European Championships: Katinka Hosszu Completes A Treble Treble Of Medley Triumphs

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European Short-Course Championships

Glasgow, Day 4 Finals and Semi-Finals

Katinka Hosszu became the first woman to complete the treble treble when she made a clean sweep of the medley titles with victory in the 200IM at the European Short-Course Championships in Glasgow.

Russia – with a lead-off leg of 20.65 from Vladimir Morozov – set a new European record of 1:28.31 in the mixed 4x50m freestyle ahead of Great Britain, with an anchor leg by Freya Anderson who picked up her second medal of the night after 200m free gold, and France.

It cut 0.08 from the previous mark set by the Netherlands at the 2017 edition in Copenhagen, Denmark and brought a fifth gold medal of the competition for Morozov.

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Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Hosszu, of Hungary, had already won the 400IM and 100IM and was in control of the 200 pretty much throughout although Siobhan O’Connor was with her on the opening butterfly leg.

Hosszu touched in 2:04.68 ahead of Maria Ugolkova who won out in a private duel with O’Connor down the final 25, 2:06.59 to 2:06.74.

She was, though, dissatisfied with her performance, saying: “It’s crazy because it definitely does look like from the outside that I am so consistent.

“I am not happy with this race, I want to go faster. I think I screwed up a lot of turns and a lot of things that I wanted to focus on but it was not a really focused race from me tonight.

“My goal always has been to be so good that if I have a bad race I can still get the gold.”

So, plenty to focus on.

“For me yes of course, there is always things to work on. When I feel like there is not much more to do that’s the time I am going to end my swimming career.

“So I still have a lot to improve and a lot in me and a lot of training to do and I always look at my race and at the time and how I did and at the rankings – I never focus on the ranking.”

It was a different matter for Ugolkova for whom the medal was a surprise, the Swiss saying: “It was a tight race and I’m very happy as I didn’t expect a medal at all. And just want to say that I love this pool.”

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Siobhan O’Connor; Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

O’Connor, clad in a lime-green suit, had been with Hosszu on the opening 50 and was still in contention on the backstroke although the Hungarian kept on extending her lead.

The Briton, who won silver behind Hosszu at Rio 2016, went stroke for stroke with Ugolkova down the last length and although she was out-touched, O’Connor was pleased with the outcome.

She said: “I’m very happy with the time and the medal. It was a difficult race but I think I paced it very well.”

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Morozov was joined by Vladislav Grinev, Arina Surkova and Maria Kameneva as he completed his third relay triumph at Tollcross.

He said: “At this moment what can I say? I’m happy but also tired. We knew we could do really amazing things with this relay and we just did it. Now I’m just exhausted, wish to finish this event well and have a big rest.”

Anderson anchored the British quartet home in 1:28.64 as she turned bronze to silver with France third for whom Florent Manaudou swam an eye-watering split of 20.09.

He said: “The sensations came back during this relay final and the conclusion of the day for France, to win a medal, is just fine.”

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Event-by-event

Men’s 50m Butterfly

Oleg Kostin, 2019 world silver medallist, and Florent Manaudou came into the final locked on the same time but it was the Russian who emerged victorious as he clinched victory in 22.23 ahead of Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo (22.35) and Turkey’s Uemitcan Gueres (22.38).

Kostin celebrated by sitting on top of the lane rope and flexing his muscles.

He said: “I’m very happy to claim this gold medal. The time is good but I think I still have a lot of work ahead of me. I want to prove I can repeat this in the future too.”

Women’s 50m Backstroke

Kira Toussaint completed a medal-laden competition after adding 50m gold to her 100m title in 25.84. She had become the third-fastest woman in history in the semis in 25.75 and second swiftest in textile behind only world-record holder Etiene Medeiros of Brazil who is at the world helm with 25.67. Toussaint also took bronze in the 200m and has four medals in total. Beryl Gastaldello of France was second in 26.03 ahead of Alicja Tchorz of Poland.

Toussaint said: “I told myself that I just wanted to enjoy this evening and I did. Sometimes we forget what great fun we can have in a competition. I love to race and today I was able to find the happiness in it in full and that makes me really happy.”

Men’s 100m Breaststroke

Arno Kamminga produced a surprise to win gold in 56.06 to add to his 50m bronze. Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus had set a new European record in the semis but he was unable to also add the title finishing second 0.36 adrift with Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli third in 56.55.

Kamminga said: “Yesterday my first 50m was a little bit too fast, I had to adapt the good speed in order to have reserves for the second 50 which is my strength. These were outstanding championships for me as I broke all three national records in the breaststroke events.”

His joy was in sharp contrast to Shymanovich who comes away from Glasgow with the record but no gold medal, something he had to process, saying: “I don’t know… I feel bad now…”

Women’s 100m Breaststroke

Martina Carraro spearheaded an Italian one-two in the opening event of the programme. The 26-year-old held off all her challengers down the final 25 to win in 1:04.51 ahead of compatriot Arianna Castiglioni who finished in 1:05.01, 0.11 in front of Finland’s Jenna Laukkanen.

Carraro said: ”I’m pretty happy, this is very important to me, my first gold! It is not my best time but it was important to win and I just did it.”

Semi-finals

The men’s 100m freestyle final on Sunday promises to be a sizzling affair with Alessandro Miressi, Vladislav Grinev and Vlad Morozov all through with Britain’s Duncan Scott.

Morozov, the second-fastest man in history, rose ahead in the first semi after his customary superb dive and underwater. Ahead at halfway, it was Miressi who touched in 46.03, 0.39 ahead of the Russian who had plenty left.

Grinev won the second semi in 46.26 with Scott, who had been given a rousing welcome from his hometown crowd, through in sixth.

Elena Di Liddo of Italy headed the women’s 100m butterfly semis in 56.63 with Kliment Kolesnikov spearheading the men’s 100m individual medley.