BARCELONA, May 23. Sprinters ruled the first day of competition at the Mare Nostrum meet in Barcelona, the second stop on the Mare Nostrum circuit.
Cuban Olympic silver medalist Rodolfo Falcon clocked 25.83 to take the men's 50m backstroke, defeating Germany's Stev Theloke.
Ukraine's Oleg Lisogor upset Russia's Roman Sloudnov in the 50m breaststroke, 28.72 to 28.82. Sloudnov briefly held short course world marks in the 100 and 200m breaststroke before both records were broken by America's Ed Moses in March.
Brazil's Fernando Scherer, who ranked first in the world in the 50 free in 1998, took the 50m butterfly in 24.87, edging Hungary's Zsolt Gaspar at 24.90.
In the women's events, Spain's Nina Zhivanevskaia waltzed to a win in the 50 m back in 28.88, a full half second ahead of her closest competitor, the Czech Republic's Ivette Hlavaskova.
Hungary's Agnes Kovacs, who set a European record in the 50m, breaststroke at 31.34 at the Monaco stop in the Mare Nostrum tour a few days ago, barely edged South Africa's Sarah Poewe, 31.82 to 31.85.
Yevgania's Yermakova of Kazakhstan, better known as a freestyle sprinter, took the 50m butterfly in 27.46, downing Britain's Sue Rolph in 27.89.
Two distance events were also contested in Barcelona. Russia's Alexandre Filipets clocked 15:22.70 in the men's 1500m freestyle, less than six seconds ahead of American Fran Crippen, a rising 15-year-old future star, whose 15:28.52 was a personal best.
Ukrainian medley swimmer Yana Klochkova cruised to a five-plus second win in the 800 free with a solid 8:37.34.