2018 Mare Nostrum Tour, Canet-en-Roussillon
The first stop of the 2018 Mare Nostrum Tour kicks off on Saturday in Canet-en-Roussillon, France. The meet takes place in the Europa complex with a brand new Olympic size pool and also a 25m warm-up pool.
The 2018 Mare Nostrum Tour Stops are:
- June 9th-10th: Canet en Roussillon, France
- June 13th-14th: Barcelona, Spain
- June 16th-17th: Monaco
The tour start features swimmers from 29 countries: Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, USA, Brazil, Paraguay, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and Zambia.
Prize money for the first three finishers in every event and a series tour bonus will be awarded. The tour will give out bonuses to the top 4 men and women overall. The finish order is determined by adding up each swimmer’s best swim in FINA points at each of the tour’s three stops. The swimmer whose 3 races combine to the highest total wins the tour.
Women’s 100m freestyle
A look at the current FINA World Ranking shows that with Charlotte Bonnet (FRA, ranks 3rd), Taylor Ruck (CAN, ranks 5th), Rikako Ikee (JPN, ranks 6th), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED, ranks 11th) four big names are listed in Canet’s entry lists. The event features Charlotte Bonnet, the first French woman who has broken the 53 seconds mark in the 100m freestyle. Bonnet set the new French record with a time of 52,74 about one week ago at the 2018 French Long Course Nationals. Ranomi Kromowidjojo sits on the 11th spot in the 2018 FINA World Ranking with a time of 53,65, her personal best time stands at 52,75. She reached this time in 2012, the year, she won the gold medal in the 100m freestyle at the 2012 Olympic Games. Japan’s Rikako Ikee was just 12 years old when Kromowidjojo was on top of the freestyle sprinters. The now 17-year-old is the current Junior World Record holder in the 50m freestyle and butterfly and the 200m IM. The youngster holds the Japanese records in the 50m and 100m butterfly and is a Japanese medal hope for the 2020 Olympic Games in her home country. Canada’s Taylor Ruck turned 18 on May 28th and she set her personal best time of 52.96 at the 2017 English National Championships in December. The 100m freestyle competition in Canet should show fast races between the youngsters Ikee and Ruck and the experienced swimmers Bonnet and Kromowidjojo. The women’s 50m freestyle will have the same high quality with also four out of the ten fastest swimmers in 2018.
Women’s 200m backstroke
Missy Franklin is set to swim the 50m and 200m backstroke and 200m freestyle on day 1. The 23-year old hasn’t raced since she had shoulder surgeries in the beginning of 2017. She is the current World Record holder in the 200m backstroke (2:04,06), she won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games with this time. She’ll face Katinka Hosszu at her comeback competition who won the silver medal in the 200m backstroke at the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2017 World Championships. Hosszu’s 2018 best time was registered with 2:18,16 at the Speedo Challenge on May 25th-27th. Hosszu took a break since December 2017 due to personal issues and she is also trying to gain her old race speed. Canada’s Taylor Ruck is at the moment the woman to watch in the 200m backstroke, she is listed on the second spot in the actual FINA World Ranking with a time of 2:06,36 and she won eight medals at the Commonwealth Games in April, among others the silver in the 200m backstroke. Potential finalists in Canet are also Daria Ustinova (RUS) with a season best of 2:07,84 and Lisa Graf (GER) with 2:08,23.
Men’s 50m freestyle
Brazil’s Bruno Fratus is the highest ranked starter according to the FINA World Ranking 2018, he is registered with a time of 21,35 (personal best time: 21,27). Fratus is the 2017 World Championships silver medalist in this event. USA’s Michael Andrew is the second seeded sprinter with a time of 21,73, he has beaten his previous best of 21,75 at the Atlanta Classic in May. Andrew is the top american sprinter in the acutal world ranking, he sits on the 6th spot. He beat Fratus earlier this year at the TYR Pro Derby.
The top-level starter field also contains Netherland’s Jesse Puts (saeason best: 21,85, Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (season best: 21,87), Poland’s Pawel Sendyk (season best: 21,91) and Konrad Czerniak (season best: 21,90) and also Andrii Govorov (UKR) and Shinri Shioura (JPN).
Men’s 100m breaststroke
10 swimmers are found in the entry list who already cracked the minute so far in 2018. Top seeded Adam Peaty (GBR), the 2016 Olympic Champion and world record holder, set his season best time at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, he was clocked at 58,89. With Yasuhiro Koseki (JPN, 58,96)) and Anton Chupkov (RUS, 59,15) the current number two and three of the 2018 season will compete against Peaty. Peaty’s teammate Ross Murdoch (season best time: 59,89) and Koseki joined Peaty in the 100m breaststroke final at the 2018 World Championships. American swimmer Michael Andrew is with his best time in 2018 (59,98) a potential A finalist as well as Giedrius Titenis (LTU,season best: 59,86), Arno Kamminga (NED, season best 59,69), Ippei Watanabe (JPN, season best 59,78), Fabian Schwingenschlögl (GER, season best 59,83) and Russia’s Oleg Kostin (season best 59,95).
Men’s 200m breaststroke
With Anton Chupkov (RUS), Yasuhiro Koseki (JPN) and Ippei Watanabe (JPN) the gold, silver and bronze medalist of the 2018 World Chamionships are set to compete in Canet. Chupkov also it the actual leader on the FINA World Ranking board in 2:07,81 and the bronze medalist of the 2016 Summer Olympics. With Chupkov, Koseki, Watanabe and Germany’s Marco Koch four out of the eight finalist from the Rio Olympics will attend the first stop of the Mare Nostrum Tour. Marco Koch, the 2015 World Champion and SC World record holder, is not qualified for the 2018 European Games, he didn’t crack the German nomination times. But Geman Head Coach, Henning Lambertz, offers him a last chance at the LC German Championships in July, to convice him with an outstanding performance to reach a subsequent nomination for the European Championships.