World champions Lotte Friis (DEN and Nice) and Jérémy Stravius stole the limelight at the Amiens leg of France's Golden Lanes Circuit, Friis with a 16:01.41 pace setter over 1500m free to take the helm of the first-quarter world ranks, Stravius with commanding victories of 53.70 and 1:59.87 respectively over 100m back and 200m medley.
Through in 8:26.96 at the 800m mark, Friis clocked 500m splits of 5:14.01; 5:22.53 and 5:24.87. The closest opposition for Dane was almost a minute away, the winning time encouraging for the defence of Friis's world title come Barcelona this summer.
Down Under at NSW titles, Olympic medallists Ryosuke Irie and Kosuke Hagino (JPN) swam inside the 53.75 world-ranks leader of Olympic champion Matt Grevers (USA) in the 100m backstroke, with respective efforts of 53.43 and 53.58 win. On Saturday, Stravius, racing at his home Amiens meet, set the tone for the Japanese a fraction inside Grevers's starter for 2013 with a 53.70 effort off a 25.89 half-way split in a lonely race way out in front.
Today, Stravius, 2011 joint 100m back world champion with France teammate Camille Lacourt, clocked a dominant 1:59.87 win in the 200m medley to become the fourth man inside 2mins this season. The first three went that way at NSW titles in Australia, Kosuke Hagino on 1:57.68 ahead of Aussies Daniel Tranter and world cup winner Kenneth To, on 1:59.18 and 1:59.52 respectively. Stravius also clocked 53.38 in the 100m butterfly for second behind Italy's Matteo Rivolta, on 52.98.
In other action in Amiens: