CHARTRES, France, November 24. FRANCE's Camille Muffat found redemption after missing the women's 400 free world record on the World Cup circuit by the slimmest of margins. Tonight, Muffat edged the world record in the middle distance event at the European Short Course Championships for her second world record in just more than a week.
Meanwhile, Vlad Morozov threw down a remarkable time in the men's 100 free to clear Cesar Cielo's textile best.
Men's 1500 free
Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri smoked the men's 1500 freestyle finale with a 14:27.78 to win by more than three seconds. Ukraine's Sergiy Frolov took second in 14:30.87, while France's Anthony Pannier placed third in 14:41.97. Paltrinieri and Frolov moved to the top of the world rankings this year ahead of Michael Klueh's 14:38.64 from the Tokyo stop of the World Cup, while Paltrinieri now stands 10th all time in the event's history, just behind Federico Colbertaldo's Italian record of 14:24.21. Frolov jumped to 16th in the all time rankings with his swim. Paltrinieri had been under world-record pace at the 500 before fading off Grant Hackett's phenomenal pace for his 14:10.10 in 2001.
“This was a really hard race and I didn't expect to win it,” Paltrinieri said. “Of course I wanted to get a medal because I won this event at the Long Course Europeans. However, I'm not that good on short course because my underwater kicks are not too good. I was nearly dead at the finish, but I'm really happy that I achieved my goal.”
Women's 400 free
France's Camille Muffat captured the world record that she just missed at the Berlin stop of the World Cup tour with a 3:54.93 by blistering the field with a 3:54.85 this evening. That performance bettered Joanne Jackson's world record of 3:54.92 set in Leeds in 2009.
“I really wanted to break that world record – and I did it!” Muffat said.
Video of Muffat's world record swim:
Joanne Jackson: 27.74, 57.29 (29.55), 1:27.10 (29.81), 1:56.93 (29.83), 2:26.61 (29.68), 2:56.38 (29.77), 3:26.18 (29.80), 3:54.92 (28.74)
Camille Muffat: 26.84, 56.24 (29.40), 1:25.91 (29.67), 1:55.95 (30.04), 2:25.94 (29.99), 2:56.01 (30.07), 3:25.72 (29.71), 3:54.85 (29.13)
Notably, she also crushed the meet record of 3:56.09 set by Laure Manaudou back in 2006 in Helsinki, and naturally overtakes Great Britain's Jackson as the European record holder as well. Muffat now holds two of the freestyle short course world records, having downed the 800 free mark with an 8:01.06 in Angers, France last week during the French Short Course Nationals.
Denmark's Lotte Friis, the 1500 free world record holder, claimed silver in 3:58.85, while France's Coralie Balmy gave the hometown crowd an additional burst with a bronze-winning 3:59.80.
“It was great to be in this world record race,” Friis said. “I can learn a lot during my daily training with Camille Muffat in Nice. However, I'm not yet in top form after an extended break after the Olympics.”
Women's 100 IM
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu got back in the win column after a first night double, with a scorching 58.83 in the sprint medley. Teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos placed second in 59.15, while Great Britain's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor took third in 59.72. Hosszu became just the 12th swimmer under 59 seconds, moving to 10th in the all time rankings with her swim. Meanwhile, Jakabos jumped to 16th all time with her sterling swim. Hinkelien Schreuder still owns the world record with a stunning 57.74 from the Berlin stop of the 2009 World Cup.
“The 100m individual medley – there is just one thing to do – swim as fast as you can,” Hosszu said. “There are no tactics like for instance in the 400m freestyle. I still have to learn a lot in that respect.”
Men's 200 fly
Hungary claimed back-to-back titles as Laszlo Cseh clinched the distance fly crown with a 1:52.11. Denmark's Vikor Bromer placed second in 1:53.38, while The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden earned thirdin 1:53.47. Cseh moved to fifth in the world this year with his swim, blasting his previous season best of 1:57.21 from the Dubai stop of the World Cup. His lifetime best is still well out front, as he clocked a ninth-ranked 1:50.87 at the 2011 Euro Short Course Championships.
“I decided to have an easy first half and then increase my pace,” Cseh said. “The time is not that good, I have to improve my form in butterfly.”
Men's 100 free
Russia's Vlad Morozov became just the 14th swimmer under 46 seconds with a blistering time of 45.68. Morozov jumped to a seventh-ranked tie with compatriot Danila Izotov in the all time rankings. Russia now has four of the top 11 swimmers all time with Evgeny Lagunov (45.36), Izotov, Morozov and Sergey Fesikov (45.75) all under 46 seconds. Additionally, Morozov cleared the previous textile best of 45.74 posted by Cesar Cielo in 2010.
“I know that I started quite fast, but didn't know how fast,” Morozov said. “I never expected my final 100m time to be that good. Now I'm exhausted…”
Notably, Lagunov took second tonight in 46.52, while France's Yannick Agnel touched third in 46.80.
“Vladimir Morozov represents the new Russian sprint generation,” Lagunov said. “Though I finished runner-up, I'm already an 'old man'.”
Women's 50 back
France's Laure Manaudou had some more in the tank after her third-seeded tie in semis, and managed to get her hand on the wall first in the sprint back with a swift 26.78. Croatia's Sanja Jovanovic touched just behind with a 26.84, while Czech's Simona Baumrtova placed third in 26.97. Italy's Arianna Barbieri also cleared 27 seconds with a fourth-place 26.98. Manaudou moved into second in the world behind Rachel Goh's top time of 26.66 from the Beijing stop, and jumped to 20th all time in the event's history. Notably, she also broke her French record of 27.13 from the 2007 Euro Short Course Champs.
