HERNING, Denmark, December 12. THE first of two more “world records” was set as the relays closed the show at the 2013 European Short Course Championships. As explained ad nauseam here at Swimming World. FINA finally elected to official recognize eight relays as world record events this September. That includes all six of the various 200 short course relays. Unfortunately, FINA never announced if it would set an initial “world record” line or just start accepting the first legal swims.
This led to Indiana University putting together a special relay event to gain the world records. FINA initially planned to ignore all of the Hoosier swims, but relented and certified their mixed 200 SCM relays as global marks. Those two swims have since been sent to the annals of history with the FINA World Cup swimmers all roasting the world records and nearly recalibrating them with previous world bests.
The single gender events, however, will have a tougher time of it. This morning, Italy set the men’s 200 medley relay world record with a 1:33.65 in prelims. Russia returned tonight with Vitaly Melnikov (23.72), Oleg Kostin (26.18), Nikita Konovalov (21.92) and Vlad Morozov (20.56) posted a 1:32.38 for the win. That swim beat the previous world record, but not Russia’s own European and national record of 1:31.80 from 2009.
Italy (1:32.83), Germany (1:33.06), Belarus (1:34.56), Lithuania (1:35.26), Serbia (1:35.58), Turkey (1:35.67), Czech Republic (1:35.89) and Sweden (1:36.14) closed out the rest of the finale with Estonia drawing a disqualification.
The women’s 200 free relay followed with similar circumstances. Sweden posted an initial world record with a 1:37.21 this morning before Denmark’s Pernille Blume (24.90), Jeanette Ottesen (23.66), Kelly Rasmussen (24.63) and Mie Nielsen (23.85) touched out Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (24.54), Sarah Sjostrom (23.60), Louise Hansson (24.55) and Magdalena Kuras (24.39) final time of 1:37.08. Russia’s Rozaliya Nasretdinova (24.16), Veronika Popova (24.32), Elizaveta Bazarova (24.21) and Svetlana Knyaginina (24.44) also beat the previous world record with a 1:37.13. Unfortunately, none of these handful of times comes close to The Netherlands’ world best European and meet mark of 1:33.25 from 2009.
Italy (1:37.56), Poland (1:38.78), Belarus (1:39.08), Norway (1:40.06), Hungary (1:40.09) and Great Britain (1:40.26) finished fourth through ninth, while France drew a disqualification.