Photo courtesy Mike Comer/ProSwimVisuals.com
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
IRVINE, California, August 10. THE women’s 200 IM at the European Championships could be one of the most exciting events of the competition, with the news that Great Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor will be attending the meet. The teenager broke out at the Commonwealth Games when she dropped a 2:08.21 in the event, and though she could have called it a season after her swims in Glasgow, she’s using Europeans as another opportunity to improve.
O’Connor will face off with reigning World Champion Katinka Hosszu, who last year dominated the field in Barcelona with a 2:07.92. Other Europeans in last year’s final included Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia – the bronze medalist in that race – along with Hosszu’s countrywoman Zsuzsanna Jakobos and Britain’s Sophie Allen.
Evelyn Verraszto and Aimee Willmott could battle to knock their teammates out of finals, while Austria’s Lisa Zaiser could be an interesting darkhorse. Also watch for the Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk, who ranks third in the world at 2:10.21, but Heemskerk has had much more success in the freestyle events throughout her career and might focus on those in Berlin.
Women’s 200 IM medal predictions
Gold: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
Silver: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Great Britain
Bronze: Mireia Belmonte Garcia, Spain
The depth suffers in the men’s event, where Europe had just two finalists at last year’s World Championships and only five swimmers ranking in the top 20 in the world this year. However, the event will feature the greatest 200 IMer in history that has never won the event at an Olympics or World Championships. Laszlo Cseh has finished behind Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the event so many times; combining World Championships and Olympics, Cseh has earned three silvers and four bronzes in this event since 2004.
With the battle looking like one for silver and bronze, Germany’s Marcus Deibler is a strong contender, as his 1:58.00 ranks first in Europe so far this year. He finished ninth at last year’s Worlds, one spot behind Sweden’s Simon Sjodin. Great Britain’s Roberto Pavoni and Portugal’s Diogo Carvalho also finished in the top-16 last summer in Barcelona, while Spain’s Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez and Britain’s Joe Roebuck also rank among the world top-20. Solache-Gomez trains at the University of Florida and could continue the strong summer that Gregg Troy’s foreign squad is having in 2014.
Men’s 200 IM medal predictions
Gold : Laszlo Cseh, Hungary
Silver: Marcus Deibler, Germany
Bronze: Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Spain
Previous European championships medal predictions: