Is Britta Steffen’s 50 Free Record Going Down At European Championships?

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, July 31. THE women’s field for the splash-and-dash will feature a strong contingent of young stars from across the continent, but the headliners will be Great Britain’s Fran Halsall (assuming she elects to attend) and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who finished third and fourth, respectively, at last year’s World Championships. No other women have broken 24 seconds this year, and no other women have broken 24 seconds since the age of the high-tech suits in 2008 and 2009. Expect another thriller, but I’ll take Sjostrom to complete the sprint double in the 50. Could Britta Steffen’s world record of 23.73 be in danger?

Jeanette Ottesen, Aliaksandra Herasimenia, Pernelle Blume, and Femke Heemskerk will provide veteran presence in the field, while Berlin could be the coming-out party for France’s Anna Santamans, 21, or Russia’s Rozaliya Nasretdinova, 17. Watch, too, for hometown favorite Dorothea Brandt, on the other side of the experience spectrum at the age of 30.

Women’s 500 free medal predictions
Gold:
Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden
Silver: Fran Halsall, Great Britain
Bronze: Dorothea Brandt, Germany

The race in Berlin may be listed as an intercontinental battle with the sprinters at the Pan Pacific champions, but the winner of the men’s 50 free in Berlin could certainly turn out to be the fastest man in the world. The battle between Russia’s Vlad Morozov and France’s Florent Manaudou should be tight and swift. One man won the silver at last year’s World Championships out of lane seven (Morozov), while the other came from that exact position to win the Olympic crown a year earlier (Manaudou).

Morozov may have to be careful in qualifying since only the top two Russians advance out of the prelims of the event, and Andrey Grechin has to be considered the favorite to join his superstar teammate in the second round. Poland’s Konrad Czerniak, Ukraine’s Andrey Govorov, Romania’s Norbert Trandafir, Hungary’s Krisztián Takács, and Italy’s Luca Dotto all have medal-worthy credentials. Former world record-holder Fred Bousquet will not compete in Berlin, leaving a big gap in the top contenders.

Men’s 50 free medal predictions
Gold:
Florent Manaudou, France
Silver: Vlad Morozov, Russia
Bronze: Luca Dotto, Italy

Check out our previous medal predictions for the European championships!

100 freestyle

400 individual medley

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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