Day Two of the Amiens stage of the French Swimming Federation’s “Golden Tour” produced more fast swimming on Saturday. There were a lot more internationals on deck in Amiens than at Nice, and in most cases the winning times were faster.
Saturday afternoon began with the fast heat of the women’s 1500. Katinka Hosszu, who has swum every event at every stop of the tour so far, won by a country mile in 16:31.19. Julie Berthier of Mulhouse came in at 16:58.23, while Nice’s Alizée Morel touched third with 17:11.88.
Hosszu hopped off the podium and onto the starting block for the 100 back, which she won in 1:01.00, just off the 1:00.4 she went in Nice. Maaike De Waard (NED) placed second in 1:02.60, just in front of Ekaterina Avramova (GBR)’s 1:02.71.
The men’s race featured a stroke-for-stroke contest between two of France’s most decorated swimmers: Camille Lacourt of Marseille and Jérémy Stravius of the home club in Amiens. It was a considerably faster race than in Nice, with Lacourt (53.60) and Stravius (53.81) posting the fastest times coming out of Europe so far this year. They were both just off Matt Grevers’ 53.3 from Austin but ahead of Orlando’s winning times. Third place went to Amiens’ Eddie Moueddene in 55.84.
Adeline Martin of Antibes took it out just a tick faster than Hosszu and was able to hold on for the next three 50s, staying just ahead of the Hungarian. Martin touched in 2:29.34; Hosszu was 2:29.64. Hosszu won this event in Nice with 2:29.0, but she hadn’t swum a 1500 to begin the session. Moniek Nijhuis of The Netherlands was third in 2:32.91.
Marco Koch of Germany won the men’s 200 breast, going a season-best 2:10.10. Quentin Coton of Antibes came in at 2:13.57, about 1.6 seconds ahead of his pace in Nice. Third went to David Verraszto with 2:14.36.
Inge Dekker and Ranomi Kromowidjojo, both of The Netherlands, hit the wall together in 26.07. They were about .17 ahead of Jeanette Ottesen’s season-leading 26.24. Mélanique Henique of Amiens, who won this event in Nice with 26.4, went a blazing 26.20 to join the two Dutchwomen at the top of the season’s standings in the sprint fly.
The men’s 50 fly looked like another day at the office for the CN Marseille sprinters. Four Marseillais (Florent Manaudou, Medhy Metella, Frédérick Bousquet, and Anthonny Ralefy) contested the “A” final, as did three Turks (Iskender Baslakov, Huseyin Emre Sakci, and Berk Ozkul) and one Brit (Sean Campsie). Manaudou exploded off the block with impressive speed and no one could make up that difference; Manaudou came in at 23.49. Metella was just off his winning time from Nice with 23.89. Bousquet went 24.22 for third, also a tad slower than his last final.
Femke Heemskerke paced the women’s 200 free and got the win with 1:56.87. Nice’s Charlotte Bonnet, who turned 20 today, did her best to chase Heemskerke down and the results was a 1.6-second improvement from her time in Nice. Bonnet won the silver medal with 1:58.16, ahead of Mulhouse’s Coralie Balmy (1:58.85). Balmy had come in ahead of Bonnet in the last race with 1:58.7. Hosszu, at 1:59.28, was fourth this time, having won the event in Nice with 1:58.3.
All eyes were on Yannick Agnel in the middle of the pool, who hadn’t raced the 200m free in Nice. He took it out nicely and held a lead over Robert Renwick (GBR) through the 150 turn. The two traded stroke for stroke down the last stretch, but Renwick had an excellent acceleration into the wall and got the touch, 1:47.71 to Agnel’s 1:47.85. Afterward, Agnel told French media he was very pleased with his swim, as he had been shooting for a sub-1:48. Germany’s Jacob Heidtmann was third in 1:49.45.
The final event of the session featured the usual matchup between Hosszu and Verraszto. Both women are evenly matched for the first half of the race. They tend to turn together at the fly-to-back wall, where Verraszto tends to begin to pull ahead. Hosszu has spent a lot of time working on her breaststroke over the last year or so and it has paid handsomely. Tonight she outsplit Verraszto by almost 5 seconds and built up an insurmountable leading heading into the free. Hosszu finished in 4:23.30; Verraszto in 4:46.47. Both women were 6 seconds faster than they had been in Nice. Mulhouse’s Fantine Lesaffre took the bronze with 4:49.28.
David Verraszto cemented his place at the top of the men’s leaderboard with yet another victory in the 400 IM. Just off his 4:17.00 winning time in Nice, he went 4:17.91 in Amiens. Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches, who trains at Nice, placed second in 4:20.27. Antibes’ Guillaume Laure came in at 4:26.39 for third.
Women’s Leaderboard After Day Two of the Amiens Stage
- Katinka HOSSZU 82
- Evelyn VERRASZTO 27
- Inge DEKKER 26.5
- Femke HEEMSKERK 25
- Ranomi KROMOWIDJOJO 22.5
- Charlotte BONNET 21
- Moniek NIJHUIS 19
- Adeline MARTIN 17
Men’s Leaderboard After Day Two of the Amiens Stage
- David VERRASZTO 37
- Mehdy METELLA 28
- Florent MANAUDOU 24
- Jérémy STRAVIUS 23
- Marco KOCH 21
- Jeremy DESPLANCHES 18
- Frédérick BOUSQUET 16
- Damien JOLY 16