MONTE CARLO, Monaco, June 16. THE Mare Nostrum Series came to a close on Wednesday, with Marleen Veldhuis and Louise Ornstedt turning in two of the top times of the Monte Carlo segment. The Mare Nostrum Series started a little more than a week ago, making stops in Barcelona, Canet (France) and Rome. The competitions served as preparation for next month’s World Championships in Montreal.
Veldhuis, from the Netherlands, earned a first-place finish in the 100 freestyle, behind a time of 54.82. Veldhuis, who has been enjoying a strong summer, held off Finland’s Hanna Maria Seppala (55.13). As for Ornstedt, she won the 100 backstroke in a quality time of 1:01.13. The Dane is a certain medal contender in Montreal.
The United States’ Mary DeScenza, who will swim three individual events in Montreal, won the 200 butterfly (2:10.49) and the Ukraine’s Andriy Serdinov won the 100 butterfly in 52.59. Serdinov is the third-fastest performer in the history of the event and the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the two-lap fly. Russia’s Dimitri Komornikov completed the breaststroke double by winning the 100 distance in 1:01.70.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who set a European record last week, won the 400 individual medley in a ho-hum time of 4:18.92. Meanwhile, Romania’s Camelia Potec capped a sterling run in Mare Nostrum action with a triumph in the 400 freestyle (4:08.61). Potec was the gold medalist in Athens in the 200 free and should make World Champs noise in the 200 through 800 distances.
Other winners from the final night of competition were Russia’s Andrey Kapralov in the 200 freestyle (1:50.65), Hungary’s Agnes Kovacs in the 200 individual medley (2:16.65), Romania’s Razvan Florea in the 200 backstroke (1:58.19) and Austria’s Mirna Jukic in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.52).