PRAGUE, Czech Republic, May 29. THE annual Arena Cup – Prague gets underway tomorrow and will feature some of the top swimmers in the Czech Republic, as well as a few international standouts.
Backstroke specialist Simona Baumrtova will highlight the home country’s participants. Baumrtova competed in the 100 and 200 back at the 2012 London Olympics, and has a number of medals from the European Championships in both short course and long course. She is currently ranked 15th in the world in the 100 back (1:00.37) and 33rd in the 200 back at 2:12.06. Those performances, which came at the Grand Prix of Pardubice this month and Grand Prix of Budejovice in March, are not far off her personal bests of 59.99 and 2:10.03 from London.
South African Giulio Zorzi is among a handful of international swimmers who will make the trek to Prague after competing in the Grand Prix of Slovakia last weekend. Zorzi’s top times in 2014 include a 28.18 in the 50 breast and1:02.31 in the 100 breast, both from the South African National Championships in early April. He’ll need to post a time in the mid-27 range to break into the top 20 world rankings in the 50 breast, and around 1:01.5 to make the top 50 performances of 2014 for the 100 breast.
The meet will also serve as an opportunity for Czech swimmers to post consideration times for the Czech Republic’s European Junior Championship team and Youth Olympic Games team.