CHARTRES, France, November 25. THE European short course record book took a bit of a hit on the final night of the European Short Course Championships in France. Hannah Miley and Rikke Moeller Pederson both put on a show in their respective events.
Women's 400 IM
Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos took the swim out fast, under world record pace early on, but faded badly down the stretch as Great Britain's Hannah Miley touched out Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, 4:23.47 to 4:23.91, for the European record and textile best. Jakabos, meanwhile, placed third in 4:25.61.
Both Miley and Hosszu cleared the European record of 4:24.21 set by Mireia Belmonte Garcia in 2010, as well as Belmonte Garcia's meet record of 4:24.55 from Poland last year. Julia Smit's world record of 4:21.04 from the techsuit era withstood the early challenge. Miley and Hosszu now stand third and fourth all time in the event's history, while Jakabos moved into the top 10. Kathryn Meaklim remains second with a 4:22.8 from the 2009 Singapore stop on the World Cup circuit.
“I'm shocked that I was that fast!” Miley said. “Last year I had a 4:26, and I wanted to clock the same time or a little bit faster, and now I've got a new European record: This was a great event for me, but also really tough. I'm happy that it's over.”
— Nick Hope (@NickHopeBBC) November 25, 2012
Men's 200 breast
Russia's Vyacheslav Sinkevich surged to victory in the men's 200 breast with a time of 2:04.55, while Ukraine's Igor Borysik (2:05.12) and Andriy Kovalenko (2:05.21) placed second and third in the finale. Sinkevich's time matched Sean Mahoney's effort from the Berlin stop of the World Cup for the top time in the world this year. Borysik and Kovalenko moved into the top five with their swims.
“I don't understand the reason, but in this pool I have difficulties to get a good feeling in the water,” Sinkevich said. “Therefore it was a difficult race for me. Nevertheless, it's the greatest success of my career.”
Women's 200 free
She gave the world record a run, under pace at the 100-meter mark, but Camille Muffat wound up turning in a winning time of 1:52.20 about a second off the global standard of 1:51.17 owned by Federica Pellegrini. Muffat's time just clipped her previous lifetime best of 1:52.28 from the Berlin stop of the World Cup, that ranks her third all time in the event and is the fastest ever in textile. Allison Schmitt is still the second fastest swimmer ever with a 1:51.67 from the 2009 Duel in the Pool. France's Charlotte Bonnet took second in 1:54.00, while Russia's Veronika Popova touched third in 1:54.20. Bonnet moved into the top 25 with that swim.
“The obvious goal for me was to win this race – whatever the time,” Muffat said. “My problem was the time span between the French nationals last week and this weekend, because today it's my eighth competition day with just three rest days in between. That's a bit too short.”
Men's 100 IM
Russia's Vlad Morozov has been on fire this week, already winning the men's 100 free with a textile best. Tonight, he posted the only sub 52 second time in the sprint medley with a 51.89 for the win. Slovenia's Peter Mankoc, the world-record holder, took second in 52.64, while Estonia's Martti Aljand earned third in 52.92. Morozov vaulted to 12th all time in the event's history with his swim, while Mankoc still holds is global standard with a blistering 50.76 from the 2009 Euro Short Course Champs during the techsuit era.
“Six medals and perhaps a seventh with the freestyle relay – I would never have dared to dream about that!” Morozov said. “However, I had decided to get close to Peter Mankoc's world record, and that's why I'm a bit disappointed.”
Women's 100 fly
Italy's Ilaria Bianchi used a superior back half to push her way to a win in 56.40, while Belgium's Kimberly Buys took second in 57.00. Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen Gray wound up third overall in 57.13 after leading at the 50-meter mark. Bianchi's time is the best in the world this year, clearing Therese Alshammar's 56.68 from the Stockholm stop of the World Cup. Bianchi also vaulted to 18th in the all time rankings with her swim, bettering her Italian record of 56.86 set at the Berlin stop of the World Cup earlier this fall.
“I didn't expect to win this race, because of the strong competition,” Bianchi said. “My aim was to set a new Italian record, and that's what I achieved. The gold medal is the icing on the cake.”
Men's 200 free
France's Yannick Agnel cruised to victory in the event with a 1:41.46, while Belgium's Pieter Timmers touched second in 1:43.08. France's Gregory Mallet earned third in 1:43.21. Agnel's time was off his best of 1:39.70 set in Angers. Some might have been disappointed that he did not break the world record after a promising global record in the 400 free. However, Paul Biedermann remained firmly in control of the standard with a 1:39.37 from Berlin in 2009.
“I controlled my efforts throughout the entire championships and despite a certain tiredness I won today – which was my aim,” Agnel said.
Women's 100 breast
Denmark's Rikke Moeller Pedersen kept on rolling at this meet with a European record in the 100 breast as she blazed to a 1:04.12. That swim eclipsed her 1:04.21 from Saint Petersburg in 2009, and bettered her meet record of 1:04.49 from yesterday. Czech's Petra Chocova touched second in 1:05.50, while Spain's Marina Garcia Urzainqui earned third in 1:05.82. Pedersen shot to sixth in the all time rankings, just behind Satomi Suzuki's 1:04.11 from the 2011 Japanese Short Course Championships.
