Lacroix wins gold, Russell reaches podium twice to conclude Mare Nostrum Tour

MONACO – Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge., Que., and Sinead Russell of Burlington, Ont., completed an important part of their Olympic preparation with medal performances Sunday to conclude the three-stop Mare Nostrum swimming tour.

In the women’s 200 butterfly, Lacroix clocked two minutes and 10.56 seconds for her first victory on the tour and second medal. Jiani Zhu of China was second in 2:11.18 and Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge third in 2:11.28 for her sixth medal on the tour. Noemie Thomas of Vancouver was seventh.

‘’It was definitely my best race of the tour,’’ said Lacroix, tuning up for her second Olympics. ‘’I certainly was feeling the effects from heavy training and all the races on this trip but I kept my technique together and that made the difference.’’

In the women’s 100 backstroke, Russell was edged by a half-second by Lizzie Simmonds of Britain to take the silver with Lauren Lavigna of Vancouver sixth. Russell was also third in the 50 backstroke and heads home with five medals.

In the women’s 400 freestyle, Camille Muffat of France set a meet record for the win in 4:03.72 while Barbara Jardin of Montrealfollowed in a personal best 4:07.50 for her sixth medal this week.

‘’I was confident I could go a best time today,’’ said Jardin, also tuning up for the Games. ‘’The big improvements I needed to make were at the start and ending of my race. To have the top girl in the world (Muffat) in my event this week was very beneficial as well.’’

Tobias Oriwol of Toronto added a bronze in the men’s 200 backstroke while Sandrine Mainville of Boucherville, Que., and Thomas were third and fourth in the women’s 50 butterfly.

Charles Francis of Cowansville, Que., was fourth in the 50 backstroke while Victoria Poon of Montreal was fifth in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle with Mainville eighth.

Luke Peddie of Edmonton was sixth in the 50 freestyle.