2017 Mare Nostrum Monaco – Welcome To The Sarah Sjostrom Show

2017 MARE NOSTRUM TOUR – MONACO

After having to miss day 1 due to flight issues, British world champion James Guy made up for his travel delays in spades tonight in Monaco. Guy earned the top seed in the men’s 100m butterfly this morning and maintained his pole position to top the podium in the final, clocking a quick 52.30.

Splitting 24.71/27.59, Guy was able to hold off Olympic silver medalist, Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, the silver place finisher tonight just .05 behind Guy. Cseh’s swim knocked off almost 2 seconds from his morning effort of 54.33, bumping him up from 5th place after prelims. The Belarusian in the race, Yauhen Tsurkin, scored the bronze in the only other sub-53 second time of the field, notching 52.79.

For Guy, his win here further establishes the Brit as a legitimate threat internationally in the 100 fly event, even in the new era of Singapore’s Joseph Schooling and an ever-lurking South African in Chad Le Clos. At the British National Championships in April, Guy won the national title in 51.50, a mark which still stands as the 4th fastest in the world this season pre-U.S. World Trials.

Guy’s next victim tonight was his specialty, the men’s 200m freestyle race. Having missed the 400m free yesterday, Guy went after the shorter distance against the likes of Aussie Olympic medalist Mack Horton and South African Olympian Myles Brown. Firing off an opening split of 52.48, Guy closed in 54.79 to register a final time of 1:47.27 for gold. Brown settled for silver in 1:48.31, while Horton finished in 1:48.56 for bronze. Aussie Cameron McEvoy was also in the race and touched in 1:48.79 for 4th.

As with day 1, Mare Nostrum meet records bit the dust during tonight’s session, including a 59.23 100m backstroke win by Aussie Emily Seebohm. Seebohm was the only sub-minute swimmer of the field, beating Russia’s Anastasiia Fesikova of Russia and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu who finished in silver and bronze position with respective times of 1:00.34 and 1:00.47.

Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa was the next competitor to inflict damage on the record board, earning a new meet mark in the women’s 200m butterfly. At just 17 years of age, Hasegawa already owns the top time in the world with the 2:06.29 she threw down at April’s Japan Swim. That time checks in as the World Junior Record and the teen was only .41 off of that time tonight, roaring to the wall in 2:06.70. Paired with the sprint fly maestro that is Rikako Ikee, Japan looks to be in a secure position just 3 years out from their own Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

It wouldn’t be a European meet without Hungary’s Iron Lady throwing down smoke on the water, as was the case in the women’s 200m IM tonight. After a long 2 days of racing with Hosszu racing virtually every event, she somehow saved enough to rip a time of 2:08.94 to claim gold over Olympic rival Siobhan-Marie O’Connor of Britain.

Splitting 28.36, 32.26, 37.38, 30.49, Hosszu looked strong and in control of the race en route to her fastest time of the season. Headed into Monaco, Hosszu earned a mark of 2:09.38 at the Hungarian National Championships for the #1 time in the world, but her performance today now makes that claim. SMOC wound up with silver in 2:11.08 after a hectic day of travel issues.

2016-2017 LCM WOMEN 200 IM

KatinkaHUN
HOSSZU
07/24
2.07.00
2Yui
OHASHI
JPN2.07.9107/24
3Melanie
MARGALIS
USA2.08.7007/23
4Sydney
PICKREM
CAN2.09.1707/23
5Madisyn
COX
USA2.09.6907/01
View Top 26»

The men’s 100m breaststroke winner was Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki, who doubled up on his 200m distance win from yesterday. Koseki clocked 1:00.08, just over the minute mark, to win the event ahead of his 200m breast silver medal rival, Kirill Prigoda of Russia. Prigoda touched in 1:00.45, with Belarus swimmer Ilya Shymanovich in 3rd in 1:00.55.

Other big names in the 100m breaststroke race quietly finished off the podium, as Brazil’s Felipe Lima touched 4th in 1:00.96 and South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh 7th in 1:02.30.

Finally, the scariest swim of the night came in the form of Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who absolutely smoked the women’s 100m freestyle field. Sjostrom cranked out an opening split of 25.63, but brought it home in an incredible 26.97 to slam the timepad in 52.60. That checks-in as the Olympic gold medalist’s 2nd fastest time ever, topped only by the 52.54 she registered earlier this year at the Stockholm Open.

Even with Aussie Cate Campbell not in the running to race at the World Championships, it was still thrilling to see a clash of the sprint titans in this race. Cate (C1) was right behind Sjostrom at the 50, clocking the field’s 2nd fastest opening time of 25.76. But C1 faded on the home stretch, slowing to 28.30 to notch a 4th place time of 54.06.

