A crowd of 1,500 spectators watched the world's best swimmers on the final evening of the FINA Champions Series at the Indiana University Natatorium. The swimmers were pumped up following an acrobatic performance of flips and handsprings by the Beale Street Flippers, part of the entertainment options that became a signature of the FCS.
Men's 200m Backstroke
Jacob Pebley (USA) won this event by narrowly beat two American teammates Ryan Murphy (USA) and Matt Grevers (USA) for his first individual FCS title, his wining time 1:56.35. Pebley improved on his second place finish in Budapest at FCS-2. Murphy (2016) and Grevers (2012) are the Olympic Champions in the 100m backstroke event and they finished in second and third place tonight, 1:56.5 and 1:59.47 respectively. Pebley lead at every turn, out in 27.28 in his first lap, and 56.73 at the midpoint of the event.
“I am excited. I haven’t been swimming this race in 5 years. When I first see the screen, I tell myself to act like I have been here before. This is just the first win of many to come hopefully so I try to contain my excitement.”
Women's 200m Butterfly
Hali Flickinger (USA) hit the Omega touchpad in 2:06.40, claiming the fastest time in the world for 2019 as she coasted to victory over Katinka Hosszu (HUN) who until tonight held the world's fastest time. Flickinger won this event at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and now owns the fastest time in 2019. Kelsi Dahlia (USA) had the fastest first 50m split of race, 28.83, but fell back into the third position at the 100m mark for a third place finish.
Men's 100m Butterfly
Michael Andrew (USA) captured his first individual title at the FCS-3 winning this event in a time of 51.87. Piero Codia (ITA), the National Record holder in his country finished second at 52.22, .35 behind the 20 year old American swimmer. Jack Conger (USA) was third in 52.56.
“Today the field wasn’t as strong. In Budapest, I was racing Chad and Kristof Milak and they are like 51.2. I am happy that I have done my best today at 51.5 and to take a win.”
“This competition is awesome and I agree with what Cody Miller said, it is a step in the right direction. I think the athletes still don’t understand how much value we bring to the table as competitors and entertainers. It is cool to see that FINA is starting to recognise that and gives us the opportunity to race for real money.”
Women's 50m Freestyle
Pernille Blume (DEN) is now the owner of a FCS medal in each color following her victory in tonight's sprint freestyle event. The 2016 Olympic champion finished in 24.08, shaving .20 off her own mark, improving her time as the third fastest result of the year. She finished third in the FCS-1 held in China, and second in the FCS-2 edition held last month in Budapest. Sarah Sjoestroem (SWE) finished .10 behind the FCS Champion, her time of 24.18 makes her the fourth fastest performer of 2019. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) swam 24.56, .48 behind the FCS-3 champion.
“Before the race I felt good. I really just focused on myself and I really wanted to have a good race. It is a long travel to come here so yesterday I felt a little bit like I didn’t give everything I had. This was just about getting the 100% of myself today. It is great to race these girls.”
“I attended the meeting this morning with FINA and first of all this meeting was a big step in the right direction. It shows some willingness from FINA side to invite all of us athletes and honestly I couldn't be happier. It was a good meeting with good vibes and everyone agrees that we need to take some steps forward for the sake of swimming. I am happy that I am here and that I am a part of this.”
Men's 200m Breaststroke
Anton Chupkov (RUS) made it three for three in this event sweeping the three editions of the FCS. Tonight's victory in 2:08.98 was the slowest of the FCS titles, and off his own 2:07.00 Chupkov, the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist swam his best time of 2:06.80 in 2018. That time is the second fastest swim of all time in this event. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ) finished second, improving on his third place finish in FCS-2. Arno Kamminga (NED) led at the 50, splitting 20.60, also at the 100 at 1:02.68 and swam the fastest third leg in 33.32, but he was touched out at the finish.
Women's 100m Backstroke
Kylie Masse (CAN), the 2017 world champion from Windsor, Ontario beat Margherita Panziera (ITA) for her second victory of the weekend. Masse went out in 28.66 in her first lap and finished in 59.13, more than a second off her personal best time of 58.10, which is second on the all time performers list and only .10 off the world record. Panziera, the Italian national record holder in this event finished second posting a time of 59.45. Anastasiia Fesikova (RUS) finished third, following a second place finish in FCS-2 in Budapest.
Men's 400m Freestyle
Gabriele Detti (ITA) swam a comfortable pace for 375 meters always following closely behind Danas Rapsys (LTU) who split 54.12, 1:51.93, and 2:50.24. Rapsys was first at each turn before he reeled in during the final sprint by the Italian record holder. Detti touched at 3:46.13, nipping the Lithuanian winner of last night's 200m freestyle by .10 second. Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) who finished third in the FCS-2 event in Budapest finished third.
“I don’t know what I have done in the last 50m. Usually this is what I do. I try to go fast at the end of the race. I can’t go fast in the first part, I don’t know why. Today it worked and I won.”
