MISSION Viejo, Calif., USA, June 19. NEXT month, Kaitlin Sandeno will contest just one individual event at the World Championships in Montreal, the 400 individual medley. But, the two-time Olympian figures to play a key role in United States relay duty and appears to be rounding into form at the perfect time.
Competing on the third night of the TYR Meet of Champions, hosted by the Mission Viejo Nadadores, Sandeno notched first-place finishes on Saturday in the 200 freestyle and the 400 I.M., defeating solid fields in both events. She was the only athlete to win a pair of events and raised her victory total to three for the meet, as she won the 100 free on Friday night.
En route to triumph in the 200 free, Sandeno stopped the clock in 2:01.05, fast enough to hold off Australia’s Kelly Stubbins (2:01.47). Japan’s Norie Urabe was the third-place finisher in 2:01.50. Sandeno also earned victory in the 400 I.M., where she touched the wall in 4:44.87. Japan’s Maiko Fujino took second place with a mark of 4:46.76.
One night after winning the 100 freestyle in meet-record time, Jason Lezak blasted to victory in the 50 free in 22.61. Lezak was the top qualifier for the final and produced a quality in-training performance for the one-lap sprint.
As was the case at the Japanese Nationals, Genki Imamura got the best of Kosuke Kitajima in the 200 breaststroke. Imamura turned in a swim of 2:13.12, good for a meet record. Kitajima, the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 and 200 breast events, was second in 2:13.75. Daisuke Kimura, who also edged Kitajima at the Japanese Nationals, finished third in 2:14.56.
Takeshi Matsuda led a Japanese sweep of the top-three places in the 200 freestyle when he won the event in a meet-record swim of 1:49.30. He was followed by Sho Uchida (1:51.07) and Daisuke Hosokawa (1:51.51). Justin Mortimer was the top American finisher, taking fourth place in 1:51.63.
Other winners on the evening were Magumi Taneda in the women’s 200 breast (2:29.98), Courtney Cashion in the women’s 50 free (26.40) and Hidemasa Sano in the men’s 400 I.M. (4:21.30). Japan also won both 800 freestyle relays.