Mare Nostrum, Monte Carlo: Rebecca Soni, Camille Muffat, Camille Lacourt Set Meet Records, Paul Biedermann Scorches 200 Free, Knockout 50s Conclude

MONTE CARLO, Monaco, June 6. THE second day of long course meter swimming at the Mare Nostrum stop in Monte Carlo produced some blazing fast swims.

USA's Rebecca Soni crushed the women's 200 breast field with a meet-record time of 2:24.45. That effort is rather pedestrian for Soni, as she holds the top-ranked time this year with a 2:22.21 from Charlotte in May. Sweden's Joline Hostman finished second in 2:26.42 to move to 14th in the world, while Canada's Martha McCabe placed third in 2:28.57.

France's Camille Muffat set a meet record in the women's 200 IM with a 2:11.55. That swim fell short of her fourth-ranked season-best time of 2:10.48. Scotland's Hannah Miley finished second in 2:13.62, while USA's Caitlin Leverenz earned third in 2:14.32.

Germany's Paul Biedermann dominated the men's 200 free with a 1:46.82. That performance vaulted him from seventh in the world to second, behind only Yannick Agnel's 1:46.35. Biedermann also became just one of three swimmers to eclipse 1:47 this year as Tae Hwan Park posted a third-ranked 1:46.98 in February. Canada's Brent Hayden took second in 1:49.32, while Russia's Alexander Sukhorukov touched just behind with a third-place 1:49.45.

The Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who is the top-ranked swimmer in the women's 100 free with a 53.44 from March, eased through tonight's finale with a winning time of 54.14. USA's Dana Vollmer touched second in 54.78, off her second-ranked time of 54.30. Germany's Daniela Schreiber placed third in 55.58.

Tunisia's Ous Mellouli cruised in the men's 400 IM with a winning time of 4:15.57. That effort moved him from 18th in the world to eighth. Brazil's Thiago Pereira placed second in 4:17.55, while Russia's Alexander Tikhonov wound up third in 4:19.54. Pereira is the second-ranked swimmer in the world with a sterling 4:14.06 from the Grand Challenge last month.

In a battle with Muffat, Australia's Blair Evans jumped ahead of Chloe Sutton in the women's 400 free world rankings. Evans won in 4:07.39, just clipping Sutton's 4:07.41 from March. Meanwhile, Muffat took second in 4:07.59 to improve upon her 4:08.26 11th-ranked time. France's Coralie Balmy placed third in 4:11.50.

Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov improved to 19th in the world with a 52.80 to win the men's 100 fly. Australia's Andrew Lauterstein touched second in 53.25, well back from his second-ranked season best of 51.79 from March. Germany's Benjamin Starke took third in 53.63.

Australia's Samantha Hamill, who is already ranked fifth in the world with a 2:07.75 in the women's 200 fly, won tonight with a 2:09.19. Sweden's Martina Granstrom grabbed second in 2:09.34 to move to 12th in the world, while Spain's Mireia Belmonte pocketed third in 2:09.87. Belmonte already is on the book with a sixth-ranked 2:07.85 from April.

Austria's Markus Rogan topped the men's 200 back in 1:58.71. That time came up just short of his seventh-ranked season best of 1:58.21 from last month. USA's Aaron Peirsol finished just behind with a second-place 1:58.91 to move to 19th in the world. Russia's Stanislav Donets placed a distant third in 2:01.97.

China's Zhao Jing, the seventh-ranked swimmer in the world with a 1:00.06 from April, won tonight in the women's 100 back with a 1:00.86. Russia's Mariya Gromova finished second in 1:01.51, while Canada's Sinead Russell captured third in 1:01.72.

Hungary's Daniel Gyurta surfaced from an exciting finish with the win in the men's 100 breast. Gyurta clocked a 1:01.58 for the win. Japan's Kosuke Kitajima (1:01.63), Russia's Grigory Falko (1:01.79), Russia's Stanislav Lakhtyukhov (1:01.88) and Kazakhstan's Vlad Polyakov (1:01.89) all broke 1:02 to give Gyurta a run for his money.

In the knockout 50 sprints, Sweden's Therese Alshammar beat Kromowidjojo in the women's 50 free, 24.94 to 25.06. France's Fred Bousquet downed compatriot Alain Bernard in the men's 50 free, 21.84 to 22.17. Bousquet's time just missed his top-ranked effort in the world of 21.71 from April.

China's Zhao Jing cleared Russia's Anastasia Zueva, 27.94 to 28.16, in the women's 50 back. Zhao has a share of the top time in the world with a 27.72 tie with teammate Gao Chang from the Chinese Nationals in April.

France's Camille Lacourt improved to third in the world with a meet-record 24.81 to win the men's 50 back. Lacourt leapfrogged Junya Koga's 24.86 from April. Australia's Daniel Arnamnart finished second in the head-to-head battle with a 25.56.

Russia's Yuliya Efimova lowered her top-ranked time in the women's 50 breast three times this weekend. She clocked a 30.64 in prelims before bettering that time with a 30.38 in the semifinal round. Efimova then dusted Soni in the finale, 30.35 to 31.04. Soni nearly cleared her third-ranked season best of 30.98 from May.

Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr beat Polyakov to the wall in the men's 50 breast, 27.92 to 28.06. Feldwehr moved up to ninth in the world with the effort.

Alshammar won her second knockout title in the women's 50 fly with a 25.64 to 26.62 triumph over Vollmer. Alshammar nearly lowered her top-ranked time of 25.60 from February.

In the most exciting finish of the knockouts, Australia's Geoff Huegill beat Germany's Steffen Deibler by the slimmest of margins, 23.85 to 23.86, in the men's 50 fly. Huegill has a faster time on record this year with a second-ranked time of 23.46. Deibler, meanwhile, improved his season-best time of 23.87 to remain ranked 12th in the world.

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Author: Archive Team

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