European Championships: Day 4 – Prelims: David Popovici Eases Through To 200 Free Semis; Kristof Milak Ensures Busy Night

David Popovici
David Popovici: Photo Courtesy: Simone Castrovillari

European Championships: Day 4 – Prelims: David Popovici Eases Through To 200 Free Semis; Kristof Milak Ensures Busy Night

David Popovici returned to the Foro Italico the morning after his 100 free world record to qualify with ease for the 200 semis at the European Championships.

It was Kristof Milak who led the way ahead of the 17-year-old before the pair both appeared for Hungary and Romania respectively in the men’s 4x100m freestyle heats with Popovici going 47.85 on lead-off.

Hungary booked lane four but Romania missed out in 11th.

That means a busy evening for Milak who goes in the 100 fly final, 200 semis and 4×100 free deciders in the space of roughly 75 minutes.

Men’s 200m freestyle

Milak went in the fourth heat of six and appeared to want matters over and done with as soon as possible ahead of his 100 fly final tonight.

The Hungarian split 23.95/51.01/1:18.90/1:46.26 to lead the way into the semis which take place little more than 10 minutes after his fly final.

Popovici, who won the 100-200 double at the World Championships in June, eased through the first 150 in the final prelim and was third at the 150 mark before turning on the turbos at 175 to progress in 1:46.87.

There was no British representation however with all four – including Olympic champion Tom Dean – withdrawing to focus on the freestyle relay.

mens 200 free heats

Women’s 100m butterfly

Louise Hansson, bronze medallist last time out in Budapest, led the way in 57.46 ahead of Marie Wattel who won joint gold in May 2021, 57.85.

The pair were the only women inside 58 with 2021 champion Anna Ntountounaki through in 59.33.

womens 100 fly

Men’s 50m backstroke

Thomas Ceccon – the 100 world record-holder – headed the field as he looks for his second individual title following the 50 fly.

The Italian clocked 24.69 ahead of Apostolos Christou in 24.72 with 200 champion Yohann Ndoye Brouard also through in 24.89.

A new champion will be crowned with 2021 gold medallist Kliment Kolesnikov part of the banned Russia team with silver and bronze medallists, Robert Glinta and Hugo Gonzales, also absent.

mens 50 back

Women’s 200m breaststroke

A new champion will make their way to the top of the podium with Britain’s Molly Renshaw not competing in Rome.

Silver medallist Lisa Mamie appears on the brink of updgrading silver to gold with 2:24.12 to lead the way into the semis ahead of Italian pair Francesca Fangio (2:24.76) and Martina Carraro (2:26.02).

womens 200br

Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay

Popovici and Milak made another appearance with the former producing yet another 47 on the lead-off for the Romanian quartet in 47.85.

However, the four finished 11th in 3:17.94 so will not be competing tonight.

Hungary – with Milak on anchor in 48.84 – booked top spot in 3:14.62 ahead of Italy (3:15.00) and Britain (3:15.02).

mens 4x1

Women’s 1500m freestyle

Simona Quadarella comfortably progressed to the final of the women’s 1500 freestyle as she seeks to claim her second distance medal of the meet following victory in the 800.

The Italian won the 400-800-1500 treble in Budapest in 2021 and she took another step towards repeating that triple by booking lane four in 16:05.61.

w 15 free