MONTE CARLO, Monaco, June 12. THE Mare Nostrum circuit came to an end with the always enjoyable sprint knockout rounds, including a textile best from Therese Alshammar. Meanwhile, Ryosuke Irie kept putting up 1:54s in the men's 200 back. The meet took place in long course meter format.
In the 50-meter knockout rounds, Satomi Suzuki downed Stephanie Spahn, 31.71 to 32.03, in the women's 50 breast. Meanwhile, Anastasia Zueva beat Aya Terakawa in the women's 50 back, 27.78 to 28.00. Zueva moved to the top of the world rankings with the swim, edging Terakawa's previously top-ranked time of 27.79.
Therese Alshammar posted a 24.72 to 25.17 victory over Inge Dekker in the women's 50 free. Alshammar has been faster this year with a second-ranked 24.47, while Dekker's top time is a sixth-ranked 24.69. Alshammar then doubled up with a 25.38 to 25.98 triumph over Yuka Kato in the women's 50 fly. Alshammar's time shot her to the top of the world rankings, well ahead of Dekker's second-ranked 25.57. Alshammar's swim bettered her textile best of 25.46 set in 2007 in Barcelona.
For the men, Hendrik Feldwehr beat Aleksander Hetland, 27.66 to 28.04, for the men's 50 breast crown. Feldwehr's top time is a third-ranked 27.34 from Germany earlier this month. Junya Koga claimed a 24.81 to 25.02 victory over Ryosuke Irie in the men's 50 back. Koga moved to second in the world behind Camille Lacourt (24.36), while Irie took sixth in the rankings.
Matt Targett posted a 22.13 to 22.37 win over Dominik Kozma in the men's 50 free. Targett moved to 10th in the rankings with the swim. Targett doubled up with a 23.25 to 24.04 triumph over Florent Manaudou in the men's 50 fly. Targett's time moved him to the top of the world ahead of Geoff Huegill's runner-up 23.28 from February.
After the sprint rounds were complete, Laszlo Cseh set a meet record in the men's 400 IM with a 4:13.27, well short of his top-ranked 4:11.22, but more than enough to win as Killian Bossard took second in 4:29.61. Quentin Coton placed third in 4:32.42.
Camille Muffat clocked a meet record in the women's 400 free with a 4:05.46. That time moved her into fifth in the world behind Bronte Barratt's 4:04.36. Coralie Balmy touched second in 4:12.62, while Nina Rangelova earned third in 4:14.09.
Takuro Fujii held off Takeshi Matsuda, 52.28 to 52.88, in the men's 100 fly. Fujii (51.84) and Matsuda (52.83) have both been faster this year. Bence Pulai wound up third in 53.71.
Natsumi Hoshi crushed the field in the women's 200 fly with a winning meet record of 2:06.92. The swim fell a bit short of her fourth-ranked season best of 2:06.05 from April. Jessicah Schipper placed second in 2:08.48, while Kim Vandenberg claimed third in 2:10.09. Schipper's top time this year is an eighth-ranked 2:07.78.
Ryosuke Irie has made 1:54 routine this year with his fifth time under 1:55 to win the men's 200 back. Tonight, he clocked a meet-record 1:54.34 to go along with his other four 1:54s from this year (1:54.08, 1:54.54, 1:54.55 and 1:54.62). No one else has even broken 1:56 this year with Zhang Fenglin sitting second with a 1:56.34. Kazuki Watanabe placed second tonight in 1:57.67, while Peter Bernek finished third in 1:58.37. Watanabe already stands seventh with a 1:57.21, but Bernek moved up to 13th in the world rankings.
Zueva scored an upset over Terakawa in the women's 100 back with a 59.37 to 59.52 conquest. Both have been faster with Terakawa at the top of the rankings with a 59.17, while Zueva owns a second-ranked 59.35 from Russia in April. Shiho Sakai wound up third in 1:00.23.
Alexander Dale Oen won the men's 100 breast with a meet-record time of 1:00.24. That swim pushed him into sole possession of fifth in the rankings. He had shared the spot with Cameron van der Burgh with matching 1:00.29s. Ryo Tateishi finished second in 1:01.10, while Feldwehr placed third in 1:01.84.
Yannick Agnel, who stands second in the world in the men's 200 free with a 1:45.47 from March, cruised to victory in the event tonight with a 1:47.44. Cseh touched second with a 1:48.96, while Kyle Richardson picked up third in 1:51.30.
Hannah Miley touched out Kirsty Coventry, 2:12.69 to 2:12.91, in the women's 200 IM. Miley (2:12.01) and Coventry (2:11.36) have been faster this year. Bianca Meyer earned third-place honors in 2:20.50.
Suzuki snagged the women's 200 breast title in 2:26.67, while Emily Selig finished second in 2:27.99. Caroline Ruhnau grabbed third in 2:29.55. Muffat won the women's 100 free, 55.05 to 55.50, over Charlotte Bonnet. Elena Sokolova snared third in 55.73.