CANET, France, June 9. ON a yearly basis, the Mare Nostrum Series delivers high-quality swims, so it should come as no surprise that the second day of the Canet stop in France was loaded with quick times. Leading the way, in not-so-shocking fashion, was the tandem of Australia's Leisel Jones and Hungary's Laszlo Cseh. Jones wrapped up her sweep of the breaststroke events while Cseh earned his second triumph of the competition.
The world-record holder in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, Jones won the shorter distance in a spectacular mark of 1:06.18, a swim that only she has bettered. Jones is the reigning world champ in the 100 and 200 breast disciplines and has redefined the stroke to a point that she currently holds untouchable status. As for Cseh, he popped a splendid swim of 1:58.67 to win the 200 individual medley in easy fashion over Australia's Leith Brodie (2:03.04). Cseh is the reigning world champ in the 400 I.M.
Aussie Libby Lenton, who won the 100 free on the first day of action, doubled on the second day in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. The Golden Girl ripped a time of 24.88 in the 50 free to defeat Sweden's Therese Alshammar (25.15) and Australia's Jodie Henry (25.54). As for the 100 fly, Lenton led a one-two finish for the Aussies when she touched the wall in 58.65, quicker than the 59.75 of Felicity Galvez. France's Aurore Mongel was third in 59.87.
Having recently erased the long-standing world record of Janet Evans in the 400 freestyle, France’s Laure Manaudou won that event in 4:06.40. She was followed by Romania’s Camelia Potec in 4:11.16. In the 200 individual medley, the Ukraine’s Yana Klochkova registered a mark of 2:15.99, an effort that showed the multi-Olympic champ is in quality form.
In the women's 200 freestyle, Germany's Annika Liebs cooked up a strong time of 1:58.52, a mark that supplied a convincing decision of Great Britain's Melanie Marshall (1:59.80). Costa Rica's Claudia Poll was third in 2:00.74. The other gold-medal swim from the women was supplied by the United States' Margaret Hoelzer in the 200 backstroke (2:13.39).
Outside of Cseh's showing in the 200 I.M., the Ukraine's Andriy Serdinov had the most impressive performance among the men. The bronze medalist in the 100 fly at the Athens Olympics, Serdinov prevailed in his prime event with a time of 52.97. Meanwhile, Romania's Razvan Florea topped the field in the 200 backstroke with an effort of 1:59.86, the only swim under two minutes. Alain Bernard led a top-three sweep for the French in the 50 freestyle. Bernard sprinted to a time of 22.53 and was followed by Julien Sicot (22.75) and David Maitre (22.76). Nicolas Rostoucher won the 800 free for France in 7:54.99.
The 200 freestyle was captured by Great Britain's David Carry, who negotiated the four-lap race in 1:49.15. That outing was quicker than the 1:49.98 managed by France's Amaury Leveaux. As for the 100 breaststroke, Aussie Christian Sprenger won in 1:01.88 with the Ukraine's Oleg Lisogor second in 1:02.21.