VICHY, France, July 6. THE French Open proved to be a mixed bag of blistering times and times put up just to get into podium spots. No swim was more impressive, however, than James Magnussen's near world-best meet record in the men's 100-meter free to close out individual events on day one.
Courtesy of: Rob Schumacher - USA Today Sports
Courtesy of: Rob Schumacher - USA Today Sports
New Zealand's Lauren Boyle started off the night right with a meet record in the women's 800-meter freestyle. She turned in a time of 8:23.08 for the win, and beat the previous meet standard of 8:23.60 set by Camille Muffat a year ago. The performance shot Boyle to third in the world this year behind only Jazmin Carlin (8:18.58) and Katie Ledecky (8:20.64) as the top swimmers in the world jockey for position heading into Worlds. Germany's Sarah Kohler placed second in 8:35.99, while Jessica Ashwood posted a third-place 8:37.41.
Brazil's Cesar Cielo bettered his season best of 23.16 by a tad with a 23.15 to win the men's 50-meter fly. The swim did not push him out of sixth in the world, but demonstrated some improvement as he continues to bounce back from a knee injury. Florent Manaudou touched a distant second in 23.61, well off his fifth-ranked 23.14 from French Nationals. Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin posted a third-place time of 23.74. World-record holder Rafael Munoz claimed fourth in 23.85. Notably, Fred Bousquet won the B final in 23.75 after a surprisingly slow 24.49 in prelims. Bousquet leads the world this year with a scorching 23.00 from French Nationals.
French-record holder Camille Muffat cruised to victory in the women's 200-meter free with a 1:56.45. She's been much faster this year with a top-ranked performance of 1:55.48 from French Nationals. Teammate Charlotte Bonnet touched a distant second in 1:58.65, while Boyle picked up her second medal of the night with a 1:58.77 for third.
The men's 50-meter breaststroke field demonstrated a huge void caused by world-record holder Cameron van der Burgh scratching the meet last night due to a knee injury that could cause him to miss the FINA World Championships in a few weeks. South Africa's Giulio Zorzi won in 27.66, while Ireland's Barry Murphy claimed second in 27.88. France's Giacomo Perez Dortona finished third in 27.90.
After a run of medal ceremonies, Germany's Caroline Ruhnau led a 1-2-3 for her nation with a 1:09.15 to win the women's 100-meter breaststroke. Vanessa Grimberg placed second in 1:09.59, while Julia Willars rounded out the German podium sweep with a third-place 1:11.20. Jacob Heidtmann followed in the men's 400-meter IM with a 4:19.34 for the win. Kevin Wedel (4:24.71) and Nathan Capp (4:25.80) comprised the rest of the top three.
The Netherlands' Inge Dekker took home the women's 100-meter fly title in 58.89. Slovakia's Katarina Listopadova turned in a second-place time of 59.18, while Germany's Alexandra Wenk pocketed third-place honors in 1:00.05. Prior to the second medal ceremony break, world-leading Jeremy Stravius hit the wall in 54.11 in the men's 100-meter back. His top time this year is a sizzling 53.09 from French Nationals. New Zealand's Gareth Kean took second tonight in 54.86, while France's Camille Lacourt finished third in 55.26.
After the second intermission, Duane De Rocha Marce of Spain grabbed the women's 50-meter back title in 29.13. France's Cloe Credeville finished second in 29.40, while Germany's Johanna Roas snagged third in 29.54. Hungary's Laszlo Cseh then dominated the men's 200-meter fly with a 1:57.07, while Italy's Matteo Pelizzari (1:58.38) and France's Jordan Coelho (1:58.60) finished second and third.
France's Fantine Lesaffre clinched the women's 200-meter IM in 2:16.95, while Canada's Alexa Komarnycky posted a second-place time of 2:17.19. Israel's Amit Ivry took third in 2:17.47. Canada's Ryan Cochrane, who stands 10th in the world with a 3:47.08, eased through the men's 400-meter free with a winning time of 3:49.67. New Zealand's Matthew Stanley placed second in 3:51.39, while France's Damien Joly snared third in 3:53.03.
Germany's Britta Steffen jumped to a seventh-ranked tie with Jeanette Ottesen Gray during prelims with a 24.76 in the women's 50-meter free. Then, this evening after the third ceremony intermission, Steffen demonstrated some consistency with a 24.77 for the win. German compatriot Dorothea Brandt finished second in 24.80, half-a-second off her fourth-ranked season best of 24.51. Dekker picked up another medal with a third-place 25.45.
Even though van der Burgh missed the meet, Germany's Marco Koch launched some fireworks in the men's 200-meter breaststroke with a meet record. Koch blasted a 2:09.40 to demolish the previous record of 2:10.83 he set in prelims, that downed the 2:11.24 set by Michael Jamieson last year. Koch also vaulted to seventh in the world rankings with the impressive swim, moving up from a 10th-ranked 2:10.34 from the Mare Nostrum circuit. Slovakia's Tomas Klobucnik touched second in 2:13.40, while Germany's Christian Vom Lehn placed third in 2:13.97, well off his fifth-ranked season best of 2:08.81 from German Nationals.
Germany's Lisa Graf posted a 2:11.74 to win the women's 200 back, while Canada's Hilary Caldwell placed second in 2:11.86. Spain's Da Rocha Marce earned another medal with a third-place 2:13.22. Australia dominated the men's 100-meter free with a top-three sweep led by a blazing 47.67 from James Magnussen. That time nearly clipped Magnussen's top-ranked time of 47.53 from Australian Nationals, and is the second fastest time in the year this year. The performance lowered the meet record of 47.91 set by Stefan Nystrand in 2007. Compatriots Daniel Tranter (49.77) and Matthew Abood (49.82) placed second and third.
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