HELSINKI, Finland, December 10. FAST swimming highlighted the last night of the European Short Course Championships in Helsinki, Finland. A pair of continental records were set in individual events and a world record went down in relay action. Here's an event-by-event breakdown of the fourth day of the competition.
Women's 400 Individual Medley Final
Italy's Alessia Filippi, the favorite heading into the meet, won the distance medley in 4:31.58. Filippi held the lead at the midpoint of the race and managed to defeat Poland's Katarzyna Baranowska, who finished with a mark of 4:32.78. The bronze medalist was Russia's Anastasia Ivanenko, who covered the event in 4:33.46.
Men's 200 Breaststroke Final
After claiming a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Hungary's Dani Gyurta was billed as the future of the 200 breast. In recent years, though, Gyurta hasn't been able to match his Athens form – until Sunday. The Hungarian teenager won the 200 breast in 2:06.58, slightly quicker than the 2:06.61 of Poland's Slawomir Kuczko and 2:07.13 of Paolo Bossini.
Women's 200 Freestyle Final
Alena Popchanka, representing France, posted the first European record of the night by covering the 200 free in 1:54.25, under the old standard of 1:54.53, set in January by Britain's Mel Marshall. Popchanka had the lead at the 100-meter mark and held off Poland's Otylia Jedrzejczak, who won silver in 1:54.39, also under the former standard. Sweden's Josefin Lillhage earned bronze in 1:54.75.
Men's 100 Individual Medley Final
Slovenia's Peter Mankoc, who holds the championship record, picked up gold in his short-course specialty by stopping the clock in 53.05. That effort was fast enough to fend off Lithuania's Vytautas Janusaitis (53.66) and Norway's Aleksander Hetland (53.70).
Women's 100 Breaststroke Final
The Ukraine's Anna Khlistunova won the gold medal behind a championship-record showing of 1:05.73. That swim allowed Khlistunova to prevail by nearly a second over Great Britain's Kirsty Balfour (1:06.57) and Germany's Janne Schaefer (1:07.32).
Men's 200 Freestyle Final
Complementing his triumph in the 100 freestyle, Italy's Filippo Magnini moved up in distance and took home top honors in the 200 free with a swim of 1:42.54, plenty faster than the silver-medal mark of countryman Massi Rosolino (1:44.17). The medal was Rosolino's 50th in international competition. Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski was the bronze medalist in 1:44.41.
Women's 100 Butterfly Final
Germany's Antje Buschschulte managed the only sub-57 second swim and took the gold medal in 56.94, ahead of the 57.19 mark of the Netherlands' Inge Dekker (57.19). Slovakia's Martina Moravcova took the bronze medal as the veteran hit the wall in 57.59.
Men's 100 Backstroke Final
Fresh off a European record in the 200 backstroke earlier in the meet, Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin added the 100 back crown to his stash. Vyatchanin checked in with a time of 51.11, barely ahead of the 51.16 turned in by Germany's Helge Meeuw. Germany also claimed the bronze medal with Thomas Rupprath popping a time of 52.02.
Women's 200 Backstroke Final
Fueling France's strong meet, Esther Baron notched a European record in the distance backstroke with a time of 2:04.08. That effort dipped under the former record of 2:04.23, set in 2003 by Germany's Antje Buschschulte. The Ukraine's Iryna Amshennikova was second in 2:04.57 and the bronze was won by Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds in 2:05.74.
Men's 50 Butterfly Final
Croatia's Alexei Puninski gave his country its first gold of the meet as he won the sprint fly in 23.21, ahead of Thomas Rupprath. The German went 23.34 to place ahead of Iceland's Orn Arnarson, the bronze medalist in 23.55.
Women's 50 Freestyle Final
The Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis set a championship record in winning the 50 free. Veldhuis clocked 23.69 to hand Sweden's Therese Alshammar defeat. Alshammar was the silver-medal winner in 23.76 and Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala was third in 24.57. Britain's Francesca Halsall barely finished out of the medals in 24.58.
Men's 200 Freestyle Relay
The Swedes capped the meet with a world record in the 200 free relay, as the quartet of Stefan Nystrand, Petter Stymne, Marcus Piehl and Jonas Tilly went 1:24.89. The old record of 1:25.03 was set by the Netherlands in December of 2005.