Finishing just .01 ahead of C1 for bronze was Sjostrom’s partner in speeding crime Michelle Coleman who nabbed a mark within her own personal top 10 best. Silver tonight went to Cate’s sister and double world champion Bronte Campbell, who finished in 53.68.

Pair this wicked-fast outing with Sjostrom’s 56.20 100m butterfly win from last night and the Swede is putting the world on notice in the final stretch to Budapest.

Sprint Rounds:

Entering today’s session, the 50m distance of each stroke held a field of 4, which then was narrowed down to the final 2 competitors who would compete head-to-head for gold. Below are the results of each of the 50m events:

  • Men’s 50m butterfly – The field was narrowed down to Britain’s Adam Barrett and Finland’s Riku Poytakivi, who battled down to the wire. Ultimately, the sprinters were separated by just .02 of a second, with Barrett winning in 23.62 to Poytakivi’s 23.64.
  • Women’s 50m butterfly – As if Sarah Sjostrom hadn’t shown enough speed already this meet with her sprints yesterday and her incredible 100m freestyle victory earlier this session, the Swede fired off another impressive performance in the fly event. Going head-to-head with Japanese teenager and world junior record holder Rikako Ikee, Sjostrom cranked out a 25.26 in the semi-finals for a new meet record, only to lower it to 24.90 to ultimately take the gold. Ikee hung with her more seasoned competitor and finished in a still-quick 25.95 after notching 25.74 in the 2nd to last round.
  • Men’s 50m backstroke – Belarus’ Mikita Tsmyh was able to deny Aussie Mitch Larkin of his backstroke sweep, holding off the Olympic silver medalist in this sprint by just .07 of a second. Tsmyh touched in 25.01 for the win, with Larkin in 25.08. Larkin already won the 200m back earlier tonight.
  • Women’s 50m backstroke – The oldest Aussie to join a World Championships squad, 29-year-old Holly Barratt is bringing home some cash and hardware down under, as she won the 50m back skins. Coming down to the narrowest of margins, Barratt clocked 27.66 to Belarusian Aliaksandra Herasimnia‘s 27.67 to stand atop the podium tonight.
  • Men’s 50m breaststroke – Felipe Lima of Brazil and Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa tied at 27.18 in the semi-final but VDB got the job done in the final with a new meet record. VDB touched in 26.99 to Lima’s 27.16 to win the event, a nice consolation after finishing off the podium in the 100m earlier this session.
  • Women’s 50m breaststroke – Russia’s Yulia Efimova collected her 3rd gold of the meet, adding this event to her 100m and 200m breaststroke victories. Efimova touched in 30.23 to her counterpart Jennie Johansson (SWE) 30.43.
  • Men’s 50m freestyle – Brazilian Bruno Fratus was the king throughout the rounds of the splash n’ dash, ultimately winning in 21.78 against Finland’s Ari Pekka Liukkonen who touched in 21.90. Fratus has already been 21.70 this season at the Maria Lenk Trophy, while Liukkonen just notched his season best, beating the 21.94 he earned in Mesa.
  • Women’s 50m freestyle – Sarah Sjostrom set the pool on fire by clocking her 4th best time ever in this event. Touching in 23.95, Sjostrom beat out Bronte Campbell who earned 24.58 in the one-on-one battle. Sjostrom’s outing tonight checks-in as the 9th fastest time ever in the world in this event.

Additional Winners Tonight:

  • Hungarian Benjamin Gratz took the men’s 400m IM in 4:19.23.
  • Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey, who competes for Energy Standard internationally, won the women’s 400m freestyle by over 4 seconds. In a field of just 6 competitors, with 2 swimmers DNS including Katinka Hosszu, Harvey clocked 4:12.26 for gold.
  • Aussie Mitch Larkin easily on the men’s 200m backstroke to pair with his 100m victory from yesterday. His time was a modest 1:56.86, but still won by almost 3 seconds.
  • The women’s 200m breaststroke saw Russian Yulia Efimova win by a solid margin, clocking 2:22.55 to go with her 100m gold from day 1.

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David
4 years ago

2.08 in the 200 im by Hosszu not worth mentioning?

Wallaby
4 years ago

52.60 in a 100 fly. That’s insane!

Jorge
4 years ago

Good headline. Sjostrom is on fire.

