Mare Nostrum International

PSC swimmers, Lawrence Palmer, Brandon Nabarro and Jordan Batson competed in the Barcelona and Canet legs of Mare Nostrum International Swimming Series. The guys were all competing for difference reasons and had their own goals to achieve.

Brandon was there to gain international experience and aimed for a final, Lawrence was to compete against the best in the world whilst being un-tapered and to see where he is positioned in comparison to his counterparts, as well as working on the process goal for him of progressing from heat to final and to successfully perform faster in the final as well as working on his dive, with Jordan supporting his friends and to compete at that level before he retired from Mainstream competition.

It was a 10 day training and competing experience at the highest level of competition, very few Federations were not attending. Barcelona was the first stop which Lawrence had already experienced last year, so not everything was new.

Brandon’s main event is 200IM but we entered him in a few 50’s also so that he could use them as a warmup  in readiness for 200im as well as race practice. First day of competition Brandon qualified for 2 finals, 50 back (LC pb) and 200IM and saw him also progress from his heat time and swam faster in the final which was a huge achievement and showed great maturity.

Lawrence, in the 100 breast, well his dive let him down something at that level he could never get back, as soon as I saw him dive I knew it had gone but to be fair to Lawrence he had one of the strongest 2nd 50s I have seen so that was pleasing, but definately was back to the drawing board for his dive. Day 2 saw Lawrence reach the final of the 200 breast, however it was never the plan to race the final in that event as we just used that as a race, but did see him reach the final of 50 breast with a hugely improved dive and did progress his time from Heat to final.

We then were transported by coach along with Russian Federation, South African, Hungarian teams to Canet, South of France, for us a truly humbling experience to be sitting with swimming stars Cameron Van de Burgh (Lawrences idol), Anton Chupkov, Katinka Hosszu and Ekaterina Efimova to name a few.

Canet, a completely different venue, we had gone from intense, manic and somewhat claustrophobic Barcelona to a much calmer less built up area with much smaller hotels. Day 1 was training at a completely open air Olympic pool. Day 1 of competition was much tougher for Brandon and just missed out a finals place, the bright sunshine here was an interesting factor as well as the poolside temperature of 44 degres!!!. The pool officials had an irrigation system behind them constantly spraying them with water. Lawrence made the final of 100 breast and again progressed his time in the final. Day 2 was his 50 breast where he did the achieved the same heat to final and was a very fitting final for his last event of the series.

From a coaching perspective, its great to be a part of the international scene and all the experience National Coaches show. Managed to catch up with Ian Arminger ex GB and Loughborough Coach who has been such great support to both myself and Lawrence over the last few years as well we found an ally in one of Canada National Coaches, Greg Arkhurst who was great.

All in all, everything we wanted to achieve, we achieved and have some great memories.

l have to say a massive thank you to all of you who have held the fort back home with the club, but even more to Jordan. Thank you for wanting to be with us and support your friends, we wanted you to be part of one of the best international events in the world which you are entitled to be with. With all your commitment and dedication over 12 years of competitive swimming, you are an amazing team player. As your mum, l have spent so many years watching swim and am so very proud of all that you have achieved. How it has helped you to become the amazing man you have become as you now announce you retire from mainstream. All at home this was how it was planned so yeah, a little teary but a wonderful 10 days. We have had just watched the rest of the world and you have been with us. Thank you for all the years of enjoyment you have given me watching you swim.

Lesley