HONG KONG - The first day of the second leg of the 1998 FINA World Cup was held January 21. Seventeen events were on the program.
The longer events provided some exciting battles such as the men's 400 freestyle where Jacob Carstensen (DEN) and Jorg Hoffmann (GER) swam virtually stroke for stroke for the 16 lenghts of the race with Carstensen touching first 3:45.09 and Hoffmann second 3:45.16.
Australia's Julia Greville was involved in two close races. In the 200 freestyle she battled Junko Nakatani (JPN) for the lead for the first half of the race eventually moving ahead to win with 1:59.77, to Nakatani's 2:01.15.
In the 800 free, Greville swam a close race with Sarah Collings (GBR) for the first 400, with Collings gradually moving into the lead to win with 8:33.36 to Greville's 8:34.51.
The men's 400 IM was closely fought between Christian Keller, (GER) and Michael Jacobson (SWE), who had the lead at the mid point with Keller moving into the lead in the breaststroke and freestyle legs to win with a 4:16.06. Jacobson in second had a time of 4:16.33. Keller later won the 100 IM in 56.17, to give him 20 points for the day and to move into the lead in this category.
Alexander Popov (RUS) was not pressed to win in his specialty the 100 free in 49.15.
Mark Warnecke (GER) easily won the 50 breast in 27.60, in which he tied his own world record of 26.97 at the first leg of the world cup last month in Sydney.
Svetlana Bondarenko (UKR) won the 100 breaststroke in the fast time of 1:07.51, over Sylvia Gerasch (GER) and Brigitte Becue (BEL) Mette Jacobsen (DEN) was an upset winner in the women's 100 butterfly with 59.59 with Johanna Sjoberg (SWE) in second and Yan Chen, CHN third.
Geoff Huegill (AUS) was a double winner, in the 100 back with a 54.97 adding the 50 fly later in the program with 23.93 taking the lead with 25 points in the fly category for men.
Another double winner on the first day Sandra Volker (GER) in the 50 back with 28.31 and the 50 free 25.12.
Another 17 events will be held tomorrow February 22.