Wallaby
4 years ago

I thought Sjostrom was “only” 56.20 in the 100 fly, but I guess she was 52.60

Ben
Reply to  Wallaby
4 years ago

She went 52.60 in the 100 free, not the 100 fly. A 52.6 in the butterfly would have beaten her own world record by more than 3 seconds. That’s not happening any time soon.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Ben
4 years ago

Pardon, actually, almost but not quite 3 seconds. 55:48 to 52:60. Regardless, not happening any time soon for sure.

Joe
4 years ago

23.95 in the last race(of 14?) in what, a 32 hour span? Impressive.

korn
Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

and she had to get awards after each race so not really anytime to warm down. pretty amazing! Cate Campbell is a long way from being at the top…..I think that 100 last summer in Rio crushed her….mentally.

G.I.N.A
Reply to  korn
4 years ago

C1 has clearly stated she is on Sabbatical . This tour looks a nice way to keep in touch when not focused on swimming this year. Would you prefer she not be there & in Crush Therapy instead?

commonwombat
Reply to  G.I.N.A
4 years ago

G.I.N.A; I don’t think anyone would be questioning anything if it were the case that she WAS having a sabbatical from competitive swimming …. but she isn’t really, is she ? In horse racing parlance, she seems to be having an “each way bet” by saying No, I won’t be swimming at Worlds but I’ll compete at Nationals, and I’ll compete at meet X & meet Y”.

What has people wondering is the fact that these performances at Nationals & now here in Monaco seem like re-runs of her Rio swims. Isn’t it usually the case that in competition “in season” even if far from peak condition, one should be trying to practice what one SHOULD be doing in the… Read more »

G.I.N.A
Reply to  commonwombat
4 years ago

I’m think C1 IS learning new methods particularly of pain relief/ management .This may be reflected in her 200 swims where some distance is replacing hyper speed sets . C1 has mentioned pain being perceived during the day & not just in training .
I always keep an open attitude to pain . Our society is addicted to pain killers & we all have to think & work hard to avoid being on the endone train . Everything we do comes back to haunt us so whatever it is – psychologicall ( ghost pain) or physical – I’m for ppl spending time on themselves . The world will still be there & C1 seems to have a default 53 .

commonwombat
Reply to  G.I.N.A
4 years ago

As someone who lives with pain on a daily basis and whose digestive system precludes most pain-killers …. tell me about it !!

Getting back to C1, it just seems like her current situation IS somewhat of an each-way bet. She calls it a mental health break …. but is it really ? No one is realistically going to begrudge her taking serious time off from the water or at least serious training to get her head space “de-bugged” and/or any physical issues attended to but that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening. Replicating her Rio finals swim can’t exactly be the most healthy therapy going around ?

Her coach, Cusack, made the comment last year that C1 does tend… Read more »

nuotofan
4 years ago

1) Yeah, the Sarah Sjostrom show expecting Budapest, where she will be the strong favorites for the sweep 50/100 free and fly.
I think that the dividends of the new “more sprint-focused” training regimen chosen by Sarah and her new coach after Rio is particularly visible in the free, especially in the 50 free, where Sarah is swimming with an incredible self-confidence having already improved many phases of the race compared to last year.

2) Next Worlds could have many golds “virtually awarded” on the women’s side (not so good for the show): every free distance (Sjostrom 50 and 100, Ledecky from 200 to 1500), 50 and 100 fly (Sjostrom), 200 and 400 Ims (Hosszu; incredible her strenght… Read more »

Prickle
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

How is it not good for show to have incredible race. Have you seen Allison Schmitt’s outstanding world record race in London when she was two body length ahead in Olympic final at 200? It was stunning. Have you noticed that it was even more noise on the stands at Ledecky’s 8:04 than when she’s won 200 in close competition with Sarah Sjostrom at 200?
People will go just to see Sarah Sjostrom regardless how strong the rest of the field can be.

nuotofan
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

Interesting to note that I’ve written a super-obvious consideration (it’s better watching a race without a clear favorite than the opposite) and there are objections shifting the focus.

It’s clear that also a great performance (WR or similar) made by the strong favorite may take excitement, but it’s better for the show if the great performance is the result of an uncertain race.
End of obviousnesses..

Prickle
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

🙂 🙂 Take it easy, please. The sense of obviousness comes with great knowledge. You are OBVIOUSLY much more knowledgeable than I am. I’m learning from people like you. Thank you for keeping posting to this site.

nuotofan
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

Interesting ?.
I meant end of obviousnesses FOR THAT COMMENT, but your subtle sarcasm and the whole situation it’s worth of deeper thoughts.
Thanks.

commonwombat
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

Yes, races with dominant individuals frequently play out according to script but …. not always, Case in point C1’s self implosion last year. We can name a few historical cases on the men’s side too. Where the presence of a dominant figure or dominant duo can be more harmful is actually domestically inside countries as. if they stay at the top for a couple of Olympic cycles, they not only scare off their contemporaries but also the following 1-2 generations leaving a chasm that sometimes takes another couple of generations to plug. USA has the spread and numbers that this isnt a problem but everywhere else in the world it certainly does happen.

