2019 MARE NOSTRUM – BARCELONA
The final stop of the Mare Nostrum tour will kick off this weekend as some of the world’s top stars converge in Barcelona.
One of the big races to watch is the 100 free on the men’s side, where top talents from Brazil, Italy, and Russia will go head to head. One of those swimmers is Marcelo Chierighini, the third-fastest 100 freestyler in the world with a 47.68 at the Brazil Trophy in April. His Brazilian countrymates Breno Correia, Pedro Spajari, and Gabriel Santos, all of whom are ranked in the world top 20 this year. Italian record holder Alessandro Miressi will race them, as well as Luca Dotto and Santo Condorelli.
The Russian contingent includes Evgeny Rylov, Sergey Fesikov and Ivan Girev, among others. Rylov is the fourth-best Russian in the 100 free this year, sitting at #15 in the world. Briton Duncan Scott joins Chierighini as two of the five men to have broken 48 seconds this year, and while Scott is at this meet, he won’t race the 100 free.
Scott is entered in just two events, the 200 IM and 200 free. He leads the field in both events, though he faces staunch competition in the 200 free. Countrymate James Guy is entered in the 200 free, too, as is Brazilian Fernando Scheffer and Russians Alexander Krasnykh and Mikhail Vekovishchev. Guy didn’t race this in Canet, and the event was won by Briton Tom Dean, with Scheffer in second by three hundredths ahead of Scott. Vekovishchev placed 7th, while Krasnykh scratched the final.
Bruno Fratus of Brazil and Ben Proud of GBR will go head-to-head again in the 50 free, while Michael Andrew is entered in that, too. Proud, Andrew, and WR-holder Andrii Govorov will again face off in the 50 fly after Proud nipped Andrew in Canet. Meanwhile, Andrew is entered in five other events: the 50/100 breast, the 50/100 back, and the 100 fly.
A big name to join the field is Hungarian Kristof Milak, the young star who leads the world in the 200 fly. He won’t actually be in that race, though, entered in the 50 free, 100 free, 400 free, and 100 fly.
Adam Peaty will look to earn more wins in the 50 and 100 breast, though James Wilby was not far off in the 100 in Canet (and neither was Felipe Lima in the 50). Italians Nicolo Martinenghi and Fabio Scozzoli add more talent to the breaststrokes.
Mireia Belmonte is the biggest new addition on the women’s side. She’s the top seed in the 1500 free, and is also entered in the 200 free, 400 free, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly.
On the women’s side, Yulia Efimova and Katinka Hosszu are favored in their best events, while Pernille Blume will lead the sprints. Argentinine distance standout Delfina Pignatiello will prove a tough competitor to Belmonte after hitting new national records in the 400 and 800 in Canet.