David Hulmes, FINA Press Correspondent in Hong Kong

Chad le Clos (RSA) and Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) maintained their overall series leads following the closing night of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup in Hong Kong.

Sjostrom bagged a hat-trick on Saturday and took the first event on Sunday, the 100m free, from Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED). She then finished runner-up to Katinka Hosszu (HUN) in the 100m IM before jumping back in the pool 10 minutes later to sprint home in 24.62 in the 50m fly.

“I seem to put in my best performances in the 50m fly when I have a race just before that one,” said Sjostrom.

Hosszu had beaten Emily Seebohm (AUS) into second place in all three of their clashes on Saturday, and it was a similar story in Sunday’s 100m back/100m IM.

The five-time World Cup series champion went on to land the 400m IM to complete a clean sweep from her six events to close the gap marginally on Sjostrom in the standings, and paid tribute to husband/coach Shane Tusup.

“One thing he always says just before each race is to have fun — and I definitely did.”

Le Clos twice denied Tom Shields (USA), in the 200m free and 100m fly, then finished runner-up to Vladimir Morozov (RUS) in the 50m free. Shields had got the better of Le Clos in the 200m fly on Saturday.

“Yesterday I was a bit slow, and the 200m fly stings when I lose in that, but fair play to Tom — he’s been plugging away for a long time and he deserved that. We’re good mates and if I have to lose to someone I’d prefer it to be him — not that I like to lose, you understand!”

Morozov said he had finally recovered from his 15-hour flight from Los Angeles after beating Le Clos in the 50m free.

Morozov had earlier finished runner-up to Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA) in the 100m breast as the South African added to Saturday’s 50m victory.

“It’s always nice to come back, and I’m happy to be doing similar times as at the World Championships in the summer. I’ve been doing lots of cross-fit in the gym and lost about 3 kilos…I definitely feel lighter in the pool.

“I don’t think I’m going to the next cluster unless I’m in the running for the top places, and if it makes financial sense. Obviously you've got to look at the costs and look at obligations to sponsors and the bigger picture.”

Alia Atkinson (JAM) added the 50m breast to Saturday’s 100m version with an all-the-way-success in 29.26 ahead of Rikke Pedersen (DEN).

Still room for improvement though, according to the world record holder, who has one eye on next April’s Commonwealth Games.

“I think I’m still a bit rusty — my turns weren’t as good as I hoped. For the Commonwealth Games, I have to make the cut at a FINA-approved meeting, probably a Grand Prix meet in Arizona or Florida early next year.”

Local favourite Kenneth To (HKG) led everywhere except the final stroke in the 200m IM, pegged back on the line by Kirill Prigoda (RUS), who clocked 1:54.81, just two-hundredths ahead of To.

The FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup now moves on to Doha, starting October 4.