European Championships Day 7 Finals: Sjostrom, Efimova, Peaty Finish with Four Golds Each

Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

During the final evening of competition at the European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Sarah SjostromYulia Efimova and Adam Peaty all put the finishing touches on strong performances, and all three ended up with four gold medals.

Elsewhere, Ben Proud won the European title in the men’s 50 free, even if he couldn’t beat his scintilating 21.11 from the semi-finals, while Margherita Panziera broke a championship record four years older than her in the women’s 200 back.

Read below for an event-by-event recap.


Women’s 50 Fly FINAL

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom picked up her fourth gold medal of the European Championships with a dominant win in the 50 fly. She posted a time of 25.16, a time only she and fellow Swede Therese Alshammar have ever surpassed. Sjostrom also won gold this week in both the 50 and 100 free and in the 100 fly.

Denmark’s Emilie Beckmann won a tight race for the silver medal, touching in 25.72. Belgium’s Kimberly Buys took bronze in 25.74, just three-hundredths ahead of Germany’s Aleina Schmidtke (25.77).

France’s Melanie Henique got off to the best start and actually had the lead after 25 meters, but she could not hold on. Henique ended up fifth in 25.84, ahead of the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo (25.88), Poland’s Anna Dowgiert (26.18) and Greece’s Anna Ntountounaki (26.23).


Men’s 50 Free FINAL

Great Britain’s Ben Proud couldn’t come close to his remarkable 21.11 from the semi-finals, but he still did enough to beat the field by a tenth of a second. Proud touched in 21.34, followed by Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev in 21.44. Italy’s Andrea Vergani also got on the podium, earning a bronze in 21.68.

Russia’s Vladimir Morozov continued his disappointing European Championships with a fourth-place finish. He previously did not advance out of the prelims of the 100 free due to the two-per-country rule, and in the 50, he could only manage a time of 21.74.

Lithuania’s Simonas Bilis, who won a swim-off to secure the last spot in the championship heat, improved to fifth after he touched in 21.97, followed by the Netherlands’ Jesse Puts (22.08), Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (22.11) and Poland’s Pawel Juraszek (22.14).


Women’s 50 Breast FINAL

After already winning gold in both the 100 and 200 breast, Yulia Efimova put the finishing touches on a sweep. The 26-year-old Russian took gold in the 50 breast with a time of 29.81, slower than the championship record of 29.66 she set in the semi-finals.

Great Britain’s Imogen Clark delighted the home fans in Glasgow with a silver medal, touching in 30.34. Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni took bronze in 30.41, locking European record-holder Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania off the podium by five-hundredths. Meilutyte’s final time was 30.46.

Finland’s Ida Hulkko (31.02), Italy’s Martina Carraro (31.11), Russia’s Natalia Ivaneeva (31.19) and Sweden’s Sophie Hansson (31.23) wrapped up the final.


Men’s 100 Fly FINAL

Italy’s Piero Codia barely snuck into the men’s 100 fly final, qualifying eighth, but just 24 hours later, he was the best in the field. Swimming in lane eight, Codia ended up dominating and touching first in 50.64. That makes him the second-fastest man in the world this year, behind Caeleb Dressel (50.50) and ahead of Chad Le Clos (50.65).

Codia’s win marked the second for a swimmer in lane eight this week, following Duncan Scott’s win in the men’s 200 free. It was a good heat all around for swimmers in outside lanes as France’s Mehdy Metella, swimming in lane one, grabbed silver in 51.24.

Great Britain’s James Guy took his first individual medal of the week with a bronze, touching in 51.42. Guy, who like the top two was on the outside of the pool (lane two), previously finished fourth in the 200 free and anchored the British men’s 4×200 free rely to gold.

Hungary’s Kristof Milak, the World Champs silver medalist last year behind Dressel and the European champion in the 200 fly earlier this week, finished a surprising fourth in 51.51. He was followed by Russia’s Egor Kuimov (51.62), Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (51.72) and Russia’s Aleksandr Sadovnikov (51.81).

Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, the 32-year-old veteran and six-time Olympic medalist, was the top qualifier out of the semi-finals (in his only final of the week), but he faded all the way to eighth in 51.84.


Women’s 200 Back FINAL

Italy’s Margherita Panziera took the race out hard and did not let anyone close the gap down the stretch, and that paid off with a European title in the women’s 200 back. Panziera touched in 2:06.18, breaking the championship record of 2:06.62 set by Krisztina Egerszegi all the way back in 1991 — a full four years before Panziera was born.

The Italian, three dyas shy of her 23rd birthday, won by almost a second as Russia’s Daria Ustinova took the silver in 2:07.12. Hungary’s Katalin Burian picked up bronze with her time of 2:07.43.

