MONTE CARLO, Monaco, June 14. GERMANY's Paul Biedermann clipped the European record in the men's 200 free during the final session of the Mare Nostrum circuit in Monte Carlo.
Biedermann clocked a time of 1:44.88 to not only crush his national record of 1:46.00 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but also to beat Pieter van den Hoogenband's European mark of 1:44.89 set in 2002.
Russia's Alexander Sukhorukov (1:47.01) and Danila Izotov (1:47.33) completed the top three.
Russia's Anastasia Zueva threatened her world record in the women's 50 back with a winning time of 27.56. She currently has a 27.47 to her credit from April of this year. Germany's Daniela Samulski finished second in 27.83, which broke her national record of 27.94 set during the semifinal round. That performance beat Samulski's 28.15 set during the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum.
Australia's Andrew Lauterstein rolled to a meet-record time of 52.04 to win the men's 100 fly. Clement Lefert placed second in 52.81 with Kohei Kawamoto taking third in 53.14. Australia won again in the women's 200 fly as Jessicah Schipper cruised to a 2:08.77. Mireia Belmonte finished second in 2:10.56, while Martina Van Berkel touched just behind for a third-place 2:10.85.
Russia's Stanislav Donets surfaced triumphant from a close three-way battle for the men's 200 back title. Donets won in 2:01.15 with Germany's Lucien Hasdenteufel (2:01.45) and France's Pierre Roger (2:01.98) completing the top three. Another exciting finish came in the women's 100 back with a trio of swimmers touching in 1:01. Noriko Inada won in 1:01.61, while Denark's Permille Larsen took second in 1:01.72. Australia's Sophie Edington wound up third in 1:01.94.
Australia's Christian Sprenger dominated the men's 100 breast with a meet-record time of 1:00.43. Russia's Grigory Falko placed second in 1:01.53 with Germany's Johannes Neumann taking third in 1:01.87. Russia's Yuliya Efimova and Austria's Mirna Jukic produced another close call with Efimova touching out Jukic, 2:24.45 to 2:24.48, in the women's 200 breast as both cleared the meet record. Joline Hostman finished third in 2:28.16.
Australia's Libby Trickett posted a meet-record time of 53.57 to claim a commanding win in the women's 100 free. Finland's Hanna Maria Seppala took second in 54.29, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen grabbed third in 54.84. Camille Muffat completed the standard swimming for the night with a 2:11.87 meet record in the women's 200 IM. Belmonte (2:16.07) and Russia's Daria Belyakina (2:16.23) took second and third.
The exciting finals of the Monaco knockout series completed the night.
After Lauterstein opened the semifinal round with a meet-record time of 23.45, South Africa's Roland Schoeman won the finale of the men's 50 fly, 23.19 to 23.51, over Lauterstein.
Sweden's Therese Alshammar nearly beat her national record of 25.46 with a 25.48 during the finals of the women's 50 fly. She knocked out Australia's Marieke Guehrer, who posted a 26.24.
In the men's 50 back, South Africa's Gerhard Zandberg won the head-to-head battle with Germany's Dominik Keil, 25.62 to 25.81. Sprenger touched out South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh, 27.73 to 27.77, for the men's 50 breast triumph.
In an all Russian finale, Valentina Artemyeva closed out Efimova, 30.39 to 30.81, in the women's 50 breast.
American Cullen Jones emerged victorious from the star-studded men's 50 free battle with a meet-record effort of 21.58. That time knocked on the door of the U.S. record of 21.47 held by Garrett Weber-Gale since the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Jones beat France's Alain Bernard, who turned in a 21.83.
The last swim of the night featured Trickett and Alshammar in the women's 50 free splash-and-dash. Trickett claimed the win, 24.30 to 24.50.