Jia Li, FINA Press Correspondent in China

The 2019 FINA Swimming World Cup [1] in Jinan, China, closed its curtain on Saturday August 10 with wonderful performances of the swimmers.

Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes met no threat in the opening event, the men’s 400m IM, and won the gold medal in 4:20.50. Brennan Gravely of the United States came second in 4:34.99, and Chu Chen-Kai from Chinese Taipei ranked third in 4:38.75.

“It’s was little bit lonely out there,” said the winner, who led all the way in the race. “But it was Ok. It is the last day of the Jinan leg, and there is such good crowd. The race was good, and I hope I can be quicker in Singapore.”

Jinan is the second leg of the 2019 FINA Swimming World Cup which includes seven legs, and next leg will be held in Singapore from August 15-17.

In the women’s 800m free, Erica Sullivan of the U.S. touched the wall first in 8:26.13. Sullivan was also the 400m free winner here. China’s Hou Yawen ranked second in 8:26.79, while Maddy Gough of Australia came third.

Soon later Sullivan took part in the 200m back and finished third, while Aussie Emily Seebohm dominated her favourite event in 2:09.56.

“I’m hurting a lot. It’s really painful. The 800m free and 200m back combo is not an easy one, but I tried hard. I’m really happy with the result but I’m really tired,” said Sullivan. “I am going to Singapore, and I will start training for Tokyo 2020.”

Seebohm, World Record holder of the 200m back, also took a sliver in the 100m back and a bronze in the 50m back.

Teammate Mitchell Larkin collected his third gold medal in Jinan as he touched home first in the men's 100m back in 53.79. Larkin also won the 200m IM and 200m back.

China’s Zhang Yufei won the women’s 100m fly title in 57.41, her best time of the year. Denmark’s veteran Jeanette Ottesen trailed in 58.34, while Hungary’s Jakabos Zsuzsanna ranked third in 58.39.

“I am really happy with the time, which is my fastest time of the year and is much faster than my World Championships time,” conceded Zhang.

“The 100m fly was scheduled on the first day of the World Championships and I was not in good form at that time,” she explained. “This time I am really relaxed and just wanted to try my best.”

Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo, runner-up of the men’s 50m fly at the Tokyo leg, won this time in Jinan in 22.93. Michael Andrew of the United States came second in 23.13, and Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin took third in 23.66.

Jamaica's Alia Atkinson, who won the 100m breast on Friday, fulfilled her aim in Jinan as she had expected the 50m and 100m breast titles before the competition. The 50m World Cup record holder and 25m World record holder snatched the gold medal in 30.92.

“It was good. Although it was slower than I wanted, but I think it’s because I am tired after three days of competition.” Atkinson said.

“We are going to Singapore, but not sure yet about Budapest,” she added. “The Tokyo Games will be my fifth Olympic Games, and right now I need to get faster every time I swim to prepare for it.”

USA's Andrew Wilson pocketed the men’s 200m breast gold again after he did so in Tokyo with 2:08.24. China’s Zhang Ruixuan came second in 2:10.68, while Lithuania’s Andrius Sidlauskas settled for bronze in 2:11.65.

“The last 50m were really hard, but I am happy that I won,” said Wilson.

Cate Campbell of Australia, who won the 50m fly just for fun on Friday, returned to her signature 100m free and won the race in a new World Cup record 52.34. Sweden’s Michelle Coleman finished second in 53.73, while the bronze went to China’s Zhang Yuhan in 56.52.

“It was a close race and I am really really happy,” said Campbell. “I really enjoy racing here and I like the atmosphere here in China. It was really fun.”

Lithuania's Danas Rapsys, who set a new World Cup record to win the 400m free in Jinan, broke the 200m free World Cup record and win the title in 1:45.07, leaving China’s Ji Xinjie second (1:46.68).

Asked why he was so fast in Jinan, Rapsys said: “I don’t know. Maybe a little bit rested (after Tokyo). But I did want to go under 45 (1:45), it was very close. For now it’s good."

“I am going to Singapore. I’ll see what I can do.” he added.

In the women's 200m IM, Hungary's Katinka Hosszu bagged her fourth gold medal of the Jinan leg in 2:09.41, while her teammate Zsuzsanna came second in 2:13.32, and Seebohm finished third in 2:17.39.

Trying to qualify for the Tokyo Games, Team China broke the World Cup record to win the mixed 4x100m medley relay in 3:43.79.