Mare Nostrum Barcelona: Matt Sates’ Meet Record Highlights Fast Day 1

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Matt Sates; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Mare Nostrum Barcelona: Matt Sates’ Meet Record Highlights Fast Day 1

South African star Matt Sates outdueled Great Britain’s Tom Dean on the way to a meet record in the men’s 200 freestyle on the first day of Mare Nostrum Barcelona Wednesday.

The race, near the end of a star-studded program, provided one of the highlights. Dean had gone 1:46.89 in the morning to down the Barcelona record – officially the Trofeo Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona record – by trimming .02 off the mark set in 2016 by countryman James Guy.

Sates was second in the morning, but blasted a 1:45.91 in finals that downed the record. Dean was second in 1:46.27, with Japan’s Katsuhiro Matusmoto also under the old mark at 1:46.26. Sates is just a second shy of the Mare Nostrum series record, set all the way back in 2005 by Paul Beidermann in Monaco at 1:44.88.

The men’s 200 free was one of 16 events on Wednesday featuring an intercontinental crowd of Olympians gearing up for next month’s World Championships on the continent. An event-by-event recap:

Men’s 800 freestyle

The fastest heat of the longest men’s event came down to a battle between Frenchmen. Marc Antonie Olivier briefly surged ahead by two hundredths on the third-to-last 50, but it was Joris Bouchaut who got to the wall first. His time of 7:53.03 was exactly a half-second up on Olivier. Bouchat came home in 29.01-27.67, faster than the 29.30-27.90 that Olivier closed in. Ireland’s Daniel Wiffin was third in 7:55.16.

Women’s 50 backstroke

The backstroke sprint became a Canadian duel. Kylie Masse got the better of it, winning in 27.47. That’s under the established Canadian record she set in March at 27.52, but she has a pending time of 27.18 from Canadian trials in April. She was also .05 off Kira Toussaint’s meet record.

Ingrid Wilm finished second with a time of 27.85. Analia Pigree and Silvia Scalia tied for third in 27.89.

Men’s 50 breaststroke

Michael Andrew laid down an early marker against top talent, albeit without Arno Kamminga, who scratched the event to focus on the 200 later in the day. Andrew got the win in 27.06, outtouching Brazil’s Joao Gomes (27.18) and Italian Nicolo Martinenghi (27.26). That trio has three of the top four times in the world this year, including Andrew’s American record from U.S. International Trials.

Women’s 50 butterfly

Melanie Henique of France took home the win with a time of 25.57 seconds. It’s her fastest time of 2022, keeping her fourth in the world rankings. Farida Osman finished second in 25.73, while Louise Hansson (26.03) edged out Marie Wattel by .01 for bronze.

Men’s 400 individual medley

Sates started his day with a dominant showing in the men’s 400 IM. He handled the field with a time of 4:11.58, his fastest of 2022 and a second faster than last week in Monaco. It bumps him up to eighth in the world. He also came within .36 of chipping off the TICB record held since 2011 by Laszlo Cseh.

Sates and David Verraszto were within a half second after 300 meters, but Sates finished with a 57.29 to the 58.73 by Verraszto to open up the gap. The Hungarian finished second in 4:13.53. Max Litchfield took home bronze in 4:16.21.

Women’s 100 freestyle

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Anastasia Gorbenko; Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

A relatively sedate 100 free produced a tight race nonetheless, with the top seven swimmers separated by .64 seconds. Dutchwoman Marit Steenbergen finished on top at 54.16, .08 up on Kayla Sanchez. Third was fellow Canadian Maggie MacNeil in 54.38. Great Britain placed two in the top six, with Anna Hopkin fourth (54.61) and Freya Anderson (54.77) sandwiching Wattel.

Men’s 100 backstroke

Thomas Ceccon unleashed a stellar evening swim to steal the win away from Ryosuke Irie. The Japanese veteran set the pace in prelims at 53.80, with Ceccon in fourth. But the Italian uncorked a 53.18 in finals to get the win. In the process, he finished just .10 off the TICB and Mare Nostrum record shared by Irie (from Monaco 2010) and Spaniard Hugo Gonzalez (in 2021).

