HONG KONG, Jan. 9-10 - It was a much smaller meet in Hong Kong with only 140 participants but a large number of big names. Germany topped the medal table with a total of 8 golds, followed by Denmark (6) and the Ukraine (4). Hong Kong swimmers bettered nine national records during the competition. The top performer was once again Denis Silantiev (UKR), who won the award for the best men's swim of the meet with his time of 52.07 in the 100 butterfly. His teammate Yana Klochkova was the women's top performer with her 200 individual medley time of 2:12.69. They received special awards from the organizing committee.
One of the highlights was definitely the men's 100 backstroke. It was a battle between the two fastest backstrokers in the world in 1998: Stev Theloke (GER) had the fastest time of the year, and Lenny Krayzelburg (USA) was World Champion last January in Perth. Krayzelburg had the lead at the 50 with 25.71 with Theloke turning in 26.08, but the German was best on the home stretch, finishing in 52.93 to the American's 53.08. Theloke added a win in the 200 with 1:55.52, while Krayzelburg won the 50 backstroke in 24.78. At the end of the meet, Theloke led the category points with 50 to Krayzelburg's 47.
Krayzelburg, who was scheduled to travel to Australia for the next two legs of the FINA World Cup in Sydney and Hobart, has been bothered by lower back strain and a fracture, and returned home for treatement. He still hopes to compete in the European portion later in February.
After winning both the 100 and 200 butterfly races, Denis Silantiev was solidly in the lead for the points race with 74, the most by anyone at this stage in the 1999 FINA World Cup.
Other good performances were turned in by Jens Kruppa (GER), who won both the 50 and 200 breaststrokes with 28.21 and 2:13.77 respectively. Fred deBurghgraeve (BEL) was an easy winner in the 100 breast as Kruppa did not contest the event. Kruppa leads the points race in this stroke with 57 to deBurghgraeve's 51.
Jacob Carstensen (DEN) scored a double with wins in the 200 freestyle (1:49.26) and the 400 free (3:49.81). Denmark brought only six swimmers but picked up 6 golds for a strong performance.
In the distance free category, Thomas Lohfink (GER) holds the lead with 59 points after winning the 1500 free (15:33.18) and adding a second in the 400 (3:50.99).
Tom Dolan (USA) won the 200 IM in a come-from-behind finish after trailing Jakob Andersen (DEN) until the last 50. Dolan touched in 2:02.79 with Andersen in second in 2:03.53. Dolan won the 400 IM the first day while Andersen took the 100 IM.
Yana Klochkova (UKR) had an easy win in the 200 IM with 2:12.69 over Britain's Sue Rolph (2:17.43), who was trying to improve her points in this category. The Ukrainian added a win in the 400 IM with 4:39.92. In the 100 IM, Rolph was the winner with 1:02.58 over Klochkova's 1:04.50. After competing in three World Cups, Rolph has the lead in the points racewith 50, but Klochkova has 37 after only two meets and could be a serious threat. Rolph also took a strong lead in the sprint free category with 45 points, after wins in the 50 freestyle in 25.79 (where she tied for first place with Denmark's Sophia Skou) and the 100 freestyle (55.52).
Kelly Stefanyshyn (CAN) swept the women's backstrokes with style. She clocked 28.97 in the 50, a fast 1:00.75 in the 100, and wrapped it up with a 2:09.76 in the 200, which established a new national record for Canada. She leads the points race in this category with 61.
Claudia Poll (CRC) won the 400 and 800 freestyles, moving into the category points lead with 63.
The Germans dominated the women's breaststrokes with veteran Sylvia Gerasch winning the 50 breaststroke in 31.74. Gerasch added a win in the 100 with 1:09.36, but could not quite catch teammate Ina Huging in the 200, who won with 2:30.27 over Gerasch's 2:30.48.
Sophia Skou won the 200 butterfly with 2:10.17 over China's Ruan Yi, who led for the first half and was second with 2:12.47. She later won the 50 fly with 27.58 and added a second in the 100 fly .