MONTE CARLO, Monaco, June 9. THE third and final stop of the Mare Nostrum series got underway today with a full slate of finals in Monaco. South Africa's Chad Le Clos and France's Yannick Agnel each won two events, while France's Camille Muffat set yet another meet record in winning the women's 200 free.
After setting a new textile-best of 1:54.66 in the 200 free just days ago, Muffat swam a 1:55.21 today to easily defeat second place finisher and teammate Charlotte Bonnet, who touched in 1:58.28. Canada's Barbara Jardin took third in 1:58.58.
Muffat's teammate, Yannick Agnel, recorded two victories on the day in the men's 100 free and 400 free. In the 100, Agnel touched in 49.14 to beat Canada's Brent Hayden (49.37) and Russia's Andrey Grechin (49.51). Agnel has the third best time in the world this year at 48.02, from the French Olympic Trials in March. In the 400, he posted a 3:46.14, the fifth fastest time in the world in 2012. Fellow countryman Clement Lefert swam a 3:50.31 for second, followed by Australia's Jarrod Killey in 3:53.72.
Australia broke up the French parade when Benjamin Treffers won the men's 100 back in 54.65, ahead of Great Britain's Liam Tancock (55.03) and South Africa's Charl Crous (55.67). In the women's 200 back, Great Britain's Lizzie Simmonds topped the field with a 2:09.10, just over a second off her season best of 2:07.92. Canadian Sinead Russell was second in 2:13.09 while China Zhu Jiani picked up third in 2:14.29.
Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte gave her country its first win of the Mare Nostrum series with a solid time of 1:07.96 in the women's 100 breast. That time sits just outside her best swim this year of 1:07.30, which ranks tenth in the world. Italy's Michela Guzzeti (1:08.73) and Iceland's Hrafnhidur Luthersdottir (1:09.68) completed the podium.
China's Xue Ruipeng won the only men's breaststroke event on the schedule today with a 2:16.45 in the 200. Flavio Bizzari of Italy (2:16.84) and Thomas Rabeisen of France (2:16.92) finished second and third in a tight race.
Canadian Katerine Savard, already a medalist in multiple events during the Mare Nostrum series, won the women's 100 fly by a tenth over Great Britain's Francesca Halsall, 58.89 to 58.99. Finland's Emilia Pikkarainen wound up third in 59.16.
South Africa's Chad Le Clos swam another impressive race in the men's 200 fly, posting a 1:55.77 for the win. Le Clos owns the fifth best time in the world this year at 1:55.30, which he swam in April. Venezuela's Alexis Marquez Rivas finished way behind in 2:01.45, while India's Aaron Agnel D'Souza touched third in 2:02.30. Later in the meet, Le Clos picked up a second win in the men's 200 IM with a 2:01.02. Justin James of Australia finished second in 2:02.63 and Tobias Oriwol of Canada was third (2:03.63).
China's Chen Xinyi won a close race in the women's 400 IM, touching in 4:43.02. Chen's top time this year is slightly faster at 4:41.01. South African Kathryn Meaklim (4:44.15) and China's Bi Yirong (4:45.94) rounded out the podium in the event.