BUDAPEST, Hungary, August 11. THE European Long Course Championships keep churning out some stunning times. Today was no different in Hungary as a sprinter and a distance star each put up top-ranked efforts.
Men's 1500 free
France's Sebastien Rouault put together the top-ranked time in the world in the metric mile to start the evening. Rouault clocked a sterling time of 14:55.17, ending Chad La Tourette's brief reign at the top with his 14:55.39 from U.S. Long Course Nationals last week. Meanwhile, Pal Joensen of the Faroes Island took second in 14:56.90, while Italy's Samuel Pizzetti finished third overall in 14:59.76. Those swims more than doubled the number of sub-15:00 times this year. Canada's Ryan Cochrane (14:56.83) is the only other swimmer to have swum faster than 15 minutes, as he was the first to do so this year in April.
Men's 200 free
Germany's Paul Biedermann claimed the 200 free crown with a 1:46.06 with a superior backhalf. He's been faster this year, however, with a third-ranked effort of 1:45.84 from July. Russia's Nikita Lobintsev finished second in 1:46.51 to move to fifth in the world, while The Netherlands' Sebastiaan Verschuren earned third in 1:46.91 to improve upon his seventh-ranked season best of 1:46.97.
Russia's Daniil Izotov (1:47.14), Great Britain's Robbie Renwick (1:47.60), Italy's Gianluca Maglia (1:47.96), Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry (1:48.05) and Belgium's Glenn Surgeloose (1:48.29) also competed in the finale with nearly all the times falling within the top 25 in the world.
Women's 100 breast
Russia's Yuliya Efimova won the event in a meet-record time of 1:06.32. That swim beat her earlier swim of 1:06.80, and lowered her third-ranked season best of 1:06.66 set in May. Efimova, however, still trails Rebecca Soni (1:05.73) and Leisel Jones (1:05.79) as the top 100 breaststrokers in the world.
Denmark's Rikke Moeller Pedersen tied with Sweden's Jennie Johansson for second with matching 1:07.36s. Both moved up to fifth in the world with the times.
Sweden's Joline Hostman fell short of her 12th-ranked 1:07.85 with a fourth place 1:07.98, while Germany's Sarah Poewe finished fifth in 1:08.60. Germany's Caroline Ruhnau (1:08.68), Italy's Michela Guzzetti (1:08.70) and Russia's Anastasia Chaun (1:09.19) also swam in the final.
Women's 100 free
Great Britain's Fran Halsall stepped into the gaping void that Ranomi Kromowidjojo left in the European women's sprint when she withdrew from this meet due to illness. Halsall raced to victory in 53.58 to move into second behind Kromowidjojo's 53.44 in the world rankings. Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia earned second-place honors in 53.82 to move to third in the world rankings ahead of Dana Vollmer's 53.94 from U.S. Long Course Nationals. Those four swimmers are the only to have swam a sub-54 this year.
The Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk rounded out the podium with a third-place 54.12, while Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom finished fourth in 54.16. Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto (54.33), Sweden's Josefin Lillhage (54.84), Germany's Daniela Schreiber (55.11) and Poland's Katarzyna Wilk (55.15) took fifth through eighth in the finale.
Men's 200 IM
Hungary's Laszlo Cseh smoked the 200 IM with a meet-record effort of 1:57.73. His time beat his former best at the meet of 1:57.90 set back in 2008. He also became just the fourth man under 1:58 this year, moving into third in the rankings. Ryan Lochte (1:54.84) and Michael Phelps (1:55.94) are easily the top two in the world, while James Goddard (1:57.76) fell to fourth overall.
Austria's Markus Rogan placed second tonight with a 1:58.03 to move to fifth in the world, while Great Britain's Joe Roebuck finished third in 1:59.46.
Israel's Gal Nevo (1:59.83), Sweden's Simon Sjodin (2:00.11), Hungary's David Verraszto (2:00.72), Poland's Marcin Tarczynski (2:00.81) and Germany's Markus Deibler (2:00.86) comprised the rest of the swims in the final.
