BARCELONA, Spain, June 11. WHEN it was announced months back that the Australian National Team would compete in the Mare Nostrum Series, thoughts immediately turned to the production of fast times. Well, now that the tour is over, there’s no way to be disappointed in the results turned in by the crew from the Southern Hemisphere.
Wrapping up the second day of action in Spain, the Australians corralled victories in six of the 12 events contested, including triumphs in four the six events on the female side. It was a performance that was more dominant than the splendid showings from the stops in Monaco and France.
Libby Lenton closed out her series with a double-dip in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly. After scorching a mark of 54.17 in the two-lap freestyle, Lenton delivered a 58.11 effort in the fly. Those swims surrounded gold-medal outings by teammates Tayliah Zimmer and Leisel Jones.
Zimmer was first to the wall in the 100 backstroke, thanks to a time of 1:01.69. As for Jones, she rounded out her Mare Nostrum stretch with a win in the 100 breast. Clocking 1:06.90, Jones completed a 9-for-9 run in the breast events over the past week. On the men’s side, Aussie victories were secured by Craig Stevens in the 1,500 freestyle (15:10.11) and Eamon Sullivan in the 100 free (49.84).
Romania’s Camelia Potec turned in a strong swim en route to claiming top honors in the 400 freestyle. Potec was timed in 4:09.18 and was joined as a victor by Argentina’s Georgina Bardach, who prevailed in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:44.80.
Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin and the Ukraine’s Andriy Serdinov were the respective winners of the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly. Vyatchanin covered the dorsal race in 55.74 while Serdinov, the bronze medalist in the event at the Athens Olympics, won the fly in 53.41. Other men’s triumphs came from Japan’s Koichiro Okazaki in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.81) and Great Britain’s David Carry in the 400 I.M. (4:21.59).