23 Nov 2009

Short course World Cup swimming season winds up in Singapore

6:14 am on 23 November 2009

South Africa's Kathryn Meaklim, American Peter Marshall and Sweden's Therese Alshammar stormed to new world records as the shortcourse World Cup swimming season concluded in style.

Australia's Robert Hurley didn't claim a record but upset favourite Ousamma Mellouli of Tunisia in the 1500m freestyle, clocking 14 minutes 32.47 to win by 24 seconds.

Mitchell Patterson won the 100m butterfly (49.51s) from South African Garth Tune (50.36) with Geoff Huegill third at 50.47

The women's 100m backstroke went to Marieke Guehrer (56.97) with Emily Seebohm third (57.67), while Blair Evans won the 400m freestyle in 4:02.77.

Meaklim obliterated the women's 400m individual medley record clocking 4minutes 22.88 secondss.

Like Meaklim, Marshall has been in sizzling form this year and he broke his own 50m backstroke world record, leading from start-to-finish to touch in 22.61 seconds.

It was a fitting finale to a World Cup season that has also taken swimmers to Durban, Moscow, Stockholm, and Berlin, with 37 world records broken in total.

Those sort of performances are unlikely to be seen again with the vast majority achieved by athletes wearing the high-tech swimsuits that will be banned from January 1.

In other races, Britain's Francesa Halsall set a new World Cup best time over the 100m freestyle, hitting the wall in 51.19 ahead of Inge Dekkar of the Netherlands and Germany's Daniela Schreiber.

American world record holder Jessica Hardy comfortably won the 50m breaststroke with Katsollis second and Jones third, while Australia's Jessicah Schipper took out the 200m butterfly title.

Among the men, South Africa's Darian Townsend came close to beating his own record in the 200m individual medley, but slowed in the final 25m to finish in 1:52.49, just outside his best time.

Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin was also poised to break his world record in the backstroke, under the pace over 150m before fading to narrowly miss out.