New Zealand swimmers gained three podium finishes on the first night of finals at the Mare Nostrum meet in Canet-en-Roussillon in France today.
Wellington's Gareth Kean and Samantha Lucie-Smith were second and third respectively, while California-based breaststroke Glenn Snyders picked up a silver medal in the final meet of the Mare Nostrum series.
The Aqua Blacks are competing in two of the three meets that make up the annual Mare Nostrum series - named after the ancient Roman name for the Mediterranean Sea - in Canet today following on from Barcelona mid-week.
Only some of the squad are racing in Canet with the endurance swimmers now at altitude training in Sierra Nevada while the open water swimmers are in camp in Barcelona.
Snyders clocked an improved 27.61s in the final of the 50m breaststroke, bettered by Slovakia's Damir Dugonjic, the fifth-ranked swimmer in the world with a 27.33 from The Netherlands Cup recently.
Snyders went faster than his time in Barcelona earlier in the week and only 0.2s off his season-best set at the trials in March, beating London Olympic 100m gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) into third. The Kiwi was fourth in the 200m breaststroke in 2:14.44.
Kean clocked 54.95 to be second in the 100m backstroke to Frenchman Jeremy Stravius, the fastest man in the world this year, who won in a slick 53.19.
Fellow Capital club swimmer Samantha Lucie-Smith grabbed her first podium of the series with third in the women's 200m freestyle in a personal best 1:58.62 behind world championship short course gold medallists Katinka Hosszu (HUN) and Melanie Costa (ESP).
Another Wellington swimmer Samantha Lee won the B Final of the 100m butterfly in 1:00.35, a time that would have placed her seventh in the A final.
The meet concludes tomorrow.
Day 1 results:
50m breaststroke: Damir Dugonjig (SLO) 27.50, 1; Glenn Snyders (NZL) 27.61, 2; Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) 27.66, 3.
Jeremy Stravius (FRA) 53.19, 1; Gareth Kean (NZL) 54.95, 2; Juan Miguel Rando (ESP) 55.36, 3.
Marco Koch (GER) 2:10.34, 1; Daiya Seto (JPN) 2:11.57, 2; Christian vom Lehn (GER) 2:13.15, 3. Also: Glenn Snyders (NZL) 2:14.44, 4.
(Sam Lee 1st B Final 100 fly, 1:00.35 (7th in final)
Women 200m freestyle:
Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 1:57.89, 1; Melanie Costa (ESP) 1:57.99, 2; Samantha Lucie-Smith (NZL) 1:58.62, 3.