Jumat, 05 Oktober 2012

Big names win in Swimming World Cup in Dubai


Cameron van der Burgh and Chad Le Clos thrill crowds

The line up in every race in the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup in Dubai on Tuesday put on a crowd pleasing display of swimming.

Olympic champions Cameron van der Burgh and Chad Le Clos thrilled the crowds with closely fought wins. After qualifying fastest in the 50m breaststroke, van der Burgh took the gold in his only swim of the night ahead of countryman Guilio Zorzi and Glenn Syders of New Zealand. 

Le Clos had a much tougher fight to overcome Japan’s Daiya Seto who had qualified ahead of him in the 200m butterfly. Seto led for much of the race, but Le Clos managed to overtake in the last few metres to win by .73 of a second. Velimir Stjepanovic, swimming for UAE clubs, came in third.

Le Clos couldn’t make it ten out of ten wins in Dubai, being pipped in the 50m butterfly by Kenya’s Jason Dunford.  Dunford was full of praise for Le Clos, and was pleased to touch out the quality field which also included South Africa’s Roland Schoeman and Olympic Silver medalist Evgeny Korotyshkin.

While Le Clos may have taken the gold in the 200fly ahead of him, Seto didn’t miss out on gold altogether, taking out the 400m individual medley. He left Hungary’s Olympic Bronze medalist Laszlo Cseh and China’s Huang Chaosheng to fight out the minor medals, with Cseh taking silver.

Australia’s Kenneth To was another dual gold medalist, staging a surprise upset in the 100m freestyle. To had qualified equal 5th in the morning heats but mowed down the opposition to take the gold in the final, then backed up with another win in the 100m individual medley, after qualifying fastest in the heats.

World record holder Stanislav Donets of Russia triumphed over Ashley Delaney of Australia in the 100m backstroke while Kosuke Hagino of Japan was pushed hard by Robert Hurley of Australia in the 400m freestyle. Hurley was very pleased with his silver, setting a personal best time.

Marco Koch rounded out the men’s gold medalists with a win over Seto on the 200m breaststroke.

The big performer in the women’s ranks was Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who took out the 800m freestyle before backing up to take the 200m freestyle just two races later.  She then went on to stamp her dominance on the meet with a win in the 200m individual medley, before tiring to take third in the 200m backstroke won by Darya Zevina of Ukraine. 

Therese Alshammar  took gold in both the 100m butterfly and the 50m freestyle. Alshammar, who is recovering from a neck injury, was pleased to kick off her World Cup campaign with two wins. In winning both races, she triumphed over her nearest rivals in Inge Dekker of Netherlands and Britta Steffen of Germany.

Alshammar’s compatriot Jennie Johansson managed to hold off Japan’s Fumiko Kawanabe in the 100m breaststroke, while Australia’s Rachel Goh took gold in the 50m backstroke with a solid win over Japan’s Inada Noriko.

The evening finished with a first for Dubai and for the World Cup with the 4x50m mixed medley relay, where countries enter a team of two men and two women to swim a medley relay. This is the first time such a race has been swum at a World Cup and will be featured in each of the eight leg series this year.

The event certainly entertained the large crowd as it was impossible to predict the winner. Germany triumphed in this inaugural race, followed by Hungary and the Ukraine.

This is the second time Dubai has held the first leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup series. Over 190 swimmers representing 30 countries will compete again on Wednesday on the last day of the competition at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex.

Heats are from 9-11am, and finals will be contested from 6-8pm. Tickets to the event will be available at the door, at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex, which is located on the Dubai Bypass Road (E611).

The Dubai competition is first of the eight-leg World Cup series, which then moves on to Doha, Stockholm, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore. The Swimming World Cup is contested in a 25m pool and sees both men and women vying for prize money in each of the 36 events. 

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