“I'm so happy, it's a great feeling to win a gold medal again after four years without swimming,” Manaudou said. “I was a bit stressed before the race because my semifinal was far from perfect.”
Men's 50 breast
Italy's Fabio Scozzoli touched out Norway's Aleksander Hetland, 26.18 to 26.20, for the sprint breast triumph. Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic earned third-place honors with a 26.25. Scozzoli just missed his Italian record of 26.11 from the Italian Short Course Championships last year, while Hetland also just missed his Norwegian mark of 26.19 from the 2009 Euro Short Course Champs. Dugonjic, however, bettered his national record of 26.34 from 2011 Euros Short Course Champs to move to ninth all time in the event's history.
“Two years ago I only won the 50m breast, last year only the 100m and this year I eventually managed to win both breaststroke sprint events,” Scozzoli said.
Mixed 200 free relay
France had the best swimmers and it showed as Fred Bousquet (20.97), Florent Manaudou (20.35), Camille Muffat (24.39) and Anna Santamans (23.93) blitzed the field with a 1:29.64 for the win. Russia's Andrey Grechin (21.53), Vlad Morozov (20.45), Veronika Popova (24.07) and Rozaliya Nasretdinova (24.36) finished second in 1:30.41. Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala (24.74), Laura Kurki (24.11), Andrei Tuomola (21.72) and Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (21.17) took third in 1:31.74.
Women's 50 back
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia, typically a sprint freestyler, showed some backstroke speed with a top-seeded 27.06. The Netherlands' Kira Toussaint took second in 27.12, while France's Laure Manaudou put herself in position for a win with a third-seeded 27.19 to tie with Great Britain's Lauren Quigley. Italy's Arianna Barbieri (27.28), Crotia's Sanja Jovanovic (27.32), Czech's Simona Baumrtova (27.32) and France's Cloe Credeville (27.35) also made the finale. The swimmers have some time to make up to catch up to the top times from the World Cup tour, including a 26.66 from Australia's Rachel Goh at the Beijing stop to lead the world this year.
Men's 50 breast
Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic won the first semi with a 26.52 and that time held up for the top seed as France's Florent Manaudou (26.56) and Norway's Aleksander Hetland (26.56) tied for the second seed. France's Giacomo Perez Dortona (26.58), Italy's Fabio Scozzoli (26.60), Ireland's Barry Murphy (26.66), Ukraine's Andriy Kovalenko (26.77) and Germany's Erik Steinhagen (26.79) grabbed the rest of the transfer spots into the finale. Cameron van der Burgh still holds the top time in the world this year with a sizzling 25.95 from the Doha stop of the World Cup, while Dugonjic moved to fourth in the world rankings this year.
Men's 100 IM
Slovenia's Peter Mankoc cruised to the top time in semis with a swift 52.84, while Estonia's Martti Aljand qualified second in 53.16. Israel's Gal Nevo (53.24) and Russia's Vlad Morozov (53.27) placed third and fourth, while Belgium's Emmanuel Vanluchene (53.32), Estonia's Martin Liivamagi (53.48), Czech's Jan Sefl (53.99) and Portugal's Diogo Filipe Carvalho (53.99) all cleared 54 seconds to make the finale. The finale field has some ground to make up on the top times in the world this year as George Bovell (51.20) and Kenneth To (51.43) have each bettered 52 seconds on the World Cup tour.
Women's 100 breast
Denmark's Rikke Moeller Pedersen clipped the meet record in semifinal two with a 1:04.49 to move to the top of the world this year. The previous meet record stood to Caroline Ruhnau, when the German posted a 1:04.84 in Instanbul in 2009. Pedersen also cleared the 1:04.58 Jessica Hardy posted in Berlin on the World Cup as the top time in the world, and moved close to her lifetime best of 1:04.21 set at the Salnikov Cup in 2009.
Czech's Petra Chocova took second in 1:06.22, while Ireland's Sycerika McMahon (1:06.46), Spain's Marina Garcia Urzainqui (1:06.66), Norway's Henriette Brekke (1:06.90), Turkey's Dilara Buse Gunaydin (1:07.00), Finland's Jenna Laukkanen (1:07.05) and Slovenia's Tjasa Vozel (1:07.49) also earned spots to vie for the title in the finale.
Men's 100 back
The French went 1-2 in the event with Jeremy Stravius (50.96) and Ben Stasiulis (51.19) winning their respective semifinal heats. Germany's Christian Diener (51.51), Hungary's Peter Bernek (51.62), Italy's Damiano Lestingi (51.65), Israel's Guy Barnea (51.66), Spain's Juan Miguel Rando Galvez (51.74) and Italy's Fabio Laugeni (51.96) qualified third through eighth for complete the championship final. Stravius jumped to fourth in the world this year, with Stanislav Donets' 49.49 as the top time in the world this year.
Women's 100 fly
Italy's Ilaria Bianchi topped qualifying with a 57.18 out of semifinal two, while Russia's Veronika Popova took second in 57.65. Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen Gray (57.67) and Belgium's Kimberly Buys (57.91) also broke 58 seconds to qualify third and fourth. Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos (58.29), Austria's Birgit Koschischek (58.30), Italy's Silvia Di Pietro (58.52) and Turkey's Iris Rosenberger (58.74) also earned their way into the finale. Bianchi has been faster this year with a second-ranked 56.86 during the Berlin stop of the World Cup. Therese Alshammar has the top time with a 56.68 from the Stockholm stop.