Each day through August 17, Swimming World’s Jeff Commings and David Rieder will offer medal predictions in the 19 swimming events on tap at the European Championships, which begins August 18 in Berlin, Germany. We invite you to offer your picks in our Reaction Time comments section below!
Commentary by David Rieder
CHARLESTON, South Carolina, August 2. ONE of the major stories entering the European Championships has been Katinka Hosszu and the insane number of events – we hear ten – she plans to swim. In many, she will enter as a fringe medal contender, but the 200 fly has long been one of her babies, along with the IMs that she swept at the World Championships last year. In Berlin, though, she will face a familiar threat in Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, who finished with the silver medal to Hosszu’s bronze at last year’s World Championships.
Evelyn Verraszto and Zsuzsanna Jakabos should battle for the second spot in the finals among Hungarians and thus a strong chance for a medal. German favorite Franziska Hentke ranks in the top ten in the world, and she should have some major hometown support. Italy’s Stefania Pirozzi, just 20, will look to make her mark on the international stage for the first time, while young Spaniard Judit Ignacio joins Belmonte atop the world rankings in third, and she has the experience of a World Championship final last year.
Women’s 200 fly medal predictions
Gold: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
Silver: Mireia Belmonte, Spain
Bronze: Zsuzsanna Jakabos, Hungary
Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski should be the favorite in the men’s event since, at age 29, he has accomplished pretty much everything possible in the 200 fly. He won the world title in the event in 2005, and he finished second in both 2009 and 2013, and he has also racked up European titles in the event.
By contrast, almost every other major contender in this relatively wide-open event has very little international experience, including Denmark’s Victor Bromer (21), Belgium’s Louis Croenen (20), Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic (20), and Hungarians Tamas Kenderesi (18) and Bence Biczo (21). Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov, who finished sixth at the World Championships last year, might also be in the mix.
Men’s 200 fly medal predictions
Gold: Pawel Korzeniowski, Poland
Silver: Bence Biczo, Hungary
Bronze: Velimir Stjepanovic, Serbia