Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Yue Yuewei
BERLIN, Germany, August 23. Two more days of preliminary action are left at the European Championships, and the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu already has three golds and a bronze. The big question is whether she can add to that haul with any more gold.
Additionally, Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte found some iron of her own as she set up a sprint double during semis tonight in the 50 breast and 50 free the day after the Youth Olympic Games finished in Nanjing. The young Olympic gold medalist took a page out of Hosszu’s travel book and jet-set back from China in time to finish up the European Championships.
- Women’s 50 breast
- Men’s 50 free
- Women’s 200 fly
- Women’s 50 free
- Men’s 800 free relay
Women’s 50 breast
Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte, fresh off the plane from winning a pair of title at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, threw down a 30.73 to lead all qualifying in the sprint breaststroke event. She still has time to make up to clear her world-leading 29.90 from the Sette Colli Trophy meet, but she’s definitely in the mix for the title after shoving off jet lag to make semis.
The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis (30.75), Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (30.79) and Germany’s Dorothea Brandt (30.82) also cleared 31 seconds to round out the top four.
Ireland’s Sycerika McMahon (31.02), Ukraine’s Mariya Liver (31.13), Denmark’s Rikke Moeller Pedersen (31.21), Iceland’s Hilda Luthersdottir (31.21) and Czech’s Petra Chocova (31.25) were among the top half of the semifinalists.
Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni (31.36), Czech’s Martina Moravcikova (31.45), Israel’s Amit Ivri (31.50), Ireland’s Fiona Doyle (31.63), Finland’s Veera Kivirinta (31.71), Belgium’s Fanny Lecluyse (31.84) and Germany’s Caroline Ruhnau (31.85) made up the rest of the semifinalists in what proved to be a clean set of qualifying with no two-per-country rule washouts.
Men’s 50 free
Italy’s Marco Orsi and Russia’s Oleg Tikhobaev led the way in the men’s splash-and-dash with matching 22.18s for the top seed as plenty of the other higher seeded sprinters had some problems during preliminary heats.
Russia’s depth bumped a pair of all-star sprinters out of semis again with the two-per-country rule as Sergey Fesikov (9th, 22.33) and the Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov (12th, 22.35) both missed semis. Morozov is the third-ranked swimmer in the world with a 21.55 from Russian Nationals, while Fesikov is ranked 19th with a 22.03 from that meet as well. That’s a lot of firepower to miss out on the evening’s swims, and that’s Morozov’s second miss after having the same situation happen in the 100 free.
Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev (22.19), France’s Florent Manaudou (22.20), Italy’s Luca Dotto (22.21), Great Britain’s Ben Proud (22.26), Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (22.26), Russia’s Andrey Grechin (22.29), Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (22.33), and Hungary’s Dominik Kozma (22.33) were among the top half of the qualifiers into the semis.
Hungary’s Krisztian Takacs (22.41), Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov (22.44), France’s Fabien Gilot (22.47), Belgium’s Francois Heersbrandt (22.51), Belgium’s Jasper Aerents (22.60), and Romania’s Marius Radu (22.68) also moved on through to the semis.
Women’s 200 fly
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia clocked in with a 2:08.41 for the top swim out of this morning’s prelims, as a total of four swimmers turned in 2:08s during qualifying. Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:08.73), Switzerland’s Martina Van Berkel (2:08.81) and the Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu (2:08.91) also made it under 2:09.
Belmonte Garcia is ranked second in the world with a 2:06.33 from Spanish Nationals, and is the favorite during semis tonight. Hosszu is the only other swimmer out of the top four in the top 15 of the world this year with a 2:07.53 from the Sette Colli Trophy meet. Hosszu is looking to add to her three golds and one bronze from this week already.
Belmonte Garcia’s Splits:
29.79 (5) 1:02.85 (3)
33.06 1:35.59 (2)
Spain’s Judit Ignacio Sorribes (2:09.21), Germany’s Franziska Hentke (2:10.60), Slovenia’s Anja Klinar (2:10.63), Great Britain’s Aimee Willmott (2:11.56), France’s Lara Grangeon (2:11.64), Italy’s Alessia Polieri (2:11.77), Great Britain’s Jemma Lowe (2:11.86), Israel’s Keren Siebner (2:12.19), Italy’s Stefania Pirozzi (2:12.36), France’s Marie Wattel (2:12.68), Switzerland’s Danielle Villars (2:12.70) and Russia’s Yana Martynova (2:13.66) will also compete in the semis.
Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto lost an eighth-place 2:10.97 to the two-per-country rule.
Women’s 50 free
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, already the talk of the sprint community around the world especially after her no-breather 50 fly world record, moved to the top of the women’s splash-and-dash qualifying with a 24.38 this morning. She’s second in the world this year with a 23.98 from Swedish Nationals, behind only Fran Halsall’s 23.96 from the Commonwealth Games.
Halsall, meanwhile, tied for third with Germany’s Dorothea Brandt with matching 24.77s in the final heat, while Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen snuck into second overall in 24.67.
Denmark’s Pernille Blume (25.03), Sweden’s Therese Alshammar (25.06), France’s Anna Stanamans (25.15), The Netherlands’ Maud van der Meer (25.18), Russia’s Elizaveta Bazarova (25.18), Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia (25.19), Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro (25.22), Italy’s Erika Ferraioli (25.33), Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk (25.36), The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (25.38), Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte (25.54) and Ukraine’s Darya Stepanyuk (25.55) will also perform in the semis.
That’s a remarkable swim for Meilutyte in particular, considering she just set herself up with a sprint double tonight the day after the Youth Olympic Games came to a close in China.
Men’s 800 free relay
The Germans were nothing if not consistent this morning as the host nation trotted out a quartet of 1:47 splits en route to leading qualifying in 7:10.26. It will be interesting to see if the Germans can turn around and challenge Russia’s meet record of 7:06.71 from 2010 during finals tonight.
BACKHAUS Robin – 1:47.76
LEBHERZ Yannick – 1:47.67
RAPP Clemens – 1:47.75
BIEDERMANN Paul – 1:47.08
Russia’s Nikita Lobintsev (1:48.50, Alexander Krasnykh (1:47.36), Dmitry Ermakov (1:46.86) and Viacheslav Andrusenko (1:48.65) placed second in 7:11.37 with The Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman (1:50.19), Dion Dreesens (1:47.74), Joost Reijns (1:49.82) and Sebastiaan Verschuren (1:47.77) posting a third-place 7:15.52.
Italy (7:15.77), Spain (7:16.11), Belgium (7:16.33), France (7:16.54) and Poland (7:19.10) will also do battle in the championship finale.
For up to the minute coverage, follow us on Twitter @SwimmingWorld: