MARSEILLES, France, March 8. A day after Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia owned the spotlight at the Mediterranean Open in Marseilles, France, Great Britain’s Fran Halsall stole a bit of that thunder with a scintillating sprint double this evening.
Halsall put on a show in the women’s 100-meter fly to open the night as she rocked a 58.21 for the win. That shot her up the world ranking charts to fifth overall. She only has four swimmers ahead of her with Madeline Groves (57.43), Alicia Coutts (57.60) and Ellen Gandy (58.16) taking the top three spots in Australia and Jeanette Ottesen posting a 58.17 in Denmark. Rachael Kelly hit the wall with a 59.58 for second this evening while Spain’s Judit Ignacio clocked a third-place 1:00.37.
Halsall remained on fire with a sizzling 24.38 to win the women’s 50-meter free. That time skyrocketed her to second in the world behind only Cate Campbell’s sweltering time of 24.21 from Perth in January. Halsall had some company in the women’s splash-and-dash as France’s Anna Santamans dropped a 25.17 to now tie for eighth in the world rankings. Natalie Coughlin and Amy Smith are the other two 25.17s this year. Smith, however, took third this evening in 25.51.
Britain’s Jazmin Carlin powered her way to a 4:05.56 in the women’s 400-meter freestyle for the victory. That swim jumped her to third in the world behind only Katie Ledecky (4:04.46) and Jessica Ashwood (4:05.01) so far this year. Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia, who was on fire with two wins last night, took second in 4:07.62. to move to fifth in the world rankings. France’s Charlotte Bonnet picked up third overall in 4:09.89.
Belmonte Garcia bounced back in the women’s 200-meter IM with a 2:14.04 for the win, her third of the meet. Bonnet took second in 2:14.91 with France’s Fantine Lasaffre snaring third in 2:16.01.
The fast times continued in the men’s 400-meter free as Britain’s James Guy scorched the field with a 3:47.75. The victory pushed him to fourth in the world behind only Tae Hwan Park (3:43.96), David McKeon (3:46.39) and Mack Horton (3:46.87), all three of which posted their times in Sydney at the NSW Championships. Britain’s Robbie Renwick (3:54.81) and Jay Lelliott (3:55.17) finished second and third this evening in France.
France’s Mehdy Metella posted an impressive time in the men’s 100-meter fly. He blasted a 52.95 for the win, vaulting into a sixth-ranked tie with Tommaso D’Orsogna in the world rankings. Adam Barrett placed second overall in 53.41 with Daniel Andersen of Denmark taking third in 53.88.
Spain’s Jessica Vall Montero clinched the women’s 50-meter breaststroke title in 32.35 with France’s Carmella Kitching sliding into second with a 32.88. Julie Cartier, also of France, finished third in 33.31. In a close contest, Britain’s Andy Weatheritt edged France’s Giacomo Perez Dortona in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke, 28.12 to 28.19. Britain’s Joseph Welstead wound up third in 28.73.
Belgium’s Yoris Grandjean, who is affiliated with the host club in Marseilles, won the men’s 50-meter freestyle in 23.02. Britain’s Andy Weatheritt took his second podium of the night with a runner-up 23.11, while Spain’s Aitor Martinez tied Britain’s Grant Turner for third with matching 23.19s.
Britain’s Lauren Quigley took home the women’s 200-meter back title in 2:11.13 with Spain’s Melanie Costa Schmid (2:12.56) and Duane Da Rocha Marce (2:12.91) battling it out for second and third. Britain’s William Harrison clinched the men’s 200-meter back crown in 2:04.14. France’s Nathan Bonnel (2:05.78) and Nans Roch (2:06.45) rounded out the top three.
Daniel Skaaning of Denmark closed the night with a 2:02.41 to win the men’s 200-meter IM. Italy’s Simone Geni finished second in 2:03.23 with Spain’s Alejandro Garcia Martin earning third in 2:03.50.