Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2010 Mare Nostrum Monaco

The Mare Nostrum series kicks off this Satuday, June 5 in Monaco. Each of the three series meets will run for two days, including Monaco (June 5-6), Barcelona (June 9-10), and Canet (June 12-13). Tom over at Speed Endurance put has links to the start lists for all three meets and also a nice list of top performers, which I would highly recommend. He also posted some awesome predictions for the ladies' competition in Monaco, which I commented on, and we are having some discussions. Some thoughts:

- It's really eerie how close Natalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer will be in both the 100 free and 100 fly. Vollmer's swims from this weekend at the Mel Zajac meet in Canada were both about a tenth off Coughlin's times from Charlotte. Expect those battles to continue throughout Mare Nostrum.

- While Rebecca Soni has posted blistering times all season long in the U.S., she will get face off against most of her biggest rivals over in Europe: Leisel Jones, Jessica Hardy, Annamay Pierse, and Yuliya Efimova. This will be the first occasion to see how these swimmers really stack up against each other headed into the next two years.

Now, some predictions for the men's competition:

50 Free
1 - Fred Bousquet, France
2 - Ashley Callus, Australia
3 - Alain Bernard, France

100 Free
1 - Alain Bernard, France
2 - Eamon Sullivan, Australia
3 - Brent Hayden, Canada

200 Free
1 - Paul Biedermann, Germany
2 - Brent Hayden, Canada
3 - Alexander Sukhorukov, Russia

400 Free
1 - Zhang Lin, China
2 - Ous Mellouli, Tunisia
3 - Paul Biedermann, Germany

50 Back
1 - Camille Lacourt, France
2 - Daniel Arnamnart, Australia
3 - Stanislav Donets, Russia

100 Back
1 - Aaron Peirsol, USA
2 - Markus Rogan, Austria
3 - Stanislav Donets, Russia

200 Back
1 - Markus Rogan, Austria
2 - Aaron Peirsol, USA
3 - Stanislav Donets, Russia

50 Breast
1 - Kosuke Kitajima, Japan
2 - Darren Mew, Great Britain
3 - Stanislav Lakhtyukhov, Russia

100 Breast
1 - Kosuke Kitajima, Japan
2 - Eric Shanteau, USA
3 - Daniel Gyurta, Hungary

200 Breast
1 - Eric Shanteau, USA
2 - Daniel Gyurta, Hungary
3 - Kosuke Kitajima, Japan

50 Fly
1 - Geoff Huegill, Australia
2 - Roland Schoeman, South Africa
3 - Fred Bousquet, France

100 Fly
1 - Albert Subirats, Venezuela
2 - Andrew Lauterstein, Australia
3 - Geoff Huegill, Australia

200 Fly
1 - Christophe Lebon, France
2 - Maxim Ganikhin, Russia
3 - Joeri Verlinden, Netherlands

200 IM
1 - Thiago Pereira, Brazil
2 - Eric Shanteau, USA
3 - Markus Rogan, Austria

400 IM
1 - Thiago Pereira, Brazil
2 - Ous Mellouli, Tunisia
3 - Alexander Tikhonov, Russia


  1. Nice choices. I went with Bovell 3rd in the 50m Free after seeing him at Jax50, seems to have some endurance left from his 200 IM days.

    Donets will need to improve an awful lot from Russian Nationals to top 3 in any of the backstrokes.

    200m Breast should be great. Interesting to see Gyurta swim although he normally saves the quick times for major meets.

  2. Didn't Donets have a pretty good 200 at Russian Nationals? Maybe he didn't taper much for the meet, since he did so well last summer and at Euro Short Course, and he figured he could make it anyway. Lacourt probably would have been a better pic for third in the 100, though. That said, I can't see him beating Peirsol or Rogan. Peirsol will be much more race-ready I think for this (or at least by the later meets in the circuit), and he doesn't lose all that much. Considering the amount of times Rogan has finished second to Peirsol in the last decade (200 back at '01 & '05 worlds & '04 Olympics, 100 back at '04 Olympics), I'm wondering if he will have a hard time getting it done. He should be somewhere in the 53s or 1:57-1:58 by the time this thing shakes out.

    200 breast will be awesome, I completely agree. Kitajima will be out fast; both Shanteau and Gyurta (to a greater extent) are back-halfers. We could see a 2:09 sometime in the next week and a half.

    I wanna make a point about the 400 free. Zhang Lin won the bronze in Rome wearing a LZR (I think his Jaked ripped), but he wore a Jaked for every other race. I think he would have gone sub-3:40 in a Jaked. I think he'll beat Biedermann and Mellouli.

    I like Ashley Callus in the 50 free because I know he has a ton more in him than the 22.0 he went at Aussie Trials. He was going around that all season. He said when he went 21.1 in December that he wanted to be the first Australian under 22 in textile (Sullivan was 22.00 in 2006). Not sure he'll do it here, but he'll definitely be in the running with Bernard, Gilot, Leveaux, Bovell, and maybe Sullivan for the top spots. Doubt anyone beats Bousquet.

  3. Interesting point about Zhang Lin. He's a huge talent and to have been 3:44 already this year is great swimming.

    As you may have guessed I'm a big fan of Biedermann. He's become the poster boy of the suits because he broke Thorpe's immortal record (and ofcourse Phelps in the 200), however he is an incredible athlete with or without a suit. He looked very good at the GB v Germany duel in February. Physically he is impressive, he has enormous shoulders and back which you don't see on TV. He was in heavy heavy training for that meet and with German nationals coming up at the end of this month he should be sharper and quicker than he was in February.

    On a total tangent... I raced Biedermann at a local 'off-season' meet in Germany in 2004, I was in lane 3 he was in 4... I've had the 'pleasure' of seeing first hand his strong second halves! Check out the splits on the last page.

  4. Phelps finishes second in semis, advances to 200m fly finals