Kamis, 20 Oktober 2011

ARENA SWIMMING WC 2011: Phelps gets second gold, Franklin shines among women

Moscow. The second and final day of the Moscow leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup ended with the second victory of 14-times Olympic champion Michael Phelps in the 200m back. The triumph was achieved by the famous swimmer after two disappointing races. Phelps finished second in the 200m free and didn’t make the podium in the 100m butterfly. But that was disappointing only for the audience (for the first time in Moscow the entry to the pool wasn’t free and all tickets were sold). Phelps himself just pointed out that his participation at World Cup is a part of the Olympic preparation. So the place is not so important for now.

"There is a good chance to test myself in a very unusual situation – short course, Phelps said. It is a good experience for me". For the rivals, however, this possibility to swim together with the great champion was very important. As well as the chance to beat him.

Paul Biedermann (GER), the winner of the 200m freestyle commented the race with the folowing words: "The race was very fast. I had to do my very best to catch up with Phelps. I am looking forward to the next event in Berlin, I will try to win that one. I was not able to see if I am ahead or not during the race. I only realized that I have won when I touched the board."

Nikita Lobintsev (RUS) also noticed that the race was very dynamic: "I have to admit that I was not able to see my main opponents. Only at the final turn I caught a glimpse of them. Naturally, I wanted to post a better result, but this is my best at the moment. I guess I deserve to be third."

The total quantity of "host" victories of the Russian swimmers wasn't so big as it happened in previous years. That was easy to explain: it never happened that so many stars swim in Moscow before. That's why the  winners were happy. Evgeny Korotyshkin who won 100m butterfly underlined joking: "It is definitely pleasant that I had more support than Michael Phelps. Phelps is born to swim and he works a lot. Ideally, I would like to win a medal at the Olympic Games."

In the women's field, the competition had it's own hero – Melissa Franklin (USA). On the second day, she got another two victories (100m free and 100m back). Her second race became disappointing for Anastasia Zueva. On Tuesday, the Russian backstroke star finished second in the 50m back (the event she had won at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai) and the next day she was third in the 100m behind Franklin and Rachel Goh (AUS).

Yulia Efimova (RUS) didn't take part in the first day of competition (she just returned from USA and wasn't in good mood) but swam in two finals on Wednesday: 100m IM and 50m breaststroke. The breaststroke race was the event where Efimova should be a strong favourite, but she missed the finish touch and came second after her compatriot Valentina Artemyeva – the swimmer who won the 100m breaststroke as well. That was a real progress for Artemyeva – the swimmer didn't have good results during the last two years.

Therese Alshammar (SWE) won the women's 50m butterfly – the last race of the event. That was her second victory in Moscow, after the gold in the 100m fly. "I like both short and long course events, - she said. Both are great. The short course is more technical. If you make a mistake it costs you more. It is more challenging. There are many races here, it is tough, it is exhausting, but it is also a good practice."


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