CANET, France, June 8. LAST weekend obviously wasn’t enough for Laszlo Cseh, the Hungarian youngster who is storming toward the World Championships in Montreal in impressive fashion. After winning both individual medley events during the Barcelona stop on the Mare Nostrum Series, Cseh kicked off the Canet stop with a European record in the 400 I.M. on Tuesday.
Clocking 4:10.10, Cseh shredded the field and lowered his own European record of 4:10.79, which he set during the 2003 World Championships, where he earned a silver medal. With Michael Phelps opting out of the 400 I.M. at this year’s World Champs, Cseh is the heavy favorite for gold. More, he could be in position to challenge Phelps’ global standard of 4:08.26.
The first night in Canet featured several dazzling swims, as Cseh’s showing was supported by Otylia Jedrzejczak’s swim in the 200 butterfly. The Polish Olympic champ in the distance fly, Jedrzejczak touched the wall in 2:07.90, a Mare Nostrum record. Meanwhile, the Netherlands’ Marleen Veldhuis (54.73) held off Sweden’s Josefin Lillhage (54.99) in a relatively quick 100 freestyle.
Several Russian men came away with victories, including Andrey Kapralov in the 100 free. Posting a time of 49.85, Kapralov edged out South Africa’s Ryk Neethling, who checked in at 49.98. Other winners for Russia were Arkady Vyatchanin in the 100 backstroke (55.34), Grigory Falko in the 200 breaststroke (2:12.82) and Nikolay Skvortsov in the 200 butterfly (1:56.53). Romania’s Dragos Coman prevailed in the 400 freestyle (3:49.85).
France’s Laure Manaudou, a triple-Olympic medalist from Athens, won the 800 freestyle for the women in 8:34.25 while Austria’s Mirna Jukic bested the competition in the 200 breast (2:28.39). China’s Chen YanYan took top honors in the 100 backstroke (1:02.21).