EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, November 25. THE first day of action is complete at the European Short Course Championships hosted by Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Men's 50 free semis/finals
A trio of swimmers went 21.3 in the splash-and-dash semis with Italy's Marco Orsi leading the way in 21.31. Orsi moved to fourth in the world rankings, while Germany's Steffen Deibler (21.33) and Ukraine's Andriy Govorov (21.36) picked up second and third in semis. Deibler already has a third-ranked season best of 21.23, while Govorov moved to sixth in the rankings.
Russia's Evgeny Lagunov (21.61), Italy's Luca Dotto (21.70), Finland's Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (21.72), Russia's Vitaly Syrnikov (21.75) and Hungary's Krisztian Takacs (21.95) also made the finale.
In the finale, Deibler became just the second man under 21 seconds this year with a winning 20.98. That swim fell just short of Cesar Cielo's world-leading time of 20.80 set at the Jose Finkel Trophy in September. Orsi placed second in 21.17 to remain fourth in the world, while Govorov picked up third in 21.32.
Lagunov (21.42), Dotto (21.65), Liukkonen (21.77), Syrnikov (21.82) and Takacsz (22.09) finished fourth through eighth.
Women's 50 breast semis/finals
Germany's Dorothea Brandt topped the sprint breast semis with a time of 30.55. She's been faster with a fourth-ranked season best of 30.31 from the World Cup stop in Stockholm earlier this month. The Netherlands' Moniek Nijhuis (30.61) and Tessa Brouwer (30.71) qualified second and third.
Russia's Valentina Artemyeva (30.92), Germany's Caroline Ruhnau (30.97), Czech's Petra Chocova (31.04), Belgium's Kim Janssens (31.27) and Russia's Ekaterina Baklakova (31.30) earned the rest of the transfer spots into finals.
In the final, Brandt claimed the title in 30.40, still short of her fourth-ranked best of 30.31. Nijhuis placed second in 30.45 to move to seventh in the rankings, while Artemyeva finished third in 30.55.
Brouwer (30.78), Ruhnau (30.88), Baklakova (31.05), Chocova (31.21) and Janssens (31.27) placed fourth through eighth.
Men's 400 free finals
Germany's Paul Biedermann crushed his former top-ranked time in the middle distance event with a sterling 3:39.51. His previously top-ranked season best had been a 3:41.27 from the Stockholm stop of the World Cup. While that time proved to be the fastest this year by a long shot, it still fell well short of the meet record he set of 3:34.55 last year.
Italy's Federico Colbertaldo took second in 3:41.70 to move to fourth in the world rankings, while Russia's Alexander Selin placed third this evening in 3:43.70 to move into the top 10 in the rankings.
The Netherlands' Job Kienhuis (3:44.13), Austria's David Brandl (3:44.33), Russia's Evgeny Kulikov (3:45.79), Italy's Samuel Pizzetti (3:46.11) and Denmark's Anders Lie (3:47.48) also swam in the finale.
Men's 200 back finals
In an exciting finish, Germany's Yannick Lebherz touched out Italy's Damiano Lestingi, 1:51.74 to 1:51.84. Lebherz and Lestingi improved to third and fourth in the world rankings. Russia's Artem Dubovskoy rounded out the podium with a third-place 1:52.72 for a top-10 spot in the rankings.
Hungary's Peter Bernek (1:52.81), Turkey's Derya Buyukuncu (1:53.00), Israel's Yakov Yan Toumarkin (1:53.46), Italy's Sebastiano Ranfagni (1:54.47) and Russia's Stanislav Donets (1:55.15) completed the rest of the championship heat.
Women's 100 back semis
Ukraine's Daryna Zevina paced semis with a time of 58.31, while Spain's Duane Da Rocha Marce touched just behind with a second-seeded 58.32. The Netherlands' Sharon Van Rouwendaal placed third in 58.40.
Russia's Kseniya Moskvina (58.93), Czech's Simona Baumrtova (58.97), Great Britain's Rachel Lefley (59.14), Germany's Jenny Mensing (59.15) and The Netherlands' Wendy Van Der Zanden (59.29) qualified fourth through eighth.
Men's 100 fly semis
Germany's Steffen Deibler and The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden posted matching 51.30s for the top seed heading into finals. Germany's Ben Starke placed third just behind in 51.39.
