Doha: Overall leaders Vladimir Morozov (RUS) and Cate Campbell (AUS) clinched gold medals on the first day of FINA Swimming World Cup Doha 2019 at the Hamad Aquatic Centre on Thursday.
Katinka Hosszu (HUN) and South African star Chad Le Clos also thrilled their fans by winning gold medals, while Danas Rapsys (LTU) also grabbed the spotlight by completing a clean sweep of gold medals in men’s 400 freestyle with his seventh successive win.
Morozov, who came to the seventh and final meet with a huge 87-point lead, further strengthened his position for over title after winning the thrilling men’s 50m freestyle final, clocking 21.83 – just fractions of a second ahead of Kosuke Matsui (JPN) 22.02 and Maxim Lobanovskij (HUN) 22.04.
“It feels very good. This race is getting closer and closer each day. I am happy to be a winner in this tight race. I am been racing a lot since last three months and I feel a bit tired,” said Morozov.
Campbell, meanwhile, was fastest (24.11) in the 50m freestyle final as she edged Michelle Coleman (SWE) 24.50, who won silver in an exciting finish.
“I am happy to win the race. Michelle (Coleman) pushed me hard. It’s been an amazing competition with her. We both get the best out of each other,” said the Australian star.
Campbell, who was leading Hosszu by 24 points in the overall rankings after Kazan meet, is still facing a tough competition from the Hungarian, who won the 200m butterfly title on Thursday.
Hosszu clocked 2:08.60 for her 302 nd World Cup victory, beating team- mate Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:08.95).
“We Hungarians are strong and do a lot of hard training. I would like to thanks my supporters and the Hungarian fans especially for their support,” said Hosszu.
Multi-Olympic medalist, Le Clos took win in 100m butterfly with Jakub Majerski (POL) and Michael Andrew (USA) getting the next two positions respectively.
In the men’s 400 freestyle, Rapsys was clinical as he took victory in 3:47.87 with Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) 3:48.61 and Jan Micka (CZE) (3:50.20) taking silver and bronze medal.
“My strategy was to be slow in first 200m and the rest of race became easy. The plan was to start slow and get faster. I am happy to win all the seven titles in this race…. thank you fans,” said Rapsys.
Yasuhiro Koseki (JPN) stunned cluster leader Anton Chupkov (RUS) in 100m breaststroke with a gold medal in 59.11. The Russian finished third with a time of 59.83 behind Arno Kamminga (NED) 59.25.
Dutchwoman Kira Toussaint was the winner in women’s 50m backstroke with a time of 27.80, finishing ahead of Kaylee Mckeown (AUS) 27.92 and Emily Seebohm (AUS) 28.08.
Australia’s Bradley Woodward clinched his maiden World Cup title with a victory in men’s 200m backstroke. Marlene Kahler (AUT) dominated the women’s 400m freestyle, winning gold in 4:10.51.
Hungary got their second gold medal of the day when Eszter Bekesi won the women’s 200m breaststroke.