Sjostrom Heads For Another Stunning Double In Canet


The first two Mare Nostrum stops in Monaco and Spain were filled with eye-popping swims, as high-profile athletes such as Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, Russia’s Yulia Efimova, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu and Laslo Cseh made their marks across their favorite events. The aforementioned took on the field this morning in Canet, joined by several host nation athletes to the tune of freestyle specialist Charlotte Bonnet and flyman Mehdy Metella.

Women’s Highlights From Day 1 Prelims:

Sjostrom claimed the top seed across two of her pet events over the Mare Nostrum tour, the women’s 50m freestyle and the 100m butterfly. First in the splash n’ dash, the Swede topped a stacked field in a time of 24.58, but was followed closely by Dutch swimmer Tamara Van Vliet‘s runner-up seeded time of 24.64. Also right behind was the reigning Olympic champion in the event, Denmark’s Pernille Blume, who touched in 24.68 to absolutely be in the mix for tonight’s finals. Of note, Blume’s reaction time was a head-turning .39, as opposed to Sjostrom’s .68 and Van Vliet’s .63, according to results.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo had a solid showing of 24.86, but only one of the Campbell sisters will be alongside her in the A-Final. Bronte Campbell of Australia earned a morning swim of 25.06, while sister Cate wound up 9th in 25.23 to lead the B-Final in Canet tonight.

Canada’s 100m freestyle Olympic champion, Penny Oleksiak, was a DNS for 50m free heats, however, she showed up in spades for the 100m fly.  Sjostrom indeed claimed the top spot with her ‘I could do this’ time of 57.07, a mark which itself already falls within the world’s top 3 performances this season. But 17-year-old Oleksiak made her presence known this morning as well, earning the 4th seed in 58.68. She’s been as fast as 57.35 at her nation’s World Trials back in April.

Another teen, Rikako Ikee of Japan, also made it into the final, clocking 58.89 for the 5th seed. Missing among the finalists is Australia’s Emma McKeon, who opted not to swim this event this morning. Instead, McKeon fired off a super quick morning time of 1:56.82 in the 200m freestyle. That time falls just outside the world’s top 10 performances on the season, but considering McKeon has been as fast as 1:55.68 this season, expect the Olympic medalist to drop time to rival the field tonight for gold.

Among the 200m free field is Swedish speedster Michelle Coleman, who cruised to a 2nd seed timed of 1:57.34 in heats. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu and France’s Charlotte Bonnet will also be present, notching the 5th and 6th seeds in times of 1:57.89 and 1:58.34, respectively.

Additional Top Seeded Women from Day 1 Heats:

  • Emily Seebohm of Australia will battle the Netherlands Kira Toussaint in the 50m backstroke, where the two took the top seeds in respective times of 28.45 and 28.63.
  • Russia’s Daria-K Ustinova will lead the women’s 200m backstroke tonight, earning a morning mark of 2:11.13. The Iron Lady, Hosszu, won’t give up easily, however, sitting right behind in 2:11.78.
  • Yulia Efimova, who has been on-fire these circuit, clocked 1:07.57 for the 2nd fastest women’s 100m breaststroke time behind Sweden’s Jennie Johansson who touched in 1:07.13.
  • Hosszu also claimed the top seed in the women’s 200m IM in super solid 2:11.12.

Men’s Highlights From Day 1 Prelims:

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus continued on his reign of terror in the men’s 50m freestyle event. After winning the race at both Monaco and Spain, he looks primed to take gold in France as well. This morning he led a loaded field with a time of 22.28, just .01 ahead of Australian dynamo Cameron McEvoy. Ukraine’s Andrii Govorov is also in the mix with his morning swim of 22.35, while Aussie James Magnussen cruised comfortably into the final with a 6th-seeded time of 22.53.

The speed carried over into the men’s 100m breaststroke event, where the audience was treated to a trio of 1:00-times on the morning. Russia’s Anton Chupkov topped the pack with a mark of 1:00.08, while Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki and Canada’s Richard Funk were in the hunt clocking respective times of 1:00.61 and 1:00.75.

South African Cameron van der Burgh, who leads the men’s Mare Nostrum point tally headed into this final stop, touched in 1:01.67 to take the 9th seed and enter the B-Final.

The men’s 100m butterfly was stacked with talent, led by the host country’s Metella. The man who currently sits 3rd in the world rankings with the 51.36 produced last month checked with a time of 52.35 to take the top seed here. He’s being chased by the Netherlands’ Joeri Verlinden, who earned a morning mark of 52.38 and also Olympic silver medalist in the event, Hungary’s Cseh, who touched in 52.78. South African Chad Le Clos, who sits atop the world rankings throne with 51.29 from April, checked in as the 4th seed in 52.92.

Additional Top Seeded Men from Day 1 Heats:

  • Alexi-Manacas Santos of Portugal took the men’s morning 400m IM in 4:26.02.
  • Ireland’s Shane Ryan racked up the top seed in the 50m backstroke, clocking 25.32.
  • Norway’s Henrik Christansen took the Mack Horton-less 400m freestyle prelim top seed in 3:52.69.
  • The men’s 200m backstroke saw an Australian take the top seed, but it wasn’t two-time World Champion Mitch Larkin. Instead Bradley Woodward leads the filed with his morning swim of 2:01.48.

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3 years ago

Sub24 and 56.2 again?

Reply to  John26
3 years ago


Steve Nolan
3 years ago

Blume’s reaction time wasn’t really 0.39s. Guessing that’s an error.

3 years ago

Efimova 1:04.82! GoYulia must be laughing

Reply to  Youssef
3 years ago

Wow! just 0.47 above Rutas world record. Efimova is on fire :O

Reply to  Youssef
3 years ago

I think she was overdue for this swim. She’s gone toe to toe with Meilutyte in the 50breast, and 2:19 in the 200breast. She’s underswimming the 100breast for years

Reply to  john26
3 years ago

Breaststroke is an odd one though – Her strokes over 50, 100 & 200 are all quite different. Ruta has far superior stroke efficiency IMO. Very little difference in how she swims a 50 and a 100.

Reply to  Youssef
3 years ago

After such amazing race of Sarah Sjostrom “Somebody’s Lady” must smash the world record at 200 BR if she wants to win the major Prize of the meet.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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