Khalid Habib, FINA Media Committee member

The second leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 kicked off today in Doha, Qatar with the participation of 131 swimmers from 23 countries competing for three days from 13 to 15 September at the Hamad Aquatic Centre. 

The star of the first day was the Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu with her two gold medals in the women's 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly, and the bronze in the 50m backstroke. Katinka came first in the 400m freestyle with a time of 4:10.02, the second place was for Femke Heemskerk from Netherlands with 4:12.56 and the third was Chanzhen Zhou from China with 4:13.62. The result in the women's final of the 200m butterfly was Hosszu in first with a time of 2:09.26; her compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos came second with 2:10.34 and the South African swimmer Carina Brand came third with 2:35.58.  

After finishing her fifth final in the first day in Doha, Katinka Hosszu said: ''I am not completely satisfied but definitely happy that I completed all races and still two more days to compete, so I am looking forward to winning more medals".

In the final of the women's 50m backstroke, Kira Toussaint from Netherlands came first with a time of 28.01, the second was her teammate Ranomi Kromowidjojo with 28.49 and the third was Hosszu with 28.57. 

Blake Pieroni from the USA finished the final of the men's 400m freestyle in the first place with a time of 3:53.98 and won the gold medal, while the silver and bronze went to Lorenz Weiremans from Belgium and Yuhang Wu (China), who finished second and third respectively with 3:54.94 and 3:55.57.  

After the victory, Blake Pieroni said: "I didn’t swim for about three years, so it is one of the best times and I am very happy for winning with this result. It was a very good race and everyone was close". 

The second gold medal for the USA in the first day in Doha was won by Michael Andrew in the men's 100m butterfly with a time of 51.83. The second was Ryan Coetzee from South Africa with 52.20 and the third was Mathys Goosen from Netherlands with 52.99. 

And as expected, the Swedish champion Sarah Sjostrom managed to easily win her only race in the first day, the 50m free. She touched first with a time of 23.99. The second and third places were for Dutch swimmers: Femke Heemskerk with 24.54 and Ranomi Kromowidjojo with 24.62.  

In the final of the men's 200m backstroke, the Australian swimmer Mitchell Larkin won the gold with a time of 1:57.45. Manuel Martos Bacarizo from Spain came second with 2:02.52 and David Verraszto from Hungary finished third with 2:07.08.

The Brazilian swimmer Felipe Lima won the gold medal of the exciting men's 100m breaststroke final with a time of 59.61. Amo Kamminga from Netherlands came second with 59.74 and the bronze was for the Russian Anton Chupkov with 59.89.

Yulia Efimova (RUS)

The Russian swimmers won two gold medals in the first day of Doha’s leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018. Yulia Efimova came first in the final of the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:23.55. Her compatriot Vitalina Simonova came second with 2:24.06 and the Spanish Alba Vazquea Ruiz was third with 2:30.33.  

Yulia Efimova said: ''I did pretty well, I finished the European Championship and took rest with no training at all. I just came back a couple of days before participating in Kazan and wining here in Doha, I am so happy and excited''.

Vladimir Morozov from Russia won the last race of the initial day. He came first and got the gold medal of the men's 50m freestyle with a time of 21.80. Michael Andrew from the USA and his teammate Blake Pieroni came second and third with 21.95 and 22.17 respectively.

Top-3 Ranking after Day 1 in Doha (QAT):

MEN

1. MOROZOV Vladimir (RUS) 66 pts
2. ANDREW Michael (USA) 63
3. CHUPKOV Anton (RUS) 54

WOMEN

1. SJÖSTRÖM Sarah (SWE) 72 pts
2. HOSSZU Katinka (HUN) 66
3. EFIMOVA Yuliya (RUS) 54