SWIMMING: Fast times in China World Cup as Liu posts no. 2 time in 2019 in 50 m Back

Two-time World Cup champion Vladimir Morozov (RUS)

The level of competition was down at the second stage of the FINA World Cup in Jinan (CHN), but the marks continued at a high level:

● China’s world-record holder Xiang Liu won the 50 m Backstroke in a speedy 27.35 on Thursday, the second-fastest time in the world this year, just behind American Olivia Smoliga’s 27.33 that won the World Championships.

● Australia’s Cate Campbell won the 50 m Freestyle in 24.16, the fifth-fastest performance in 2019, but slower than her own mark of 24.00, which is no. 2.

● Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, the men’s points leader, won the 50 m Free in 21.50, a season’s best that strengthens his hold on the no. 5 spot on the world list.

● Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys won the 400 m Free in 3:43.91, just slower then his 3:43.36 that is no. 4 on the world list.

Erica Sullivan got the first women’s World Cup win of the season for the U.S., taking the 400 m Freestyle in 4:08.70.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the 200 m Butterfly in a very fast 2:07.26; that would be no. 7 on the 2019 list except for her own 2:06.94 mark from May. She put the World Cup in some perspective, noting “After the World Championships, we don’t have time to make adjustments, so I just carried through. The World Cup is more relaxed than the World Championships. I think it is a fun way to just enjoy swimming for what it is and not what you have to do. You choose your events and see what you can do. We have more time to spend with other swimmers, we traveled together and we had days off to walk around the city, it’s really fun.”

As was the case in the Tokyo season opener, the real “Iron Lady” was Russian Vitalina Simonova, who competed in four of the five events held. She finished 11th in the 50 m Free, ninth in the 400 m Free, 11th in the 50 m Back, but won in her specialty, the 200 Breast in 2:24.52, a season’s best. She’s trying to swim in 14 of the 16 individual events for the second straight meet.

Competition continues through Saturday. Summaries so far:

FINA Swimming World Cup II
Jinan (CHN) ~ 8-10 August 2019
(Full results here)

Men

50 m Freestyle: 1. Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 21.50; 2. Michael Andrew (USA), 22.16; 3. Hexin Yu (CHN), 22.31. Also: 5. Blake Pieroni (USA), 22.39.

400 m Free: 1. Danas Rapsys (LTU), 3:43.91; 2. Xinjie Ji (CHN), 3:49.87; 3. Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS), 3:54.20. Also: 5. Brennan Gravely (USA), 3:59.13.

200 m Backstroke: 1. Mitch Larkin (AUS), 1:56.39; 2. Tristan Hollard (AUS), 1:57.94; 3. Jiayu Xu (CHN), 1:59.59.

100 m Breaststroke: 1. Zibei Yan (CHN), 59.08; 2. tie, Lizhuo Wang (CHN) and Andrew Wilson (USA), 59.56.

100 m Butterfly: 1. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), 51.45; 2. Grant Irvine (AUS), 51.60; 3. Santo Condorelli (ITA), 52.00. Also: 4. Michael Andrew (USA), 52.08.

Women

50 m Freestyle: 1. Cate Campbell (AUS), 24.16; 2. Michelle Coleman (SWE), 24.74; 3. Holly Barratt (AUS), 24.91.

400 m Free: 1. Erica Sullivan (USA), 4:08.70; 2. Wenxin Bi (CHN), 4:10.23; 3. Jie Dong (CHN), 4:11.32.

50 m Backstroke: 1. Xiang Liu (CHN), 27.35; 2. Jie Chen (CHN), 27.88; 3. Emily Seebohm (AUS), 27.99.

200 m Breaststroke: 1. Vitalina Simonova (RUS), 2:24.52; 2. Jingyao Yu (CHN), 2:27.51; 3. Yun He (CHN), 2:28.13.

200 m Butterfly: 1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:07.26; 2. Szuszsanna Jakabos (HUN), 2:07.75; 3. Yufei Zhang (CHN), 2:08.89.