MONTE CARLO, Monaco, June 8. THE Mare Nostrum series certainly got off to a strong start here in Monaco, and the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu did not disappoint either on the final day with a double win that included another Hungarian record.
Hungary dominated the men’s 400-meter IM tonight with David Verraszto (4:15.76) and Laszlo Cseh (4:17.19) going 1-2 in the timed final event. Verraszto came up a second shy of his eighth-ranked season best of 4:14.47 from the Budapest Open, while Cseh still hasn’t cracked 4:16 this year. Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori netted third in 4:17.65.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu vaulted to seventh in the world in the women’s 400-meter free with a time of 4:05.51. That swim pushed her past Remy Fairweather (4:06.02) into seventh as just the seventh swimmer to clear 4:06 this year. Also, that gave Hosszu another Hungarian record as she surpassed the 4:05.61 set by Boglarka Kapas at last summer’s World Championships. France’s Camille Muffat touched second in 4:07.11 to move to 16th in the world, while South Africa’s Karin Prinsloo grabbed third tonight in 4:08.50.
In a high-profile matchup between the third and fourth-fastest swimmers in the world in the men’s 100-meter fly this year, Germany’s Steffen Deibler clipped Japan’s Takuro Fujii, 52.48 to 52.52, for the win. Fujii has been faster than Deiber this year with a 51.84 against Deibler’s 51.86 season best, but the head-to-head win can only provide Deibler more confidence going forward. USA’s Tom Shields tied with Hungary’s Bence Pulai with matching 52.91s for third-place honors.
Germany’s Fransizka Hentke beat a stacked field in the women’s 200-meter fly with a 2:07.73 for the win. That’s just off her eighth-ranked season best of 2:07.67 from German Nationals, but more than a second ahead of the rest of the field. Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi touched second in 2:08.98 to move to 14th in the world rankings, while Great Britain’s Jemma Lowe placed third in 2:09.52. Hosszu, having spent some serious energy breaking a national record in the 400 free for the win, faded to eighth in the 200 fly with a 2:14.32.
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie had no peer in the men’s 200-meter backstroke as the world-leader crushed his competition with a 1:54.91. That swim was just a second off his top-ranked time of 1:53.91 from Japanese Nationals, but cleared the rest of the field by more than two seconds. Hungary’s Peter Bernek finished second in 1:57.25, while USA’s Jacob Pebley placed third in 1:59.35.
Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds pushed her way to 11th in the world in the women’s 100-meter backstroke with a winning time of 1:00.01 in an upset of Denmark’s Mie Nielsen. Nielsen, who already stands second in the world with a 59.36, wound up second tonight in 1:00.17. Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina snared third in 1:00.50 with Hosszu starting to get some wind back as she took fourth in 1:00.98.
In a head-to-head matchup of the seventh and eighth-fastest swimmers in the world this year in the men’s 100-meter breast, Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki touched out Germany’s Marco Koch, 1:00.36 to 1:00.47. Both have been faster with a 59.94 and 1:00.08, respectively. Brazil’s Raphael Rodrigues finished third in the finale with a 1:01.94.
It was nowhere near her sparkling world-leading time of 2:19.61 from the Eindhoven Cup, but Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen still managed to smoke the field in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke with a meet-record 2:22.02. That time crushed the previous mark of 2:24.45 set by Rebecca Soni back in 2010. Spain’s Jessica Vall touched second in 2:27.13 with Italy’s Elisa Celli taking third in 2:27.89.
South Africa’s Myles Brown tracked down the men’s 200-meter free title in 1:47.88 with Hungary’s Dominik Kozma taking second in 1:48.54. Japan’s Daiya Seto, fresh off an upset of Chad Le Clos in the 200 fly on day one, took third in 1:48.71.
Denmark’s Pernille Blume, who stands seventh in the world in the women’s 100-meter free with a 53.69, snatched the event title tonight in 54.49. Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace raced to second in 54.54 with France’s Charlotte Bonnet taking third in 54.57.
The Iron Lady Hosszu had finally found the rest of her gas tank by the time the women’s 200-meter IM came around and she roughed up the field with a 2:10.92 for the win. That’s just off her sixth-ranked season best of 2:10.60 from the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in Brazil. Japan’s Kanako Watanabe took second in 2:12.45 with Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto placing third in 2:12.96.
The 50-meter knockouts concluded the evening. Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen downed Belgium’s Kimberly Buys in the women’s 50-meter fly, 25.68 to 26.45. Ottesen has been much faster this year with a top-ranked 25.41. Brazil’s Nicholas Santos followed up with a 23.60 to 23.66 win against Germany’s Steffen Deibler. Both have been faster with matching 23.23s as season bests this year.
Denmark’s Mie Nielsen trumped Italy’s Arianna Barbieri, 28.17 to 28.47, in the women’s 50-meter back knockout finale. Nielsen’s top time this year has her second in the world with a 27.76, while Barbieri moved up to 14h in the world with her semifinal swim. Japan’s Junya Koga followed with a 24.69 to 24.88 triumph ahead of France’s Jeremy Stravius in the men’s 50-meter back. That nearly trumped Koga’s best this year of 24.68 that ranks him sixth, while Stravius just missed his seventh-ranked 24.80.
Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic trumped Brazil’s Joao Luiz Gomes in the men’s 50-meter breast, 27.62 to 27.78. The swim vaulted Dugonjic to 13th in the world rankings, while Gomes already holds sixth with a 27.35 from Brazilian Winter Nationals. In one of the closest battles in the knockout tournament, Germany’s Dorothea Brandt pipped Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen, 31.04 to 31.06, in the women’s 50-meter breast. Brandt has been faster with a third-ranked 30.77 from German Nationals, but Pedersen matched her seventh-ranked swim from the Eindhoven Cup.
USA’s Nathan Adrian rocked the men’s 50-meter knockout finale with a season-best time of 21.68, while Russia’s Andrey Grechin wound up second in 22.29. Adrian’s time eclipsed his sixth-ranked 21.73 from the Mesa stop of the Arena Grand Prix, and moved him to fifth in the world as he leapfrogged Florent Manaudou (21.70) in the process. Now, only Cesar Cielo (21.39), Bruno Fratus (21.45), Vlad Morozov (21.55) and Eamon Sullivan (21.65) have been faster this year.
Denmark’s Pernille Blume closed out the meet with a 24.73 to win the women’s 50-meter free knockout title, while Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace snared second in 24.94.
In the semifinal rounds of the knockout tournament, Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen led the women’s 50-meter fly in 26.10 with Belgium’s Kimberly Buys taking second in 26.51. Brazil’s Nicholas Santos topped the men’s 50-meter fly semis with a 23.59, while Germany’s Steffen Deibler claimed second in 23.63.
Italy’s Arianna Barbieri set up the finals matchup with Denmark’s Mie Nielsen in the women’s 50-meter back, 28.32 to 28.39, while Japan’s Junya Koga clocked a 25.03 in the men’s 50-meter back semis with Jeremy Stravius of France taking second in 25.09.
Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pederson posted a 31.20 to lead the women’s 50-meter breast semis, while Germany’s Dorothea Brandt made her way into the finale with a 31.37. Joao Luiz Gomes (27.87) and Damir Dugonjic (27.99) cleared 28 seconds for spots in the men’s 50-meter breast final matchup.
Denmark’s Pernille Blume posted a 24.81, while Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace grabbed second in 24.89 in the women’s 50-meter free semis. Nathan Adrian setup a battle with Russia’s Andrew Grechin, 22.07 to 22.18, in the men’s 50-meter free.