Seebohm, Sjostrom Double Winners at Mare Nostrum Series Barcelona

Photo Courtesy: Paul Seiser/SPA Images

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Australia’s Emily Seebohm each raced to a pair of victories and Mare Nostrum records on the second day of competition of the 2017 Mare Nostrum Series Barcelona.

Continuing her Mare Nostrum dominance, Sjostrom took the 50 butterfly and 100 free titles, while Seebohm won her signature backstroke races in the 50 and 200 distances. Just two tenths off the World Record in the 100 free, Sjostrom is once again proving that she will be a force to be reckoned with at the World Championships in Budapest.

In men’s action, Mitch Larkin and Taylor Dale set up another backstroke showdown in the 100, while Anton Chupkov and Kirill Prigoda showed Russia’s international dominance in the men’s 200 breast.

Men’s 1500 Free

Mack Horton kicked off the second day of competition with a victory in the 1500 free. His 15:05.57 was enough to hold off Norway’s Henrik Christiansen who swam a 15:07.07. China’s Qiu Ziao was third in 15:09.64. All three men served as the leader at some point in the race, but Horton took command of the last 400 to get the win.

Horton and Christiansen have both already swam under 15:00 this year and currently rank in the worldwide top 10.

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Women’s 50 Back

Australia went two-for-two as Emily Seebohm claimed the 50 back in a meet record of 27.80. Teammate Holly Barratt was close behind in 27.97. Both were just off their season bests. Maaike De Waard of the Netherlands took third in 28.27.

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Men’s 50 Breast

Cameron Van Der Burgh joined four other men under the 27-second barrier this year. His 26.96 earned him the win in Barcelona and the third-fastest time in the world this year. Just two one-hundredths of a second separated the second through fourth place finishers as Felipe Lima (27.41), Andrey Nikolaev (27.42) and Nicolo Martinenghi (27.43) rounded out the top four.

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Women’s 50 Fly

Sarah Sjostrom broke yet another meet record by claiming the 50 butterfly crown in 24.76. This drops about two tenths off her world-leading time from the Stockholm Open. She has now put nearly a full second between her and the next fastest swimmer so far this year.

Not to be out shadowed, Canada’s Penny Oleksiak had an impressive swim of her own coming in at 25.76 for second place. This puts her third in the world in a very tight race behind Sjostrom. Kimberly Buys was also under 26 seconds in Barcelona finishing third in 25.86. This leaves her seventh in the world rankings.

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Men’s 400 IM

Fedrico Turrini of Italy won the men’s 400 IM in 4:20.37. Adam Paulsson was next in 4:25.41 followed by Tomas Elliot in 4:26.76. Turrini led the race from start to finish, but was well off his eleventh-ranked 4:13.52 from the Italian Championships.

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Women’s 100 Free

Sjostrom blasted a 52.28 100 freestyle, just .22 off Cate Campbell‘s World Record from February of last year. Out 25.16, Sjostrom had the race locked up right from the start. Campbell did finish second in 53.43 followed by Michelle Coleman in 53.85 and Femke Heemskerk in 54.00. Bronte Campbell took fifth in 54.03.

Also of note, Ranomi Kromowidjojo raced to a 53.42 in the B final, which would have secured her second place overall. The swim bumps her from eleventh to seventh in the world rankings.

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Men’s 100 Back

Australia’s Mitch Larkin and the USA’s Taylor Dale were at it once more at this Barcelona stop in the 100 backstroke. Larkin had the upper edge on the second 50 to out-swim Dale 53.76 to 54.00. Markus Thormeyer took third in 55.44.

Larkin’s swim was just two tenths off his eighth-ranked swim while Dale earned himself a spot in the top 20 with his performance.

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Women’s 100 Breast

The upcoming women’s breaststroke events keep becoming more and more interesting every time Yulia Efimova hits the water. Continuing to distance herself from the rest of the world, Efimova raced to a 1:05.66 in the 100 breast final. This is a season-best for her, giving Efimova the sweep of the breaststroke events in Barcelona.

