SWIMMING Preview: Hosszu chasing Sjostrom in final FINA World Cup

The Iron Lady: Hungary's Katinka Hosszu

We’re down to the final meet in the seven-leg FINA Swimming World Cup with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom trying to win her second straight seasonal title against five-time champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary.

After the computers got through the all the figuring, both scored 48 points at the Tokyo leg, so heading into this weekend’s racing:

1. 342 Vladimir Morozov (RUS)
2. 213 Kirill Prigoda (RUS)
3. 183 Mitchell Larkin (AUS)
4. 174 Michael Andrew (USA)
5. 159 Blake Pieroni (USA)

1. 285 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE)
2. 270 Katinka Hosszu (HUN)
3. 234 Yulifa Efimova (RUS)
4. 219 Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED)
5. 165 Femke Heemskerk (NED)

As is her custom, Hosszu has entered 15 of the 17 individual events, skipping only the 100 m Free and 100 m Fly, both of which are Sjostrom’s strong suit. Sjostrom has entered six events: the 50-100-200 m Frees, the 50-100 m Flys and the 100 m Medley. Each swimmer can get credit for points in a maximum of three events.

Winning three events has been no problem for Hosszu, but Sjostrom dropped to just one win last week in Tokyo, thanks to strong competition from Dutch sprint star Kromowidjojo. If that holds this week it could give Hosszu an opening, but the key will be the bonus points. Individual events are scored 12-9-6 (max of 36), but the top three performances in each gender according to the FINA points table are worth 24-18-12. If Hosszu could top the points race and Sjostrom were to falter in the pool slightly – like last week – the overall race will be too close to call.

In the men’s competition, Morozov has wrapped up the title and won his second World Cup – worth $150,000 – after winning in 2016. Second and third in the seasonal races, however, are worth $100,000 and $50,000, so Larkin and Andrew will have a lively competition for a substantial payday.

Prize money for the individual events is worth 1,500-1,000-500-400-300-200 for the top six. Another bonus will be available for the top scorer in the third cluster – Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore – of $50,000-35,000-30,000-20,000-10,000-5,000-4,000-3,000. At present, Morozov leads the third cluster among the men with 124 points, ahead of Prigoda (105) and Jiayu Xu (CHN: 104).

Hosszu had the edge in the women’s third-cluster race with 108 points, to 90 for Kromowidjojo and 81 each for Sjostom and Efimova.

Look for results here.