While the Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu stopped short at 299 World Cup victories on the last day of the FINA Swimming World Cup in Berlin, she has set up fans at the sixth leg in Kazan on 1 November with the prospect of witnessing her 300th golden milestone.
Having pulled out of the women’s 100 metre butterfly to rule out the possibility of reaching the impressive total at the end of the fifth leg of this World Cup, she still managed to take home her 299th in the 200m individual medley, despite a fierce battle with Japan’s Miho Teramura and especially Rika Omoto, who led the whole race until Hosszu showed her racing pedigree at the end.
“I don’t want to think about it [my legacy] now but if I have hard moments it’s nice to think about it. I’ve done so many things in swimming already and it definitely gives me that kind of confidence having all these years of experience.” Katinka Hosszu
There was an exciting line up of stars in the women’s 100m freestyle with the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo posting the fastest time in the early heats to set herself alongside Australia’s Cate Campbell, Sweden’s Michelle Coleman and Canada’s Aly Ackman and Taylor Ruck, with this World Cup leg’s 200m and 400m freestyle champion Barbora Seemanova from Czech Republic also in the mix.
However, the former world record holder in this event Campbell shone above the rest and took the title she was hoping for. She went out in 25.21 seconds on the first 50m – faster than her 25.29 split time when she set the 52.34 World Cup record in Jinan in August – to help her on her way to her time of 52.51 which she attributed to “all the German pastries” she had been eating while in Berlin.
“It’s been a bit of a rough cluster for me, the 50 [freestyle event] was nowhere near the time I wanted so it was great to come out and put in a really strong performance. I think all the German pastries are keeping my carbs up. That was really solid swimming, I’m really pleased with that 100 freestyle. My speed hasn’t been very good but to be able to put together such a solid 100 after it’s been a bit of a disappointing meet for me is really encouraging.” Cate Campbell
Despite it being a “rough cluster” for Campbell, she still managed to take home the $50,000 prize money as cluster winner in the women’s events, while Arno Kamminga took the prize for the men’s events.
He claimed a second breaststroke gold on the last day adding the 200m title to his 100m he claimed on the opening day. While he was unable to clinch the 50m title on the Saturday, he was having more of a positive experience of this cluster, summing up his World Cup in Berlin as: “Amazing. I don’t have any other words. I can’t believe it – we’ve been hitting the gym really hard and I’m still swimming PBs, it’s so good.”
Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys was also glad of his results although feeling the pain of his battle with Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto in the men’s 200m freestyle, where he picked up another gold medal to add to his 400m freestyle title he won on Friday.
While Yuki Ikari put in a dominant display in the men’s 400 individual medley to win the first event of the evening, it was Ryosuke Irie who spearheaded a boost for Japan ahead of next years’ home Olympics in Tokyo. The Olympic medallist from 2012 won the men’s 100m backstroke before helping his mixed 4x100m medley relay team to glory ahead of Sweden and Denmark.
After Matsumoto put the challenge to Rapsys in the 200m freestyle just 15 minutes before the relay, and both Omoto and Teramura to Hosszu in the 200 IM less than 10 minutes before, all took heed of Irie’s rally cry of “last one, fast one” to his teammates.
“My main focus now is Tokyo 2020, I want to get some medals: 100, 200 and also the 4x100 medley relay so my goal is to get three medals.” Ryosuke Irie
Germany was pleased to see more home-grown champions after Florian Wellbrock, with the young Anna Elendt making good on her potential to win the women’s 50m breaststroke and Angelina Kohler taking the win in the women’s 100m butterfly.
“To swim in Berlin, it’s my favourite swimming pool here and I like the feeling of a lot of people here,” said Kohler. “It’s really fast for this time of year and gives me hope for the Olympic Games.”
Meanwhile American Michael Andrew’s Ultra-Short Race-Pace Training finally came good in the men’s 50m butterfly where he took his first and only gold of the meet in 23.22 seconds. Australia’s Maddy Gough and Taylor Ruck also took sole gold from the Berlin leg in the women’s 800m freestyle and 200m backstroke respectively.