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Berlin, Day 1: Hungarians Hosszu and Milak flying high to kick off World Cup fifth leg

by ZwemZa on October 12th, 2019

Katinka Hosszu 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

It was just another day at the office in the Berlin leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup for Hungarian butterflyers Katinka Hosszu and Kristof Milak, who both took home golds in the women’s 200m and men’s 100m respectively.

Both had to battle their teammates for the victories, with Hosszu snatching hers at the touch from Zsuzsanna Jakabos and Milak from Szebasztian Szabo, who was leading at the 50 metre mark. Hosszu didn’t seem surprised by the tense finish however and enjoyed the rivalry with her compatriot.

“The last little bit was OK, I think I screwed up my turns, everything I could of I think I missed, but it’s OK for now. It’s always nice to race my countrymate, we’ve been racing and swimming together since we were eight years old.” Katinka Hosszu

Milak was also able to overcome a less than best performance, shaking off any fatigue from the earlier 400m freestyle final where he claimed bronze.

“I’m not in my best shape, I’m preparing for next year. I swam 51.2 in Budapest so this is only 51.8. When I jumped in the water I thought this wouldn’t be my best.” Kristoph Milak

Michelle Coleman celebrates her win in the women's 50m freestyle

Michelle Coleman was happy to beat strong rivals Cate Campbell and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Photo credit: Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images)

The 50m races also provided some exciting finishes, with Sweden’s Michelle Coleman edging out the big hitters in the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Australia’s Cate Campbell in the freestyle.

“I did not expect that time at all. Last season I was at 25.0 so coming here and doing that 24.2, that’s unreal. I was really nervous so maybe the extra adrenaline got me going. I also noticed that I had a good swim because I had Cate on one side and Ranomi on the other.” Michelle Coleman

Kromowidjojo would have left the first day here disappointed having stated her desire to win the 50m freestyle World Cup title in Berlin only to come second, with Campbell in third. She lost more than gold however, also losing a bet with her Dutch compatriot Kira Toussaint in the 50m backstroke. As Kromowidjojo lost the race she will now have to buy her teammate some cake.

“It started about a year ago, we were at the World Cup in Doha and she [Kromowidjojo] was going to do 50 back so she asked me if I could teach her the start, so I go, ‘yeah sure, I’ll give you a masterclass’. She did really well but I won the race. Three or four weeks later we had the World Cup in Eindhoven and she broke my national record on the 50 back in short course, and then a couple of weeks later I got it back again. It’s a really fun way to push each other.” Kira Toussaint

On what her prize will be, Toussaint added, “It’s going to be a cake of my choice, probably a cheesecake.” Kromowidjojo will no doubt be looking to make amends for her losses in the 50m butterfly on Saturday.

Russian favourite Vladimir Morozov didn’t disappoint in the men’s 50m dash, clocking 21.55 to go close to his World Cup record of 21.27 he set in Singapore in August. American rival Michael Andrew failed to challenge, unable to break the 22-second barrier and eventually leaving with bronze behind Japan’s Kosuke Matsui who finished in 21.93.

Danas Rapsys disappointed the home crowd by beating Florian Wellbrock

Danas Rapsys disappointed the home crowd by beating home favourite Florian Wellbrock (Photo credit: Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images)

Meanwhile Germany’s Florian Wellbrock was unable to please the home crowd and overwhelm Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys in the men’s 400m freestyle, while Barbora Seemanova from Czech Republic triumphed over Australia’s Maddy Gough in the women’s event.

A delighted 30-year-old Jessica Vall Montero claimed her first World Cup title in the women’s 200m breaststroke, overtaking her younger teammate Marina Garcia Urzainqui who led from the start. Vall Montero’s last win in Berlin was in 2014 at the European Championships.

The men’s 100m breaststroke race saw Arno Kamminga from the Netherlands take the win with 59.15 – with only second-placed Caba Siladi from Serbia also dipping under the minute mark.

In the men’s 200m backstroke Japan’s Ryosuke Irie dominated the field, finishing three seconds ahead of closest rival Tomas Franta of Czech Republic.

Ashley Newman, FINA Press Correspondent from Great Britain

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