Tomoaki Tasaka, FINA Press Correspondent (JPN)

Hungarian superstar Katinka Hosszu participated in the 400m IM today, November 10, when she grabbed her third gold medal in Tokyo, the second day of the penultimate leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018.

Hosszu, who won the latter race in 4:21.91 said:

“I am really happy with this result. I love this particular race, the 400m IM!”

The race runner-up Ohashi (JPN) established a new Japanese National Record in 4:22.73 and took the silver medal on offer.

In the 100m backstroke, Hosszu swam well too but only secured the third place in 56.47. The winner of this event was Minna Atherton, 18-year-old, of Australia (56.04). Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands placed second. She had won the 50m backstroke.

“These short-course competitions are a first for me. To maintain my consistency throughout the World Cup, I am trying to keep my training during these periods”, Atherton said.

In the men's 50m backstroke, Xu Jiayu (CHN), who established a short-course Asian record at the Beijing leg, grabbed the gold in the 100m backstroke.

The leading role of the women's 200m freestyle went to Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands despite overall ranking leader Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) tried to catch up with the Dutch swimmer in the last 50m. Heemskerk managed to hold on it by 0.01 and claimed victory in 1:51.91.

“Usually, the races with Sarah are always tough, so I am so happy that I could win tonight. I wanted to be the fastest, or at least swim faster than in Beijing, then this time to be under 1:52 again, it was good for me”, Heemskerk said.

Dutch Ranomi Kromowidjojo got the gold in the women's 50m butterfly in 24.51, a really tough race with Sjostrom finishing second in 24.58.

”I could enjoy the race very much and make my personal best time. Sjostrom and Ikee are really fast so it was hard to win,” Kromowidjojo said.

The men's 200m IM was won by Asian Games champion Wang Shun (CHN) thanks to his powerful freestyle swim (1:51.45), and Hagino of Japan ranked second in 1:52.50.

“I respect Hagino and I am very happy that I could defeat him. I was able to swim according to the advice of my coach, and I got the expected result,” Wang said.

Breaststroker representing Slovenia Peter Stevens beat the Russian ace Kirill Prigoda in the men's 50m breaststroke, winning his first title in 26.03. Li Zhuhao (CHN) swam faster than the World Record line until the middle of the race, defeating Japanese Masato Sakai in the men's 200m butterfly in the 1:50.92.

“I like more 100m comparing to 200m, but now I am focused on 200m. I am very happy with this result. I think that butterfly’s underwater-kicking is going well and leads to this result. I will try my best also in Singapore next week,” Li said.

The men 's 100m freestyle was a complex three-way race as Rio Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers (AUS), American Blake Pieroni, and Russian Vladimir Morozov took part. From the beginning to the end, Morozov showed his breakneck speed to the audience of the venue, then he picked up the victory with the World Cup Record (45.16). Chalmers got silver in 45.78 and Pieroni seized bronze in 46.79.

“I made the best time for this season in the 50m freestyle and in the 100m freestyle I was becoming closer and closer to the World Record, so I am pretty happy with this time,” Morozov said.

In the women’s 100m breaststroke, Jamaica's Alia Atkinson kept Efimova (RUS) away throughout the whole race and finally won in 1:03.09.

“The result was pretty good. I wanted to be a bit faster than I did, but I still have Singapore so it is fine for now. I rushed to stroke in this 100m and if I get a rest before the Singapore leg, I will be able to swim more technically using my muscles efficiently,” Atkinson said.

Ukraine's Mykhailo Romanchuk who won the gold medal in 400m and 800m freestyle this year at the European Swimming Championship won this time again in men's 1500m freestyle (14:27.93).

The last race of Day 2 was the mixed 4x50m freestyle. Beyond our expectation, Japan's NUHW Swimming Club overcame the Australian team which included sprinter Kyle Chalmers, and claimed an unexpected gold medal in 1: 31.72.