Mare Nostrum Canet: Sarah Sjostrom Pulls off Impressive Sprint Double; Kylie Masse Looks Sharp

Siobhan Haughey and Sarah Sjostrom (photo: Mike Lewis)
Sarah Sjostrom; Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

Mare Nostrum Canet: Sarah Sjostrom Pulls off Impressive Sprint Double

Sarah Sjostrom will turn 29 years old this summer. She’s a four-time Olympic medalist and has a cabinet full of world and continental medals.

And while she’s not at the “midseason best times” level of domination in her career – one that she has reached before and that few attain – she’s still a swimmer who you’re not going to easily beat when she’s healthy and lined up next to you.

Sjostrom won a pair of events Sunday at the final day of the Mare Nostrum Tour at its Canet, France, stop. If there was any doubt as to where the Swedish superstar stood relative to her rivals heading into the World Championships, Sjostrom should’ve reinforced just how secure her hold on elite status remains.

Sjostrom started out by winning the women’s 50 butterfly in 25.57 seconds, besting Maggie MacNeil by a clear four tenths. In the 100 freestyle, she went 53.05, more than a second quicker than the winning time at the last stop in Barcelona. Sjostrom was well clear of another pair of Canadians, Penny Oleksiak in 53.64 and Kayla Sanchez in 54.12, with France’s Marie Wattel fourth.

Sjostrom’s standout performances complemented a pair of Mare Nostrum backstroke records, both set in the 100, by Ryosuke Irie and Kylie Masse.

The other events on the second day of Mare Nostrum Canet:

Men’s 50 breaststroke

The final installment of the battle between Joao Gomes and Michael Andrew went to the Brazilian, who clocked in at 27.10. That’s slower than Andrew’s winning time in Barcelona (27.06) but quicker than the 27.20 that Andrew turned in Sunday. Felipe Silva Franca clocked in third in 27.70, just ahead of a quality swim by Germany’s Lucas Matzerath (27.77).

Women’s 50 breaststroke

Lydia Jacoby got a taste of victory sprinting to the win in 30.20 seconds. That put her just a touch ahead of Lara Van Niekerk of South Africa (30.25) and Germany’s Anna Elendt (30.26). Fourth was Brazil’s Jhennifer Conceico in 30.46, just .06 off her national record.

Men’s 50 butterfly

Another day, another job done by Nicholas Santos. The ageless wonder won again, in 22.97 seconds. He outpaced Ben Proud (23.11) and Szebasztian Szabo (23.14) with room to spare. Fourth was Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago, within .04 of a best time. Michael Andrew turned around to tie for seventh in 23.89.

Men’s 1,500 freestyle

The longest race of the day came down to the wire, wand it ended with a Frenchman on top. Damien Joly got to the wall first in 15:07.51, just .47 ticks ahead of Germany’s Henning Muhlleitner. Third was Daniel Jervis of Great Britain, with France’s Joris Bouchaut fourth.

Women’s 400 freestyle

Japanese swimmers took home two of the top three spots. Getting the win was Miyu Namba in 4:08.48, with countrywoman Waka Kobori third. American Erin Gemmell, the top seed out of prelims, was second in 4:09.99, just .17 off her best time.

Men’s 100 backstroke

Ryosuke Irie had been circling the mark all week, and it’s now his. Irie went 53.00 to win the 100 back, downing the Mare Nostrum record held jointly by Irie (from Monaco in 2010) and Hugo Gonzalez (Barcelona, 2021) at 53.08. He got a run for his money, with Yohann Ndoye-Brouard second in 53.15. South African Pieter Coetze (53.84) was the only other swimmer under 54.5.

Women’s 100 backstroke

Kathleen Baker’s Mare Nostrum record is no more, thanks to Kylie Masse. The Canadian backstroke star went 58.57 to lop two tenths off the mark that the American had set in Barcelona in 2018.

Masse led out another Canadian 1-2, with Ingrid Wilm second in 59.84. Welsh swimmer Medi Harris was third in 1:00.48.

Men’s 200 breaststroke

The 200 breast champs at Mare Nostrum Canet were the same as in Barcelona. Arno Kamminga did the job on the men’s side, though he was pushed to the last stroke by Yu Hanaguruma of Japan. Kamminga touched the wall first in 2:09.53, .08 up on Hanaguruma. His countryman Ryuya Mura finished third in 2:10.75.

Women’s 200 breaststroke

Molly Renshaw doubled up on golds at Mare Nostrum, this one in a Great Britain 1-2. Renshaw was first to the wall in 2:25.33, with teammate Abbie Wood second (2:25.90). Ireland’s Mona McSharry came in third at 2:26.80.

Men’s 200 butterfly

Italy’s Giacomo Carini took home the top spot in a crowded field, the top seven finishers just 1.52 seconds apart. Carini led the way in 1:56.42, .11 up on Japan’s Takumi Terada. Tamas Kenderesi, the top seed out of prelims, was slower in the evening to finish third in 1:56.79. Estonian Kregor Zirk finished fourth in 1:57.35, the best of the 1:57s (though Alberto Razzetti won the B final in 1:57.33).

Women’s 200 butterfly

Japan’s Kina Hayashi got the win in another outstanding race, tipping Britain’s Laura Stephens by a tenth at the wall in 2:08.32. Zsuzsanna Jakabos of Hungary was third in 2:09.07.

Men’s 100 freestyle

Tom Dean picked up another win, the British swimmer clocking in at 48.49, ahead of a cast of five sub-49 swimmers. Second was Maxime Grousset in 48.72, followed by Szebasztian Szabo in 48.83, Gabriel Silva in 48.96 and Katsuhiro Matsumoto in 48.98.

Men’s 200 individual medley

Another swim, another win for Matt Sates. This time, his 1:57.77 was a half-second quicker than his winning time in Barcelona. Second was Samuel Stewart of the United States in 1:59.15, edging out Swiss swimmer Jeremy Desplanches.

Women’s 400 individual medley

Katina Hosszu, the everything record holder in the event, added another win to her lengthy resume, going 4:35.95 to win by nearly three seconds. Japan’s Ageha Tanigawa was second in 4:38.89, with Sara Francheshi of Italy third. More than eight seconds back of Hosszu was the reigning Olympic champ, Yui Ohashi, in fourth.

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