European Championships: Great Britain Caps Massive Night With World Record in Mixed 400 Medley Relay

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

BERLIN, Germany, August 19. Great Britain capped off a huge night that featured a handful of victories with a world record smashing in the mixed 400-meter medley relay at the European Championships.

Scheduled Events

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




Men’s 50 fly

Along with the Youth Olympic Games, there’s certainly been a lot of gold-medal ties this week.  Tonight kicked off with one in Berlin as France’s Florent Manaudou and Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin posted matching 23.00s in the sprint fly finale. That put both at third in the world this year, behind only Andrey Govorov’s meet-record 22.87 from yesterday as well as Ben Proud’s 22.93 from the Commonwealth Games.

Manaudou (23.06) and Tsurkin (23.11) had been knocking on the door to a win this year as both had some strong times heading into the finale, but 50 meters wasn’t enough to separate the duo.

Govorov never could replicate that blistering 22.87 as he settled for bronze in another tie as he and Proud both put up 23.21s.

Spain’s Rafael Munoz Perez, the world-record holder with a 22.43 from 2009, took fifth in 23.24.

Italy’s Piero Codia (23.37), Great Britain’s Adam Barrett (23.40) and Germany’s Steffen Deibler (23.64) also swam in the finale.

Men’s 100 back

Photo Courtesy: BBC

Photo Courtesy: BBC

Great Britain’s Christopher Walker-Hebborn added the European title to his Commonwealth Games victory with a 53.32 to win the 100 back gold tonight.  He had to hit the jets coming home after turning fourth at the wall.  It’s not his fastest time this year as he topped the Commonwealth Games with a fifth-ranked 53.12 this summer, but it was good enough to secure the continental title.

Walker-Hebborn Splits:

26.21 (4) 53.32

France’s Jeremy Stravius checked in with a silver-winning 53.64 to move to 13th in the world, while Germany’s Jan-Philipp Glania raced his way to bronze with a 54.15.

Germany’s Christian Diener (54.23), France’s Ben Stasiulis (54.49), Italy’s Luca Mencarini (54.57), Spain’s Juan Miguel Rando Galvez (54.82) and Israel’s David Gamburg (54.87) also put up times in the finale.

Women’s 50 fly

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom showed off a bit of what it took for her to move the world record to the unfathomable level of a 24.43 at Swedish Nationals as she popped a smoking 24.98 this evening for the win.  It still should take some time before she is able to replicate that unreal no-breather 50 from Sweden, but she’s still the top sprint flyer in the world when she’s swimming for the big prize.

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen took silver with a 25.34, just off her third-ranked 25.27 from the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum meet.  Great Britain’s Fran Halsall, the second-fastest in the world with a 25.20 from the Commonwealth Games, placed third in 25.39.

The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (25.75), Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro (25.78), Sweden’s Therese Alshammar (26.10), France’s Melanie Henique (26.25) and Belgium’s Kimberly Buys (26.29) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.

Men’s 100 breast

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, who threw down the world leader with a 58.68 to win at the Commonwealth Games, had an epic swim tonight as well as he clocked a 58.96 to lead a British 1-2 in the event here in Berlin.  Ross Murdoch, meanwhile, posted a 59.43 for silver. Murdoch just missed his fourth-ranked season best of 59.33 from yesterday.

Peaty became the first British man to win the 100 breast at the European Championships in 25 years.  The previous winner was Adrian Moorhouse back in 1989.

Peaty’s Splits:

27.92 (3) 58.96

Murdoch’s Splits:

27.81 (1) 59.43

Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis (59.61) and Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta (59.88) also cleared a minute to take third and fourth.

France’s Giacomo Perez-Dortona (1:00.38), Russia’s Andrey Nikolaev (1:00.71), Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic (1:00.80) and Germany’s Hendrik Feldwehr (1:01.02) rounded out the championship heat.

