CANET, France, June 8. THE first day of the Canet stop on the Mare Nostrum tour resembled the results of the first competition: Domination by the Australian women and a high-quality performance from Laszlo Cseh, the Hungarian standout who won gold in the 400 individual medley at last year’s World Championships in Montreal. On Wednesday, Cseh covered the 100 backstroke in 55.21. That swim topped the 55.69 produced by Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin.
Coming off a sweep of the breaststroke events in Monaco, Australia’s Leisel Jones doubled in the 50 and 200 breaststroke, thanks to sizzling mid-training times. Jones checked in with a mark of 30.86 in the 50 distance and came back with a 2:24.99 effort in the 200 breast. Jones won the longer race by more than three seconds as Aussie Sally Foster took second with a time of 2:28.51.
Libby Lenton continued the Australian excellence with a triumph in the 100 freestyle. Lenton led a one-two sweep for the Aussies as she touched the wall in 54.69, just ahead of the 55.23 turned in by Jodie Henry. Lenton also earned silver in the 50 butterfly when her 26.45 was bettered by Sweden’s Therese Alshammar (26.27). Meanwhile, Tayliah Zimmer won the 100 back for the Aussies in 1:01.78. For France, victories were secured by Sophie Huber in the 800 free (8:39.25) and Aurore Mongel in the 200 fly (2:10.14).
On the men’s side, the Ukraine’s Oleg Lisogor topped the field in the 50 breaststroke by nearly a second as he sprinted the one-lap event in 27.98, significantly swifter than the 28.74 of Australian Christian Sprenger. The Aussie men, however, did receive triumphs from Craig Stevens in the 400 freestyle (3:50.26) and Nick D’Arcy in the 200 fly (1:58.07). Also popping gold-medal swims were Finland’s Matti Rajakyla in the 50 fly (24.24), Japan’s Yuki Sato in the 200 breast (2:14.18) and Sweden’s Stefan Nystrand in the 100 free (49.47).