European Championships: Apostolos Christou Wins 50 Back In Greek Record; Out-Touches Local Hero Thomas Ceccon

Apostolos Christou (photo: Mike Lewis)
Apostolos Christou: Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

European Championships: Apostolos Christou Wins 50 Back In Greek Record; Out-Touches Local Hero Thomas Ceccon

Apostolos Christou set a Greek record of 24.36 en-route to the gold medal in the 50 backstroke at the European Championships in Rome.

It was a fourth European medal for Christou but his first in the 50m, having claimed bronze in the 100 back at the last three editions, as he took 0.03 off his national mark of 24.39 from the World Championships in June.

He led all the way and out-touched Thomas Ceccon despite his best efforts in the second 25, the Italian taking silver in 24.40, also a national record.

Ole Braunschweig of Germany was third in 24.68.

Christou said:

“That was a fantastic race in a fantastic atmosphere.

“When I came out and I saw the crowd and heard the cheering that really pumped me up, it gave me a lot of energy even if the cheering was for Ceccon but that just made me more competitive.

“That’s my personal best and it came with a gold medal!

“So I’m a European champion now, I cannot be any much happier!”

It was Ceccon’s fourth medal of the meet so far at which he has claimed two golds and two silvers so far.

There was a collection groan from the crowd when they saw he hadn’t won but Ceccon immediately turned his focus to the 100 back in which he is world champion and world record-holder.

He said:

“Fine, 24.40 – I did a really good time, this is my new personal best.

“I messed it up at the end, arriving to the wall.

“Tomorrow I’ll have the 100m, I’ll try to do better. By the way, this is my first medal in the 50m, so it’s a good feeling.”

It was a first international medal for Braunschweig, who said:

“This was absolutely unexpected. This was something I’ve always dreamed of… Still, to get my first European Championship medal in reality just makes me mega-happy!”

Results

  1. Apostolos Christou (GRE); 24.36
  2. Thomas Ceccon (ITA); 24.40
  3. Ole Braunschweig (GER); 24.68
  4. Michael Leytrovskiy (ISR); 24.75
  5. Michele Lamberti (ITA); 24.85
  6. Kacper Stokowski (POL); 24.99
  7. Yohann Ndoye Brouard (25.06)
  8. Tomasz Polewka (POL); 25.08

 

 

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