South Africans made the headlines on Day Two the World Cup in Berlin with Matt Sates setting a new junior world record in the men’s 200m Individual Medley, while Chad le Clos won the 200m fly to claim his 146th World Cup win and extended the gap between himself and the rest of the field in the men’s all-time ranks.
The Aussies also enjoyed a fine day with three titles, including another one for Kylie Chalmers who won the 100m free after a gap of nine years. In terms of time-gap, Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Jakabos had an even more remarkable feat as she managed to snatch victories in the 400m Individual Medley ten years apart.
Though Katinka Hosszu, the most dominant swimmer in the World Cup history with 309 gold medals, is far ahead in the top list, Hungary’s success story continued in the women’s 400m Individual Medley.
For eight years (2012-19) Hosszu was 56 for 60 in this event and triumphed in the last 18 – and now compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos earned a convincing win in the first final of the second day. Her feat is even more remarkable considering that she was already part of the show at the beginning of the last decade when she won the long Individual Medley in Stockholm in 2011. Claiming victories in this gruelling event ten years apart is indeed a great feat by itself.
The other medley final of the session also brought an eye-catching result with upcoming South African talent Sates bettering the junior World Record set by Japan’s Daiya Seto back in 2012. Sates shaved off a full second to finish in 1:51.45 to claim his second gold here, after his victory in the 100m Individual Medley on the opening day.
The specialists also went on adding the next title on offer in their respective strokes with Dutchman Arno Kamminga coming first in the 50m breast and German veteran Christian Diener doing the same in the back, to win the dash to pair it with the 200m title from Day 1.
And last but not least, Aussie Kylie Chalmers hit the wall first in the 100m (he had claimed the 50m on Friday), and his 45.73 is a great effort in anybody’s language. The 2016 Olympic champion and the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist won this event in the Japanese capital at the 2016 World Cup leg, then he swam 46.12 and that had been a junior World Record back then. The event had belonged to Vlad Morozov in the past four years when the Russian went 24/29, but he did not line up for the start this time around.
In the women’s races the Friday victors didn’t have much success this time.
The 100m back title went to Lousie Hansson of Sweden – interestingly, this time it was she kept the Canadians Margaret MacNeil and Kylie Masse at bay, what Kira Toussaint had done 24 hours earlier in the 50m. Touissaint came 4th here.
Aussie Madison Wilson won the 200m free with ease with 400m champion Isabele Gose finished third. Another win came from Down Under in the 50m butterfly where Holly Barratt stunned fellow Aussie Emma McKeon and MacNeil – the Canadian was the 100m fly gold medallist in Tokyo and McKeon had the bronze and completed the sprinting double at the Olympics. Barratt, 34, however, was way faster than them, she clocked 24.77, the lonely sub-25sec effort of the evening.
The 100m breast saw Israeli Anastasia Gorbenko coming home the fastest, it’s her second gold. She had clinched the 100m Individual Medley on Day 1. It was a bit of a surprise as this time she stunned Olympic champion Lydia Jacoby and junior European champion Eneli Jefimova. A day earlier Czech Krystina Horska did that trick but yesterday she arrived 6th to the wall.
To save some of the Olympic medallists’ pride, home hero Florian Wellbrock pulled off a fine win in the men’s 1500m free. The German, bronze medallist over this distance in Tokyo and champion in the marathon, deserves all credits since just a week ago he had won a 10km race in the Open Water Cup in Barcelona then he could switch back to pool swimming in time to make it to the top at the home leg of the World Cup.
In the last individual final, it was once more the Tom Shields versus Chad le Clos Show – in the 100m fly the veteran American hit the wall first, now it was le Clos’ turn in the 200m.
The four-time overall winner South African opted for an unusual tactics – usually he rushes in front and tries to keep his advantage till the end, but in the race yesterday he waited till the last 50m to launch a fierce finish and passed Shields over the last leg to beat him by 0.19sec.
It was Le Clos’ 146th win in the World Cup history – so he further expanded his lead in the all-time ranks ahead of Morozov who is second with 122.
The session-closing mixed 4x50m free relay was great fun, the US sailed away with the win, ahead of Germany and Hungary.