Chad, Cameron win in Dubai
Dubai - Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, considered by many as a potential star in the future, lived up to her billing when she won three golds and a bronze on the opening night of the FINA World Cup 2012 series opener on Tuesday.
Hosszu, in her debut season as a professional swimmer, started the evening's medal session with a win in the 800m freestyle, and went on to win the 200m freestyle and the 200m individual medley, as well as a third place in the 200m backstroke to pocket a cool $5 000 for the night ($1,500 for each win and $500 for the bronze).
Hosszu clocked 8:31.70 in 800m freestyle to finish almost two seconds ahead of Slovenia's Tanja Smid, and then returned to snare the 200m crown in 1:55.97. Hong Kong's Sze Hang Yu was second in 1:57.12.
The 200 IM was won ahead of compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos in a timing of 2:10.53 at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex.
Therese Alshammar, the 35-year-old from Sweden, the women's World Cup winner the last two times and four times in last six years, showed no signs of slowing down as she won twice - the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle - to bank $3,000.
Among the men, Australia's Kenneth To was most successful, claiming both the Individual Medley and 100m freestyle honours.
Two of the biggest names in the field - defending men's World Cup champion Chad le Clos and South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh, winner in the 2009 and 2010 series, and both Olympic champions - did not disappoint and won their respective events.
South African Le Clos, who edged out Michael Phelps by 0.05 seconds in London to win the 200m butterfly gold, was too good to be caught in the same event here, and won by one-tenth of a second over Daiya Seto of Japan with a timing of 1:51.61. Seto later had the consolation of winning the 400m individual medley.
Le Clos later also won silver in the 50m butterfly. Kenya's Jason Dunford won that event in 22.77, with Le Clos coming home in 22.86.
Van der Burgh, in his first race after his controversial gold in London 2012, was the overwhelming favourite in the 50m breaststroke and comfortably won in 26.64s.
In the first ever mixed 4x50m medley relay - one of the the two new events added this season featuring teams of two men and two women swimmers - Germany reigned supreme.
The team, comprising Jenny Mensing, Marco Koch, Helge Folkert Meeuw and Britta Steffen stopped the clock at 1:43.21 to finish ahead of Hungary and Ukraine.
While Dubai is the season-opener for the Swimming World Cup 2012 (two-day meets conducted on short, 25-meter courses), the eight-leg series will move to a brand new city next week when Doha, Qatar, hosts its first ever championship from October 6-7.
A total prize fund of $1.2m will be distributed to the winners by the end of the series.