MARE NOSTRUM SERIES – BARCELONA
- June 5-6, 2021
- Pere Serrat Pool, Barcelona, Spain
- Long Course Meters (50 meters)
- Day 1 Prelims Recap
- Day 1 Finals Recap
- Day 2 Prelims Recap
The 2021 Mare Nostrum Series has come to an end with the conclusion of day 2 finals at the 3rd and final stop in Barcelona.
Two stars of Olympics past both swam times in hallmark events that are their fastest since the end of the 2019 season. Mireia Belmonte, the defending Olympic gold medalist in the 200 fly and bronze medalist in the 400 IM, swam her best 400 IM since August 2019; and Yulia Efimova swam her best 200 breast since winning gold at the 2019 World Championships.
Russia’s Yulia Efimova won the 200 breaststroke with a 2:21.86, marking a season-best for her in the event. The swim is an improvement upon her bronze medal-garnering swim at 2021 Euros where she hit a 2:22.16.
While she was a bit slower than her PB and Russian record of 2:19.41 from 2013, the swim moves Efimova up to the 6th fastest position in the world. That places her ahead of fellow Russian Maria Temnikova, and just two tenths behind fellow Russian Evgenia Chikunova, who recently qualified to race the event for Russia in Tokyo. That means that the 6th fastest woman in the world so far this season won’t be racing the event in Tokyo.
Efimova was joined on the 200 breaststroke podium by the Spanish duo of Jessica Vall (2:24.68) and Marina Garcia (2:24.97) who were both a few seconds slower than Vall’s 2016 Spanish record of 2:22.56.
Efimova and Vall went 1-2 in the 50 breaststroke as well, hitting a 30.28 and 31.79, respectively as Tes Schouten of the Netherlands rounded out the top 3 with a 31.84.
Another impressive swim came from Hugo Gonzalez who posted a 1:56.31 200 IM to lower both the Spanish national record and Mare Nostrum meet record. Gonzalez held the previous Spanish record at a 1:56.76 which he set at the 2021 European Championships to earn himself a gold medal. The former Mare Nostrum record on the other hand belonged to Japan’s Kosuke Hagino at a 1:56.82 from a 2015 version of the meet.
That was Gonzalez’s second Mare Nostrum meet record of the week, adding to his 53.08 100 backstroke mark from day 1.
Hosszu took gold here in Barcelona with a 4:40.34 and Belmonte took silver with a 4:42.17. Hosszu was a little bit slower here than she was a few weeks ago when she won gold at the 2021 European Championships with a 4:34.76.
The swim for Belmote on the other hand was a 4:42.17 for silver which marks her fastest swim in the event since the 2019 FINA World Cup Series stop in Tokyo, which happened just a few days after the end of the World Championships. While she was just 4:42 for 13th place in Gwangju, less than a week later at the World Cup she managed to drop 8 seconds and go 4:34, but hasn’t been close to that time since.
Another big swim on day 2 of the meet came from Arno Kamminga in the 100 breaststroke. Kamminga delivered a 58.18 to win gold in the event, coming within 0.03 seconds of Adam Peaty‘s 2019 Mare Nostrum record of 58.15 from 2019. Kamminga was a bit slower than his recent 58.10 at the 2021 European World Championships which gave him the silver medal for the Netherlands behind Peaty’s 57.66.
Kamminga became the second-fastest 100 breaststroker in history and second only to Peaty to swim the event under 58 seconds a few weeks before Euros with a 57.90 Dutch record. Additionally, on day 1 of the meet Kamminga delivered a 2:07.23 200 breaststroke to win gold and set a new meet record.
Other Notable Day 2 Swims
- Chad le Clos swam a 1:55.63 to win the men’s 200 fly, getting right the 1:55.88 he swam a few weeks ago at South African Nationals.
- In the men’s 100 freestyle Kristof Milak delivered a commanding 48.86 victory, hovering right above his recent 48.72 performance in the prelims of the event at the 2021 European Championships.
- Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands won the 100 backstroke by a decent margin with a 59.21 to out-swim silver medalist Hanna Rosvall (1:01.94) and bronze medalist Lena Grabowski (1:02.04)
- Tying for first place, Thom de Boer of the Netherlands and world record holder Andriy Govorov of Ukraine each swam a 23.43 to take gold in the 50 butterfly.