BARCELONA, Spain, June 14. THERE must be something in the water at the Piscina Pere Serrat, given that several swimmers just made some major gains on the No. 1 world standings on the first day of swimming in Barcelona, the final stop on the Mare Nostrum circuit.
Nathan Adrian has never been under 48 seconds outside of a national championships or international championships, but he almost remedied that today with a 48.08 to win the 100 freestyle. The time tied his fastest in-season swim, which he previously did at last year’s Arena Grand Prix meet in Santa Clara. Adrian nearly joined Australians James Magnussen (47.59) and Cameron McEvoy (47.65) in the sub-48 club in 2014.
Cuba’s Hanser Garcia was second with a 49.05, off his 48.77 that put him second on Thursday in Canet. Andrey Grechin, rejoining the tour after skipping Canet, was third with a 49.12.
Hannah Miley also had a strong swim to set herself up for a great Commonwealth Games, winning the 400 IM with a 4:33.25. That puts her third in the world behind Ye Shiwen’s 4:30.84 and Mireia Belmonte’s 4:32.92, but first among athletes competing at the Commonwealth Games. She had been fifth globally with a 4:35.44, and leapfrogged ahead of fellow Brit Aimee Willmott. Willmott was second in the race today with a 4:34.87, just off her best of the season, a 4:33.64. Sakiko Shimizu of Japan closed out a strong series of 400 IM swims on the circuit with a 4:38.99 for third.
Adam Peaty made his presence known today among his Commonwealth competitors in the 100 breaststroke, taking the win in Barcelona with a 59.25. That moves him up to second in the world, improving on the 59.79 he swam at British nationals. Only Christian Sprenger’s 58.87 has been faster in 2014. The top four in the world standings feature swimmers racing in the Commonwealth Games. Cameron Van der Burgh of South Africa has a 59.50 to his credit, now good for third in the world, while Ross Murdoch’s 59.56 sits fourth. Peaty’s time beat Van der Burgh’s meet record of 59.73 from 2012.
Yasuhiro Koseki of Japan nearly joined Peaty under 1:00 with a 1:00.15 for second, while Andrei Nikolaev of Russia was third with a 1:00.69. Murdoch was fourth with a 1:01.09.
Ryosuke Irie continues to be the model of consistency, showing off his ability to swim the 200 backstroke in the 1:54 range with ease today. His 1:54.81 still puts him behind the 1:53.91 from the Japanese nationals, but he remains the only swimmer to post multiple 1:54 swims this season. Radoslaw Kawecki, primed to win the European championship, placed second with a 1:57.00 to put him just two hundredths slower than his season best, while American Ryan Murphy was third with a 1:57.83. Murphy is inching closer to the 1:57.29 that still stands as his season best.
Japan took both of the men’s backstroke races today, as Junya Koga posted a meet record 24.66 to beat Irie’s 25.16. Though Koga is the reigning Pan Pacific 50 back champion, he did not qualify for the Pan Pac squad this year but will race at the Asian Games. Chris Walker-Hebborn of Great Britain took the third place spot on the podium with a 25.33.
Another win for Japan came in the men’s 200 butterfly, where Daiya Seto was unable to match the swift 1:54.70 from two days ago in Canet. But his 1:55.18 was good enough to beat Kaio Almeida’s meet record and take down Pawel Korzeniowski, who was second with a 1:55.30. That’s the fastest time of the season for Korzeniowski, but will keep the Pole in fourth place in the world standings. Alexander Kudashev was third with a 1:56.96.
The hometown crowd was pushing for Rafael Munoz in the men’s 50 butterfly, but the world record holder (22.43 from 2009), was taken down by Great Britain’s Ben Proud and his 23.60. Munoz was second with a 23.69. Both have been faster this year, with Munoz’s 23.21 ranked sixth in the world and Proud’s 23.42 sitting in a tie for tenth. Hirofumi Ikebata of Japan placed third with a 23.90.
Jazz Carlin put together a dominating performance in the women’s 1500 freestyle to win the race by more than 25 meters. Her 16:07.41 puts her third in the world behind Mireia Belonte (15:58.07) and Lotte Friis (16:07.14), though it should be noted the non-Olympic event is not swum often at in-season meets. Maria Vilas of Spain was a distant second with a 16:25.68, well off her 16:15.97 from the Spanish nationals. Another Spaniard, Melanie Costa, placed third with a 16:34.97.
Two ladies who recently set national records in the 200 freestyle battled today in Barcelona. Russia’s Veronika Popova, who swam a 1:55.93 at Russian nationals, took the win with a 1:56.20 to beat Katinka Hosszu’s meet record of 1:57.14. South Africa’s Karin Prinsloo was second with a 1:57.36, just off her 1:57.17 from April. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor of Great Britain was also in the chase for the win, placing third with a 1:57.86.
Mariia Liver of Ukraine won the women’s 50 breast in a 31.23, while Spain’s Jessica Val was second with a 31.90. Corrie Scott took third with a 32.02.
Hiromasa Fujimori took the men’s 200 IM title with a 1:59.30, well off the 1:57.77 that has him fourth in the world. Three Brits took the next three places, with Joe Roebuck’s 2:00.84 good enough for second. Roberto Pavoni posted a 2:01.45 for third, while Ieuan Lloyd was fourth with a 2:01.79.
Jeanette Ottesen continues to shine in the sprint events, winning the women’s 100 fly in a meet record time of 57.20. It’s not as fast as the 56.96 she swam in Canet earlier this week, but she can take pride that only Sarah Sjostrom has swum faster so far this year. Jemma Lowe of Great Britain was second with a 58.61, while Svetlana Chimrova of Russia took third with a 58.72.
Ottesen was unable to post a win earlier in the session in the 50 free. Fran Halsall of Great Britain took the title with a 24.40, ahead of Ottesen’s 24.54. Pernille Blume, Ottesen’s Danish teammate, was third with a 24.90.
In the absence of Rikke Pedersen two days after she went under 2:20 in the 200 breast in Canet, Kanaka Watanabe won the women’s 200 breast with a 2:23.15. Jessica Vall was second with a 2:25.10, just ahead of Spanish teammate Marina Garcia’s 2:25.12.