HERNING, Denmark, December 12. TWO more world record progressions occurred in the newly-recognized 200 distance relays at the 2013 European Short Course Championships. Meanwhile, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia turned in a truly special swim for a European record.
Men’s 400 free
Russia scored the first gold medal of the meet as Nikita Lobintsev backhalfed his way to a win in 3:39.47. Lobintsev started off a bit slow, turning eighth at the 100 with a 53.52 before taking over the lead by the 250-meter mark with a 2:17.17. He never lost his lead at that point en route to his continental championship swim. Lobintsev moved to seventh in the world with his swim and is just the seventh man to clear 3:40 this year.
Italy’s Andrea D’Arrigo, who currently swims for Florida after leaving Virginia before enrolling, took silver overall in 3:40.54. That put him ninth overall in the world, while Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic rounded out the first podium ceremony with a third-place time of 3:40.91.
Denmark’s Mads Glaesner (3:41.38), Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (3:41.64), Poland’s Filip Zaborowski (3:42.00), Germany’s Tim Wallburger (3:42.85), Serbia’s Stefan Sorak (3:43.50), Spain’s Marc Sanchez Torrens (3:44.45) and Russia’s Mikhail Polishchuk (3:44.88) also vied for the title in the finale.
Men’s 200 back
Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki, who leads the world this year with a blistering 1:47.63 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, didn’t need close to that type of speed this evening en route to the continental crown in the distance dorsal. Kawecki cruised to victory in 1:49.42, a second off his meet record of 1:48.51 from last year’s edition in Chartres, France. Kawecki turned behind several swimmers with a 54.86 at the halfway mark before powering down the stretch with a 26.55, 28.01 final set of splits.
Hungary’s Peter Bernek raced to silver in 1:50.43 to take sixth overall in the world rankings as just the ninth sub-1:51 in the world this year. Germany’s Christian Diener took home bronze with a time of 1:51.40.
Israel’s Yakov Yan Toumarkin (1:52.22), Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys (1:52.53), Russia’s Nikita Ulyanov (1:53.13), France’s Ben Stasiulis (1:53.57), Germany’s Felix Wolf (1:53.71), Italy’s Luca Mencarini (1:53.79) and Israel’s David Gamburg (1:55.13) comprised the rest of the championship heat.
Women’s 200 IM
The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu eclipsed the meet record en route to her first continental title of the meet. Hosszu powered her way to a 2:04.33 for the win. That swim downed the previous meet mark of 2:04.64 set by Evelyn Verraszto back in 2009, and finished just a second off Hosszu’s remarkable world record of 2:03.20 set at the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup just a week after her taper meet at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Great Britain had a phenomenal event with silver and bronze in the finale. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor moved to sixth in the world this year with a silver-winning 2:06.73, while teammate Sophie Allen claimed bronze in 2:06.86. Allen has been a bit faster this year with a fifth-ranked 2:06.36 from the Doha stop of the FINA World Cup.
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia warmed up for her 200 fly finale with a fourth-place 2:06.87, just off her seventh-ranked 2:06.79 from the Beijing stop of the FINA World Cup.
Russia’s Yuliya Efimova (2:06.90), Hungary’s Verraszto (2:08.34), Sweden’s Stina Gardell (2:08.66), Israel’s Amit Ivry (2:08.75) and Ukraine’s Ganna Dzerkal (2:08.99) placed fifth through ninth. Meanwhile, Germany’s Theresa Michalak drew a disqualification.
Women’s 200 fly
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia continued her strong season with a European record in the women’s 200 fly, an event Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu had owned throughout the FINA World Cup and also held the previous continental record.
Belmonte Garcia, who downed distance freestyle world records in the short course events during a lucrative FINA World Cup circuit, topped the distance fly tonight in 2:01.52 (28.23, 31.01, 31.16, 31.12). That swim smashed the meet mark of 2:03.22 set by Aurore Mongel back in 2009, and took Hosszu’s European record of 2:02.20 set last year at this time. Belmonte Garcia’s top time this year had been a 2:04.20, so she’s been playing possum in this event so far. Hosszu had led the world with a 2:03.05 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup.
Germany’s Franziska Hentke took a distant second in 2:03.47, good enough to move to third in the world now, while Great Britain’s Jemma Lowe took third in 2:04.51 for seventh in the world. Hosszu finished a surprising fourth in 2:05.39.
Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi (2:05.44), Great Britain’s Aimee Willmott (2:07.33), Italy’s Stefania Pirozzi (2:07.54), Switzerland’s Martina Van Berkel (2:08.03), Switzerland’s Danielle Carmen Villars (2:08.99) and Poland’s Klaudia Nazieblo (2:08.99) clinched the rest of the finishes.
Men’s 200 IM
Germany’s Philip Heintz had a breakthrough swim in the men’s 200 IM finale with his top career international medal. Heintz remained consistent throughout his swim to mark a 1:53.98 for the win. That pushed him to ninth in the world rankings this year.
Sweden’s Simon Sjodin raced into second with a 1:54.28, while Portugal’s Diogo Filipe Carvalho clinched third in 1:54.89.
