European Championships, Day 4 Finals: Hugo Gonzalez Takes Gold & Silver; Chupkov, Seemanova, Kapas Triumph

hugo gonzalez
Hugo Gonzalez: Picture Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

European Championships, Day 4 Finals: Hugo Gonzalez Takes Gold & Silver; Chupkov, Seemanova, Kapas Triumph

Hugo Gonzalez dusted himself off after taking 100 back silver to return to the pool an hour later where he claimed gold in the 200IM at the European Championships in Budapest.

The Spaniard came with a late charge to overhaul defending champion Jeremy Desplanches and take the title in 1:56.76 with the Swiss second and Alberto Razzetti of Italy in third.

In fourth was Laszlo Cseh at a record 10th European Championships in possibly his last appearance at the continental meet with the 200IM his only event at the Duna Arena.

Gonzalez’ gold followed his silver in the 100 back behind Romanian Robert Glinta who went past long-time leader Apostolos Christou in the last 10m to win in 52.88 with Gonazlez coming from sixth at halfway to finish second as Christou and Yohann Ndoye Brouard shared bronze.

There was a European 4x100m mixed medley record for Britain who lowered their own mark to 3:38.82 ahead of the Netherlands and Italy. Read more here.

Anton Chupkov came from third at 150 to win the 200 breaststroke in 2:06.99 with Arno Kamminga – who was fifth at the final turn – taking his second individual silver of the meet and Erik Persson of Sweden third.

Barbora Seemanova was overcome with emotion after winning the 200 free title in 1:56.27, 0.02 ahead of Federica Pellegrini with Britain’s Freya Anderson in third.

Boglarka Kapas defended her 200 fly title after a strong third 50 to win in 2:06.50, leading home a Hungarian one-two with Katinka Hosszu in second and Svetlana Chimrova taking bronze.

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Hugo Gonzalez Completes Hat-Trick Of Medals; Gold For Glinta

Hubert Kos had set a WJR of 1:56.99 in the 200IM semis to book lane four and at 50 the Hungarian was in second, behind defending champion Desplanches and Razzetti.

Cseh – who won five straight European titles between 2006 and 2014 – moved into the lead after the backstroke ahead of Kos – who wasn’t even born when Cseh competed at his first Europeans at Berlin 2002 – and Desplanches with Gonzalez in fifth.

swiss swimmer

Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Desplanches was back in the lead at the final turn ahead of Razzetti and Cseh with Gonzalez 0.04 adrift in fourth and ready to turn on the burners.

And accelerate he did – a final 50 of 27.76 propelled him past the field and into the wall for Spain’s first title of the meet.

Desplanches was second in 1:56.95 ahead of Razzetti who clocked 1:57.25 with Cseh one place outside the medals in 1:58.04.

Gonzalez, who was fourth in Glasgow, was almost lost for words but still managed to say:

“I didn’t expect this but I saw other swimmers in front of me and I just tried to catch them. I am very happy and don’t have words to tell how I’m feeling in this moment.

“I’m in shock, I’m absolutely happy!”

Desplanches, the world silver medallist, said:

“It was a really hard race, I am missing two months of training to really finish this race properly.

“My time is not too bad, but it was really hard and my legs are hurting now.”

Razzetti was thrilled to have won his first senior international medal, saying:

“I’m very happy, wow, I’m over the moon, what a start for the European Championships – this one is for the whole team.

“I’m very happy with my time, it’s nearly my personal best.

“This is the result of really hard work I put in in the last two months and a great motivation to work more and get even better.

“I’m really happy with this medal, next is the Olympics.”

It was Gonzalez’s second trip of the evening to the podium following his silver in the 100 back which was shorn of defending champion Kliment Kolesnikov.

The 50 back world record-holder had limped in 16th after less than 15 minutes separated the conclusion of the 100 free, in which he won gold, and his semi-final.

It was a disappointment for observers because his heat of 52.32 had begged the question of whether Camille Lacourt’s European record of 52.11 would still stand after a little under 11 years.

Christou though took up the baton and was under European record pace at halfway ahead of Glinta and Mewen Tomac of France.

The Greek swimmer stayed at the head of the field which started to come back at him and, although Christou was still in the lead going into the final 10m, Glinta and Gonzales moved on to his shoulder and inched ahead.

robert glinta 1

Rbert Glinta: Photo Courtesy:

Glinta’s touch won him the title in 52.88, 0.02 ahead of Gonzalez (52.90) whose second 50 of 26.98 was the fastest in the field.

Apostolos replicated his bronze medal from Glasgow, stopping the clock at the same time as Frenchman Ndoye Brouard in 52.97.

Evgeny Rylov, the 2019 world silver medallist, was eighth in 53.31.

It was a welcome gold for Glinta who had taken silver in the 50 back in both Budapest and Glasgow.

He said:

“I’m really happy. This is my best time, I’m really satisfied.

“I wanted to have a very smart race and save my strength towards the end to push really hard in the finish.

“Again, I can say I’m really satisfied and thrilled about the gold medal. It’s truly a cherry on top of the cake.”

Gonzalez was shocked by his silver, saying:

“Wow, this is crazy, I didn’t expect this medal though I knew it was not impossible to get it.”

Little knowing what was to come, he added:

“This is my first final this afternoon, let’s see what happens in the 200m IM.”

