Chad, Roland golden in Tokyo

2014-10-29 09:48

Tokyo - For the fifth consecutive year the “Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre” is hosting a Fina World Cup meet, this time for the penultimate leg of the seven-meet series.

Some of the world’s best swimmers have gathered here, including the World Cup’s leaders Katinka Hosszu, of Hungary, and Chad Le Clos, of South Africa. Moreover, the elite of the Japanese Swimming Federation, led by Daichi Suzuki, the unforgettable winner of the 100m backstroke at the 1988 Seoul’s Olympics, swimming under water for most of the distance, are also competing in Tokyo. Among the best Japanese are the versatile Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto, the backstroker Irie and the breaststroker Kanako Watanabe.

Hosszu is going into this meet with 39 gold medals won in the previous five legs of the series, plus three silver and three bronze medals. In addition she has set five world records, all of them in the medley events: twice in the 100 and 200 metres and one in the 400 metres.

The only world record among the men was set by Hosszu’s compatriot Daniel Gyurta on the 200m breaststroke. All six world records were set at the first two legs, either Doha or Dubai: perhaps a sign that swimmers were benefitting from the good form displayed at the European Championships, which had concluded a few days earlier.

Le Clos has won 21 gold medals. In the medal count, Dutch Inge Dekker is second among the women with 20 medals, 19 gold and one silver.

For the first time, a new technological device, an electronic lap counter, developed by Omega Timing, placed on the floor at the centre of each lane, at the turning end of the swimming pool is being tested in the middle distance events – 800m and 1500m freestyle - in view of its official utilisation already from the Fina World Swimming Championships (25m) coming up in December in Doha (Qatar).

It will make it easier for the swimmer to read the numbers. Simultaneously on the scoreboard for each lane appears the “laps to go” words and the corresponding number. From the application of this new device all will benefit: swimmers, judges and public. The swimmers here are enthusiastic.

Peter Huerzeler, Senior member of the Omega Timing Board, anticipates that the device is susceptible to further developments, which could prompt an advancement in training systems and in swimmers' performances, thanks to the displaying of the lap time at each turn, and others.

In the 50m breaststroke South African veteran Roland Schoeman made it again in 26.02, the best time in this series, ahead of Daniel Gyurta, 26.60 (HUN) and Ryouta Nomura (JPN), 26.84. Schoeman had won this event three times earlier in the series.

In the 200m butterfly the hot duel between the Olympic champion Chad Le Clos and Japan’s Daiya Seto was the best thing of the meet so far. They swam head to head till the last stroke, with the South African gaining victory in 1:49.20, the best winning time this year, and Seto touching in second place, in 1:49.68. Le Clos had won this race in the previous two meets, in the same time, 1:49.73.

Myles Brown dominated in the 400m freestyle race winning in 3:37.96, with UK’s James Guy second in 3:40.82 and Thomas Fraser-Holmes third 3:41.30. David McKeon, also of Australia, was fourth in 3:41.48. Germany’s Paul Biedermann was a distant sixth, in a slow 3:42.26. Fraser-Holmes had won the first four meets. The best time was set by China’s Yang Sun in the Beijing’s meet, in 3:37.10.

Two titans from South Africa, Chad Le Clos and Roland Schoeman claimed gold and silver in the 50m butterfly, respectively in 22.20 and 22.66. Germany’s Steffen Deibler was third in 22.72 with Kouhei Kawamoto, of Japan’s, fourth in 22.84. For Le Clos this was the sixth straight victory in this race and the second gold medal of the day, the 23rd in the series.