2023 Mare Nostrum Barcelona: Day 1 Finals Live Recap




  • Mare Nostrum Record – 15:00.71, Florian Wellbrock (GER), 2016
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 15:04.64

GOLD – Ayoub Hafnaoui (TUN), 15:02.85
SILVER – Daniel Jerivs (GBR), 15:09.28
BRONZE – Henrik Christiansen (NOR), 15:16.70

The first event of this second stop of the 2023 Mare Nostrum Tour saw Olympic champion Ayoub Hafnaoui of Tunisia grab gold.

The 20-year-old notched a time of 15:02.85 to take the men’s 1500m freestyle comfortably, holding a nearly 7-second advantage over runner-up Daniel Jervis of Great Britain. Norwegian Olympian Henrik Christiansen rounded out the podium in 15:16.70 for bronze.

This is Hafnaoui’s first Mare Nostrum stop, as the ace didn’t compete in Canet. His time checks in near his season-best of 15:00.24, an outing he register in March at the Pro Swim Series in Fort Lauderdale.

As for Jervis, the 26-year-old multi-Commonwealth Games medalist has already been as quick as 14:46.95, a time he produced en route to winning the British national title at the Championships last month.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 27.37, Anastasia Fesikova (RUS) 2018
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 28.22

GOLD – Ingrid Wilm (CAN), 27.76
SILVER – Danielle Hill (IRL), 27.83
BRONZE – Adela Piskorska (POL), 27.98

The top 3 finishers in this women’s 50m back represented the only racers to get under the 28-second threshold tonight.

Canada’s Ingrid Wilm got to the wall first in a time of 27.76, easily beating the 28.10 she logged last week at the first Mare Nostrum stop in Canet. Her result here checks in just outside the list of top 10 performers in the world this season.

Behind Wilm was Irish national record holder Danielle Hill who snagged silver in 27.83. This represents the 2nd-fastest time of Hill’s career, sitting only behind the 27.69 she fired off last month at the Swim Ulster Championships.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 26.33, Felipe Lima (BRA) 2019
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 27.33

GOLD – Michael Andrew (USA), 27.36
SILVER – Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA), 27.42
BRONZE – Simone Cerasuolo (ITA), 27.46

Despite half of the men’s 50m breaststroke finalists hailing from Italy, it was American Michael Andrew who got it done for gold in tonight’s final.

After producing a top-seeded time of 27.31 this morning, Andrew added a hair to ultimately grab gold in a time of 27.36. That got the edge over Italian Olympic medalist Nicolo Martinenghi who secured silver in 27.42 while his teammate, World Junior Record holder Simone Cerasuolo also landed on the podium in 27.46.

Andrew’s season-best remains at the 26.84 he put up in March at the Pro Swim Series in Fort Lauderdale while Martinenghi has also already been in the 26-zone with a 26.90 registered at April’s Italian Championships.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 24.76, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 26.32

GOLD – Melanie Henique (FRA), 25.67
SILVER – Rikako Ikee (JPN), 25.77
BRONZE – Maaike de Waard (NED), 25.88

Sans Swedish superstar Sarah Sjostrom at this competition, it was French swimmer Melanie Henique who climbed atop this women’s 50 fly podium.

Henique touched in 25.67 to upgrade her silver medal spot from Canet while she also sliced .10 off of her previous 25.77 performance from that stop.

Japan’s Rikako Ikee took bronze behind Henique in Canet, a performance that represented her first international podium appearance since beating leukemia. Ikee, too, jumped up a slot to snag silver here in 25.77, beating her 25.89 from Canet.

This trio is actually situated right along one another in the season’s world rankings.

Ikee is positioned 4th, courtesy of the 25.59 season-best she established en route to taking the title at April’s Japan Championships. Tonight’s bronze medalist, Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands already entered this meet ranked 5th as a result of her 25.64 put up in December, while Henique’s time here now renders her the 6th swiftest female in the world.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 4:07.96, Laszlo Cseh (HUN) 2008
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 4:17.48

GOLD – Tomoyuki Matsushita (JPN), 4:12.42
SILVER – Riku Yamaguchi (JPN), 4:12.43
BRONZE – Tomoru Honda (JPN), 4:16.15

As with the first stop in Canet, the nation of Japan monopolized the men’s 400m IM podium.

