MONTE CARLO, Monaco, June 13. THE ever exciting Monaco knockout rounds took place on the first night of the Mare Nostrum stop in Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, several other meet records fell.
Camille Muffat posted a meet-record time of 1:57.84 in the women's 200 free. Australia's Bronte Barrett finished second in 1:58.91, while Russia's Daria Belyakina touched third in 2:00.13.
Australia's Christian Sprenger began the day with a winning effort of 2:11.42 in the men's 200 breast. Neil Versfeld claimed second in 2:13.13 with Grigory Falko touching third in 2:13.87. Russia's Yuliya Efimova snagged the women's 100 breast title in 1:07.47. Austria's Mirna Jukic placed second in 1:08.01, while Denmark's Rikke Moller Pedersen took third in 1:09.08.
France's Alain Bernard topped the men's 100 free with a swift effort of 48.53. Russia's Andrey Grechin claimed second in 48.76, while Sweden's Stefan Nystrand took third in 48.90.
Hungary's Laszlo Cseh rolled to victory in the men's 200 fly with a time of 1:56.69. Austria's Dinko Jukic placed second in 1:57.41, while Australia's Christopher Wright took third in 1:57.74.
Russia's Irina Bespalova cleared 59 seconds with a 58.99 to win the women's 100 fly. Australia's Jessicah Schipper clocked a second-place 59.12, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen earned third in 59.31.
It was a Russian battle in the men's 100 back as Arkady Vyatchanin touched out Stanislav Donets, 55.01 to 55.05. Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer placed third in 55.58.
Denmark's Permille Larsen followed in the women's 200 back with a winning time of 2:11.62. Therese Svendsen placed second in 2:15.06, while Natalia Torne Sanchez took third in 2:16.88.
Cseh returned in the men's 200 IM with a winning effort of 2:00.31 in another head-to-head contest with Jukic. Jukic took second in 2:01.03, while Portugal's Diogo Carvalho placed third in 2:03.21.
In the classic Monaco knockout rounds South Africa's Roland Schoeman beat the meet record twice with times of 23.59 in prelims and 23.55 in the quarterfinals of the men's 50 fly. Australia's Andrew Lauterstein (23.77), Croatia's Duje Draganja (24.09) and Australia's Geoff Huegill (24.10) also made it to semis.
Therese Alshammar posted a meet record of 25.83 in the women's 50 fly quarterfinals. Australia's Marieke Guehrer (26.15), Norway's Ingvild Snildal (26.57) and Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (26.64) made up the semifinal field.
In the men's 50 back, South Africa's Gerhard Zandberg paced the quarterfinal round with a 25.59, while Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin placed second in 25.79. Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer (26.08) and Germany's Dominik Keil (26.12) finished third and fourth.
Russia's Anastasia Zueva topped the women's 50 back quarterfinal with a quick time of 27.98. Germany's Daniela Samulski captured second in 28.16, while Croatia's Sanja Jovanovic took third in 28.74. Australia's Sophie Edington (28.94) completed the semifinal field.
Sprenger led the way in the men's 50 breast quarterfinal with a 27.97. South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh (28.18), Norway's Alexander Dale Oen (28.28) and Germany's Johannes Neumann (28.38) went through to the semifinal round.
Another Russian battle continued to brew in the women's 50 breast. Valentina Artemyeva posted a meet-record time of 30.32 in the quarterfinal round. Teammate Yuliya Efimova touched second in 31.00. Germany's Kerstin Vogel (31.24) and Janne Schaefer (31.70) will also be in semifinals.
Cullen Jones of the U.S. earned the top seed in the men's 50 free semifinal round with a 22.25 in the quarterfinals. Stefan Nystrand touched second in 22.27, while Russia's Evgeny Lagunov (22.38), Bernard (22.39) and Schoeman (22.39) were among the top four times.
Australia's Libby Trickett raced to a meet-record time of 24.61 in the women's 50 free to conclude the night. Alshammar finished second in 24.87 in the quarterfinals. Germany's Dorothea Brandt (25.13) and Josefin Lillhage (25.20) comprised the rest of the sectional round.