Women's 50m Butterfly
Sarah Sjoestroem (SWE), won this event in 25.48, more than a second slower than the world record she set in 2014. Without taking a breath, she swam to her third consecutive FCS in this event. Farida Osman (EGY) finished in second again, repeating her placement in the FCS edition in Budapest, her time 25.95. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) finished third, the same place in this event as she earned in FCS-1 in China.
Men's 100m Freestyle
Peter Timmers (BEL) completed his sweep of the three FCS events arriving in a time of 48.36, just .04 of a second slower than his time from Budapest. Timmers sprinted 23.12 in the first 50m and 25.79 in his second lap to finish at 48.36.
Vladimir Morozov (RUS) arrived second at 49.47, more than a second behind the FCS triple champion. Olympic 4x200m relay gold medalist Townley Hass (USA) was third at 49.80.
“China was my favourite meet I think. I had a bad start in Guangzhou because the swimmers were really fast so I started behind everybody but I managed to win so it was the best one. Budapest however remains my favourite pool. Nothing compares to Duna Arena. It is great in all aspects.”
“Tonight I will rest and have a good sleep before going back to Belgium tomorrow.”
Women's 200 IM
Katinka Hosszu (HUN) secured her first individual victory of the FCS-3 event finishing in 2:08.50. Hosszu was fourth in the first 50, third at the 100m mark, second after the 150m turn and split 29.31 in her final lap. The Hungarian world record holder held the second fastest time in the world in 2019 and she swam .05 faster tonight. National record holder Sydney Pickrem (CAN) finished second at 2:08.61 after leading at each of the first three turns. Pickrem's splits were
28.17, 1:00.82 and 1:37.90 before Hosszu ran her down in the final meters of the race. Pickrem arrived .11 behind Hosszu, but almost two seconds ahead of Melanie Margalis (USA) who placed third.
“Budapest was obviously my favourite meet of all three because it is home and because of the crowd but also because of my performances. Budapest also brought back memories from the World Championships 2017. Being at home for us, coming from Europe, is easier. For me here it was definitely challenging because it is the middle of the night for us. Going to China was ok because the races were in the middle of the afternoon for Europe.”
“I think I performed pretty well both days in Indianapolis. I have swum my best time in the past four years in the 200m back on Friday. It was the second place but for me it was pretty good. The other race, I was fourth so not so good for me. Today I struggled a bit in the beginning but I am not tapered so I was a bit slower obviously.”
Men's 50m Breaststroke
Joao Gomes Junior (BRA) won his second FCS title and set a US Open Record; 26.60 is the fastest swim on US soil. Gomes Junior finished .12 second ahead of teammate Felipe Lima (BRA) who swam a 26.72. The Brazilian national record holder was second in FCS-1 but won the FCS-2 in Budapest. Fabio Scozzoli (ITA) arrived .80 behind the Brazilian champion.
Women's 100m Breast
Lily King (USA), the 2016 Rio Olympic Champion in this event beat Yuliya Efimova (RUS) again. King's 1:05.13 is the fastest time in the world this year. Efimova (RUS) who was second to King in Rio, swam 1:05.51 for the second fastest performance in the world this year, only .38 behind the FCS-3 champion. Molly Hannis (USA) earned her third FCS medal in this event after a second place finish in FCS-1 China and a third place in the FCS-2 Budapest event.
Men's 50m Backstroke
Matt Grevers (USA) narrowly defeated Ryan Murphy (USA), their times 24.78 and 24.91 in a match up of two Olympic gold medalists (100m back) from London and Rio. Grevers was second in the FCS-2 event held in Budapest last month. Robert Glinta (ROU) finished third in Indianapolis after a second place finish in China and a third place finish in Budapest.
Women's 200m Freestyle
In the last individual event of the FCS, Olympic gold medalist Penny Oleksiak (CAN) led the race from start to finish. Her time of 1:57.18 was just off her personal best, and enough to beat Leah Smith (USA), who arrived at 1:57.84. The Canadian split 26.82, 55.94, 1:26.53 and delivered a 30.65 final lap. Sarah Sjoestroem (SWE) swam an impressive 28.21 final lap, arriving in third place.
Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay
FINA Team 4 took an early lead powered by Jacob Pebley (USA) who lead off his relay team that included two other Americans and would be anchored by Ranomi Kromowidjojo from (NED). Pebley was racing against three female athletes, splitting 26.13 at the 50 and 53.94 at the 100. Chasing the American backstroker was Kylie Masse (CAN) from FINA Team 1 who was the fastest female backstroker at 59.55.
Lily King (USA) was second in the water following Pebley to maintain FINA Team 4's lead over the other three relay teams. Following King's breaststroke leg of 1:05.52, FINA Team 4's Jack Conger (USA) split 52.49 in the fly leg.
Team 4's final member, Kromowidjojo was being pursued by Townley Hass (USA) from FINA Team 2, Andrii Govorov (RUS) from FINA Team 3 and another Russian anchorman, Vladimir Morozov. Kromowidjojo swam a 54.26 in the freestyle to claim first place in 3:46.21