On day 2 in Canet, Camille Muffat made another monstrous statement in her 400 free, en route to another event win and some more big prize money.
Women’s 400 Free
After setting a textile-best in the 200 free on Wednesday, there was a lot of anticipation about France’s Camille Muffat 400 free on Thursday and what she could possibly swim. Crazy numbers were thrown around (4:00-even), but what she did might even be crazier than that.
Her time was a 4:02.97, a new Meet Record, but check out the splits. 2:04.43 – 1:58.54. That’s not a typo. She swam her second-half six seconds faster than her front-half, and not on her way to a slow time, but on her way to the 24th-fastest swim in history.
This is a loud-and-clear message to Italy’s Federica Pellegrini, the defending World Champion who is famous for swimming her races this way. Last year in Shanghai, Pellegrini closed in 1:59.6, and that seemed like an unbelievable split. Muffat was more than a second faster than that.
As for this swim, Muffat was about even with the field at the halfway mark, but pulled away to win by more than 6 seconds ahead of Canada’s Barbara Jardin (4:09.46) and Spain’s Melania Costa-Schmid (4:09.56).
Men’s 100 Breast
Brazil’s Felipe Lima took the men’s 100 breast in 1:00.70, followed by this year’s French Champion Giacomo Perez-Dortona in 1:02.04. There is a lot of weight on the Frenchman to perform at the Olympics, as the torch has seemingly been passed to him from Hugues Duboscq, but after a great National Championship meet, this time slides him back into his old time patterns. After a swimmer makes a big leap forward on a taper like he did, it would be great to see that carry over into his mid-season swims as well (see, for example, the leaps made by Amy Smith in the 100 free or Martina Granstrom in the 200 fly).
Women’s 200 Fly
Sweden’s Martina Granstrom continued to be hot this season with a 2:08.96 win in the women’s 200 fly. Coming off of a bronze medal at the European Championships, her confidence seems to be growing day-by-day. France’s Lara Grangeon took 2nd in 2:10.55, followed by Canadian Audrey Lacroix in 2:11.05.
Men’s 50 backstroke
France’s Camille Lacourt and Australia’s Ben Treffers got locked in another great battle in the men’s 50 backstroke final, but Lacourt again came out on top with a 24.94 win, to Treffers’ 24.96. That’s a new Meet Record for the Frenchman.
The defending World Champion Liam Tancock again is looking fairly tired in this race, with a 25.36 for 3rd. That implies that he’s putting in a lot of work, which is exactly what he needs to do to complete the advance from the 50 to the 100.
Women’s 100 Free
After her partner-in-speed Fran Halsall scratched the race, Loughborough’s Amy Smith cruised to a win in the women’s 100 free in 54.96. That’s the 5th-time this season she’s been better than 55 seconds, which nearly matches her total from the rest of her career combined.
Sweden’s Michelle Coleman was 2nd in 55.15, and France’s Charlotte Bonnet was 3rd in 55.21 – both very fast and very young. Canadian Victoria was a 55.33 in the final, but that’s exactly half-a-second slower than she was in the prelim – with the fastest time of the day.
Sweden’s Therese Alshammar continued to show that she’s in her Olympic mindset with a 5th-place finish in this race in 55.64 (she was faster in prelims) while eschewing events like the 50 fly, that she likely would have won.
Men’s 100 Free
In a reverse of the stop in Barcelona, Cuba’s Hanser Garcia picked off Canadian Brent Hayden by measure of 48.89-49.00 in the men’s 100 free. Hayden was about the same speed as he was in the last stop, but Garcia was much faster to improve half-a-second in a few days. The Cuban looked exponentially better on his start in this meet han the last – and that’s where his big struggle has been. The start is inconsistent, but at least it’s showing flashes of improvement as we head toward London.
Yannick Agnel was 3rd in 49.02, which is kind of a let down after how fast he was in the 200. He had a good first 50, but was a little slow on the back-half of the race to get out-touched. That shows that he’s still in decent training, and maybe that he won’t ever be a real contender in the 100, but his shift away from the 400 is really doing wonders for the middle race.
Other notable finalists include Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini in 7th in 49.97.