“I had to settle down after the Olympics before restarting into the new season,” Pedersen said. “I'm still in the build-up process with my new swimming technique, and to improve my own European record is simply fantastic.”
Men's 100 back
France's Jeremy Stravius led a French 1-2 with a sub-50 time of 49.70. Compatriot Ben Stasiulis placed second in 50.31, while Italy's Damiano Lestingi took home third in 51.35. Stanislav Donets still has the top time this year with a 49.49 from the Tokyo stop of the World Cup, but that time will likely fall in Instanbul. The sub-50 is Stravius' first, having a previous top time of 50.38 from the 2009 Euro Short Course Championships. He skyrocketed to ninth all time in the event's history, and cleared Camille Lacourt's French record of 49.80 in the process.
“Several people in the French team thought I was capable of swimming below 50 seconds, but I didn't,” Stravius said. “So I have to admit that I'm positively surprised by my time.”
Women's 200 back
Ukraine's Daryna Zevina threw down the first sub 2:02 time of the year with a meet-record time of 2:01.97 in the distance dorsal. France's Alexianne Castel took second in 2:03.23, while Czech's Simona Baumrtova wound up third in 2:03.43. Zevina's time bettered her meet standard of 2:02.25 set in Poland in 2011, and crushed her previous season best of 2:02.99 from the Doha stop of the World Cup. Zevina's meet record had also stood as her lifetime best as she became just the eighth swimmer under 2:02 in the history of the event. She now stands ninth all time with her new Ukrainian record.
“I set a new personal best today, and that should be a good starting point for the World Championships in Istanbul,” Zevina said.
Men's 50 fly
Spain's Rafael Munoz Perez touched out France's Fred Bousquet, 22.53 to 22.54, in the men's sprint fly, while Ukraine's Andriy Govorov wound up third in 22.72. Those swims pushed Munoz Perez and Bousquet to third and fourth in the world this year behind Matt Targett (22.30) and Roland Schoeman (22.34). Munoz Perez (22.33) and Bousquet (22.17) have been faster in their careers, as they own top 10 all-time performances.
“There was a lot of luck in the race,” Munoz Perez said. “In this morning's heat it wasn't going well for me, but this afternoon I had the necessary confidence and won by the blink of an eye.”
Women's 50 free
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia became the first swimmer under 24 seconds this year with a sizzling time of 23.85. Estonia's Triin Aljand earned second-place honors in 24.24, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen Gray placed third in 24.33. Herasimenia cleared her lifetime best of 23.95, that also stands as a national record. With the performance, she jumped from 18th all time to a 13th-ranked tie with Lara Jackson. Aljand, meanwhile, has been faster with a 23.92 to her credit.
“That's a great finish for me at these championships,” Herasimenia said. “I' m truly proud of myself. I was convinced of winning gold, but when you get onto the starting block, there is always a little bit of uncertainty.”
Men's 200 free relay
France stormed its way to victory in the men's relay with a swift 1:23.31 from Florent Manaudou (20.83), Fred Bousquet (20.65), Jeremy Stravius (21.00) and Amaury Leveaux (20.83). Meanwhile, Russia's Vlad Morozov (20.78), Andrey Grechin (21.21), Evgeny Lagunov (20.84) and Vitaly Syrnikov (21.16) touched second in 1:23.99. Belgium's Emmanuel Vanluchene (21.75), Pieter Timmers (21.27), Yoris Grandjean (21.58) and Jasper Aerents (21.00) earned third in 1:25.60.
Women's 200 medley relay
Denmark's Kristina Thomsen (28.16), Rikke Moeller Pedersen (29.83), Jeanette Ottesen Gray (25.10) and Pernille Blume (24.32) won the event in 1:47.41, while Czech's Simona Baumrtova (26.98), Petra Chocova (29.34), Lucie Svecena (26.59) and Aneta Pechancova (24.76) touched in 1:47.67 for second. France's Laure Manaudou (27.04), Fanny Babou (31.01), Melanie Henique (25.33) and Anna Santamans (24.32) closed out a close threeway finish with a 1:47.70.
Women's 50 free
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia topped semis of the splash-and-dash with a 24.36, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen Gray placed second in 24.45. The duo tied for the 100 free title at the 2011 World Long Course Championships. France's Anna Santamans (24.53), Russia's Rozaliya Masretdinova (24.53), Estonia's Triin Aljand (24.57), Serbia's Miroslava Najdanovski (24.77) and Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala (24.79) qualified third through seventh, while Belarus' Sviatlana Khakhlova and Turkey's Burcu Dolunay set up a swimoff with matching 24.83s for eighth. Khakhlova wound up with the swimoff win,
Men's 50 fly
France's Fred Bousquet touched out Belarus' Yauhen Tsurkin, 22.73 to 22.78, for the top seed heading into finals. Ukraine's Andriy Govorov and Spain's Rafael Munoz Perez tied for third with matching 22.93s, while The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden finished fifth in 22.97 to clear 23 seconds. Switzerland's Flori Lang (23.07), France's Mehdy Metella (23.14) and Serbia's Ivan Lendjer (23.32) rounded out the rest of the finale.24.53 to 24.62.