European Championships: Katinka Hosszu Makes a Run at 400 IM World Record

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

BERLIN, Germany, August 18. THE first night of action at the European Championships featured some special swims, including a world-record attempt by the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu.

Scheduled Events

  • Men’s 400 free final
  • Women’s 50 fly semis
  • Men’s 100 back semis
  • Women’s 400 IM final
  • Men’s 100 breast semis
  • Woemn’s 200 back semis
  • Men’s 50 fly semis
  • Women’s 400 free relay
  • Men’s 400 free relay




Men’s 400 free

Photo Courtesy: Pamela Roberts

Photo Courtesy: Pamela Roberts

Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic went out hard and never looked back as he salted away a win in the middle distance event with a 3:45.66.  That swim ranks him ninth in the world after previously ranking 19th with a 3:48.21.  This wire-to-wire win, in an event that had the star power of Yannick Agnel and Paul Biedermann both missing due to sub-par prelims, really allowed the Serbian to shine this evening.

Stjepanovic’s Splits:

24.91 (1) 52.50 (1)
27.59 1:21.41 (1)
28.91 1:50.87 (1)
29.46 2:20.10 (1)
29.23 2:49.46 (1)
29.36 3:18.22 (1)
28.76 3:45.66

Italy’s Mitch D’Arrigo moved from seventh, to fifth, to third, to second throughout the swim as he finished up with a silver in 3:46.91.  That performance moved him up to 12th in the world rankings.  Great Britain’s Jay Lelliott picked up third-place honors in 3:47.50.

Italy’s Gabriele Detti (3:48.10), Germany’s Clemens Rapp (3:48.44), Czech’s Jan Micka (3:48.57) and Hungary’s Gergo Kis (3:53.14) also competed in the championship finale.

Women’s 400 IM

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu gave it her all as she attempted to run down Ye Shiwen’s world record time of 4:28.43, at times being under Ye’s world-record pace by four seconds, but Hosszu just could not overcome the ridiculously fast freestyle leg Ye posted at the 2012 London Olympics.  In the end, Hosszu settled for a meet-record progression, beating the 4:31.53 she set this morning, with a 4:31.03 tonight. Only one other swimmer has been faster than Hosszu this year, and that’s Ye with a 4:30.84 from the Chinese National Championships.

Hosszu’s Splits:

28.13 (1) 1:00.39 (1)
32.26 1:34.15 (1)
33.76 2:07.71 (1)
33.56 2:46.70 (1)
38.99 3:26.95 (1)
40.25 3:58.91 (1)
31.96 4:31.03

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia clocked a respectable time of 4:33.13 for silver, and came up short of her fourth-ranked season best of 4:32.92 from Spanish Nationals.  Great Britain’s Aimee Willmott rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning time of 4:34.69.

Czech’s Barbora Zavadova (4:37.82), Italy’s Stefanie Pirozzi (4:39.51), Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto (4:40.61), Sweden’s Stina Gardell (4:41.52) and Spain’s Maria Vilas Vidal (4:43.31) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.

Women’s 400 free relay

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

An exciting finale turned into a shocking result as Denmark’s gold-medal winning 3:35.26 wound up being disqualified for an early relay takeoff, leaving Sweden with the gold medal as the Swedes posted a 3:35.82. Sarah Sjostrom powered Sweden to gold with an amazing anchor leg of 52.14.

Sweden’s Splits:

COLEMAN Michelle – 53.85
KURAS Magdalena – 55.55
HANSSON Louise – 54.28
SJOESTROEM Sarah – 52.14

The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (54.50), Maud van der Meer (54.49), Esmee Vermeulen (54.49) and Femke Heemskerk (52.78) took second in 3:36.26, while Italy’s Alice Mizzau (55.25), Erika Ferraioli (54.14), Giada Galizi (54.59) and Federica Pellegrini (53.65) earned bronze with a time of 3:37.63.

Russia (3:38.55), France (3:40.21) and Finland (3:47.02) also completed legal swims to finish fourth through seventh in the finale.

Men’s 400 free relay

Aug 3, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Florent Manaudou (FRA) celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 50m freestyle final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY

The French blasted the meet record in the men’s 400-meter free relay as no one else even had a chance against the foursome of Mehdy Metella, Fabien Gilot, Florent Manaudou and Jeremy Stravius. The squad put up a time of 3:11.64 to erase Russia’s 2010 meet record of 3:12.46.

France’s Splits:

METELLA Mehdy – 48.69
GILOT Fabien – 47.85
MANAUDOU Florent – 47.54
STRAVIUS Jeremy – 47.56

Russia’s Andrey Grechin (48.56), Nikita Lobintsev (48.54), Alexander Sukhorukov (47.58) and Vlad Morozov (47.99) raced their way to second in 3:12.67, while Italy’s Luca Dotto (48.47), Marco Orsi (48.36), Luca Leonardi (47.69) and Filippo Magnini (48.26) took home bronze in 3:12.78.