Anton Chupkov Goes 2:06 For Gold

The race featured two men in the form of Chupkov and Kamminga who are members of the 2:06 club.

The Russian is the fastest of them all with a world record of 2:06.12 from the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju while the Netherlands swimmer, who won his first international long-course medal with silver over 100m on Tuesday, went 2:06.85 at the Rotterdam Qualification Meet in December 2020.

Chupkov had produced his customary blistering final 50 in the semis with a 32.08 blast although that wasn’t enough to book lane four, that honour going to Sweden’s Persson.

Kamminga, who won his first international long-course medal when he took silver in the 100m, had gone 2:07.39 in Wednesday’s heats.

Anton Chupkov 2021 Europeans

Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Kirill Prigoda led at 50 ahead of Matty Mattson of Finland with Kamminga in third and by halfway the Finn had taken the lead with Persson second and Prigoda third.

Coming out of the final turn and the pair still occupied the top two places with Chupkov third and Kamminga in fifth.

The duo turned on the burners with Chupkov again inside 2:07 ahead of Kamminga who stopped the clock at 2:07.35 with Persson taking bronze in 2:07.66.

Chupkov, who will head to Tokyo looking to upgrade his bronze from Rio 2016, said:

“I’m very happy it was a very good race and a very good time.

“It’s better than it was two months ago at the Russian Nationals.

“It’s a step up towards Tokyo. Thanks to the guys from the Netherlands and Sweden, it turned into a really great race. It’s great to win that at the end.”

Kamminga had to dash off to prepare for the mixed medley relay in which he won his third silver of the meet with the Netherlands.

On his return, he said:

 “It’s really cool to win three silver medals here since I never had one before at the European Championships.

“I think the breaststroke events in Europe are among the toughest so I’m really delighted with these medals.

“I’m going home very confidently and with Tokyo already in mind.

“There I will do the same events but the schedule is different, will have more breaks between them so that will not be that challenging.”

Persson said:

“I’m incredibly happy since this is my personal best and a new national record.

“I can’t wait for Tokyo to start. I was trying my best in this race, I went for the title but I’m still pleased with the bronze.”

Barbora Seemanova Cries Happy Tears

Seemanova had been consistent in her quality through the rounds and over the first 150 was stroke for stroke with defending champion Charlotte Bonnet.

The Czech swimmer went ahead on the final 50 with Federica Pellegrini coming from third like a rocket with a 29.72 blast to move on to her shoulder.

It was all down to the touch and Seemanova prevailed, 0.02 ahead of world record-holder Pellegrini who clocked 1:56.29.

Anderson was fifth at the 150 but a 29.44 last 50 propelled her to third in 1:56.42, 0.13 ahead of Bonnet who she’d trailed by 1.08 at the final turn.

Seemanova Pellegrini European Championships

Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Seemanova was overcome, tears accompanying her beaming smile apparently unable to absorb what she had achieved as she leant on the lane rope alongside Pellegrini.

She said:

“I cannot even describe how happy I am. I swam against the best swimmers in Europe and now I’ve become one of them.

“I worked very hard and hard work always pays off. Now I’m so, so, so happy.”

Pellegrini added:

“I’m really very happy. When I came here, my original plan was just to swim the relays but when I saw how good it was going I decided to keep my entry in this event too.

“I’m very happy with my time, it’s more than a second better than my qualifying time. It was a very exciting and beautiful race.”

Boglarka Kapas Flying High Once More

World champion Kapas and Hosszu were in lanes four and five but it was the British duo of Keanna MacInnes and Laura Stephens who were one-two at 50 with Kapas in third.

Helena Bach of Denmark had taken over at the halfway point ahead of Kapas and Stephens but a strong third 50 saw Kapas surge ahead, a lead she extended for the remainder of the race as she defended her title.

Boglarka Kapas 2021 European Champiomnships

Boglarka Kapas: Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Behind her, Hosszu produced a fine last 50 to touch second in 2:08.14. with Chimrova taking bronze after silver in Glasgow.

For Kapas, there was the joy of the title but also confidence gained and lessons absorbed ahead of the Olympics.

She said:

“This is great to take the gold and clock the time I wished for.

“I think it all worked out, I travelled in the first 100m then increased the speed and it was pleasing to see that everyone was a bit behind.

“Once I turned to the last 50m, then I was sure that I would win this as from that position I would not let anyone pass me.

“I think now I feel really comfortable in this event, I know what to do, when, how to react, that’s what I’m practicing.

“Of course, I’m aware that the international field at the Olympics will present a lot more challenges but I think I’m on a good way to face all.”

For Hosszu, though, there was dissatisfaction with her performance as she questioned whether she gave it 100%, saying:

“I cannot be satisfied though it was a good race but now I don’t have the feeling that I gave everything and I always tell that I can only be content with a swim if I gave the maximum, then the placement is not that important.

“Today I think I chose the wrong tactics as I rather followed Bogi (Kapas) who usually didn’t push hard over the first half.

“My game plan differs as I wish to have a bit stronger first half so it was a good lesson to rather stick to my own plan than to adjust to others.”

Chimrova was happier as she achieved her objective, saying:

“I’m satisfied with this bronze here.

“My main goal was to swim faster than at the Russian nationals – and I did. For me the most important thing was recovering from the coronavirus and getting back to swim in competitions.”

more to follow…..

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