17-year-old Tomoyuki Matsushita ripped a time of 4:12.42 to take the gold this evening, coming within .22 of his lifetime best of 4:12.20. He produced that slightly quicker result only this past January while competing at the South Australian State Championships to rank as Japan’s 8th fastest man ever.

Riku Yamaguchi continued his success with another silver, this time in a mark of 4:12.43. That sliced over a second off his 4:13.68 rendered him runner-up behind winner So Ogata in Canet. So settled for the 4th place spot here in 4:16.52.

Instead of Ogata, Tomoru Honda was the 3rd Japanese swimmer to make the podium scoring a time of 4:16.15 as the bronze medalist.

Honda already ranks 6th in the world from his 4;10.37 season-best posted at the Japan Championships while Matsushita’s aforementioned 4:12.20 positions him 8th in the world rankings.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 52.08, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2017
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 54.25

GOLD – Siobhan Haughey (HKG), 52.50
SILVER – Marrit Steenbergen (NED), 53.45
BRONZE – Cate Campbell (AUS), 54.07

Hong Kong Olympic multi-medalist Siobhan Haughey continued her Canet momentum into Barcelona, overpowering the women’s 100m free field tonight.

The 25-year-old former University of Michigan Wolverine scorched a time of 52.50 to beat a stacked pack by nearly one solid second.

Marrit Steenbergen of the Netherlands scored silver in 53.45 while Cate Campbell, competing in just her 3rd meet since the Tokyo Olympic Games, also landed on the podium in 54.07 for bronze.

As for Haughey, the versatile star opened in 25.33 and closed in 27.17 for her 52.50 to now rank #1 in the world this season. It hacked .35 off of the 52.85 she put up just last week in Canet to stake her claim on this event with Fukuoka on the horizon.


  • Mare Nostrum Record- 53.00, Ryosuke Irie (JPN) 2022
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 54.03

GOLD – Lorenzo Mora (ITA), 54.76
SILVER – Ksawery Masiuk (POL), 54.79
BRONZE – Thierry Bollin (SUI) 54.97

23-year-old Thierry Bollin of Switzerland may have led the heats of this men’s 100m back but when the medals were on the line it was Lorenzo Mora of Italy who produced the winning effort.

Mora got to the wall in a mark of 54.76 to top the podium, touching just .03 ahead of young gun Ksawery Masiuk of Poland. 18-year-old Masiuk hit 54.79 as the silver medalist while Bollin added slightly from his 54.82 morning swim to round out the top 3 in 54.97.

Masiuk is ranked 5th in the world already this season with the 52.81 snagged at the Polish Championships. We reported how the Pole was originally slated to attend NC State but has since decided to remain in his native country.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 1:04.82, Yulia Efimova (RUS) 2017
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 1:07.35

GOLD – Lydia Jacoby (USA), 1:05.84
SILVER – Martina Carraro (ITA), 1:06.87
BRONZE – Lara van Niekerk (RSA), 1:07.08

19-year-old Lydia Jacoby threw down a new season-best en route to winning the women’s 100m breaststroke tonight.

The Alaska native logged a time of 1:05.84, knocking .25 off of the 1:06.09 she registered at the Pro Swim Series in Westmont last month. Jacoby opened in 31.31 and closed in 34.53 to get the job done and hit her first sub-1:06 time since the Tokyo Olympic Games

The reigning Olympic champion in this event now ranks 3rd in the world and represents the 5th woman to have dipped under the 1:06 threshold this season.

Italy’s Martina Carraro was next in line for medals, securing silver in 1:06.87 while South African Commonwealth Games champion Lara van Niekerk bagged bronze in 1:07.08.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 21.31, Bruno Fratus (BRA) 2019
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 22.12

GOLD – Florent Manaudou (FRA), 21.88
SILVER – Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), 22.00
BRONZE – Michael Andrew (USA), 22.20

Olympic champion Florent Manaudou took his second consecutive title in this men’s 50m free event, getting under the 22-second threshold for the 2nd time this season.