Poland (3:15.10), Belgium (3:16.62), Belgium (3:16.62), Israel (3:18.43) and Lithuania (3:19.46) finished fourth through seventh.  Spain wound up being disqualified in the finale.


Women’s 50 fly

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

World-record holder Sarah Sjostrom blasted her preliminary meet-record swim of 25.12 with an impressive outing of 24.87 during the semifinal heats.  That’s not far off her no-breather world record of 24.43 from Swedish Nationals that turned heads throughout the entire swimming community.  The big question is whether she can replicate that type of speed here during the finals.

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen took second in 25.43, half-a-second back of Sjostrom’s serious speed.  She’s third in the world this year with a 25.27 from the Mare Nostrum stop in Barcelona.  Great Britain’s Fran Halsall checked in with a third-place time of 25.67, off her second-ranked 25.20 from the Commonwealth Games.

The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (25.84), Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro (25.90), Belgium’s Kimberly Buys (26.16), Sweden’s Therese Alshammar (26.17) and France’s Melanie Henique (26.31) also made the championship heat.

Men’s 100 back

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Great Britain’s Chris Walker-Hebborn is inching closer and closer to his season best 53.12 from the Commonwealth Games as he led semis tonight in 53.62 tonight.  The big question during finals is not whether he will be able to replicate his time from the Commonwealth Games, but whether he can challenge the likes of Xu Jiayu’s world-leading time of 52.34 from Chinese Nationals.

Walker-Hebborn’s Splits:

25.89 (1) 53.62

France’s Jeremy Stravius raced his way to second overall in 53.93, while Germany’s Jan-Philip Glania drew a huge ovation with a third-seeded time of 54.09.

France’s Ben Stasiulis (54.17), Germany’s Christian Diener (54.24), Israel’s David Gamburg (54.76), Italy’s Luca Mencarini (54.76) and Spain’s Juan Miguel Rando Galvez (54.80) rounded out the championship eight.

Men’s 100 breast

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty not only crushed the meet record of Alexander Dale Oen (59.20) from 2010 and also beat Christian Sprenger’s world-leading 58.87 from the Australian Nationals by a wide margin, but his sweltering 58.68 this evening put him in line for a run at Hugues Duboscq’s European record of 58.64.  He also even has a shot to challenge Cameron van der Burgh’s world record of 58.46 from the London Olympics in 2012.

Peaty’s Splits:

27.61 (1) 58.68

Great Britain’s Ross Murdoch put up a sterling time of his own with a 59.33 to better his fourth-ranked season best of 59.47 from the Commonwealth Games.  Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis (59.35) moved into the top five, while Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta (59.58) also broke a minute this evening heading into the finale.

France’s Giacomo Perez-Dortona (1:00.51), Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic (1:00.87), Russia’s Andrey Nikolaev (1:00.89), and Germany’s Hendrik Feldwehr (1:01.00) also made what looks to be a special championship finale.

Women’s 200 back

Spain’s Duane Da Rocha Marce put up the top time in semis with a 2:09.13, moving her up to 10th in the world rankings. She will have a touch challenge the rest of the way as the finale built out of the semis is loaded.

Da Rocha Marce’s Splits:

31.02 (2) 1:04.50 (3)
33.48 1:36.99 (2)
32.49 2:09.13

Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds touched second in 2:09.71, and has been faster this year with an eighth-ranked 2:08.91 from the Berlin International Swim Meet.  Czech’s Simona Baumrtova took third overall in 2:10.22, while Germany’s Jenny Mensing placed fourth in 2:10.26.

Germany’s Lisa Graf (2:10.29), Russia’s Daria Ustinova (2:11.40) and Italy’s Carlotta Zofkova (2:12.06) also made the top eight.  Ustinova has the ability to turn in a scorcher during finals as she’s already ranked second in the world with a 2:08.02 from Russian Nationals.

The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu, who is competing in 10 events this week, finished 16th in semis with a 2:20.04 after her world-record attempt in the 400 IM earlier this evening resulted in a gold medal.

Men’s 50 fly

Photo Courtesy: HEAD Swimming

Photo Courtesy: HEAD Swimming

After lighting up prelims with a world-leading meet-record time of 22.87, Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov settled in with a 23.04 to top semis in the sprint fly. France’s Florent Manaudou turned in a 23.23 to win the first semifinal and qualify second into the championship heat.  That’s just off his fourth-ranked 23.04 from prelims as the semifinalists seemed to be playing it safe tonight.

Germany’s Steffen Deibler (23.41), Italy’s Piero Codia (23.47), Spain’s Rafael Munoz Perez (23.48), Great Britain’s Ben Proud (23.49), Great Britain’s Adam Barrett (23.51) and Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin (23.60) also earned their way into the finale, which should feature some faster times of prelims are any indication.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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