Photo by Joao Marc Bosch
Each day through August 17, Swimming World’s Jeff Commings and David Rieder will offer medal predictions in the 19 swimming events on tap at the European Championships, which begins August 18 in Berlin, Germany. We invite you to offer your picks in our Reaction Time comments section below!
Commentary by David Rieder
IRVINE, California, August 8. OVER the past five years, Sarah Sjostrom has developed into one of the most versatile female swimmers in the world, but she first made her mark in the 100 fly. At the 2009 World Championships, Sjostrom broke Inge de Brujin’s nine-year-old world record in the event, taking the mark down to 56.06 to win the world title. She reclaimed her title as the best in the world last year in Barcelona, though she was unable to reclaim the world mark from Dana Vollmer. Still, after her otherworldly 24.43 world record in the 50 fly last month, Vollmer’s 55.98 could be in trouble.
If Sjostrom enters the meet as the prohibitive favorite in the event, most would regard Jeanette Ottesen as number two. Only Sjostrom (56.50) and Ottesen (56.96) have swum under 57 so far this year. Ottesen finished fourth in the event at last year’s World Championships, just three hundredths of a second behind bronze medalist Vollmer. Meanwhile, veteran Inge Dekker ranks fourth in the world this year, while Great Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor blasted a 57.45 in event at the Commonwealth Games. Italy’s Elena Di Liddo also ranks in the top ten in the world, remaining a medal possibility for Berlin.
Women’s 100 fly medal predictions
Gold: Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden
Silver: Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark
Bronze: Inge Dekker, Netherlands
The men can expect a competitive race in the 100 fly as in last year’s World Championship final, only gold medalist Chad Le Clos and versatile American Ryan Lochte came from off the continent. Laszlo Cseh finished highest among the Europeans, but Russia will have a stronger presence in the event, as Viacheslav Prudnikov and Nikita Konolov rank second and fifth in the world, respectively, while Evgeny Korotyshkin won silver at the Olympics in 2012; only two of the three can advance out of the prelims of the event.
Germany’s Steffen Deibler will seek to win one for the home crowd, as he enters with the seventh-best time in the world of 51.86. Poland’s Konrad Czerniak finished second behind Michael Phelps at the 2011 World Championships and bronze last year, while Great Britain’s Adam Barrett provided a huge 51.02 split on England’s medley relay team that upset Australia at Commonwealth Games. The Netherlands’ Joeri Verlinden should also be in the mix.
Men’s 100 fly medal predictions
Gold : Steffen Deibler, Germany
Silver: Konrad Czerniak, Poland
Bronze: Viacheslav Prudnikov, Russia