Chad Le Clos and Katinka Hosszu Snare Titles as Mare Nostrum Series Opens in Monaco

Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

Chad Le Clos and Katinka Hosszu Snare Titles as Mare Nostrum Series Opens in Monaco

With the opening of the Mare Nostrum series in Monaco on Saturday, the opportunity for fine-tuning ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo is being offered. Several of the leading names in the sport were in action during the first leg of the three-stop series, including South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu.

Le Clos was in action in the 200-meter butterfly, the event that landed him a gold medal and upset victory over Michael Phelps at the 2012 Olympics in London. Le Clos, who was fourth in the event five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, posted a winning time of 1:56.88 in Monaco, with second place going to Estonia’s Kregor Zirk in 1:57.45.

Hosszu tackled a busy schedule, as is her protocol. The most-impressive performance from the three-time Olympic champion was her 4:38.36 in the 400 individual medley. Hosszu also won the 100 butterfly, although it only took a time of 1:00.62.

France’s Maxime Grousset turned in one of the strongest performances of the session when he prevailed in the 100 freestyle in 48.28, the second spot going to countryman Charles Rihoux in 49.44. Grousset was out in 23.54 and came home in 24.74. In the women’s 200 freestyle, Frenchwoman Charlotte Bonnet topped the field in 1:58.38, with Hosszu next at 2:00.12.

France also received a win from Yohann Ndoye Brouard in the 100 backstroke, thanks to a time of 53.53, while Fantine Lesaffre was quickest in the 200 backstroke in 2:14.99.

Coming off a silver medal in the event at the European Championships, Dutchman Arno Kamminga won the 200 breaststroke in 2:10.39. In the 200 individual medley, Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches was the only athlete under two minutes, as he claimed victory in 1:58.46. Tunisia’s Ahmed-Ayoub Hafnaoui went 3:47.79 in the 400 freestyle.

When Yuliya Efimova races at the Tokyo Games, she will embrace a lighter schedule than at past major international meets. Unable to qualify in the 200 breaststroke at the Russian Trials, Efimova is solely focused on the 100 breaststroke, which she won in Monaco in 1:07.08, nearly a second clear of the 1:08.05 of Mexico’s Byanca Rodriguez Villanueva.