Mare Nostrum, Canet: Laszlo Cseh On Point Again

CANET, France, June 15. HUNGARY's Laszlo Cseh may still have a hard time usurping Michael Phelps' crown as the top IMer in the world in Beijing, but he's definitely reminding everyone just how good he is in the medley events at the Canet stop of the Mare Nostrum.

After posting a blistering time of 4:07.96 in the men's 400 IM yesterday, Cseh rocketed to a 1:57.43 in the men's 200 IM today. He stands second in the world this year behind only Phelps' 1:57.39 from the All-American meet in March. Cseh still remains third best in the event all time with a 1:56.92 at the 2007 World Championships, with Phelps (1:54.98) and Ryan Lochte (1:56.11) owning faster times. Cseh, however, definitely posted some statement swims this weekend heading into Beijing.

Brazil's Thiago Pereira placed second in 1:58.74, while Austria's Dinko Jukic took third in 2:01.13.

France's Alena Popchanka won the first title on offer during the final day of the Canet stop with a time of 25.49 in the women's 50 free. Australia's Sophie Edington placed second in 25.56, while Brazil's Flavia Cazziolato finished third in 25.57.

In a heavyweight battle, Australia's Eamon Sullivan nabbed the 100 free title with a meet-record time of 21.84. He touched out France's Fred Bousquet, who took second in 21.87. Sweden's Stefan Nystrand (22.22), South Africa's Gerhard Zandberg (22.53) and Brazil's Cesar Cielo (22.54) made up the top five.

Another meet record tumbled in the men's 1500 free as Hungary's Gergo Kis stopped the clock in 15:11.69. Poland's Maciej Hreniak finished second in 15:14.40, while Hungary's David Verraszto took third in 15:21.49.

Austria's Mirna Jukic just missed her top time of the year in the women's 100 breast, a 1:07.98 at the European Championships, when she won the event in 1:08.03. Sarah Poewe touched second in 1:09.62, while Elena Bogomazova claimed third in 1:09.74.

France's Hugues Duboscq took a run at the sub-minute mark again in the men's 100 breast, but settled for the meet record with a 1:00.64. Duboscq already had a 59.78 to his credit from the European Championships. Hungary's Daniel Gyurta touched out South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh, 1:01.61 to 1:01.67, for second place.

In the women's 200 free, France's Camelia Potec snatched the title in 1:59.33, while Australia's Lara Davenport (2:00.60) and Sweden's Petra Granlund (2:00.62) rounded out the top three.

Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski then clinched the men's 200 free crown with a time of 1:48.02. Canada's Colin Russell finished second in 1:48.73, while Spain's Jose Antonio Alonso Tellez placed third in 1:49.77.

Denmark went 1-2 in the women's 100 fly with Micha Oestergaard taking the title in 59.18 and compatriot Jeanette Ottesen finishing second in 59.20. Brazil's Gabriella Silva placed third in 59.47. Notably, Sarah Sjostrom blasted a 59.11 to win the B final.

Ukraine's Andriy Serdinov survived a battle with Bousquet to win the men's 100 fly, 52.57 to 52.79. Croatia's Mario Todorovic finished third in 53.44.

In another close contest, Edington touched out Hungary's Nikolett Szepesi in the women's 200 back, 2:12.62 to 2:12.85. Duane Da Rocha Marce completed the top three in 2:13.22.

The men's 200 back featured Romania's Razvan Florea winning in 1:58.55. Great Britain's Gregor Tait took second in 1:59.18, while Canada's Tobias Oriwol finished third in 1:59.80.

South Africa's Wendy Trott emerged from the women's 400 free with the title in 4:09.36. Denmark's Lotte Friis finished second just behind in 4:09.44, while Potec placed third in 4:10.00.

Denmark's Julie Hjorth-Hansen nearly moved into the top 10 in the world this year with a meet-record time of 2:12.74 to win the women's 200 IM. She improved upon her top time of 2:13.01 from the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum and stands behind China's Qi Hui (2:12.61) for 11th. Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto pushed her the entire way with a second-place 2:12.91, just clipping her top time of the year of 2:12.93 from the European Championships. Teammate Katinka Hosszu touched out Jukic, 2:15.16 to 2:15.19, for third.