SEVILLE, Spain – Michelle de Bruin claimed her second European title in two days with a victory in the women’s 200m freestyle. De Bruin, who won three golds at the 1996 Olympic Games under her maiden name of Smith, followed Tuesday’s 400 IM win with a personal best time of 1:59.93 in the 200m freestyle. She’s shooting for five golds in Seville.
Sweden’s Lars Frolander handed double Olympic gold medalist Denis Pankratov his first major championship defeat in three years in the 100m butterfly final. Frolander turned third behind Frenchman Franck Esposito and Pankratov but buried the field the last 50 to win in a time of 52.85. Pankratov, who won both 100m and 200m butterfly titles at the last European championships in 1995 as well as the 1996 Olympics, faded to sixth in 54.00, well off the 52.27 world record he set in Atlanta.
Finland’s Jani Sievinen became the third European defending champion to lose on Wednesday when he lost his 400m IM crown to the flying Dutchman Marcel Wouda. Wouda, who broke Sievinen’s 400m IM short-course world record earlier this year, controlled the race from start to finish. Wouda won in a time of 4:15.38. Sievinen faded from second to seventh after the freestyle leg.
Hungary’s Agnes Kovacs broke her own European record in the women’s 200m breaststroke. The Olympic bronze medalist won in 2:24.90, beating the 2:25.31 mark she set in Budapest earlier this year and coming close to the 2:24.76 world record of Australia’s Rebecca Brown.