I will agree that SS looks a… Read more »

Joe
Reply to  commonwombat
4 years ago

Is there actually anyone with insight to Hosszu’s racing this year? She’s been taking on these ridiculous meet schedules where she swims every distance and her top end times have suffered. I’ve found it a little interesting since this will be the biggest World Champs of her career. I figured that at one of these meets she would go for quality of quantity.

I see her winning the medleys, yes. Some scares at most. She has the opportuntiy to go many different directions beyond that, but I struggle to find a slam dunk third gold. She hasn’t broken the minute mark yet this season in the 100 back which I find noteworthy. 2:09.37 here in Monaco is her season’s best… Read more »

Prickle
Reply to  commonwombat
4 years ago

Don’t forget that Ledecky was only 1:55.16 in Kazan. Her unexpected tapering in following January in a few months after WC was done I think to show what she was ready for back in August: 8:06 at 800; 53.75 at 100 and 1:54.4 at 200. It stopped talks of Sjostrom’s leadoff time at 4×200 relay, that was faster than Ledecky’s gold medal time.
Nothing has change this year and she still has this 1500 race. Only the laziness of her competitors in 200 semi let her went barely through this bottleneck double. Should she be that unwise again she may kiss goodbye to her medal at 200.

commonwombat
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

The 200 this year doesn’t really look up to the standard of last year. With SS ditching the 200, there is no one else likely to be breaking 1.54. Pellegrini must still be respected but 1.54mid-high would be her ceiling. McKeon is the only other sub 1.55, if she’s “on” in Budapest then she’s a good medal shot.

Of the 1.55’s, Coleman has been swimming very well but I’m not sure she’s got a 1.54 in her; Bonnet … not sure. We don’t know if Hosszu will swim this event. Of the 1.56s, Ikee looks on the move so a sub 1.56 looks a reasonable bet. At least one of the Chinese should be sub1.56. At this point we… Read more »

Prickle
Reply to  commonwombat
4 years ago

1:56.76 That is what Ledecky was able for in semi-final in Kazan 30 min after 15:25 world record at 1500 final. We don’t know what her current conditions are compare to 2015-2016 seasons. The college results are not of much of help in this matter. We don’t know what her plans are for this season. If she wants world record at 1500 then do it in prelim making the final an easy swim for the win only.
I personally prefer to see her beating Schmitt’s record at 200.

commonwombat
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

Realistically she’s got 30 sec on her competition in the 1500 so clearly no need to go crazy.

As for the 200, with SS giving it a miss there’s no one else remotely pushing her to a new PB let alone a WR (Pellegrini’s mark is still 0.75sec away) so it will have to come from herself. Whether the 200 world mark IS within her scope remains to be seen as its very rare in swimming history for the 200 thru 1500 to be all the same name. There have been a number of distance greats, both male and female, who held world marks 400 thru 1500 and were World or Olympic champ at 200 but were never 200 WR… Read more »

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

“Schmitty’s” was a textile WR only, plus the existing OR plus American R. Pelligrini still holds the WR from her 2009 home super suit WC meet in Rome.

Prickle
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

I would rather put it in different way changing the ascent.
Schmitty still holds a textile WR. Pelligrini’s 2009 time was a super suit (prohibited now) WR only. 2008 – 2009 was a different type of competition. It isn’t appropriate in my view to compare the recent years competition with that one.
On the other hand nobody argue against goggles and caps (even more than one) that for sure are used for other reason than to look better on photos.

Joe
Reply to  nuotofan
4 years ago

50 free will be the toughest. Last day of competition up against a handful of girls that are almost completely rested. But I really think she can do it without the 200-800relay double like the Olympics. Her Worlds schedule will be a lot softer than the Olympics all things considered. She’s got so much easy speed that she will only have to go full on in five individual swims – 50 fly final, 100 fly final, 100 free final and 50 free semi & final. We don’t know what the other girls will bring but It’s possible to sweep.