Slovenia's Peter Mankoc (51.83), Russia's Vladislav Seryy (51.84), Croatia's Mario Todorovic (51.87), Austria's Martin Spitzer (51.96) and Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov (52.01) placed fourth through eighth in the semis.
Women's 200 IM finals
Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto clocked the top-ranked time in the world in the event with a blazing time of 2:07.06. That swim eclipsed the previous top time of 2:07.17 set by Julia Smit at the Stockholm stop of the World Cup, and also ranks 15th all time. Additionally, Verraszto's time is the fastest in a textile suit, clearing the previous top time of 2:07.79 set by Allison Wagner of the U.S. in 1993. Verraszto also joined only two other swimmers under 2:08 this year (Emily Seebohm, 2:07.64, and Kotuku Ngawati, 2:07.76).
Belgium's Kimberly Buys placed a distant second in 2:10.14, while France's Lara Grangeon took third in 2:10.22. Germany's Theresa Michalak touched just outside the podium with a fourth-place 2:10.41.
France's Sophie De Ronchi (2:11.32), Czech's Barbora Zavadova (2:12.34), Russia's Viktoriya Andreeva (2:12.40) and Belgium's Fanny Lecluyse (2:13.49) picked up the rest of the championship swims.
Men's 100 breast semis
Italy's Fabio Scozzoli raced to the top seed in 58.01 to improve to fourth in the world rankings. Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr touched second in 58.59, while The Netherlands' Robin van Aggele placed third in 58.62.
Ukraine's Igor Borysik (58.81), Germany's Marco Koch (58.86), Austria's Hunor Mate (58.90), The Netherlands' Lennart Stekelenburg (58.93) and Russia's Anton Lobanov (59.11) earned their way into the championship field.
Women's 200 fly finals
Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos posted the winning time of 2:05.58 in the distance fly, while Italy's Alessia Polieri (2:06.18) and Caterina Giacchetti (2:06.49) bracketed her on the podium.
Hungary's Agnes Mutina (2:07.29), France's Aurore Mongel (2:07.74), Slovenia's Anja Klinar (2:07.97), Spain's Paula Camino Estudillo (2:09.07) and France's Lara Grangeon (2:11.96) also vied for the title.
Men's 200 IM finals
Germany's Markus Deibler moved to second in the world rankings with a winning time of 1:53.25. He jumped ahead of Markus Rogan's 1:53.85., but still fell short of Thiago Pereira's top-ranked 1:52.72 set during the Rio stop of the World Cup.
Lithuania's Vytautas Janusaitis finished second in 1:54.07 to move into a fourth-ranked tie with Henrique Rodrigues. Austria's Dinko Jukic placed third tonight in 1:54.93 to take seventh in the rankings.
Spain's Alan Cabello Forns (1:55.06), Italy's Federico Turrini (1:56.44), Portugal's Diogo Filipe Carvalho (1:56.83), Hungary's David Verraszto (1:56.98) and Czech's Thomas Fucik (1:58.26) also swam in the finale.
Women's 100 free semis
The Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo returned from a short break in training due to illness with a vengeance. She posted a strong time of 51.94 to take the top seed, as well as the top seed. That effort cleared compatriot's Femke Heemskerk's previously top-ranked time of 51.96.
Heemskerk qualified second this evening with a 52.08, while Germany's Daniela Schreiber claimed the third seed in 53.39. Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala (53.61), Germany's Britta Steffen (53.70), Serbia's Miroslava Najdanovski (54.14), Italy's Chiara Masini Luccetti (54.26) and Belarus' Sviatlana Khakhlova (54.42) made up the rest of the championship heat.
Men's 200 medley relay finals
Germany's Stefan Herbst, Hendrik Feldwehr, Steffen Deibler and Markus Deibler claimed a close contest with a winning time of 1:33.40. Italy's Mirco Di Tora, Fabio Scozzoli, Paolo Facchinelli and Marco Orsi placed second in 1:33.83. Russia's Stanislav Donets, Sergey Geybel, Nikolay Skvortsov and Daniil Izotov took third overall in 1:34.25.
The Netherlands (1:34.33), Norway (1:36.62), Crotia (1:37.64), Czech Republic (1:38.07) and Belgium (1:39.32) completed the top eight.