Published: Nov 12, 2012 09:32:10 AM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:35:55 AM
Just 20 points separated Australia’s Kenneth To and Trinidad and Tobago swimmer George Bovell leading into the first night of competition in Singapore for the final leg of the FINA World Cup.
The two are fighting for first place in the overall rankings for this year and a grand prize of $100,000.
Currently sitting in first place, To will be difficult to beat following his win tonight in the men’s 100m individual medley final. Hitting the wall in a time of 51.50, the Australian pocket rocket relegated his closest rival Bovell to second in 51.69 with South African Darian Townsend third in 53.32.
To’s Aussie teammates also impressed on the first night in Singapore, picking up a further 18 medals, including four gold, throughout the session.
One of those gold medals came in the men’s 100m freestyle. Six Australians qualified for the final with London Olympic teammates Tommaso D’Orsogna (47.03) and Cameron McEvoy (47.20) taking the top two spots. Third place went to South African Darian Townsend in 47.53 while Kyle Richardson had to settle for fourth with a time of 48.02.
Known for his freestyle, D’Orsogna later stepped onto the podium for a bronze medal in the men’s 50m butterfly in a time of 23.31. The Olympic debutant was just a touch behind China’s Bin Qi Zhang who claimed first in 23.09 and Kenya’s Jason Dunford, second in 23.16.
Olympic silver medalist Christian Sprenger (26.69) continued the Australian team’s run of impressive performances when he took out the men’s 50m breaststroke final.
Sprenger was awarded the gold ahead of his New Zealand opponent Glenn Snyders (26.74) and Russia’s Igor Golovin in 27.43.
Shortly afterwards, Sprenger was back in the water for the 200m breaststroke where he hung on for silver in a time of 2:06.98 ahead of fellow Australian Jeremy Meyer in 2:08.72.The gold went to American Sean Mahoney in 2:06.17.
In the women’s 50m backstroke sprint Rachel Goh was too quick for China’s Tianlongzi Xiu (27.08) and training partner Grace Loh, hitting the wall in a time of 27.06 for the win.
Just 0.02 of a second behind was Xiu, leaving Loh with the bronze medal in a time of 27.71.
Robert Hurley (3:41.01)collected his first medal of the night in the men’s 400m freestyle final. The 24-year-old added another gold to Australia’s total as he hit the wall over a second clear of New Zealand’s Matthew Stanley in 3:42.17 and Australian Institute of Sport swimmer Jarrod Killey in 3:43.92.
Hurley’s second medal of the night came in the men’s 100m backstroke. While he wasn’t able to catch eventual winner Stanislav Donets (49.82), Hurley did manage to hold off attacks form third place getter Ashley Delaney (50.69)to steal the silver in 50.31.
Fourteen-year-old Alanna Bowles (8:22.70) shook off any pre-race nerves to secure a silver medal in the women’s 800m freestyle final.
The Queenslander split Olympians Katinka Hosszu (8:21.94) and Jessica Pengelly (8:22.81), respectively, to claim her second medal of the series.
Following her gold medal performance in the 800m freestyle, Hosszu (1:53.57) then backed up her distance efforts with another golden swim in the women’s 200m freestyle.
Second place went to dual Olympian Angie Bainbridge (1:54.28), who claimed her first medal of the meet, with Hosszu’s teammate Zsuzanna Jakabos (1:54.34) third.
Hosszu (2:06.78) then took on the women’s 200m individual medley and mustered enough energy to pick up a third medal for the night – this time silver – behind fellow Hungarian Jakabos (2:06.41).
The Hungarian’s were too strong for Kotuku Ngwati who was left with the bronze in 2:09.17.
There was little separating the winners in the women’s 100m breaststroke as American Swimmer Jessica Hardy just edged out Sarah Katsoulis (1:05.77) for top spot, stopping the clock at 1:05.58.
Third place went to Japan’s Rie Kaneto (1:06.21) with dual Olympian Sally Foster fourth in 1:06.45.
The men’s 200m butterfly saw Japan’s Kazuya Kaneda (1:52.23) fly past the field to finish almost five seconds ahead of Australia’s Chris Wright (1:57.03) followed by local Singaporean Jerryl Yong (2:02.96).
Finally, Victorian Travis Mahoney (4:09.75)picked up a silver medal in the men’s 400m individual medley final. Mahoney was just a touch behind eventual winner Darian Townsend (4:09.24)while New Zealand swimmer Mitchell Donaldson (4:15.98) took third.
The final leg of the FINA World Cup will take place in Singapore tomorrow, with results available at www.fina.org.au