08 November, 2015

Cameron Van Derburgh And Katinka Hosszu Crowned Swimming World Cup Overall Champions

  • Seebohm and Larkin win Swimmers of the Meet

The final session of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup for 2015 promised a world class swimming spectacle, and delivered just that for around 2500 excited spectators at the Hamdan Sports Complex tonight as the world’s best swimmers battled it out for World Cup glory in the last session of the last leg for the year.


And in the final presentation of the evening, the overall winners for men and women, South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, received their US$100,000 winners cheque. For Hosszu this is the fourth consecutive win, while for van der Burgh it is his third, having won previously  in 2008 and 2009.

Hosszu also claimed the Tokyo-Doha-Dubai Cluster win for the women, with Mitch Larkin of Australia taking out the men’s pointscore. Both received US$50,000 for their win.

Larkin also won male Swimmer of the Meet, with team mate Emily Seebohm taking out the award for female Swimmer of the Meet.

The competition in the pool was fast and furious from the outset, with the first race, the women’s 100m freestyle seeing Australia’s Melanie Wright take the 50/100m free double, touching out Katinka Hosszu by a mere .02 of a second. Italy’s Federica Pellegrini had to settle for bronze.

Wright said: “I knew that Katinka would be a lot faster tonight, she gets fired up when she doesn’t win so I knew she’d be coming hard in the last lap. My strength is my finishing speed so I had to back myself and I was lucky to get the touch. I’ve really enjoyed the World Cup, it’s been a good block of racing.”

The next race was just as thrilling, with UAE based Velimir Stjepanovic (SRB) being urged on by a very vocal crowd in the 200m freestyle. Stjepanovic lead at every turn but was mowed down in the last few metres by James Guy(GBR), Guy finishing just .03 ahead of him, with 100m winner Jeremy Stravius (FRA) in third. Stjepanovic said “I’m really happy with that. This time is my second fastest ever, it’s a shame he beat me by .3, the crowd definitely helped me, I really appreciate the support. He is the world champ in 200m free, so to be that close to him is really good.”

The battle of the world’s best men’s breaststrokers was next up, with all three medallists from the 100m at the World Championships - Adam Peaty (GBR), Cameron van der Burgh and Ross Murdoch (GBR)- in the fray. Van der Burgh again managed to overcome Peaty to finish first, with Peaty second and Murdoch third. The win gave van der Burgh a clean sweep in both the 50m and 100m across all eight stops of the Swimming World Cup.

‘I’m really happy with that, eight out of eight, we saved the best for last, all the fastest times and the best guys. We had a lot of fun out there, I hope the audience enjoyed it. It’s a good rehearsal for the Olympics, next time we meet it will probably be at the big one, so it will be a lot more serious. The 50m format attracts a lot more quality swimmers, world champions and medallists.  I’m very very happy to have won the overall Cup again. I was going to just do the first two and the last two but after the first two legs I was leading the points so I thought I should try to take it. I had to make some sacrifices to do it to do the travelling and training but I’m happy I did. It’s head down now until the Olympic Games.”

Bruno Fratus tool out the splash and dash 50m freestyle ahead of Chad Le Clos and Anthony Ervin, but Le Clos added another gold in the 100m butterfly, finishing ahead of Tom Shields (USA) and Singapore’s Zheng Wen Quah.

After the battle of the breaststrokers, it was the battle of the backstrokers, with Australia’s Emily Seebohm going for a clean sweep in the 100m. Hosszu pushed her hard but Seebohm held on for the win, finishing.39 off world record.

Seebohm said “I probably should have rested today instead of going shopping and buying a handbag! I could see Katinka coming in the last lap and I thought no, I have to pay off this bag! It’s been a really long series, I’ve pretty much been away since Kazan, so I’m looking forward to getting home and doing a solid block of training. The racing has been a great experience, I’ve had a great season.”

Hosszu was also beaten to the wall in the 400m freestyle by New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle, with Jaz Carlin in third.

Boyle said “Katinka just did two world class swims right before that, she’s just in another league. It’s so impressive to swim next to her, and be near her level she’s so inspiring and what she’s done for in swimming is just so great, especially for women in swimming. It’s not just the multiple events, multiple strokes and distances, it’s that she’s a more mature athlete and reaching these levels at the age of 26 and a lot of old school people think you have to be young to perform but she’s showing that her strengths are coming as she gets older and that’s great.”

Mitch Larkin and David Plummer’s rivalry in the 50m backstroke continued, with Plummer beating Larkin to the wall by just .04 of a second. Larkin recovered though to post an emphatic win in the 200m, beating Masaki Kaneko by over 5 seconds.

Larkin said “It was an amazing season, it was mentally tough to get up for this race, my third 200 in two weeks, but I felt good and I’m happy with my swims. I knew this was the last swim and the last leg so I got up for that.  I’m looking forward to getting home and getting into training.”

In other results Felicia Lee rounded off a great meet, taking her second gold of the meet in the 50m butterfly, to go with her gold in the 100m. Alia Atkinson(JAM) managed to hold off Molly Hannis (USA) to take the 50m breaststroke, and the 50m/100m double.  Zsuzsanna Jakobos continued Hungary’s winning performances, taking out the 200m butterfly, Keita Sunama of Japan repeated his performance in Doha, winning won the men’s 200m IM and Turkey’s Viktoria Gunes won the 200m breaststroke. The men’s 1500 turned on quite the show in the final lap, with Czech Republic’s Jan Micka mowing down Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk in the last few metres, finishing just .26 ahead.

The final event of the evening, and of the series, appropriately belonged to Katinka Hosszu with the Iron lady taking out the 400m IM ahead of Sakiko Shimizu and Caitlin Leverenz.

Hosszu said: “I was happy and surprised with my time, I had to try to keep focused, I knew I had won, I had one more race and a pretty hard one.”

When told about Lauren Boyle’s comments about her changing the face of women’s swimming, Hosszu said “That’s great that she said that, after London it was on my mind that I wanted an Olympic medal, but since then so much has changed, that for me now it’s not the ultimate goal, I would really like to push swimming forward and I would like to influence the sport. When I stop I want to look back and say wow I really did something that hopefully inspired others, so hearing such things is great.

“I’m really excited I won the World Cup again, as we speak I haven’t really thought about it and I didn’t want to relax before the 400IM. I’m really happy how I did this year, I’ve made a lot of progress in my long course swimming and that’s definitely really exciting. It gives me a lot of confidence for next year also. My times got faster throughout the eight stops, I should be tired but for all of my events I swam the fastest here.”

The 2015 Swimming World Cup was held over eight legs, and three clusters, with men and women vying for prize money and points in each leg and cluster. The overall male and female points winners won US$100,000. The Swimming World Cup this year was held in a 50m pool for the first time, as the event also served as an Olympic qualifying event.

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