Men's 200 breast
Hungary's Daniel Gyurta led the way in qualifying with a top time of 2:10.11, while Germany's Marco Koch took second in 2:11.47. Gyurta improved his fifth-ranked season best of 2:10.47, but will still be looking to improve his position as Eric Shanteau owns fourth in the rankings with a 2:10.09. Koch, meanwhile, jumped up to 14th in the world.
Luxembourg's Laurent Carnol placed third overall in 2:11.50 to earn 15th, while Italy's Edoardo Giorgetti finished fourth in 2:11.74 for a top 20 time of his own. Norway's Alexander Dale Oen (2:11.90) and France's Hugues Duboscq (2:11.96) each also cleared 2:12, while Hungary's Akos Molnar (2:12.08) and Russia's Grigory Falko (2:12.11) completed the final field.
Women's 200 IM
France's Camille Muffat topped the semifinal round in the event with a 2:10.92. She lowered the meet record of 2:11.16 set by Mireia Belmonte Garcia back in 2008. Muffat, however, has been faster this year with a fourth-ranked 2:10.48 set at the French Long Course Nationals in April.
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu finished second overall in 2:11.84, while teammate Evelyn Verraszto (2:11.86) and Great Britain's Hannah Miley (2:11.90) also eclipsed 2:12. Hosszu's season-best is a seventh-ranked time of 2:11.12, while Verraszto improved upon her 11th-ranked 2:11.94 from prelims. Miley improved on her 15th-ranked 2:12.32 to move to 13th in the world.
Belmont Garcia (2:12.23), France's Lara Grangeon (2:13.23), Italy's Francesca Segat (2:14.01) and Denmark's Louise Jansen (2:15.04) snared the final transfer spots into the finale.
Men's 200 fly
A trio of swimmers cleared 1:58 during semis with Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski earning the top seed with a 1:57.24. Greece's Ioannis Drymonakos (1:57.38) and Austria's Dinko Jukic (1:57.81) also went sub-1:58. Korzeniowski eased through qualifying, as he's already ranked fifth in the world with a 1:55.73 from June.
Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov (1:58.02), Russia's Maxim Ganikhin (1:58.39), Italy's Nicolo Beni (1:58.87), Poland's Marcin Cieslak (1:58.88) and Greece's Stefanos Dimitriadis (1:59.27) placed fourth through eighth in semifinal qualifying.
Women's 100 back
Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds qualified first in the event with a 1:00.52. She has the second-fastest time in the world this year with a 59.43, trailing only Emily Seebohm's 59.21. Germany's Daniela Samulski took second in the semis with a 1:00.54 to move to 15th in the world rankings.
Great Britain's Gemma Spofforth (1:00.73), Spain's Mercedes Peris Minguet (1:00.85), Norway's Ingvild Snildal (1:01.33), Germany's Jenny Mensing (1:01.63), Spain's Duane Da Rocha Marce (1:01.66) and The Netherlands' Sharon Rouwendaal (1:01.72) also earned spots in the finale.
Men's 50 back
France's Camille Lacourt, one of the breakout stars of this meet, crushed the meet record in the men's sprint back with a 24.30. That swim demolished the previous mark of 25.00 set by Thomas Rupprath in 2002, and is nearing Liam Tancock's world record of 24.04. Lacourt's effort today beat Tancock's previous top-ranked time this year of 24.52 from March.
Tancock took second in 25.00, matching his previous meet record time. France's Jeremy Stravius finished third in 25.02, while Slovakia's Lubos Krizko qualified fourth in 25.23.
Israel's Guy Barnea (25.24), Russia's Vitaly Borisov (25.30), The Netherlands' Nick Driebergen (25.30) and Italy's Stefano Mauro Pizzamiglio (25.34) picked up the rest of the lanes in the championship heat.