Serbian Grand Prix
The Serbian Grand Prix is taking place this weekend in Belgrade. With only four swimmers qualified thus far for the Tokyo Olympics, this weekend is an opportunity for Serbian swimmers to chase qualifying times ahead of the European Championships in May.
The men’s 200 butterfly was the race of the day in Belgrade. Dejan Urbanek took the early lead of 27.48 for the first 50 followed by Jovan Lekic 27.97. Levic moved ahead over the second 50 to lead at the 100 by .08 seconds. Lekic’s lead would grow to .30 at the 150 mark. Urbanek had the fastest last split of the field but Lekic would hold on to win in 2:02.25, .03 ahead of Urbanek. Lekic broke his own Bosnian and Herzegovinian record in the event of 2:05.34 set in December 2019. Urbanek dropped from his previous best of 2:02.79 set last month.
In contrast to the men’s 200 fly, Martina Bukvic won the women’s 200 breaststroke by over 14 seconds with a time of 2:30.23. Bukvic dropped nearly two seconds from her previous best of 2:32.10 swum about a month ago. Not only does this swim put Bukvic well under the European Junior Championship cut of 2:33.54, it puts her well within striking distance of the Olympic B cut of 2:29.89.
The men’s 100 freestyle was won by Uros Nikolic in 50.72. This was a bit slower than the 50.42 he swam a month ago and less than a second away from the Olympic B cut of 50.03 for the event. Nikolic has a best of 49.59 from 2019 and will be looking to hit that in Budapest in May.
Nina Stanisavljevic won the women’s 100 freestyle 56.32 with Tanja Popovic behind her in 56.71. Both swimmers were well under he European Junior cut of 57.05 for the event, though both were slightly slower than the 55.50 (Stanisavljevic) and 55.96 (Popovic) that they swam back in March.
A swimmer to keep an eye on is Nemanja Maksic. Maksic, who was born in 2008, won the men’s 50 butterfly in 26.14.