Women’s 200 back

Both Spain’s Duane Da Rocha Marce and Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds had unreal closing speed down the final 50 meters as the two moved from third and fourth to first and second, respectively, down the stretch.  Da Rocha Marce collected the title with a 2:09.37, while Simmonds moved her way up to silver in 2:09.66.

The swim for Da Rocha Marce did not match her 10th-ranked 2:09.13 from earlier heats, but was enough for the win.  Simmonds, meanwhile, was unable to duplicate her eighth-ranked 2:08.91 from the Berlin International Swim Meet earlier this year.

Da Rocha Marce’s Splits:

30.94 (6) 1:04.25 (8)
33.31 1:37.03 (3)
32.78 2:09.37

Simmonds’ Splits:

31.10 (8) 1:04.18 (6)
33.08 1:37.07 (4)
32.89 2:09.66

Russia’s Daria Ustinova, who was a big favorite coming into the meet with a second-ranked 2:08.02 from Russian Nationals, settled for bronze in 2:09.79. Germany’s Lisa Graf moved to fourth in 2:10.64, while Czech’s Simona Baumrtova could not hold on to her early speed as she fell from first at the 150 to fifth in 2:10.99.

Spain’s Melanie Costa Schmid (2:11.15), Germany’s Jenny Mensing (2:11.77) and Italy’s Carlotta Zofkova (2:13.49) rounded out the championship finale.

Mixed 400 medley relay

Great Britain capped off a massive night at the European Championships with a world record in the mixed 400-meter freestyle relay as the foursome of Christopher Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, Jemma Lowe and Fran Halsall demolished Australia’s previous world mark of 3:46.52 with a 3:44.02 for the title tonight. Peaty’s sizzling breaststroke split of 59.30 proved to tell the tale as he provided a two-second drop from Daniel Tranter’s 1:01 at the Aquatic Super Series meet earlier this year.  The rest of the splits canceled each other out by and large.

Great Britain’s Splits:

Great Britain – 3:44.02
Christopher Walker-Hebborn – 53.68
Adam Peaty – 59.30
Jemma Lowe – 57.51
Fran Halsall – 53.53

Australia’s Splits:

Australia – 3:46.52
Ashley Delaney – 54.67
Daniel Tranter – 1:01.48
Alicia Coutts – 57.40
Emma McKeon – 52.97

The Netherlands’ Bastiaan Lijesen (55.19), Bram Dekker (1:01.66), Inge Dekker (56.81) and Femke Heemskerk (52.27) took second with a time of 3:45.93, also under the former world record.  Russia’s Vlad Morozov (53.81), Vitalina Simonova (1:07.33), Viacheslav Prudnikov (52.58) and Veronika Popova (53.62) placed third in 3:47.34.

Germany (3:47.61), Italy (3:48.23), Slovakia (3:54.49), Finland (3:54.72) and Austria (3:58.43) also battled in the finale.


Women’s 100 free

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Although everyone seems to be biding their time, waiting for Sweden’s sprint star Sarah Sjostrom to unleash a monster 100 free time after posting a second-ranked 52.73 earlier this year, The Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk stole some of that thunder with a 53.66 this evening in semis.  That swim is just off her fourth-ranked 53.39 from the same meet Sjostrom posted her 52.73 – Eindhoven Swim Cup, and is close to Britta Steffen’s meet record 53.30 from well back in 2006.

Heemskerk’s Splits:

25.92 (1) 53.66

Sjsotrom wasn’t even the top Swede out of semis as Michelle Coleman took second in 54.15 with Sjostrom placing fourth in 54.31. It was obvious that Sjostrom was saving up for her 50 fly victory later in the night.  Denmark’s Pernille Blume hit the wall third in 54.26.

The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu secure her second final of the meet out of three events so far.  Hosszu, who already rattled the world record with a win in the 400-meter IM, qualified fifth in 54.48 tonight.  This is part of an ambitious 10-event slate.

