Top swims from the Singapore leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup:-
Thiago Pereira - 200m IM - 1:53.45 - 951 Points - Game over for the overall men's point title. Pereira has now notched up the maximum available 75 points from the first three legs of the World Cup series. He leads Darian Townsend by 36 points with just four legs remaining. With Pereira scheduled to compete in each of the remaining stops on the tour, the only viable way for him to be overhauled is if world records start dropping, and Pereira has been the only man this year to threaten a world mark. Pereira's time of 1:53.45 improved upon the time set a few days previously in Beijing, but was 0.73 down on his world leading time from Rio.
One of the races to look forward to at the World Shortcourse Champs will be Pereira v Ryan Lochte. It might also be the race that sees 2010's first World Record go down. Darian Townsend's 1:51.55 might be within the reach of Pereira. It's definitely within reach for Lochte.
Therese Alshammar - 100m Butterfly - 56.32 - 934 Points - Game over for the overall women's point title. Ok... Alshammar doesn't have the title sown up to the same degree as Pereira has, however by taking 25 points in Singapore (total of 55 for the series) she has gone a long way towards making it a
Julia Smit - 200m IM - 2:08.14 - 919 Points - I wrote back in August, that until Julia Smit proves otherwise, I'm marking her down as a short course specialist. After a swift 2:08 in Singapore I haven't changed my opinion. She is now ranked third in the world, just half a second behind Australians Emily Seebohm and Kotuku Ngawati. This year Smit also broke the NCAA & American record in the 200yd IM but has only been able to manage a 2:12.5 in LC metres (22nd in the world this year, 8th fastest American). With the domestic competition so fierce in the 200m IM, Smit is going to need to improve in a LC pool if she is going to make future national teams.
Natalie Coughlin - 100m Backstroke - 57.78 - 873 Points - Coughlin was victorious on her return to short course swimming, a discipline she dominated for most of the last decade. Her time of 57.78 is off her very best from 2008 (56.51), but represents a successful return. Emily Seebohm leads the world on an impressive 56.58. Gao Chang (57.45) and Belinda Hocking (57.67) have also been faster than Coughlin's time this year. The 100m Backstroke should be a fantastic race in Dubai and Coughlin will need to get back down to her best time or better to stand a chance. With the quality of her starts and turns, I would find it hard to bet against her.
If you've read down this far, you're probably a pretty big fan of swimming. If that is the case, check out Fantasy Swimming. You pick the Top 3 swimmers per event and get points for each correct selection. They have the remaining legs of the World Cup available to make your picks, as well as Short Course Worlds.