Irie was second in finals at 53.46. Pieter Coetze of South Africa was within a tenth at the midway point on the way to third in 53.72.

Women’s 100 breaststroke

German Anna Elendt continued her fine form by winning in 1:06.07. She was even faster in the morning at 1:05.82, yet another sub-1:06 swim for the University of Texas swimmer who set the German record and holds the third-fastest time in the world in 2022 at 1:05.58.

Japan’s Reona Aoki finished second in 1:06.43. Sophie Hansson of Sweden (1:06.60), Lydia Jacoby (1:06.66) and Anastasia Gorbenko (1:06.69) were clustered within a tight window.

Men’s 50 freestyle

Bruno Fratus keeps churning out sub-22 swims even as he approaches his mid-30s. Fratus won the event in 21.78, holding off Great Britain’s Ben Proud. Michael Andrew was third. Fratus and Andrew are second and third in the world this year in the event, respectively.

Szebasztian Szabo finished third in 22.13, while Jesse Puts led three Dutchmen in the A final in fifth in 22.15.

Women’s 200 backstroke

With out Masse, the 200 back ended up as one of the slower events on the day, as measured by FINA points. Canadian junior swimmer and University of Tennessee commit Regan Rathwell took advantage, winning in 2:09.54. She went out fast and held on as Eszter Szabo of Hungary closed fast, getting second in 2:09.62. That duo posted the only two sub-2:11 times.

Men’s 200 breaststroke

Rested and ready to go, Arno Kamminga blitzed the field in the 200, going 2:08.65 to win the event by more than two seconds. That’s just four tenths off his fastest time of the year (2:08.22). Japan finished second and third, with Yu Hanaguruma second in 2:10.79 and Ryuya Mura third in 2:11.86.

Women’s 200 butterfly

Great Britain’s Laura Stephens nearly knocked off a record held by a native daughter. Stephens went 2:07.12, zooming within .01 of Mireia Belmonte’s Mare Nostrum Barcelona record. The swim is Stephens’ fastest of 2022 and moves her to fourth in the world rankings.

Third in those rankings is Kina Hayashi of Japan, who backed that up with a time of 2:07.27, just missing out on Stephens. American Emma Sticklen of the University of Texas was third in 2:08.41.

Men’s 100 butterfly

On paper, it may look like a surprise, but Naoki Mizunuma keeps swimming to prove it. The 25-year-old continued an outstanding 2022 by upsetting Kristof Milak, the European and Mare Nostrum record holder, in the 100 fly. Mizunuma went 51.46, coming back in 26.79 to reel in Milak by .05 seconds. Milak, who went out in 24.06, finished second in 51.51.

Mizunuma is second in the world rankings in 2022, with a 50.86 from the Japanese selection meet.

Switzerland’s Noe Ponti was second in 51.71, followed by Nyls Korstantje of the Netherlands in 52.12. Chad Le Clos was fifth in 52.36.

Women’s 200 individual medley

In a battle of Olympians, Anastasia Gorbenko got the better of Katinka Hosszu and Abbie Wood, with a trio of sub 2:11 times. Gorbenko was first to the wall in 2:10.65, which moves the Israeli to sixth in the world in 2022, just .01 behind Wood’s best time. Gorbenko used outside smoke after finishing eighth in prelims.

Hosszu, the Mare Nostrum Barcelona and world record holder, was second in 2:10.75, the eighth best time in the world this year. Wood finished third in 2:10.99.

Women’s 400 freestyle

Simona Quadarella pulled away in the final 50 to end up with a comfortable margin of 2.7 seconds at the wall. Most of that margin, over Brazilian Gabrielle Roncatto, came on the final 50, the Italian turning in a 29.33 to Roncatto’s 31.23.

Roncatto held on to silver in 4:08.91, ahead of the Japanese duo of Miyu Namba and Waka Kobori.

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