2023 Mare Nostrum Tour Monaco: Day 1 Prelims Recap


  • Saturday, May 20th & Sunday, May 21st
  • Prince Albert II Swimming Pool, Stade Louis II, Monaco
  • LCM (50m)
  • World Championships/2024 Olympic Games Qualifier
  • Meet Central
  • Results
  • Livestream

The final stop of the 2023 Mare Nostrum Tour kicked off from Monaco this morning with several big guns back in the water to wrap up the trio of meets.

Unfortunately for Kristof Milak fans, the 23-year-old Olympic and world champion did not appear behind the blocks for any of his events this morning despite having been entered on both days.

In his stead, it was Olympic silver medalist Tomoru Honda who took the top spot in the men’s 200m fly, posting a swift heats swim of 1:56.30. Honda won this event at the first stop in Canet in a quick 1:55.09 before opting out of the race days ago in Barcelona.

Honda will be challenged by Olympic medalist Noe Ponti of Switzerland who produced 1:57.38 as the 2nd seed while the winner in Canet, Poland’s Krzysztof Chmeliewski rounded out the top 3 in 1:57.96.

Of note, Chmeliewski scorched a time of 1:55.04 in the heats at Canet to now rank 8th in the world while Honda is #2 this season with his head-turning 1:52.70 from last December’s Japan Open.

After competing in Canet, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom opted out of Barcelona but is back at it here in Monaco. The 29-year-old multi-Olympic champion scored top seeds across both the women’s 50m fly and 50m free.

Sjostrom put up a 50m fly time of 25.58 to get the edge over French swimmer Melanie Henique and Japanese ace Rikako Ikee. Henique ranks as the 2nd seed in 25.94 while Ikee lurks as the 3rd-seeded swimmer in 26.05.

As for the 50m free, Sjostrom landed lane 4 in 24.57 to hold a .01 advantage over Aussie sprinter Cate Campbell.

Of note, all of the 50m sprints for both men and women are contested here as knockout rounds. The top 8 out of the morning heats in each event will race in round one, where the field will then be reduced to four in tonight’s second round.

The final two rounds of the 50m events will be raced during tomorrow night’s final session.

American Michael Andrew put his marker down on the men’s 50m fly, grabbing the top seed in 23.84. But he wasn’t alone, as Olympic medalist Noe Ponti of Switzerland was also at the wall in 23.84, while World Record holder Andrii Govorov (UKR), Thomas Verhoeven (NED) and Olympic medalist Federico Burdisso (ITA) are also in the mix for tonight’s round 2.

Andrew also dove in for the men’s 50m free where he snagged the 4th seed in a morning result of 22.55. Taking the top spot was French sprinter Maxime Grousset who touched in 22.16.

Dutch national record holder Thom de Boer and Hungarian World Record holder Szebasztian Szabo will be among the field for tonight’s rounds 2 and 3 in this event.

Lara van Niekerk of South Africa led the women’s 50m breast field this morning, logging a solid swim of 30.63. She represented one of two swimmers to get under the 31-second threshold, joined by American Olympic champion Lydia Jacoby.

Jacoby notched a morning out in 30.92 while British national record holder Imogen Clark rounded out the top 3 performers in 31.17.

Jacoby has been on a tear during this Mare Nostrum tour, with the Alaska native clocking her fastest 100m breast since Tokyo (1:05.84) while also nabbing a lifetime best in the 200m breast (2:24.03).

The American also raced the 100m breast earlier in the session, putting up an AM outing of 1:08.02. That rendered 19-year-old Jacoby the 2nd-seeded swimmer behind Argentine Macarena Ceballos (1:07.86) and ahead of Japan’s Reona Aoki (1:08.08).

On-fire Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong already scored a 50m free national record at the first stop in Canet and also logged a big-time 52.50 in the 100m free in Barcelona to rank #1 in the world this season.

The former University of Michigan Wolverine made her presence known at this final stop, claiming the top seed in the 200m free.

Haughey touched in 1:58.74 this morning as one of four swimmers under the 2:00 barrier out of the heats. Tonight she’ll be flanked by Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey who registered 1:59.44 while Hungary’s Nikolett Padar will be on Haughey’s other side tonight with a morning time of 1:59.56.

Canada’s Brooklyn Douthwright touched in 1:59.66 to claim the 4th seed this morning while her Olympic champion teammate Penny Oleksiak wound up not racing in the event.

Haughey’s primary rival at the first stop of the Mare Nostrum Tour, Marrit Steenbergen of the Netherlands, is not competing at this meet.

Additional Top Seeds

  • Lithuania’s Andrius Sidlauskas topped the men’s 200m breast heats in a mark of 2:13.51, with Hong Kong national record holder Adam Chillingworth and former World Record holder Ippei Watanabe of Japan also in the mix for a medal.
  • The men’s 100m free saw Canada’s Ruslan Gaziev land lane 4 in 49.16, tying Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto who also clocked 49.16. Of note, Trinidad & Tobago’s Dylan Carter and Italy’s Thomas Ceccon were entered but did not swim this race.
  • The women’s 100m fly field held just 15 swimmers in total and Canadian Katarine Savard captured the top spot in 59.15.
  • World Record holder Ceccon nabbed the top seed in the men’s 100m back in 54.53, just .01 ahead of Polish World Championships medalist Ksawery Masiuk.
  • French swimmer Emma Terebo captured the #1 seed in the women’s 200m back in 2:12.36.
  • The men’s 200m IM saw Israel’s Yakov Toumarkin stop the clock in 2:02.78 to land lane 4 for this evening’s final.
  • France’s Tommy-Lee Camblong was the quickest swimmer in the men’s 400m free heats, registering a time of 3:52.91.
  • Just 9 swimmers comprised the morning heats of the women’s 400m IM which saw Hungarian veteran Olympian Zsuzsanna Jakabos earn the top seed in 4:50.13.
  • Miroslav Knedla of the Czech Republic took the #1 seed in the men’s 50m back in 25.43 while France’s Mary-Ambre Moluh got it done for the women in 28.16.
  • The men’s 50m breast heats saw Nicolo Martinenghi score the pole position in 27.30. That’s quicker than the silver medal-worthy result of 27.42 he put up in Barcelona just days ago.

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Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
7 days ago

So MA didn’t swim the 50 BR?

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
7 days ago

I might be incorrect, but to my knowledge, MA was never entered in the 50 BR.

7 days ago

Something going on with Milak?

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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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