Manaudou had produced a time of 21.98 previously this season at the Belgian Championships and followed that up with a gold medal-worthy time of 22.18 last week in Canet. Here in Barcelona, the 32-year-old posted a winning effort of 21.88 to now rank 11th in the world.

Hungarian Szebasztian Szabo was tonight’s runner-up in 22.00, off his season-best of 21.82 from Hungarian Nationals this past April while Andrew followed up his 50m breast victory here with bronze in 22.20.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 2:06.66, Emily Seebohm (AUS) 2017
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 2:11.08

GOLD – Laura Bernat (POL), 2:09.86
SILVER – Africa Zamorano (ESP), 2:10.16
BRONZE – Assuncao Alexia (BRA), 2:13.42

Just one woman delved into sub-2:10 territory in this women’s 200m back, represented by Poland’s Laura Bernat.

Bernat clocked a mark of 2:09.86 as tonight’s gold medalist, hitting a time just .10 shy of her best-ever performance of 2:09.76 from last month. Bernat is just 17 years of age and her performance tonight not only clears the World Championships ‘A’ cut for Fukuoka but it also qualifiers her for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Spanish swimmer Africa Zamorano posted 2:10.16 for silver while Brazil’s Assuncao Alexia earned bronze in 2:13.42. Both Bernat and Zamorano dipped under the World Aquatics ‘A’ cut of 2:11.08 needed for this summer’s World Championships.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 2:07.23 Arno Kamminga (NED) 2021
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 2:10.32

GOLD – Ippei Watanabe (JPN), 2:08.48
SILVER – Dawid Wiekiera (POL), 2:12.14
BRONZE – Lucien Vergnes (FRA), 2:12.27

It was a one-man show in the 200m breast event, as former World Record holder Ippei Watanabe manhandled the field in the only time under 2:12.

Watanabe registered a time of 2:08.48 for gold, laying waste to his winning result of 2:10.08 posted last week in Canet. Both outings fall behind his season-best effort of 2:07.73, however, which is what it took the 26-year-old to claim the national title at April’s Japan Championships.


  • Mare Nostrum Record: 2:06.70, Suzuka Hasegawa (JPN) 2017
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 2:09.21

GOLD – Lana Pudar (BIH), 2:08.36
SILVER – Airi Mitsui (JPN), 2:08.82
BRONZE – Helena Bach (DEN), 2:09.41

17-year-old European champion Lana Pudar of Bosnia and Herzegovina claimed the gold in the 200m butterfly, punching a result of 2:08.36.

That was enough to keep rising Japanese star Airi Mitsui at bay, with the 18-year-old Junior Pan Pacific Championships gold medalist reaping silver here in 2:08.82.

Pudar’s outing here checks in as a season-best and World Aquatics ‘A’ cut while Mitsui threw down a massive lifetime best of 2:06.77 to take the national title at April’s Japan Championships, qualifying for this summer’s World Championships in the process.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 50.95, Kristof Milak (HUN) 2021
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 51.96

GOLD – Noe Ponti (SUI), 51.71
SILVER – Mario Molla Yanes (ESP), 52.48
BRONZE – Adrian Jaskiewicz (POL), 52.52

Olympic bronze medalist Noe Ponti made his presence known in the men’s 100m fly, taking the race in a time of 51.71.

Splitting 24.45/27.26, Ponti’s effort was within striking distance of the 51.52 he logged at the Swiss Championships this past March to rank 16th in the world on the season.

Spain’s Mario Molla Yanes clocked 52.48 as tonight’s runner-up, touching just .04 ahead of Polish flier Adrian Jaskiewicz. Jaskiewicz hit 52.52 for bronze, although he’s already nabbed a lifetime best of 51.70 last month to rank 20th in the world.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 2:08.49, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2017
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 2:12.98

GOLD – Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR), 2:09.47
SILVER – Marie Sophie-Harvey (CAN), 2:10.63
BRONZE – Marrit Steenbergen (NED), 2:10.78

Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko was the quickest 200m IMer this evening, registering a gold medal-worthy outing of 2:09.47. That outperformed the 2:11.23 she posted at the Pro Swim Series in Westmont last month, rocketing her up the rankings to now be positioned 8th swiftest in the world.

