BARCELONA, Spain, June 15. SEVERAL athletes wrapped up a week of racing across three countries in southern Europe in the Mare Nostrum circuit with more strong times today in Barcelona.
Nathan Adrian completed a perfect sweep of the sprint freestyles with his sixth win on the circuit tonight, taking the 50 free with a 21.73. Florent Manaudou, the reigning Olympic champion, was a close second with a 21.87. Shinri Shioura of Japan was a distance third, in terms of the 50 free, with a 22.28. This past week was the only opportunity for Adrian and Manaudou to go head-to-head in 2014, as Adrian’s top meet will (likely) be the Pan Pacific championships in Australia, while Manaudou will race at the European championships in Germany.
Though the United States had a big presence on the Mare Nostrum circuit, Adrian was the only men’s American winner throughout the three meets. Cammile Adams was the only women’s winner, and she won the 200 fly tonight with a 2:09.05, a bit slower than the 2:08.54 she swam a few days ago in Canet. She had a tough battle on her hands with Spain’s Judit Ignacio, who led after 100 and 150 meters, but couldn’t hold off Adams’ closing flourish and placed second with a 2:09.25. Aimee Willmott of Great Britain was in the race as well, finishing third with a 2:09.88.
Yasuhiro Koseki threw down a 2:08.87 in the men’s 200 breast, the only swim under 2:10 in the final. It broke an 11-year-old meet record, a 2:09.52 swum in 2003 by Dimitri Komornikov. It’s Koseki’s fastest swim of the season by almost a full second, moving him up the world rankings from seventh to fourth. Michael Jamieson, the world leader with a 2:07.79 from British nationals, placed second today with a 2:10.47, just beating out Kazuki Kohinata and his 2:10.53.
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor also posted her fastest swim of the season, posting a 2:09.63 in the women’s 200 IM that beats her second-ranked best by eight hundredths of a second. She still stands second in the world behind the 2:08.89 by Alicia Coutts, but O’Connor can take comfort that she took down a Coutts meet record of 2:09.68 from 2010. O’Connor inches closer to Hannah Miley’s British record of 2:09.46 from 2009. Kanako Watanabe placed second with a 2:12.42, with Aimee Willmott taking third in 2:12.43 after leading Watanabe by almost two seconds after breaststroke.
Jazz Carlin closed out a strong week of distance freestyle racing with a 4:04.03 in the women’s 400 free, taking down Joanne Jackson’s meet record of 4:05.90 from 2009. It was Carlin’s fastest swim of the season, beating her 4:04.68 from British nationals. It moves her up the global rankings from sixth to third to become the fastest swimmer in the Commonwealth and second-fastest among Europeans. Coralie Balmy of France placed comfortably in second with a 4:07.84 with Karin Prinsloo of South Africa third with a 4:09.98.
Jeanette Ottesen has had a strong week on the Mare Nostrum circuit, setting national records in the lead-up to the European championships. She wrapped up competition with a 25.27 in the 50 fly, breaking Therese Alshammar’s meet record of 25.46 and falling .03 short of her own national record. Noemie Thomas of Canada placed second with a 26.33 with Svetlana Chimrova of Russia third in 26.38.
Another name mentioned often through the series was Japan’s Ryosuke Irie, who won almost all of the nine backstroke races in Europe. He closed out his European tour with a 53.12 in the 100 back, breaking his own meet record of 53.48 from 2011. Teammate Junya Koga was second with a 54.07, while Great Britain’s Chris Walker-Hebborn took third with a 54.53.
Fran Halsall turned in seventh place at 50 meters in the women’s 100 free final, and came roaring back to place second with a 54.34. She was unable to catch Denmark’s Pernille Blume, who won with a 54.04. Veronika Popova of Russia took third with a 54.75.
Daria Ustinova let Great Britain’s Lizzie Simmonds take the lead in the women’s 200 back final through 150 meters, then turned on the afterburners to win in 2:08.50. Simmonds faded to second with a 2:09.30, with Iceland’s Eyglo Gustafdottir a distant third with a 2:12.14.
Pawel Korzeniowski of Poland waited until the final stretch of the 200 free final to take down Great Britain’s James Guy, 1:47.90 to 1:48.22. Korzeniowski just missed out on a global top 20 appearance, and Guy fell short of his season best of 1:47.54 that has him 20th in the world. Artem Lobuzov of Russia took third with a 1:48.93.
Myles Brown and Pal Joensen almost got into the global top 20 with their close race in the 1500 freestyle. Joensen, representing the Faroe Islands, led for 1400 meters before Brown of South Africa closed in and got the victory with a 15:10.02 to Joensen’s 15:10.38. Stephen Milne of Great Britain closed out the podium with a 15:15.82.
Georgia Davies took the women’s 50 back with a 27.94 over the 28.11 by Mie Nielsen and the 28.14 by Etiene Medeiros. David Verraszto of Hungary took the men’s 400 IM with a 4:14.35 over the 4:18.32 by American Josh Prenot and the 4:18.44 by Great Britain’s Roberto Pavoni.
Andrei Nikolaev was the winner of the men’s 50 breast with a meet record 27.48. Adam Peaty of Great Britain was unable to replicate his 27.19 from Canet, finishing second with a 27.57. Damir Dugonjic finished third with a 27.80.
Konrad Czerniak put up a 52.28 on the board to win the men’s 100 fly, beating the 52.49 by Takuro Fujii and the 52.66 by Hirofumi Ikebata. The top six broke 53 seconds, with Mehdy Metella (52.86), Viacheslav Prudnikov (52.93) and Tom Shields (52.99) also in the race.
Kanako Watanabe took the women’s 100 breast with a 1:07.74, with Jessica Vall taking second with a 1:08.73. Her teammate Marina Garcia was third with a 1:08.95.