Russia’s Veronika Popova (54.58), Spain’s Fatime Gallardo Carapeto (54.85) and France’s Charlotte Bonnet (54.90) all cleared 55 seconds to make the finale.

Women’s 100 breast

Photo Courtesy: Pia Ellegaard Mortensen

Photo Courtesy: Pia Ellegaard Mortensen

Denmark’s Rikke Moeller Pedersen turned in the top swim out of prelims with a 1:06.34, nearly breaking the meet record in the process.  Yuliya Efimova, who is now under a drug suspension, clocked a 1:06.32 record back in 2010. Pedersen definitely has what it takes to lower that meet mark, having posted a third-ranked 1:06.19 as her season best at the Danish Open earlier this year.

Pedersen’s Splits:

31.20 (1) 1:06.34

Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni posted the second-best swim out of semis with a 1:07.31, well off Pedersen’s pace as the Denmark swimmer is the odds-on favorite in the finale.

Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (1:07.39), Spain’s Jessica Vall Montero (1:07.52), Russia’s Maria Astashkina (1:07.66), Czech’s Petra Chocova (1:07.70), The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis (1:07.82) and Russia’s Vitalina Simonova (1:07.84) will also compete in the championship finale.

Men’s 200 IM

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Five-time Olympic medalist Laszlo Cseh of Hungary turned up the heat a bit during semis with a 1:58.00 to lead the way into the finale.  He had some company as Germany’s Philip Heintz was on his him nearly the entire race, finishing with a second-seeded 1:58.17.

Cseh jumped to a 13th-ranked tie with Markus Deibler with his swim, while Heintz moved to 15th in the world with his swift swim.

Cseh’s Splits:

25.05 (1) 55.01 (1)
29.96 1:29.52 (1)
34.51 1:58.00

Heintz’s Splits:

25.48 (3) 55.99 (3)
30.51 1:30.09 (2)
34.10 1:58.17

Speaking of Deibler, Markus turned in a third-place time of 1:59.43, while Great Britain’s Roberto Pavoni placed fourth in 1:59.54.  Spain’s Eduardo Solaeche Gomez (1:59.64) and Italy’s Federico Turrini (1:59.80) also made their way under the 2:00 mark.

Portugal’s Alexis Santos (2:00.12) and Poland’s Marcin Cieslak (2:00.32) snared the final two transfer spots into the championship heat.

Men’s 200 free

Jul 29, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Paul Biedermann (GER) reacts after winning his heat in the men's 200m freestyle semifinal during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY

Germany’s Paul Biedermann, the world-record holder with a techsuit-fueled 1:42.00 from 2009, continues to round into form as he focuses on this next stage in his career.  After missing the 400 free final on day one, Biedermann could have packed it in. But, he came back with an extra level of motivation and is the top seed headed into the 200 free finale after a 1:46.69. That’s just off his seventh-ranked 1:46.25 from German Nationals.

Biedermann’s Splits:

25.45 (8) 52.28 (3)
26.83 1:19.76 (1)
27.48 1:46.69

Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic, the 400 free victor who is looking for a second gold, qualified second tonight in 1:46.79.  Hungary’s Dominik Kozma took third in 1:46.89 to round out the sub-1:47s.

Russia’s Artem Lobuzov (1:47.43), Belgium’s Pieter Timmers (1:47.76) and The Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Vershuren (1:47.88) hit the wall fourth through sixth.

French Olympic gold medalist Yannick Agnel has not looked on point here at the European Championships.  After missing the 400 free final on day one, he has not really turned in any special times through the 200 free qualifying.  He managed to make the finale with a seventh-place 1:47.90, just ahead of Italy’s Filippo Magnini (1:47.93).

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1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar

    I wonder what’s going on with Agnel. Thought he for sure would show he’s the one to beat even in prelims and the semifinal.

    German TV reported Steffen Deibler’s split in the mixed relay was 47.96. Definitely a way to get the result in the 50 fly out of his head.

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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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