Kathleen Baker Nabs 50 Back Gold, Laura Stephens Impresses In 200 Fly In Nice


The first of two FFN Golden Tour Camille Muffat stops concluded today in Nice, France, with the next site of Marseille set for March. Before action wrapped up at Piscine Jean Boujn, however, we saw the likes of Katinka HosszuKathleen Baker and Christian Apostolou get wet once again.

For the Iron Lady’s part, Hungarian Hosszu raced in all 5 events in the morning heats with the following results:

50m back – 29.88 (9th)
100 breast – 1:14.97 (28th)
100 free – 55.87 (5th)
200 fly – 2:12.90 (4th)
400 free – 4:16.22 (3rd)

The 30-year-old multi-Olympic champion indeed raced her 3 A-Finals come this evening, taking on the tough triple of the 100m free, 200m fly and 400m free.

The 400m free was up first, with Hosszu settling for silver in a time of 4:14:00 behind winner Beril Boecekler of Turkey who hit 4:09.60 for a new national record.

Hosszu was almost immediately back in the water to contest the 200m fly, where she placed 8th in a time of 2:14.84, well off winner Laura Stephens of Great Britain and her winning mark of 2:08.94.

Plymouth Leander’s Stephens represented the only swimmer to dip under the 2:10 barrier in tonight’s race, with her performance checking in as the 2nd fastest of her career.

Spitting 1:02.77/1:06.17, Stephens wasn’t too far away from her lifetime best of 2:07.96, a time she put up at the 2019 British Championships. With that result from last year, she sits as Great Britain’s 7th fastest performer ever.

A time of 2:07.21 is where British Swimming set the Olympic-qualifying standard, so Stephens will need to ramp things up come April’s British Championships.

The final race for Hosszu came in the 100m free where she placed 8th with a time of 56.93. Getting to the wall over a second and a half earlier, however, was home nation swimmer Charlotte Bonnet.

Bonnet clocked 54.19 for gold followed by Michelle Coleman‘s 54.87 for silver. Teen Anastasiya Gorbenko of Israel also landed on the podium in 55.36.

Gorbenko’s outing now represents the young swimmer’s lifetime best, overtaking her previous PB of 55.88 from when she placed 7th at the European Youth Olympic Games last year.

Jeremy Desplanches ripped a 52.84 100m fly time to take gold in that men’s event, edging out Belarusian Yauhen Tsurkin who touched just .11 later in 52.95. Swiss swimmer Desplanches owns a personal best of 52.28 in this event form just under a year ago, while Tsurkin owns a PB of 51.44, his nation’s record.

Finally, American Kathleen Baker capped off a stellar meet with another win, this time taking the women’s 50m back. Stopping the clock in a time of 27.77, she beat the field by well over a second to capture the 7th fastest time of her career and the 5th fastest time in the world this season.

Additional Winners:

  • Bjoern Seeliger topped Michael Chadwick in the men’s 50m free, touching in 22.36 to the American’s 22.43.
  • Tunisian Ayoub Hafnoui produced a time of 7:50.31 to reap gold in the men’s 800m free.
  • Frenchman Theo Bussiere clocked a time of 1:01.27 to earn the men’s 100m breaststroke gold.
  • Greek swimmer Apostolos Christou also ended his meet on a high note, snagging the 200m back gold in 1:58.72.

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1 year ago

Back to back to back races for Baker in less than an hour: 27.77 in the 50 back, 1.09.12 in the 100 breastroke and less than 10 minutes later 56.27 in the 100 free (55.98 in the morning).
Great 800 free with Hafnaoui (2002) at 7.50.31, close to his PB, and new PBs for Englezakis (2001, 7.51.27) and Yigit (2003, 8.01.49).

Swimmy swim
1 year ago

Hehe nice

1 year ago

I like right words found by Mrs. Race to describe Hosszu’s performance today – ” ..get wet once again.”

1 year ago

Quietly a very good swim from Angharad Evans in the 100br. I believe she was 13 when she first broke 1.10 in the 100br a few years ago, and she hadn’t PB’d since that, until today. Good signs in February – Hopefully she can continue her progress again now.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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