Alia Atkinson (JAM) blitzed a six-year-old World Record in the 50m breast on the final day of the Tokyo leg of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup.
Meanwhile Japanese teen ace Rikako Ikee claimed her second and third World Junior Records of the meet.
Atkinson touched home in 28.64 secs ahead of Russia’s Yuliya Efimova (29.19), in the process lowering Jessica Hardy’s 28.80 set in Berlin in November 2009.
The Jamaican’s effort deservedly propelled her to the top of the ranking points table for the meet, with 1,016, ahead of Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (970).
And Atkinson’s mum was on hand to take a photo as she was presented with a cheque for $10,000 for breaking the record.
“After Rio I just wanted to have fun this at World Cup and not focus that much on the swimming part. I thought if I brought her along I’ll push myself to have fun, so we try and do something in every country and it’s worked out. I’ve not just focused on the pool, but the country where I am,“ said Atkinson.
Ikee claimed World Junior Records in the 50m fly and 100m IM. The 16-year-old was runner-up to Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen, and to Hosszu, respectively clocking 25.73 and 58.24. Ikee was also third behind Ottesen in the 100m free, and had set a World Junior best in the 100m fly on Tuesday.
“Yesterday wasn’t good at all so I switched gears for today. My target was not to be on the podium for all three events but to be on the podium for the 100 IM, to have a personal best for freestyle, which I managed by about a second, and to be on the podium for the 50m fly, so in that sense it turned out good.”
Ikee said she would now focus on the World Short-Course Championships in Canada in December, where she is targeting a medal.
Ottesen ended the meet with three golds and a silver, after her double strike on Wednesday, but said is considering quitting the sport.
“I’m happy. I’m just enjoying racing and it’s probably my last World Cup series so I’m just having fun with it, the outcome doesn’t really matter,” said the Dane.
“After the Olympics I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to swim at the World Championships next year — I might take another year, I’m not sure. I’m excited to try the real world, see what’s out there. I really want to work in TV in Denmark, I’m already trying to get into it a little bit, so I’m really excited about that.”
Hosszu added four golds and two silvers from six finals, to the four golds and a bronze on the first day.
The Hungarian won the 200m fly, 100m back, 100m IM, and 400m IM.
Hosszu's 55.59 in the 100m back, which she won by exactly a second from Australia’s Emily Seebohm, was the fastest time on the World Cup circuit this year.
Hungary nailed a 1-2 finish in the 400m free, but this time it was Boglarka Kapas who touched home first in 3:59.15, ahead of Hosszu by 2.69 secs.
Valdimir Morozov, destined to be crowned the overall men’s winner of the FINA World Cup series, edged out Brazilian Felipe Lima, 56.80 versus 56.83, in the 100m breast.
Morozov edged out Felipe Lima (Bra), 56.80 versus 56.83 in the 100m breast, then smashed the 50m free field, clocking 20,73, ahead of Britain’s Benjamin Proud in 21.25.
“That was my best time in World Cups this year. It’s not very far off my best at all, 20.55,” said Morozov,” who raced in lane 8 with his speed rival in lane 4.
“That was really close with Lima. We've been racing lanes 4 and 5, going head to head every time we see each other, but this time I didn’t see him. I just tried to give it my best.
“I wish I could take a break now, but I have to keep going for one more month, then I’ll take a good break."
South Africa’s Chad le Clos, a triple winner of the overall men’s title, kept up his pursuit of Morozov, taking the 100m fly in 49.45.
“I wanted to go a little bit faster, but I guess to constantly go 49s is not too bad. I’d like to have hit the water a bit better, I felt it was a bit sloppy sometimes, but I’m happy with the win,” he said.
Kyle Chalmers cruised to a second individual gold from two events, adding the 200m free crown to the 100m version he won on Tuesday. Chalmers clocked 1:42.42, ahead of Japan’s Yuki Kobori.
“It did feel easy right up until 175m, then I started to feel a sting in the last 25, but I just dug in,” said the 18-year-old.
“I’m going to the trials next in a week’s time in Brisbane. I’m going to do multiple events. I’ve got areas to improve in them all. I’m definitely not No. 1 ranked going in to those. There’s a lot of depth in my events, 100m, 200m free, so it’s going to be tough to get in the team.”
Home-crowd favourite Daiya Seto triumphed in the 200m IM in 1:52.48, having earlier finished fourth to Le Clos and third behind Chalmers.
“For the 200m freestyle I was close to my best, that was good, and for the 100m butterfly, I was told by my coach to put the most emphasis on this event. I was the second Japanese swimmer to finish so I can probably be chosen for the world short-course championship, so that was good as well. And for the 200m IM i was able to win it — now I’m constantly able to clock in at 1:52.
“Actually this period was supposed to be my holiday, but I decided not to take the break because I only got the bronze medal at Rio, and I really want to do better, so I decided to start my preparation for Tokyo 2020 with the World Cup series.”
Mitch Larkin, World Record holder, and Rio silver medallist, had his colours lowered by Japan’s Masaki Kaneko in a fingertip finish, the winner clocking 1:49.81.
Many pundits expected Larkin to take the 100m and 200m back titles in Rio, but he finished fourth in the shorter race.
“Tonight is what it is. I’ve only trained for two weeks so I’m not bothered about times. I think in terms of my racing, I do want to enjoy it and not focus so much on the outcome. Obviously I set pretty high goals and get a bit disappointed with myself if I can’t achieve them — something I need to take away from Rio is to not beat myself up."