Mare Nostrum is a series of swimming competitions with three meets around the Mediterranean culminating in the most famous one in Monaco at the Louis II stadium.
The name Mare Nostrum is one of the special names given to the “Mediterranean” “our sea” and is where Princess of Monaco, “our Princess” as Charlene Wittstock won a gold medal in 2000 under the watchful eye of Prince Albert. See more swimming achievements of Princess Charlene below.
The very best of the world swimmers just faced off in Monaco to celebrate this 40th edition with spectacular results.
They included among them, Sarah Sjöström with four Olympic medals, 20 world podiums and 17 European crowns, fresh from two victories in the 50m freestyle and the 50m butterfly at surrounding Mare Nostrum events.
She was not the only great swimmer to compete. The meet also included Cate Campbell, eight-time Olympic medalist between 2008 and 2021 and with 12 podiums at the world championships.
The Monegasque federation fielded four swimmers: Olympian Théo Druenne, Lune Mathis, Esteban Faure and Lorenzo Bati. Go AS Monaco!
Indeed there were in this 40th edition 40 nationalities, including Monaco, competing in the swimming events to celebrate it at the Albert II nautical center with several Olympic medallists.
Italian Nicolò Martinenghi, a prior Olympic medallist won the final of the 100m breaststroke in (1.00.06) (28.52) and repeated his victory with gold in the final of the 50m breaststroke (27.02).
Victory also for Italian Lisa Angiolini (2.26.07 – 1.10.02).
Thomas Ceccon of Italy won silver in a very tight final with the American Michael Andrew, 22.85 against 22.87 for the Italian who approached his national record (22.79),
The Hong Kong swimmer Siobhan Haughey swam under 53 seconds again in the 100m freestyle in which she holds the seasonal world leadership (52.88 – 25.52). Australian Cate Campbell silvered in 53.52.
The phenomenal 29-year-old Swedish Sarah Sjostroem confirmed her position as world leader in the 50m butterfly by swimming the specialty in 24.89, best time of the year, record of the event and the only athlete in the world to have swum the specialty under 25 seconds in 2023.
Then came Sarah’s duel in the 50m freestyle with the Australian Cate Campbell, where the Swede won handsomely with a time of 23.90 against 24.90 for her competitor.
Canadian sprinter Ingrid Wilm won the final of the 50m backstroke with the second best world time of the year (27.37) and with a new record for the Mare Nostrum in Monaco.
South African Lara van Niekerk won the breaststroke final with the best seasonal world time (29.75) setting a the new record in the Monegasque competition. Hungarian Sebastian Szabo in the head-to-head of the 50m freestyle got the better of the American Michael Andrew, 21.72 and 21.74, by just 2 smidgeons of difference.
The talented 15-year-old Argentinian Agostina Hein (2008) won the final of the 400m freestyle with a time of 4.09.94. The Israeli Anastasia Gorbenko won the final of the 200 medley (2.09.28). And a victory in the 200m freestyle of the Mare Nostrum Tour 2023 for the Japanese Katsuhiro Matsumoto, with a time of 1.47.41.
Princess Charlene: Swimming Achievements
In addition to a gold medal at the Mare Nostrum Princess Charlene as Charlene Wittstock won three gold medals and a silver medal at the 1999 All-Africa Games in Johannesburg. She represented South Africa at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games, winning a silver medal in the 4 × 100 m medley relay in the latter competition. She also was a member of the South African women’s 4×100 m medley team at the 2000 Summer Olympics, which finished fifth.