The last preliminary session of the 2014 Mare Nostrum series, which closes Sunday in Barcelona, Still saw most competitors going strong after 6 tough days of full racing schedules.
In the men’s 50 free, Russia’s Oleg Tikhobaev is the top seed in 22.36, followed by the French Olympic champion Florent Manaudou (22.37) and the winner of the 50 at the two other stops Nathan Adrian (22.38).
While there’s 8 great swimmers in that final, among those who missed out was Adrian’s training partner and another American Anthony Ervin.Ervin finished 9th in 22.86, and after missing the A-final in the 100 free as well, has perhaps run out of steam just a bit here in Barcelona. He is, by about three years, the oldest swimmer entered in the 50 free here.
In other prelims highlights, Adam Peaty, who was the spectacular winner of the 100 breaststroke on Saturday, took the top seed in the 50 in 27.60. That puts him just .04 seconds away from the Meet Record and a 300€ ($408) bonus. Not far behind him, though, is Damir Dugonjic (27.80) and France’s Giacomo Perez Dortona (27.89).
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen is trying to add one more win to her growing total, but to do so she’ll have to accomplish what she couldn’t on Saturday: beat Britain’s Fran Halsall in a 50 meter race. Those two are the top seeds in the women’s 50 fly, with Ottesen going a 26.50 in the morning and Halsall going a 26.67.
Canadian Noemie Thomas is 3rd in 26.75.
Ryosuke Irie, the series’ top money earner to date, is looking to close out his meet well, and began his day with a 54.32 in the 100 back. Britain’s Christopher Walker-Hebborn was the only other swimmer under 55 seconds in prelims, going a 54.87. While Walker-Hebborn probably doesn’t have the speed to beat Irie in finals, he should at least give his Japanese competitor something to think about.
The last race we’ll highlight from prelims is the women’s 100 free, which after fantastic times in Canet has returned to the more tempered standards we saw at the meet’s first stop in Monaco. Denmark’s Pernille Blume is the top seed in 54.88, .01 seconds ahead of Russia’s Veronika Popova. It seems, from the position of an outside observer, that few swimmers have done more in establishment of confidence in racing this week than Blume has. She’s not exactly unknown, but she’s been consistently at-or-near the top of the standings against some very impressive fields in this Mediterranean swing.
Karin Prinsloo is the 3rd seed in 55.08, followed by Natalie Coughlin (55.35) and a quartet of Brits to make up the A final.
Day 2 prelims results in a single PDF here.
Day 2 live results available here.