Jennie Johansson had another impressive day posting a 1:06.78 for second place. She was a few tenths off her fourth-ranked performance from the Stockholm Open, but was able to out-race Spain’s Jessica Vall Montero who got third in 1:06.95 and is one spot behind Johansson in the world rankings.

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Men’s 50 Free

Bruno Fratus of Brazil claimed the 50 free title in 21.76, just six one hundredths off his best this year. Ari-Pekka Liukkonen also snuck under 22 seconds with a 21.99, five one hundredths off his season best. The men currently rank fifth and ninth, respectively. Australia’s James Magnussen was third in 22.15.

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Women’s 200 Back

Seebohm doubled up on meet records by breaking the 200 back mark with a 2:07.30. Russia’s Daria Ustinova was second in 2:08.38 followed by Canada’s Taylor Ruck (2:09.10) and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (2:11.13).

Seebohm, Ustinova and Ruck were all in the mix at the 100, but Seebohm split 1:03.4-1:03.9 with an incredible 30.94 last 50. While Seebohm and Ustinova were just off their bests for the year, Ruck’s swim moved her to eighth in the world rankings.

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Men’s 200 Breast

Anton Chupkov kept the Russian breaststroke dominance rolling by winning the men’s 200 in a meet record of 2:08.41. Teammate Kirill Prigoda went 2:09.90 to give the Russians the one-two finish. The country currently has four of the world’s top times in this event. Erik Persson was third in 2:11.49.

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Women’s 200 Fly

After a tough 1500-400 IM double on day one, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia won the 200 fly in meet record fashion. Her 2:07.11 broke the previous mark and bumps her from thirteenth to six in the world rankings. It was also enough to beat the Rio silver medalist in this event, Madeline Groves of Australia.

Groves took second in 2:07.90, her fastest swim this year. The race puts her eleventh worldwide. Groves led the race through the 150 mark, going out in a quick 1:00.15 at the 100. But Belmonte Garcia used her distance experience to close in a 1:05.09 for the win. Liliana Szilagyi took third in 2:08.30.

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Men’s 100 Fly

Yauhen Tsurkin won the men’s 100 fly title over Laszlo Cseh in a tight race 52.46 to 52.51. Italian swimmers Matteo Rivolta (52.86) and Piero Codia (52.90) were also in the mix. A 51.98 stands as the tenth fastest time in the world this year.

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Women’s 200 IM

Katinka Hosszu followed up her win in the 400 on day one with a victory in the 200 distance in 2:10.16. This was not a particularly fast IM for Hosszu, but she still handedly won this one. Russia’s Viktoriia Andreeva was second in 2:12.52 followed by Yulia Efimova in 2:12.62.

Despite, obviously, a charging breaststroke split of 36.0 from Efimova and a 30.33 free leg from Andreeva (the fastest splits out of anyone in the field), Hosszu’s first 100 gave her a significant lead.

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Men’s 200 Free

Russia’s Aleksandr Krasnykh took the men’s 200 free in 1:47.39. Devon Myles Brown took the second spot in 1:48.07 followed by Cam McEvoy in 1:48.29. McEvoy had about an eight-tenths lead at the 100 but could not hold off a very consistent Krasnykh.

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Women’s 400 Free

Belmonte Garcia stole another win to close out the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum Series. Despite racing a quartet of the hardest events in swimming, she was able to swim a season-best 4:05.76 for the win. The performance puts her fifth behind the USA’s Leah Smith worldwide. 

Veronkia Popova was not far behind in 4:06.82, the eleventh-fastest time this year. Teammate Anastia Guzhenkova took third in 4:10.74. Through the 250, Popova maintained the lead. But in true Belmonte Garcia form, she was able to split 30s on her last three 50s to secure the win.

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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is the assistant swim coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Keene State, as well as KSC's head site coach for Greenwood Swimming. Pimer also helped coach 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold.

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