Canadian Marie Sophie-Harvey snagged silver in 2:10.63, slicing .13 off of the 2:10.76 she hit at Canadian Trials while tonight’s 100m free silver medalist here, Marrit Steenbergen also landed on the podium.

Steenbergen produced 2:10.78 in her 2nd final, while her season-best remains at the Dutch national record of 2:09.16 posted last month to rank 5th in the world on the season.


  • Mare Nostrum Record – 1:44.88, Paul Bidermann (GER) 2009
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 1:47.06

GOLD – Katushiro Matsumoto (JPN), 1:46.48
SILVER – Amazigh Yebba Wissam (FRA), 1:47.08
BRONZE – Luiz Melo (BRA), 1:47.84.

World Championships medalist Katsuhiro Matsumoto scored his 2nd Mare Nostrum gold in this men’s 2free event, tonight touching in 1:46.48.

The 26-year-old national record holder for Japan beat his 1:47.33 outing which garnered him gold in Canet last week. Matsumoto currently ranks 5th in the world this season with his 1:44.98 from last month’s Japan Championships.

Notching a new lifetime best behind Matsumoto for silver was Frenchman Amazigh Yebba Wissam whose 1:47.08 sliced .02 off of the 1:47.10 PB he posted last December.


  • Mare Nostrum record – 4:02.97, Camille Muffat (FRA) 2012
  • World Championships ‘A’ cut – 4:10.57

GOLD – Ella Jansen (CAN), 4:08.28
SILVER – Valentine Dumont (BEL), 4:08.81
BRONZE – Boglarka Kapas (HUN), 4:10.20

Canadian Ella Jansen carried her top-seeded result of the morning into the final, taking this women’s 400m free in a time of 4:08.28. That’s just over a second outside her lifetime best of 4:07.18 already notched this year to rank as her nation’s 5th fastest former ever.

Belgian racer Valentine Dumont busted out a new national record en route to silver. Her time of 4:08.81 marks the 22-year-old’s first-ever outing under 4:09 as her previous career-quickest rested at the 4:09.41 earned in 2020.

Hungarian Olympian Boglarka Kapas also landed on the podium, producing 4:10.20 for bronze.

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1 year ago

Gorbenko’s time is a National Record, beating out the 2:09.9 it took her to win Euros

Last edited 1 year ago by Bud
Former Big10
1 year ago

Nice to see Manadou is in good form. It’d be awesome for him to challenge for gold in Paris. He’s always been one of my biggest “what if” swimmers, from the past decade.

1 year ago

I find MA to be refreshing with his fun loving approach. My biggest concern on him is not his training or technique but rather that he appears to fold under pressure. Which is a shame because he’s so seasoned.

Reply to  SKOOOOOO
1 year ago

Everyone knows Americans don’t choke.

Scuncan Dott v2
1 year ago

Why do you keep changing your name? We all know your the troll who keeps hating on Aussies.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
1 year ago

Makes sense that Haughey is fast here, she would’ve rested between meets.
Will probably be around her Tokyo time at Worlds, perhaps she has improved over the last 2 years, we shall see.

Reply to  Springfield's #1 Athlete
1 year ago

That time she just swam is the second fastest anyone has been since Tokyo, 0.01 off MOC’s 52.49. The 100 Free is going to be very tight at worlds.

1 year ago

PB for Gorbenko droping from a 2:09.99

1 year ago

Where’s Milak

Reply to  John26
1 year ago

Only he knows.

Lap Counter
Reply to  John26
1 year ago

I know where he isn’t!

Reply to  John26
1 year ago

He was entered initially for Barcelona but from what I’ve gathered will only swim in Monaco.

Reply to  snailSpace
1 year ago

rumor has it, he’s already been given the 200fly gold in Barcelona

Reply to  snailSpace
1 year ago

Apparently he will not swim in Monaco either. Maybe he got sick, who knows.

Sam M
1 year ago

Watanabe has a 2:06.70 in him for the 200 breast LCM at worlds this summer

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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