Three Medals At Monte Carlo Mare Nostrum
The 30th Monte Carlo Mare Nostrum International Meet saw Jon's athletes return with three medals at what is one of the most prestigious and competitive swim meets on the annual international calendar.
Ruta Meilutyte, unrested and still in heavy training for the Olympic Games, was to win the 50m Breaststroke in a new Lithuanian senior record of 30.99. The 50m event is competed over five gruelling rounds across two days, resulting in a two-person head-to-head swim off for the title. The time is the fifth fastest in the world this year. One day earlier, she had won the 100m Breaststroke in 1:07.96 to underline her intentions when London comes around in less than 50 days times.
Joe Patching, Steven Beckerleg and Antony James raced in the knowledge that their Olympic hopes rely on fast swimming in Sheffield in just over a week’s time, with Joe already confirmed to feature for Great Britain at the European Junior Championships in Antwerp in July. At only 18 years of age, Patching swam brilliantly in the 200m Backstroke to take silver in 2:00.60, having also made the ‘A’ Final of the 100m event the day before. Both Olympic berths in the 200m version remain for GBR. In the case of both Joe and Ruta, their medals were presented by Prince Albert II, Sovereign Price of Monaco.
Antony James started to feel some of the benefits of the beginnings of his taper as he took fifth in the 100m Butterfly in 53.95, with team-mate Steven Beckerleg swimming his best ever unrested 200m Freestyle in the ‘A’ Final with a promising 1:51.37.
Patching, James and Beckerleg will join two other of Jon's athletes (Joe Parker and Dan Sweeney) at the second and final Olympic Trials in Sheffield from June 20th, whilst Ruta can get her head down and work hard for a few more weeks before starting her final preparations for the Olympic Games where she will compete in the 100m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle and 100m Freestyle. A further two of Jon's athletes, Jade Howard (Zambia) and Jamila Lunkuse (Uganda) are also already confirmed as Olympians for London.