Lotte Friis Looking To Reign Supreme In Women’s Distance Free 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 comments section below!

Commentary by Jeff Commings

PHOENIX, Arizona, August 12. The European championships will feature the 800 and 1500 for women, giving distance swimmers an extra event and the opportunity to test their mettle in the non-Olympic 1500 distance.

Just as Katie Ledecky is the prohibitive favorite in the distance events at the Pan Pacific championships, so too is Lotte Friis in the European championships. The Dane is the second-fastest performer in history behind Ledecky in the 1500 and the third-fastest in history in the 800.

Friis moved to the United States last winter to train with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club’s elite squad, and European championships is her first true test. I’m not sure if Friis will be able to match her spectacular time from last year’s world championships in the 1500, but should still be motivated to post one of the 10 fastest times in history.

Friis will be pushed a bit in the 800 by Spain’s Mireia Belmonte and Great Britain’s Jazz Carlin. If Belmonte and Carlin can match Friis’ pace in the opening 400, there could be a serious race for gold. Carlin’s big question mark is how physically prepared will she be after swimming fast at the Commonwealth Games?

Those will be the three swimmers on the distance freestyle medal podium. No one else on the European continent stands a chance against these three heavyweights.

Women’s distance freestyle medal predictions:
800:
Gold:
Lotte Friis, Denmark
Silver: Jazz Carlin, Great Britain
Bronze: Mireia Belmonte, Spain

1500:
Gold:
Lotte Friis, Denmark
Silver: Mireia Belmonte, Spain
Bronze: Jazz Carlin, Great Britain

Previous European championships medal predictions:

100 freestyle

400 individual medley

50 freestyle

100 backstroke

200 butterfly

50 breaststroke

400 medley relay
200 freestyle

200 breaststroke

50 backstroke

100 butterfly

800 freestyle relay

200 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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