2018 European Championships Day 7: David Verraszto, Ajna Kesely Take Top Seeds

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Day 7 of the European Championships kicked off with Thursday’s preliminary session in Glasgow, Scotland.

Only two individual events were contested this morning: the men’s 400 IM and the women’s 400 Freestyle. They were followed by preliminary heats of the 4 x 100 Medley Relay for both genders where Russia (3:33.08) and Denmark (3:58.40) took the top seeds.

RESULTS

Men’s 400 IM

Hungary’s David Verraszto cruised to the top seed in this morning’s prelims of the men’s 400 IM in 4:14.18. A smooth middle 200 for the defending Champion and World Championship silver medalist in this event implies that he’ll post a bigger swim in the finals. He currently holds the fifth-fastest time in the world this year at 4:11.98.

Verraszto was followed by Great Britain’s Max Litchfield in one of his first 400 IMs since a shoulder injury in February. The swim was therefore a season-best 4:14.91. Over two seconds off his best, the race still puts him in the top twenty world rankings for this year.

Azerbaijan’s Maksym Shemberev and Portugal’s Joao Alexandre Vital earned the third and fourth seeds out of heat two in 4:15.33 and 4:15.87, respectively. Shemberev’s 1:09.33 breaststroke split out-paced the field – this leg of the race should help him fight for a medal in tonight’s final.

Joining the men in the final are Germany’s Johannes Hintze (4:16.18), Spain’s Joan Lluis Pons Ramon (4:17.01), Russia’s Maxim Stupin (4:17.60) and Germany’s Jacob Heidtmann (4:17.77).

 SUMMARY
RANK HEAT LANE NAT SURNAME AND NAME BORN R.T.  TIME GAP
1 4 4
 HUN
VERRASZTO David 22 AUG 1988 0.76 4:14.18 q
2 3 4
 GBR
LITCHFIELD Max 04 MAR 1995 0.65 4:14.91 0.73 q
3 2 5
 AZE
SHEMBEREV Maksym 25 SEP 1993 0.80 4:15.33 1.15 q
4 2 4
 POR
VITAL Joao Alexandre 13 JUN 1998 0.67 4:15.87 1.69 q
5 3 2
 GER
HINTZE Johannes 05 JUL 1999 0.72 4:16.18 2.00 q
6 4 3
 ESP
PONS RAMON Joan Lluis 09 DEC 1996 0.64 4:17.01 2.83 q
7 4 1
 RUS
STUPIN Maxim 11 MAY 2000 0.69 4:17.60 3.42 q
8 3 6
 GER
HEIDTMANN Jacob 06 NOV 1994 0.76 4:17.77 3.59 q

Women’s 400 Freestyle

Hungarian teenager and European Junior Record-Holder in this event Ajna Kesely dominated the third preliminary heat this morning to earn the top seed headed into tonight’s finals. Her opening speed set her apart from the field, out-splitting the competition by about one and a half seconds at the 200. She should have much more left in the tank to chase her best this season of 4:05.61 from the Hungarian Championships.

Great Britain’s Holly Hibbott (4:09.41), Germany’s Sarah Koehler (4:09.85) and Italy’s Simona Quadarella (4:09.97) went stroke-for-stroke in heat four to post the second, third and fourth fastest times. The women swam nearly identical races which is not surprising as they have all posted around the same time so far this season: 4:05.31, 4:05.68 and 4:05.74, respectively. These four will battle for all three medals in the final.

Russia’s Anna Egorova (4:10.77), Liechtenstein’s Julia Hassler (4:12.03), Portugal’s Diana Margarida Duraes (4:12.16) and Great Britain’s Eleanor Faulkner (4:12.85) will round out the final.

 SUMMARY
RANK HEAT LANE NAT SURNAME AND NAME BORN R.T.  TIME GAP
1 3 5
 HUN
KESELY Ajna 10 SEP 2001 0.72 4:08.77 q
2 4 5
 GBR
HIBBOTT Holly 13 DEC 1999 0.78 4:09.41 0.64 q
3 4 4
 GER
KOEHLER Sarah 20 JUN 1994 0.75 4:09.85 1.08 q
4 4 3
 ITA
QUADARELLA Simona 18 DEC 1998 0.77 4:09.97 1.20 q
5 4 6
 RUS
EGOROVA Anna 31 MAY 1998 0.77 4:10.77 2.00 q
6 4 7
 LIE
HASSLER Julia 27 FEB 1993 0.81 4:12.03 3.26 q
7 4 2
 POR
DURAES Diana Margarida 08 JUN 1996 0.71 4:12.16 3.39 q
8 3 3
 GBR
FAULKNER Eleanor 05 JAN 1993 0.74 4:12.85 4.08 q
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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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