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Aquatics | International

Chad le Clos © Gallo Images

Le Clos kept waiting in Singapore

Vladimir Morozov of Russia struck gold twice to carry the men’s series title race to a final day at the Fina/airweave Swimming World Cup in Singapore, on Saturday.

However, the Russian needs to set a world record in Sunday morning’s heats to prevent Chad le Clos of South Africa taking the crown off him ahead of Sunday night’s finals session.

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary also needs to set a world record in Sunday’s heats to have any chance of retaining the title she has held for five years, otherwise it passes to Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden.

Morozov went all out to lower his 50.30 world record in the 100m IM in a bid to pick up bonus points and exert some pressure on Le Clos, but touched home in 50.49.

The two title chasers later went head to head in the 50m free, with the Russian stopping the clock at 20.61, and Le Clos back in fifth (21.56).

The South African (1:49.25) had earlier won an epic duel with in-form Daiya Seto (JPN) in the 200m fly, setting a furious pace in the opening 100m, being overtaken by the Japanese at the 150, then producing a storming final 25m to win by almost a second.

Saturday’s results mean Morozov is now in pole position in the Beijing-Tokyo-Singapore cluster with 108 points, six ahead of Le Clos, with Seto third on 93.

Seto arrived in good form, after twice breaking the 400m IM world standard in the past week.

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Michael Andrew (USA) had a day to remember, claiming three world junior records — two in the 4x50m IM relay, and the other in the 100m IM behind Morozov, lowering his own mark from 51.86 to 51.65.

The American team of Trey Freeman, Regan Smith, Alex Walsh and Andrew swam 1:42.38 in the morning, then 1:41.91 in the final for fifth place, with Australia snatching victory from long-time leader Brazil at the death.

Cate Campbell (AUS) delayed Sjostrom’s coronation with victory (50.85) in the 100m free, ahead of the Swede (50.99) and Ranomi Kormowidjojo (NED). Sjostrom — whose World Cup career began in Singapore in 2007 — later finished sixth behind Hosszu and runner-up Emily Seebohm (AUS) in the 200m IM, but still has a healthy lead over the Hungarian in the cluster race.

Seebohm (AUS) (2:01.41) defeated Regan Smith (USA) and Hosszu in the 200m back — a repeat of the result in Tokyo earlier in the week.

In the series standings, Seebohm and Kromowidjojo are involved in a tight scrap for third, with the Dutch speedster holding a slender advantage.

World record-holder Alia Atkinson (JAM) tightened her grip on overall fifth spot with a facile victory in the opening race of the night, the 100m breast. She clocked 1:03.79 and has been beaten only once in the event this season, in Tokyo.

The men’s and women’s series winners take home $150 000 each, runners-up $100 000, and third-place finishers $50 000, following a prize-money increase announced by Fina in September.

That increase extends to cluster prize-money, which sees the Beijing-Tokyo-Singapore men’s and women’s winners collect $50 000 each, with eighth place the last spot to be rewarded ($3 000).

Article written by David Hulmes and sourced from www.fina.org


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