Published: Nov 5, 2012 09:25:02 AM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:38:07 AM
Competing in the famous Water Cube used for the 2008 Olympic Games, night one of the FINA short course World Cup in Beijing saw Australia excel, picking up a clean sweep of the men’s 100m freestyle as well as the top two spots in the women's 100m breaststroke.
Two London Olympians and Australia’s short course king were all vying for top spot in the men’s 100m freestyle final but it was London debutant Tomasso D’Orsogna (47.06) who just got the better of his relay teammate from the Games, Cameron McEvoy (47.41) for the gold.
Kenneth To who is looking to maintain his series lead, picked up the bronze in 47.59.
To then re-affirmed his position as the one to beat in the series with his first place swim in the men’s 100m individual medley. The pocket rocket hit the wall in 51.58, ahead of his closest rival, Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell (51.69).
Australia’s Kyle Richardson was third, just off the pace in a time of 52.71 while D’Orsogna backed up from his sprint gold to take 5th place in 54.30.
Sarah Katsoulis (1:05.30) and Sally Foster (1:05.97) then went one-two in the women's 100m breaststroke final just edging out Sweden's Rebecca Ejdervik (1:06.11) to take the top two spots.
The men’s 50m butterfly final had Australian’s in four of the eight lanes. The Aussies couldn’t hang on for a win with Ashley Delaney (23.43) the best-placed finisher in third.
The gold went to Kenyan swimmer Jason Duntord in 23.14, just 0.02 of a second ahead of China’s Qibin Zhang in 23.16.
Olympian Chris Wright (23.46) finished in 5th place in his first swim of the series with McEvoy 6th in 23.75 and To 8th in 24.55.
Wright then moved into the medals for his pet event, the men’s 200m butterfly final, finishing third in 1:55.47. Japan’s Kazuya Keneda (1:51.22) took top spot with China’s Shun Wang (1:53.14) second.
It was gold again for Rachel Goh who is setting herself up nicely for the World Championships in December this year.
Goh eased to victory in the women’s 50m backstroke with a time of 26.66, relegating hometown heroes Haihua Cheng (26.81) and Yanxin Zhou (27.18), both from China, to second and third.
The final of the men’s 100m backstroke came down to the touch with in-form Russian swimmer Stanislav Donnets and Australia’s Robert Hurley and Delaney going stroke for stroke as they approached the wall.
It was Donets who took it out in the end, stopping the clock at 50.07 with Hurley taking silver a fraction behind in 50.25 and Delaney third in 51.53.
Hurley then battled through the final of the men’s 400m freestyle, just missing a place on the podium, touching fourth in a time of 3:42.84.
Swimming in his first ever international World Cup series, 16-year-old Mack Horton finished 8th in 3:48.24.
Also on her first series tour, distance swimmer Laura Crockart managed to mix it with the best of them, taking third place in the women’s 800m freestyle.
Bronze medalist in this event from the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in August, Crockart finished just behind Katinka Hosszu (8:21.49) from Hungary and China’s Siyu Yan (8:21.58) with an impressive time of 8:23.83.
After taking her first national short course title in Perth in September Kotuku Ngawati finished 7th in the women’s 200m individual medley final in 2:11.82.
Olympic silver medallist Christian Sprenger (26.74) opened his World Cup campaign with silver in the men’s 50m breaststroke behind New Zealand swimmer Glenn Snyders (26.64). China’s Shuai Wang was third in 26.86.
Swimming in front of a home crowd, China’s Zhixian Yang was too strong for his opposition in the men’s 400m individual medley final. Yang’s time of 4:05.62 was over four seconds faster than his closest rival, Australia’s Travis Mahoney who claimed silver in 4:09.69.
Yang’s Chinese teammate Feilian Mao was third in 4:10.68 with Australia’s Shane Asbury hitting the wall for fourth in 4:15.00.
London Olympic Gold medalist Melanie Schlanger failed to fire on her first day of the World Cup tour, the sprint freestyler finished 6th in the 200m freestyle in 1:57.89, just behind Kelly Stubbins who was fifth in 1:56.11. Schlanger then touched 7th in the 50m freestyle with a time of 25.24.
The Beijing leg of the FINA World Cup series will conclude tonight before moving on to Tokyo. For full results go to www.fina.org