Nic Fink And Beata Nelson Win Three Times In FINA World Cup Swimming Opener
by Paul D. Bowker
Nic Fink reacts after the men's 50-meter breaststroke final at the FINA Swimming World Cup Berlin on Oct. 22, 2022 in Berlin.
Nic Fink, a 2020 Olympian, and Beata Nelson, an All-American at the University of Wisconsin, scored triple victories in their world cup season debuts this weekend.
Fink led a one-two American sweep in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke final Friday at the season’s first FINA World Cup stop in Berlin and added victories in the 50 and 200 breast finals Saturday and Sunday.
Nelson reached the podium four times over three days, including wins in both the 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley finals Sunday.
The performances by Fink and Nelson highlighted a weekend in which U.S. swimmers combined for 16 podium finishes. Shaine Casas had two wins and Hali Flickinger, a two-time medalist at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, won the women’s 400 individual medley.
The U.S. topped the medals chart.
Nelson, a member of the USA Swimming national team who is aiming for a spot on the 2024 Olympic team, finished second to France’s Beryl Gastaldello by .06 seconds in the 100 individual medley on Friday and then didn’t lose again. She won the 100 backstroke Saturday with a time of 56.03 seconds, then won the 200 back and 200 IM on Sunday with times of 2:02.59 and 2:06.80, respectively.
Fink won the men’s 100 breast with a time of 56.43 seconds with teammate Reece Whitley just behind him at 57.06 seconds. They nearly completed another one-two sweep in the 50 breast as Fink won the race in 25.86 seconds, but Whitley finished just behind Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi and secured third place in 26.30 seconds.
Casas, who missed making the 2020 Olympics team by just one spot, dominated in men’s backstroke. He won the 100 back in 49.54 seconds and the 200 back in 1:50.02.
Flickinger, who captured an Olympic bronze medal in the 400 IM last year in Tokyo, won the event Saturday with a time of 4:30.36. She also had a third-place finish in the 200 fly.
Other U.S. swimmers reaching the podium were Olympic bronze medalist Kieran Smith with a second-place finish in the men’s 400 freestyle and a third-place finish in the 200 free. Two-time Olympic medalist Erika Brown finished third in the women’s 50 free.
Nelson emerged as the second-leading woman in the points standings for a $10,000 payout, trailing only two-time Olympic medalist Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong. Fink was third in the men’s standings. The overall world cup winners will pocket $100,000.
The second leg of the world cup is Oct. 28-30 in Toronto.