The biggest surprise came from Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, the heavy favorite in the finale. Cseh led at the 100 with a 52.53, then faded badly all the way to 10th overall with a 1:56.98.
Russia’s Semen Makovich (1:55.50), Denmark’s Viktor Bromer (1:55.68), Israel’s Gal Nevo (1:55.91), Hungary’s David Verraszto (1:56.12), Italy’s Federico Turrini (1:56.22) and Denmark’s Daniel Skaaning (1:56.65) also competed for the championship title.
Men’s 50 free
Without France’s Florent Manaudou next to him to provide a legitimate threat, Russia’s Vlad Morozov wound up cruising to the title in 20.77. That’s off his top-ranked 20.59 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup, and the 20.48 European and meet record set by Amaury Leveaux in 2008, but was more than enough to capture the gold medal. It’s just sad to think what might have been if Manaudou brought his second-ranked 20.62 to the equation.
Italy’s Marco Orsi raced into second with a 21.00 to tie George Bovell for fifth in the world rankings. Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov wound up third overall in 21.17 for ninth in the world.
Russia’s Sergey Fesikov (21.20), Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (21.43), Belgium’s Jasper Aerents (21.43), Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (21.67), Italy’s Federico Bocchia (21.72), Hungary’s Dominik Kozma (21.78), and Belgium’s Francois Heersbrandt (21.91) rounded out the top 10 in the finale.
Women’s 50 breast
Russia’s Yuliya Efimova finished with the last laugh this evening as she and Ruta Meilutyte concluded a massive revision of the meet record. Throughout the day, Efimova and Meilutyte had traded the meet mark with Efimova holding a 29.14 after semis. In the finale, she touched out Meilutyte, 29.04 to 29.10, to win the gold and finish with the continental record still in her hands. It wasn’t close to her world record of 28.71 from the Tokyo stop of the FINA World Cup, but was still enough for the win.
The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis turned in a bronze-winning time of 29.79 to better her fourth-ranked 29.95 from Eindhoven this summer, but it wasn’t enough to surpass Alia Atkinson (28.94) for third in the world.
Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (29.80), Denmark’s Rikke Moeller Pedersen (29.87), Czech’s Petra Chocova (30.05), Germany’s Dorothea Brandt (30.27), Italy’s Lisa Fissneider (30.39), Russia’s Valentina Artemyeva (30.54) and Sweden’s Rebecca Ejdervik (30.85) finished fourth through 10th.
The first of two more “world records” was set as the relays closed the show. As explained ad nauseam here at Swimming World. FINA finally elected to official recognize eight relays as world record events this September. That includes all six of the various 200 short course relays. Unfortunately, FINA never announced if it would set an initial “world record” line or just start accepting the first legal swims.
This led to Indiana University putting together a special relay event to gain the world records. FINA initially planned to ignore all of the Hoosier swims, but relented and certified their mixed 200 SCM relays as global marks. Those two swims have since been sent to the annals of history with the FINA World Cup swimmers all roasting the world records and nearly recalibrating them with previous world bests.
The single gender events, however, will have a tougher time of it. This morning, Italy set the men’s 200 medley relay world record with a 1:33.65 in prelims. Russia returned tonight with Vitaly Melnikov (23.72), Oleg Kostin (26.18), Nikita Konovalov (21.92) and Vlad Morozov (20.56) posted a 1:32.38 for the win. That swim beat the previous world record, but not Russia’s own European and national record of 1:31.80 from 2009.
Italy (1:32.83), Germany (1:33.06), Belarus (1:34.56), Lithuania (1:35.26), Serbia (1:35.58), Turkey (1:35.67), Czech Republic (1:35.89) and Sweden (1:36.14) closed out the rest of the finale with Estonia drawing a disqualification.
The women’s 200 free relay followed with similar circumstances. Sweden posted an initial world record with a 1:37.21 this morning before Denmark’s Pernille Blume (24.90), Jeanette Ottesen (23.66), Kelly Rasmussen (24.63) and Mie Nielsen (23.85) touched out Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (24.54), Sarah Sjostrom (23.60), Louise Hansson (24.55) and Magdalena Kuras (24.39) final time of 1:37.08. Russia’s Rozaliya Nasretdinova (24.16), Veronika Popova (24.32), Elizaveta Bazarova (24.21) and Svetlana Knyaginina (24.44) also beat the previous world record with a 1:37.13. Unfortunately, none of these handful of times comes close to The Netherlands’ world best European and meet mark of 1:33.25 from 2009.
Italy (1:37.56), Poland (1:38.78), Belarus (1:39.08), Norway (1:40.06), Hungary (1:40.09) and Great Britain (1:40.26) finished fourth through ninth, while France drew a disqualification.
Men’s 50 free
The Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov cruised into the top spot in the finale after a strong semifinal swim of 20.94. He’s the odds-on favorite in the event with France’s Florent Manaudou scratching due to a shoulder injury that held him out of the meet. Morozov will be gunning for some big times like Roland Schoeman’s world record of 20.30 and Amaury Leveaux’s continental and meet record of 20.48, times he came up just short of with a world-leading 20.59 at the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup.
