World class international swimming returned to Dubai this morning with the first day’s heats of the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup kicking off at the Hamdan Sports Complex.
As expected, reigning World Cup champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary lived up to her ‘Iron Lady’ moniker, qualifying first in all four of her events. Hosszu narrowly missed the World Cup record in the 200m freestyle, finishing in 1:51.50, .09 shy of the time she set in Doha four days ago. Hosszu said yesterday that she was disappointed to have missed the world record in Doha, and would be aiming to break it in Dubai.
I hope I can go faster tonight the first swim always feels a little weird so it’s good to get it out of the way. I was going for it, it’s still inside the old world record so that’s good, I usually swim faster at night so we’ll see.
she said. Her time in the 200m individual medley (2:03.07) was also short of the new world record she set in Doha last Wednesday, but was still under the previous world mark.
Reigning men’s Swimming World Cup champion Chad Le Clos also qualified fastest for the 100m freestyle in 48.09 final, just ahead of Poland’s Konrad Czerniak in 48.25. But Le Clos only just scraped into the 50m butterfly final, qualifying 8th.
After the 100m freestyle, Le Clos said
That was a good hit out, but I hope to go much faster tonight. It’s hard to focus again so quickly after Doha, so I hope to do better tonight.
Le Clos’ country man Roland Schoeman, the veteran of the field at 34 years of age, qualified first in the 50m butterfly in 22.64. Schoeman also qualified third for the 50m breaststroke behind Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli and Russia’s Andrei Nikolaev.
The Dubai competition is the second round of the seven-leg highly competitive World Cup series, which commenced in Doha on 27-28 August. After Dubai the competition will move onto to Hong Kong, then Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo. The final event will be held in Singapore on November 1-2. .
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. Points are awarded for performances using a FINA scale which is based on the current world record time. Points are accumulated over the seven leg series, with prizemoney for all medalists. The overall top scorer in the men’s and women’s section at the end of the series will win USD$100,000.
Organisers have also included special races for children on both days to give them the opportunity to be part of the event. The “Children’s Swimming Festival” will feature 50m races for 8-12 year olds, and is open to any child who can swim that distance.
The competition will continue tomorrow with heats in the morning at 10am, and finals being contested from 5.30pm. Tickets to the event will be available online at platinumlist.net or at the door at the Hamdan Sports Complex, which is located on Emirates Road (E611). All details, including information on the Children’s World Cup, can be found on the Facebook page: FINA/Mastbank Swimming World Cup 2014 – Dubai.