2018 Mare Nostrum Series – Monaco
The preliminary session was relatively quiet on day 1 of the 2018 Mare Nostrum Series’ final stop in Monaco, though most of the top qualifiers were big names.
That includes American Olympic gold medalist Ryan Held, who qualified 1st in the 100 free with a 49.73. Japanese swimmer Katsumi Nakamura was the only other swimmer under 50 seconds in 49.91, and backstroke WR holder Kliment Kolesnikov qualified 3rd in 50.30.
That swim for held is just half-a-second short of his season-best in the 100 free, and his splitting indicates that he may have more to give: Held was out in 24.0 and back in 25.6 on Friday. When he was 49.5 Indy, he was out in 23.7 and back in just 25.8. In Austin in January, when he went his season-best, he was out in 23.8 and back in 25.5.
Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova, who earlier in the week in Barcelona broke the Russian Record in the 200 fly, topped prelims of the 100 in 58.73. That’s exactly a second slower than her prelims time in Barcelona.
She’s not the only swimmer who might be running out of gas in this series: Japan’s Rikako Ikee, who has put up all-time great swims earlier in the week, was just 59.14 to qualify 3rd in prelims on Saturday. Louise Hansson from Sweden was also ahead of her in 59.05.
Missy Franklin, in her 5th 200 free of the week, qualified 4th in 2:01.94. That’s her slowest prelims swim of the week, after a 1:59 morning swim in Barcelona, but most of the swimmers have begun to back off in prelims at the end of a long week of competition. Katinka Hosszu qualified 1st in that race in 1:59.61, making her the only swimmer under 2 minutes.
Other Day 1 Top Qualifiers:
- Dutch 22-year old Arno Kamminga lead the 200 breaststroke prelims in 2:12.93. Nobody exerted too much in the prelims: Kiril Prigoda qualified 2nd in 2:13.63, defending World Champion Anton Chupkov qualified 3rd in just 2:14.12, and World Record holder Ippei Watanabe qualified 4th in 2:14.48. We should see 4 men under 2:10 in finals, and could potentially even see 4 under 2:09.
- Russian Yulia Efimova, who has been focusing on the sprint breaststrokes this season, led qualifying in the women’s 100 in 1:07.67. At last year’s World Championships, Efimova took a bronze medal in this race, and she was beaten-out by American Katie Meili for silver; Meili qualified 2nd on Saturday in 1:08.66. Macarena Ceballos, the fastest breaststroker in the history of South America, qualified 3rd in 1:08.71.
- Denmark’s Viktor Brommer led the 200 fly prelims going-away in 2:00.14.
- Austrai’s Bernhard Reistshammer led prelims in the 100 back with a 56.62.
- American Kathleen Baker, who moved to #3 in the world and broke the Mare Nostrum record in the 100 back in Barcelona but didn’t swim the 200, waded into longer waters on Saturday morning with a 2:11.56. Expect her to be faster in finals based on what we saw in the 100. Katinka Hosszu qualified 2nd in 2:13.02.
- Swiss swimmer Jeremy Desplanches led men’s 200 IM qualifying in 2:00.00. He was faster in prelims in Canet, but didn’t race in Barcelona.
- The men’s 400 free and women’s 400 IM will be swum as timed finals in the evening session.