Top 5 Men’s Stories Ahead Of The 2022 Mare Nostrum Tour – Monaco


The 2022 Mare Nostrum Tour kicks off this weekend with its first stop in Monaco. There is a plethora of talent set to race on both the men’s and women’s sides, giving us a glimpse into some of the potential matchups which await us at the summer’s mega-meets of the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

Let’s look at the top storylines building on the men’s side specifically as the entries have been published and the stage is set for Monaco.

In no particular order:

#1 Lights Out for the Men’s 50 Freestyle

There are 13 men who enter Monaco having been sub-22 in the 50 freestyle, with the lot separated by just over half a second.

Ranging from America’s Michael Andrew, who carries the top seed at 21.45, to the Netherlands’/NC State’s Nyls Korstanje, who owns slot #13 with a 21.98, there is a multitude of men who could potentially take the Mare Nostrum Monaco crown in this event.

Two of the three podium placers from Tokyo are also in the mix, with silver medalist Florent Manaudou of France and Bruno Fratus of Brazil entered as the 2nd and 3rd seeds, respectively.

Making things even more interesting in all of the 50s in Monaco is the fact that they’ll be raced in a five-round skins format, which will take place over the course of the two-day meet.

Skins Schedule (All 50m Strokes)

  • Round 1 – Day 1 prelims
  • Round 2 (top 16) – Start of Day 1 finals
  • Round 3 (top 8) – End of Day 1 finals
  • Round 4 (top 4) – Start of Day 2 finals
  • Round 5 (top 2) – End of Day 2 finals

With one lap of rapid-fire freestyle, anything can happen, and that parity will only be heightened as we throw the skins format into the mix.


#2 More of South Africa’s Matt Sates

Matt Sates, the 18-year-old who took the NCAA title in the men’s 500-yard freestyle as a short-term University of Georgia Bulldog, will test his long course skills here in Monaco.

Already qualified for the World Championships with FINA ‘A’ cuts in the 200 free and 200 IM, the South African is entered in a full schedule of 7 events for the first stop of the Mare Nostrum tour.

Sates is set to take on the 50/100/200/400 free races, the 50 and 100 fly, and the 200 IM. The teen’s highest seed comes in both the 200 free and 200 IM where he ranks 4th in each event with respective entry times of 1:46.15 and 1:58.37.

Sates has gained confidence since having raced on the FINA World Cup circuit as well as after having earned the aforementioned NCAA title. He recently changed his Instagram moniker to read ‘ROCK STAR’ and, additionally, when asked on a social media Q&A if he had a girlfriend, he pointed to the pool.

#3 Max Litchfield Enters the Arena

In March of this year, we reported how Olympic finalist Max Litchfield of Great Britain had joined South African Chad Le Clos in his native nation for training.

Litchfield then stated on Thursday, April 14th via social media, “Unfortunately I am not currently available for selection for the World Championships due to an ongoing personal issue in my life. I am sad not to have the chance to swim but best of luck to the whole team heading out to Budapest.”

Litchfield’s camp has been unclear about the reason he headed down to South Africa to train alongside his ISL teammate from Energy Standard, and while we don’t yet know if the 27-year-old IM specialist will be racing at this year’s Commonwealth Games or European Championships, we’ll at least get a glimpse into where he’s at via these Mare Nostrum meets.

For Monaco, Litchfield is entered in the 200 butterfly and 400 IM, the latter of which he owns the top seed by nearly 9 seconds.

#4 Arno Kamminga Previews World Championships Potential

With British breaststroking icon Adam Peaty pulling out of this year’s World Championships with a foot injury, the door has been further opened for the Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga to take over the sprint crown.

The only other man to have delved under the 58-second threshold besides Peaty is set to race the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke events here in Monaco, giving us a taste of potentially what may come in Budapest next month.

Kamminga already owns a top 5 time in the world this season in the 100 (58.52 for 3rd) and 200 (2:08.22 for 5th) while his 50 breast is also among the top tier of performers in 27.10 for 11th this season.

We’ll see what the Dutchman can put up here against the likes of Brazil’s Joao Gomes Junior in the 50 and Michael Andrew in the 100, while he is the top seed by nearly 6 seconds in the 200 distance.

#5 Andrii Govorov Tests New Training

Ukrainian Andrii Govorov has changed up his training multiple times in the past few years, most recently having moved from Germany to Hawaii as his home base.

The 30-year-old father of one is trying to recapture the magic which brought him a 50 fly bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships, as well as the 50 fly World Record he set at 22.27 in 2018.

Govorov is set to race just the 50 fly and 50 free here at this first stop, relaying the message he is focused on these sprints for his repertoire for the next years of this Olympic cycle.

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Masters Swimmer
1 month ago

Skins format for the 50 strokes looks very entertaining.

Guimaraes Cayley
1 month ago

I think Nicholas Santos in the 50 fly entered with a time of 22.73 (1st) should be worth a mention.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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