Prickle
4 years ago

Sarah Sjostrom is definitely is playing games with 100 free. In April I was under impression that with new coach we have new Sarah – the Queen of extreme sprint that wouldn’t focus on her great abilities to be strong at the second half of the distance.
April: 52.54 (25.17 – 27.37 )
Now, two months later Sarah mimics her 2014 season’s tactic of strong finish. The season that was by far the best in her freestyle swimming career.
52.60 (25.63 – 26.97 )
I have know clue what to expect from her in Budapest in 6 weeks, but I’m sure it will be exciting.

Fremdsprachen
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

I’m my opinion she will fair better going out faster. A perfect race for her is basically these splits:
25.00
26.90
=51.90 WR

Prickle
Reply to  Fremdsprachen
4 years ago

Sure, why not. But 0.5-0.6 improvement of recent personal best is still looking like a lot.

Fremdsprachen
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

Yeah it was the split for a perfect race, not what I think she will go or anything. I have all my predictions, and I do have her winning the 100 Free in 52.31. I have Manuel getting second at 52.67 and Bronte Campbell getting bronze at 52.89. As much as I hope she will break 52, I personally don’t think she will THIS summer.

commonwombat
Reply to  Fremdsprachen
4 years ago

Trying to pick an exact time this far out is somewhat akin to playing hopscotch on a minefield. We haven’t had US Nats yet so who knows what the times will be. Yes, Manuel swam a 52.7 in Rio, arguably by surfing C1s wake for a good part … in 2017, she’s been sub 54 …once. She COULD go sub 53 at US Nats, someone else might ….. or they may be all someway north of 53flat.

I DO tend to think you are in a far more realistic “ball park” re SS’s potential time than those shouting WR !! WR !! People need to realise that SS tends to be one of those who’s often exceptionally fast in… Read more »

Fremdsprachen
Reply to  commonwombat
4 years ago

C2 did get 4th in rio, and with Oleksiaks problem I’m almost certain she won’t be in the mix. I currently have the same exact problem and it is horrible. McKeon was 52.8 at Aussie nationals 2016 and led off the relay in the final in 53.2, so I figure she’ll get 4th or 5th in the final based on previous patterns. Kromo is also a strong possibly to challenge for minor medals and you never know, maybe Heemskerk can get back down to 52.8 but most likely not in my opinion. Keep in mind Simone did not break 53 very much in season before the Olympics and she ripped a 52.7 in rio. Here is my early prediction of… Read more »

Joe
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

She was tapered at that first time so I think the idea was to go out hard and finish as well as possible. But at the same she came into that meet with a cold which might have affected the finish on the 100s. Now she’s not tapered but on the other hand not sick either. I guess the conclusion is that tapered and 110% healthy she could maybe do the fast start(25.17) but also with a finish like today(26.97). Would take her awfully close to the WR, but it isn’t that much of a stretch considering how close she’s been in the 50.

Prickle
Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

🙂 🙂 Joe, you are telling a scary story of how Sarah Sjostrom having terrible cold makes the world record of 23.83. The only explanation I can find to this fact is that either she is already well superior of Britta Steffen and just couldn’t show that because of her sickness or the intense sneezing added extremely powerful jet acceleration making her with that so fast. 🙂 🙂

Joe
Reply to  Prickle
4 years ago

I can’t speak with own experience, but I figure the 50 is possible to do well with a cold. She had a cracked voice at the beginning of the meet, that’s all I know.

Liam
Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

You’re right. I’m Swedish and I streamed the swimming competition and when she had a interview, you could hear that she had a cracked voice.

She also said that she was a bit sick before the competition.

Prickle
Reply to  Liam
4 years ago

To Joe and Liam. Please don’t get offended by my “sneezing” joke. I admire Sarah Sjostrom. Her versatility from 50 through 400 is on the same scale as Katie Ledecky’s range of 100 – 1500 and from biological point of view is even rarer phenomenon, I think.

commonwombat
Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

The one cautionary mark that I may add is that SS is not necessarily a big taper swimmer where you see the big drops. Rather, she has tended to be someone who is fast “in season” and you only see lesser drops when tapered. Not going to comment on the 50fly but with the 50free, its more a case of having to “hit” everything absolutely perfectly as well as being in peak shape if you’re to take that WR. Maybe she will do it (I’d be pleased for her if she did) but its a tough one to crack as both C1 & herself have given it an awful fright but still not knocked it off.

jelly
4 years ago

i think James Guy can final at Worlds but I dont think he’s a legit threat to Schooling and Le Clos yet with Schooling’s intention to break the world record and Le Clos’ intention to beat Schooling. Furthermore, Schooling went 51.82 untapered and while still on a heavy training schedule and he thinks he’s on the right track to breaking the world record next month

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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