WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
The grind of three back-to-back world-class swim meets over 10 days is beginning to take its toll on the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers.
Despite fatigue and illness, all five elite swimmers managed to compete on the opening day of the Mare Nostrum Tour’s third and final leg Saturday in Canet, France.
The long course meet and series concludes on Sunday.
Two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov, nursing a cold, won the B final of the 100-meter breaststroke in 1 minute, 2.63 seconds. His morning qualifying time was 1:02.9.
Kosuke Kitajima of Japan won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.65 and Dragos Agache of Romania won the 50-meter breaststroke in 27.93.
Arlene Semeco of Venezuela, also ill, made her first B final of the trip in the 50-meter freestyle. She won the B final in 26.40. Her prelim time was 26.27.
Marco Camargo of Ecuador, who is extremely ill, refused to be talked into scratching from the 100-meter butterfly and managed to finish in 59.7.
“He did not want to scratch, he wanted to swim,” SOFLO coach Michael Lohberg said. “Even dead he had a 59.7.”
Leo Andara of Venezuela just missed making the 200-meter individual medley finals (2:07.7 cut-off) in 2:08.8.
Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia finished the 200 individual medley in 2:14.1, just off his career-best time.
“We are getting tired and running out of gas,” Lohberg said. “It is our third meet in a row but that’s why we are here. They are getting tougher.”
Meet records continued to tumble during the meet.
Yuliya Efimova of Russia broke the women’s 50-meter breaststroke meet record in 30.55. Teammate Nikolay Skvortsov won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.99.
American Ariana Kukors broke the meet record in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.22. U.S. teammates Rebecca Soni won the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.27 and Dana Vollmer won the 100 butterfly in 58.72.
Elizabeth Simmons of Great Britain broke the 200-meter backstroke meet record in 2:08.32.
Laszlo Cseh of Hungary beat Markus Rogan of Austria to the wall in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.01-1:59.26.
Therese Alshammar of Sweden won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.84. In the men’s 50-meter freestyle, Fred Bousquet of France out-touched countryman Alain Bernard, 22.13-22.18.
Frenchman Sebastien Rouault won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:50.97. Frenchwoman Coralie Balmy won the 800 freestyle in 8:31.53.
Radoslaw Kawecki of Poland won the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:59.75.
Tang Yi of China won the women’s 200 freestyle in 1:58.90 ahead of Katie Hoff in 1:59.24.
Canadian Brent Hayden won a close race against Benjamin Starke of Germany in the men’s 200 freestyle in 1:48.56-1:48.59.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org