Swimming: Le Clos, Hosszu crown World Cup series in Singapore
- Updated: November 3, 2014
November 2, 2014: South African Chad Le Clos and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu were crowned overall champions of this year’s FINA/Mastbank Swimming World Cup as the series concluded in Singapore on Sunday.
Le Clos, an Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion, took home the crown and remained undefeated in the events he contested over the entire series, while Hungarian star Hosszu won nine medals in Singapore.
Le Clos and Hosszu put on an incredible show at the OCBC Aquatic Centre and wrapped up their season with a total of 27 and 54 gold medals respectively.
Le Clos and Hosszu accumulated 60 and 105 points respectively in Singapore. This gave Le Clos an overall total score of 474, ahead of Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta with 344 and USA’s Tom Shield with 225.
After taking his season’s tally to 26 golds after the first day of competition, Le Clos continued to dominate in the pool by winning the 100-metre butterfly in 48.74 on Sunday, although he was unable to break the world record he had targeted. The win meant the Olympic gold medallist ended the FINA series undefeated in all the races he took part in.
“I’m happy. It was a good race and I think I did it strategically. I think I’ll only get better by the end of the year. I was confident and I believe I can get a world record soon,” Le Clos said.
“Singapore has always been a great place for me to race. The wins were more important for me because this will stay in history forever. The world record will definitely come soon.”
He had praise for the new pool at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. “This is definitely one of the top three pools I rank in terms of racing worldwide, apart from the one at Dubai and of course the one at home.”
Hosszu finished the series with an astonishing overall score of 994, leading Netherland’s Inge Dekker with 372 points and Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson with 321 points.
Hosszu continued to dazzle the crowd on the final day as Hungary’s ‘Iron Lady’ successfully disposed of her rivals in the 100m backstroke and 100m individual medley, winning in 56.94 and 58.40 respectively.
The 25-year-old also clinched silver in the 400m individual medley (4:23.66) behind Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (4:22.68) and bronze in the 200m butterfly (2:07.26), with Belmonte (2:04.57) again victorious.
“I’m a little tired, but I’m definitely happy this year. This victory means a lot to me as I’ve never dreamed of winning the overall series three times in a row,” said Hosszu, who said she’d mark her latest triumph with a new watch. “I don’t think I took on too many events. I’m not afraid to lose. Sometimes it hurts, but it’s just like training.”
Singapore’s Tao Li, 24, delighted home fans when she clinched silver in the women’s 50m butterfly in 25.72 behind Netherland’s Inge Dekker (25.13).
“I’m pretty happy. The short course is better for me. The other girls are very tall, but my underwater kick is much better than theirs,” said Tao, who won Singapore’s only individual medal of the competition.
Soon after, the Singapore team of Russell Ong, Lucas Ming Menkhoff, Nur Marina Chan and Amanda Lim won silver in the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay in 1:36.59.
“It’s a good team,” Ong said after Singapore’s second team medal, following a bronze in the mixed medley relay event on Saturday. “All of us stepped up. We all did good times. To get a silver in front of the home crowd is quite a good achievement.”