Italy’s Marco Orsi placed second overall in 21.05 to move to seventh in the world rankings, while Russia’s Sergey Fesikov is well behind with a third-place time of 21.40. Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov rounded out the top four in the semis with a 21.41.
Hungary’s Dominik Kozma (21.60), Italy’s Federico Bocchia (21.62), Belgium’s Francois Heersbrandt (21.65), Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (21.66), Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (21.67) and Belgium’s Jasper Aerents (21.68) also made the top 10 finalists.
Women’s 50 breast
Yuliya Efimova’s meet record of 29.47 set during prelims fell two more times this evening in successive swims in the semifinals. First, Ruta Meilutyte touched in 29.41 in the semifinal 1, off her second-ranked season best of 28.89 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup.
Efimova then reclaimed the mark with a 29.14 in the second semifinal as Efimova and Meilutyte set up an epic head-to-head matchup in the finale. There’s little doubt that the two will be vying for Efimova’s world record of 28.71 set at the Tokyo stop of the FINA World Cup as these two continue to redefine women’s sprint breaststroke internationally.
Denmark’s Rikke Moeller Pedersen, who is typically more of a 200 breaststroker, qualified third in 29.96 as the only other sub-30 swimmer in the semifinal heats.
Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (30.06), The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis (30.14), Czech’s Petra Chocova (30.14), Germany’s Dorothea Brandt (30.37), Italy’s Lisa Fissneider (30.44), Russia’s Valentina Artemyeva (30.47) and Sweden’s Rebecca Ejdervik (30.74) earned transfer spots into the championship finale.
Women’s 100 back
Much to the pleasure of the partisan crowd, Denmark’s Mie Nielsen matched her top time this year with a 57.09 to lead semifinal qualifying. Nielsen’s previous time of 57.09 stands fifth in the world from her swim in Gladsaxe at Danish Nationals. The youngster could put together a truly special swim in the finale as she’s looking to take down the European record of 56.36 held by Ksenia Moskvina since 2009.
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina demonstrated some sprint speed with a 57.35 to qualify third. Zevina is more known for her 200 backstroke abilities, as she was untouched in the event on the FINA World Cup circuit. Czech’s Simona Baumrtova also beat 58 seconds with a third-place 57.52.
Italy’s Elena Gemo (58.60), France’s Cloe Credeville (58.77), Russia’s Daria Ustinova (58.93), Germany’s Jenny Mensing (59.24), Iceland’s Eyglo Gustafsdottir (59.26), The Netherlands’ Maaike De Waard (59.31) and France’s Mathilde Cini (59.34) also picked up lanes in the championship finale.
Men’s 100 fly
Germany’s Steffen Deibler managed the only sub-50 of the semifinal heats with a 49.89 tonight. He’s been a bit faster with a third-ranked 49.38 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup. Tonight’s effort puts him a second off Evgeny Korotyshkin’s meet record of 48.93 from 2009, and a second-and-a-half off Korotyshkin’s world record of 48.48.
France’s Jeremy Stravius cruised into the second seed with a 50.04 to move to fifth in the world, while Korotyshkin checked in with a 50.17 to land the third seed overall.
Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin (50.45), Russia’s Nikita Konovalov (50.64), Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich (50.69), Italy’s Matteo Rivolta (50.75), Poland’s Michal Poprawa (51.17), Italy’s Miero Codia (51.20) and Croatia’s Mario Todorovic (51.24) qualified into finals fourth through 10th.
Men’s 100 breast
Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, the European Swimmer of the Year, turned in an easy-speed time of 57.56 for the top seed out of semis. He’s been much faster this year with a second-ranked time of 56.79 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, but with top-ranked Fabio Scozzoli (56.49) out, Gyurta should be well on his way to a title in the finale.
Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic touched second in 57.58 to move to eight in the world. Dugonjic might be able to challenge Gyurta, but it will take a transcendent swim as Gyurta could put up a historic time in the finale.
Germany’s Marco Koch qualified third overall in 57.62, while Slovakia’s Tomas Klobucnik earned fourth in 57.85.
Great Britain’s Michael Jamieson (57.89), France’s Giacomo Perez Dortona (58.05), Russia’s Oleg Kostin (58.06), Portugal’s Carlos Esteves Almeida (58.22), Italy’s Claudio Fossi (58.25) and Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis (58.26) claimed the rest of the spots in the finale.
Women’s 100 free
Great Britain’s Fran Halsall led the way in the semis with a 52.32 in the first of the two semifinal heats. That’s good enough for seventh in the world this year as Halsall potentially could make a run at Inge Dekker’s meet record of 51.35 in finals.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom finished just behind with a second-seeded 52.37 to win the second semifinal. She’s already cracked 52 seconds this year with a fourth-ranked 51.93 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup. The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo cruised into the third seed with a 52.52.
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen (52.67), Russia’s Veronika Popova (52.89), Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (52.96), Belarusa’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia (52.99), France’s Charlotte Bonnet (53.53), Denmark’s Pernille Blume (53.56) and France’s Camille Muffat (53.64) also made their way into the championship heat.