Jinan tonight as he won the 100m free in 47.99, a new World Cup record. Blake Pieroni of the United States came second in 48.15, while Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo was third in 48.63.

“Three golds in three events here,” said the exhausted winner. “I didn’t expect to go that fast. It is my best time in the whole season, so I am really happy with the time.”

China’s Hou Yawen won a surprising gold medal in the women’s 200m free in 1:58.98. Sweden’s Michelle Coleman was second while Hungary’s Jakabos ranked third. China’s Ye Shiwen failed to make podium with a fourth finish.

“It is my personal best,” said Hou. “I am a little tired after the World Championships.”

In the men’s 200m IM, Australian Mitchell Larkin, the gold medallist, was only 0.08 second faster than second-placed China’s Qin Haiyang.

“It was a really close race. Qin was quick, but I was a little quicker than he was. It was a good competition and I am pretty happy,” said Larkin, who touched home in 1:57.26.

Australian freestyle specialist Cate Campbell chose to swim the 50m fly this time and won the race in 25.63. Her teammate Holly Barratt was second in 25.63, while Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen ranked third in 25.86.

“I am really happy with the time, which is the fastest time for me.” said Campbell. “I don’t usually swim butterfly. I got a little bit bored in just doing freestyle, so 50m fly for me is fun. Unfortunately 50m fly is not an Olympic event, and I will not swim 100m fly. I just do it in the World Cup.”

China’s breaststroke specialist Yan Zibei claimed his second gold medal in Jinan by winning the men’s 50m breast in 27.12. Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi came second in 27.18, while Michael Andrew of the United States was third in 27.45.

“I had expected two golds here,” said Yan, who also won the 100m breast. “I performed my normal level. I am more confident after the Gwangju worlds as I made a breakthrough there. I hope I can be more stable in the future.”

“I am satisfied with the time,” he added. “Actually I am very tired, so the result is acceptable for me.”

Another breast specialist Alia Atkinson of Jamaica also pocketed her second gold in Jinan as she touched the wall first in the women’s 100m in 1:07.06. Russian Vitalina Simonova came second, and China’s Yu Jingyao finished third.

Australia’s Grant Irvine won the men’s 200m fly in 1:55.94, and the Aussie team also grabbed the mixed 4x100m free relay.