European Championships: Yohann Ndoye Brouard Wins 200 Back Off Huge Final Turn; Sets French Record Of 1:55.62

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Yohann Ndoye Brouard: Photo Courtesy: Yohann Ndoye Brouard

European Championships: Yohann Ndoye Brouard Wins 200 Back Off Huge Final Turn; Sets French Record Of 1:55.62

Yohann Ndoye Brouard set a French record of 1:55.62 to win the 200 backstroke following a stunning final turn at the European Championships in Rome.

Ndoye Brouard was second behind Roman Mityukov at the 150 but he emerged with a clear lead and held off the twin attacks of Benedeck Kovacs and world silver medallist Luke Greenbank.

Splits: 26.82/56.27 (29.45)/1:26.11 (29.84)/1:55.62 (29.51)

It sliced a 0.48 chunk off his national record of 1:56.10 set at the FFN Golden Tour in Marseille in March 2021.

Kovacs was swiftest down the last 50 in 29.20 en-route to a time of 1:56.03 with Greenbank stopping the clock in 1:56.15, days after huge disappointment when he finished outside the medals at the Commonwealth Games.

It was a first senior international medal over 200m for the Frenchman who claimed bronze in the 100 back at the previous edition in Budapest.

Ndoye Brouard had been forced to swim solo in a time trial at the end of Friday night’s session at the Foro Italico after his starting equipment broke.

Swimming alone but with the vocal support of the Italian crowd, the 23-year-old registered a time of 1:56.39 to book lane five and was just 0.29 outside his own French record.

It wasn’t the first time Ndoye Brouard experienced difficulties in a semifinal at a major meet following his DQ at the Tokyo Olympics after crashing into the wall and coming to a complete stop.

It transpired that he had a condition called keratonconus in both eyes, and he was not able to receive surgery before the Olympics.

On the eve of the final in Rome, one of the French team officials told Ndoye Brouard “you’ve started a beautiful story, now you have to finish it.”

There was a slight delay as his teammate Mewen Tomac was given a new starting ledge but there was no more unwanted drama.

Ndoye Brouard said:

“It’s incredible, I didn’t expect that. I am so proud for me and my country.

“That’s a big thing for me.”

Of how he reset after the incident with the starting ledge, he said:

“It was a big effort mentally.

“A lot of rest last night and this morning. It was still difficult.”

It was the first international medal of 24-year-old Kovacs’ career and he said:

“I turned to the last leg with thoughts like even if I die here, drown, whatever, I’ll push as hard as I’ve ever done.

“For my family, for my coach, for the awful lot of work I’ve put in.

“And now here I am, lost for words. I guess it will take some time until I recognise what I’ve just done.”

Greenbank finished fifth at the Commonwealth Games, slumping on to the lane ropes and covering his face with his hands following the race.

Following his bronze in Rome, he told Swimming World:

“To be honest, I was probably a little bit hard on myself at Commonwealths.

“The fact it was a home Games with family in the crowd just made it that bit worse.

“In the heat of the moment I have a bit of a tendency to overreact; it wasn’t what I wanted, it wasn’t what I think I could have swum but it was just a mess of a race tactic, got a little bit lost in what everyone else was doing and it was an easy fix.

“To come here, I think I’m in a more fatigued space here off the back of Commonwealths. Just to go back to the drawing board, worked out what I need to get the best swim out of myself.

“And also relax and enjoy it a little bit more – that set me up well to come away with a medal tonight.

“I had no expectations going into it so to come away with a medal is a bonus.”

Results

  1. Yohann Ndoye Brouard (FRA); 1:55.62
  2. Benedek Kovacs (HUN); 1:56.03
  3. Luke Greenbank (GBR); 1:56.15
  4. Roman Mityukov (SUI); 1:56.45
  5. Matteo Restivo (ITA); 1:57.30
  6. Lorenzo Mora (ITA); 1:57.43
  7. Mewen Tomac (FRA); 1:57.71
  8. Hubert Kos (HUN); 1:57.84

For full results and splits, click here

 

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