Pedro Adrega, Head of FINA Communications Department

The fifth leg of the 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup concluded on October 5 in Doha (QAT), with Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and Chad Le Clos (RSA) keeping their provisional lead of the overall ranking of the competition.

The Swedish star got five gold medals in the Qatari capital, being the best in the 50m, 100m and 200m free, and also in the 50m and 100m fly. The South African champion was also quite successful in the meet, triumphing in four races – the 50m, 100m and 200m fly, and the 200m free. Sjostrom accumulates now 446 points, while Le Clos leads the men’s chart with 312 points.

 “I did some mistakes (in IM) but overall I am happy with five gold medals. I have a good lead in the series. I’ll go back to training after a break to prepare for the next cluster”, Sjostrom confessed.

The Doha rendezvous also marked the conclusion of the second cluster of the competition – which included the Hong Kong leg on September 30 – October 1. For this particular classification, Le Clos was also the best with 153 points, while Katinka Hosszu (HUN, second overall), was better than Sjostrom (183 points for the Magyar great, 180 for the Swedish ace).

 

“I am very happy with my tally – four gold and two silver medals – is a good performance and I am happy with the results. Most importantly, I have won the cluster. It was a close contest in the cluster and I am happy to win it. I love Doha, it’s second home for me and a very luck one too", considered Le Clos.

In Doha, Hosszu, winner of the World Cup since 2012, was in great shape, winning also five gold medals – 100m and 200m back, 100m, 200m and 400m IM. “I am very happy with my performance. The spectators showed a huge support for me that gave me motivation”, the Hungarian admitted.

Day 2 action

In the first group of seven finals, Chad Le Clos continued his winning saga in Doha.

After getting the gold on Day 1 in the 50m and 200m fly, the South African won two more duels with Tom Shields (USA), this time in the 100m fly and 200m free. In the butterfly event, Le Clos touched home in 50.17, ensuring his fourth win of the year in this event (his best performance being a 49.09 effort from Eindhoven). In the freestyle race, the provisional leader of the overall ranking clocked 1:44.40 for the gold, getting his third success of the season, after Moscow and Hong Kong. The fastest so far in this event is Dominik Kozma (HUN), who had won in Berlin in a time of 1:41.03.

Sarah Sjostrom was also a comfortable winner in the women’s 100m free, in a time of 51.62 – it’s also a complete winning series for the Swedish star in this race. The best time of the season is precisely her World Record (50.58) performance set in Eindhoven.

In another duel with Emily Seebohm (AUS), Katinka Hosszu (HUN, 56.27) was the best in the 100m back, thus earning her third gold in Qatar, after the 200m back and 200m IM successes on Day 1. However, the best winning time of the season was the Magyar’s 55.65 effort in Moscow. 

After the 50m breast victory, Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) was once more imperial in the men’s 100m breaststroke, getting in the way the best performance of the season: 56.11. It’s the third win of the series for the South African, who left Kirill Prigoda (RUS, winner in Berlin) with the silver in Doha.

Alia Atkinson (JAM) was also unreachable in the women’s 50m breast, touching home for gold in 29.42. She gets in Doha her fourth consecutive success of the season, and earns the second gold in the Qatari capital after the 100m breast crown.

Finally, in the men’s 50m breast, Germany’s Christian Diener concluded the winning series of Pavel Sankovich (BLR) in this event, getting the gold in Doha in a time of 23.58. The Belarussian swimmer had to content this time with the fifth place (23.74), after earning gold in the first three races of the season (with a best time from Eindhoven in 22.84).

After the tribute to the best athletes of these finals, the action proceeded in Doha with two 200m finals – the men’s IM and the women’s butterfly. In the latter, Zhang Yufei (CHN) touched for gold in 2:07.43, revalidating her Hong Kong success. In the men’s 200m IM, Kirill Prigoda (RUS) also repeated his HKG achievement, touching home in 1:55.57.

Russian and Chinese golden performances continued with Vladimir Morozov in the men’s 50m free (20.98), his fourth win of the season and third gold in Doha after the 100m IM and 100m free. From China, Wang Jianjiahe earned gold in the women’s 400m free (4:02.43), being the fourth different winner of circuit so far in this event. The fastest in 2017 remains Spain’s Mireia Belmonte in 3:57.79 (achieved in Berlin).

Christian Diener (GER) could enjoy his third gold in the Qatari capital, completing with success all the backstroke events (50m, 100m and 200m). In the longer distance, he touched the wall in 1:50.96. Le Clos and Radoslaw Kawecki (POL, winner in Moscow and Berlin) tied for silver in 1:51.02. 

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) - Photo by OC Doha 2017

In the women’s 100m IM, Hosszu didn’t find special difficulties to get her fourth title of the season, grabbing gold in 57.26. The Hungarian great is the World Record holder in this distance, after her 56.51 performance in Berlin. It was also her fourth success in Doha, after the 100m and 200m back, and 200m IM titles. 

Rikke Pedersen (DEN) had an easy task in the women’s 200m breast, comfortably triumphing in 2:18.86. The Danish champion had already won in Moscow, while the best time so far belongs to Kierra Smith (CAN) from Hong Kong (2:18.48). 

The fifth gold for Sjostrom came in the 50m fly, where the Swedish star successfully touched in 24.76. It was her third victory in 2017, after previous successes in Berlin and Hong Kong. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), silver medallist in Doha, remains the fastest of the season, with her 24.54 winning time in Eindhoven.

In the last three finals of the day, Gergely Gyurta (HUN) became the fourth different winner of the season in the men’s 1500m free, touching for gold in 14:41.84. The fastest winner of 2017, Italy’s Gabriele Detti (14:18.33, from Berlin) was this time bronze medallist, behind the revelation of the meet, Maksym Shemberev, from Azerbaijan, the winner in the 400m IM on Day 1.

Katinka Hosszu got her fifth gold in Doha by winning the 400m IM, in a time of 4:27.94. This is her third victory of the season, with Mireia Belmonte (ESP) being the fastest with her WR of 4:18.94 in Eindhoven. With this triumph, the Magyar star ensured the triumph in the second cluster of the competition.

Finally, in the 4x50m free relay, the team of Netherlands got the gold in 1:32.20, followed by Germany (silver, 1:34.04) and China (bronze, 1:34.44). 

Top-3 Overall Ranking (after leg 5 in Doha)

MEN
1. Chad Le Clos (RSA), 312 points
2. Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 201 pts
3. Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 189 pts

WOMEN
1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 446 points
2. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 359 pts
3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 182 pts

Top-3 Cluster 2 (final)

MEN
1. Chad Le Clos (RSA), 153 points
2. Tom Shields (USA), 114 pts
3. Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 108 pts

WOMEN
1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 183 points
2. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 180 pts
3. Emily Seebohm (AUS), 96 pts