BARCELONA, Spain, June 4. THE first stop on the Mare Nostrum Series got under way Saturday with Romania’s Camelia Potec emerging as the only double-winner. Otherwise, the wealth was spread throughout the field, as athletes move into the final stages of preparation for the World Championships in Montreal.
The reigning Olympic champion in the 200 freestyle, Potec won that event in 1:59.71, the only mark under the two-minute barrier. She then came back to take top honors in the 800 freestyle, thanks to a performance of 8:40.36. She was joined as a Romanian victor by Razvan Florea, who won the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:59.77. The bronze medalist in the event in Athens, Florea outdistanced Austria’s Markus Rogan, the Olympic silver medalist (2:00.22).
Inge Dekker and Marleen Veldhuis posted strong showings for the Netherlands. While Dekker won the women’s 50 butterfly (27.02), Veldhuis bested the competition in the women’s 50 freestyle, behind a mark of 25.18. South Africa’s Ryk Neethling won the men’s 50 fly (24.29) and Spain’s Eduard Lorente won the men’s 50 free (22.65).
A handful of Olympic medalists notched event victories, including Poland’s Otylia Jedrzejczak. The gold medalist in the women’s 200 fly, Jedrzejczak won her pet event in 2:10.31. Meanwhile, Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh prevailed in the men’s 200 individual medley with a blazing 1:59.87 and Russia’s Stanislava Komarova earned victory in the women’s 200 backstroke (2:12.01). Cseh won bronze in Athens in the 400 I.M. while Komarova won silver in the 200 back.
In the breaststroke events, Russia’s Dimitry Komornikov won the men’s 200 distance in a solid 2:11.80 and Great Britain’s Chris Cook won the 50 breast (28.11). Female triumphs in the breast were secured by Austria’s Mirna Jukic in the 200 (2:27.84) and Beata Kaminska in the 50 (31.99).
Other winners from the first day in Barcelona were the Ukraine’s Sergey Fesenko in the 400 free (3:50.69), Brazil’s Fabiola Molina in the women’s 50 back (29.49), Germany’s Marco DiCarli in the men’s 50 back (25.78) and Russia’s Svetlana Karpeeva in the women’s 200 I.M. (2:16.72). Triumphs were also registered by Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov in the men’s 200 fly (1:57.57) and Spain’s Olaf Wildeboer-Faber in the men’s 200 free (1:50.13).