For the 3rd and final time of the 2014 Mare Nostrum series, the men’s 100 free with an ever-improving field was the highlight of the first day of the 2014 Trofeu Internacional de Barcelona.
This time, the Frenchman Florent Manaudou was making no mistakes in prelims. Whereas the last time out in Canet, France, he slipped into the B-Final, here in Barcelona he took the top seed in 48.81. That will leave him with the opportunity to step up further and perhaps bring the best challenge yet on this series in finals to American Nathan Adrian. Adrian, once again, was able to slide through with a prelims 49.6. That again seems to be a measured result for Adrian, and history indicates he’ll certainly be well down into the 48-second range in finals.
Cuba’s Hanser Garcia, meanwhile, is the 2nd seed with a 49.12, and Russia’s Andrey Grechin is 3rd in 49.34. Anthony Ervin continued to experiment a little bit with his pacing here, and going out in 24.0, he never had enough to get back for an A-final. That left him 11th in 50.19 and into the B-Final.
Note: Chad le Clos was another healthy scratch from that 100 free and the rest of this session.
Meanwhile, in the 50 fly, Rafael Munoz, the World Record holder, seems a little bit re-energized swimming in front of his home crowd. He and Britain’s Ben Proud tied for the top seed in prelims in 23.86 – much faster than either was in the morning in Canet. While the last time around, Konrad Czerniak came back in finals to blow by them for the win, there’s no Czerniak here in Barcelona to contend with.
The top-finishing American is SwimMAC’s Tim Phillips, who snuck into the A-final with an 8th-seeded 24.47; Cullen Jones was 9th in 24.55.
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen is lined up for another day-one double, though her task will be to break the National Records as she did in Canet if she wants to up the ante. She warmed up with a 24.87 in the 50 free to be the only swimmer under 25 seconds. Fran Halsall (25.18), Pernille Blume (25.33), and Natalie Coughlin (25.48) are behind her. It appears as though maybe a little bit of battle-fatigue has set in for these women’s sprint freestylers after a week of tough match-ups, as that group was quite a bit slower here than in Canet.
Ottesen then took the top seed in the 100 fly, with Jemma Lowe (58.81) and Noemie Thomas (59.15) behind her there. After a good meet in Monaco, Lowe took a break in Canet before racing again here in Barcelona.
Other morning highlights:
- Russia’s Veronika Popova swam a 1:58.58 in prelims of the 200 free, with a nice closing kick to finish in 29.60.
- Georgia Davies is the top seed in the women’s 100 backstroke in 1:01.08, followed by Lizzie Simmonds (1:01.16) and Daria Ustinova (1:01.25). Simmonds and the 4th-seeded Mie Nielsen (1:01.46) are the winners of the two previous stops in this event.
- Hannah Miley came through the early heats with a 4:41.24 in the women’s 400 IM. Her biggest challenge in finals will be Aimee Willmott, who was casual here in prelims but did swim a 4:35 in Canet.
Live meet results available here.
Day 1 prelims results in a single PDF available here.