Germany’s Lisa Graf finished a comfortable fourth in 2:08.58, and well back was the rest of the pack: Russia’s Anastasiia Avdeeva (2:10.03), Germany’s Jenny Mensing (2:10.77), Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (2:10.89) and Spain’s Africa Zamorano Sanz (2:11.55).


Men’s 400 IM FINAL

Hungary’s David Verraszto won his third-straight European title in the men’s 400 IM, but he had to work hard to overcome Max Litchfield’s early advantage and then hold off a strong charge by the Brit on the last 50.

Verraszto put up a time of 4:10.65, followed by Litchfield in 4:11.00, good for fourth and sixth in the world this year, respectively. Spain’s Joan Lluis Pons Ramon took bronze in 4:14.26.

Just missing the podium were Germany’s Johannes Hintze (4:14.73) and Azerbaijan’s Maksym Shemberev (4:14.77), and they were followed by Germany’s Jacob Heidtmann (4:16.29), Russia’s Maxim Stupin (4:18.41) and Portugal’s Alexandre Joao Vital (4:19.79).


Women’s 400 Free FINAL

In the final individual event of the European Championships, Italy’s Simona Quadarella picked up her third gold medal of the week, winning a battle with Hungary’s Ajna Kesely in the women’s 400 free. Already with titles in the 800 and 1500 free, Quadarella won the 400 in 4:03.35, giving her the fifth-fastest time in the world this year.

Kesely finished second in 4:03.57, taking more than two seconds off her own European record of 4:05.61. Bronze went to Great Britain’s Holly Hibbott in 4:05.01, and those two moved behind Quadarella into sixth and seventh in the world rankings, respectively.

Russia’s Anna Egorova finished one second out of the medals in fourth, with a time of 4:06.03. Also in the final were Germany’s Sarah Koehler (4:07.68), Liechtenstein’s Julia Hassler (4:11.42), Portugal’s Diana Margarida Duraes (4:12.41) and Great Britain’s Eleanor Faulkner (4:15.26).


Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay FINAL

In the men’s 4×100 medley relay, Great Britain was in fourth place after the backstroke leg, but then Adam Peaty went to work. Peaty split 57.60 on the breaststroke leg — actually far slower than his best but more than a second quicker than anyone else in the heat — and his countrymen didn’t look back.

Nicholas Pyle (54.58), Peaty, James Guy (50.91) and Duncan Scott (47.35) combined for a time of 3:30.44, breaking the championship record of 3:31.32 set by France in 2010. Peaty finished the week with four gold medals (also 50 breast, 100 breast and mixed 4×100 medley relay), while Scott and Guy each won their third gold.

Russia finished second in 3:32.03. Kliment Kolesnikov led off in 52.77, and he was followed by Anton ChupkovEgor Kuimov and Vladimir Morozov, who posted the fastest anchor split at 47.44. Germany’s Christian DienerFabien SchwingenschloglMarius Kusch and Damian Wierling took bronze in 3:33.52.

Wierling split 47.75 to touch out Lithuania for third. The Lithuanians, anchored by Simonas Bilis in 47.81, ended up fourth in 3:30.70. Also in the final were Hungary (3:34.24), Belarus (3:34.79), the Netherlands (3:35.24) and Sweden (3:36.00).


Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay FINAL

Shortly after winning her third individual breaststroke gold medal of the week, Yulia Efimova posted the fastest 100 breast split in history to give Russia a win in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, the final event of the European Championships. Efimova split 1:03.95 on the breaststroke leg, the first sub-1:04 split ever recorded

Anastasia Fesikova (59.56), Efimova, Svetlana Chimrova (57.34) and Mariia Kameneva (53.37) combined for a time of 3:54.22, smashing the championship record of 3:55.62 set by Denmark in 2014.

Denmark finished second here as Mie NielsenRikke Moeller PedersenEmilie Beckmann and Pernille Blume swam a 3:56.69. Blume’s 51.77 anchor split was the fastest in the field.

Great Britain’s squad of Georgia DaviesSiobhan-Marie O’ConnorAlys Thomas and Freya Anderson took bronze in 3:56.91. The 17-year-old Anderson, who already anchored two relays to gold medals this week, split 52.69 to just edge out Italy (3:57.00) for the final spot on the podium. Italian anchor Federica Pellegrini dove into the pool in second, but she didn’t have enough at the end, splitting 53.30.

The Netherlands finished fifth in 3:58.94 after Femke Heemskerk anchored in 52.84. The final also included France (3:59.85), Germany (4:01.10) and Hungary (4:04.58).