European Championships, Day 6 Semis: Kristof Milak Chasing Sub-50 100 Butterfly; Kristian Gkolomeev Stalking Sprint Title

kristof-milak
Kristof Milak - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

European Championships, Day 6 Semis: Kristof Milak Chasing Sub-50 100 Butterfly; Kristian Gkolomeev Stalking Sprint Title

The last session of semifinals at the European Championships in Budapest brought considerable speed, and set up several much-anticipated finals. Action featured the likes of Hungary’s Kristof Milak, Greece’s Kriatian Gkolomeev and Italian Margherita Panziera. Here is a look at what unfolded in the semifinals on Saturday at the Duna Arena.

Kristof Milak Chasing Gold and Sub-50 in 100 Butterfly

Using a superb second lap, Hungary’s Kristof Milak established a championship record of 50.62 to lead qualifying in the 100 butterfly, and set up a chase for a sub-50 performance in the final. Already the champion of the 200 butterfly, where he notched the No. 2 performance in history (behind only his world record), Milak was out in 23.72 and came home in 26.90.

Milak will be the overwhelming favorite in the final and will try to become just the fourth man in history to break the 50-second barrier, joining Americans Caeleb Dressel and Michael Phelps and Serbian Milorad Cavic. Dressel owns the world record of 49.50 while Milak has a personal best of 50.47, recorded earlier this year.

Great Britain’s James Guy also cracked the 51-second barrier and advanced to the final as the second seed, following a mark of 50.96. Meanwhile, Bulgarian teenager Josif Miladinov earned the third seed for the final on the strength of his 51.10 effort.

SUMMARY
1
 HUN
MILAK Kristof 50.62 Q CR
2
 GBR
GUY James 50.96 Q
3
 BUL
MILADINOV Josif 51.10 Q
4
 POL
MAJERSKI Jakub 51.18 q
5
 SUI
PONTI Noe 51.43 Q
6
 HUN
SZABO Szebasztian 51.45 q
7
 RUS
VEKOVISHCHEV Mikhail 51.50 q
8
 ITA
BURDISSO Federico 51.66 q

Kristian Gkolomeev Speeds to Top Seed in 50 Freestyle

At the 2018 European Championships, Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev walked away with a silver medal in the 50 freestyle. Now, he’s the man to beat in the final of the one-lap sprint. A silver medalist in the event at the 2019 World Championships, Gkolomeev clocked 21.60 for the fastest outing of the semifinals. Come the final, he will have his hands full with a sprint legend and the reigning European titlist.

Chasing Gkolomeev as the second seed will be 2012 Olympic champion Florent Manaudou, as the Frenchman touched the wall in 21.67, with Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen going 21.72 for the third seed. Lurking in fifth is Great Britain’s Ben Proud, the 2018 champ in the 50 free, who went 21.84 and figures to have something faster in his pocket for the medals race.

 SUMMARY
1
 GRE
GKOLOMEEV Kristian 21.60 Q
2
 FRA
MANAUDOU Florent 21.67 Q
3
 FIN
LIUKKONEN Ari-Pekka 21.72 Q
4
 NED
DE BOER Thom 21.80 Q
5
 GBR
PROUD Benjamin 21.84 q
6
 ITA
MIRESSI Alessandro 21.86 q
6
 ITA
ZAZZERI Lorenzo 21.86 q
8
 FRA
GROUSSET Maxime 21.95 q

Margherita Panziera Seeking 200 Backstroke Repeat

Italian Margherita Panziera, the reigning European champion in the event, earned the top seed for the final of the 200 backstroke when she produced a semifinal mark of 2:07.60, the only effort under 2:08. Panziera looked controlled throughout her race and qualified nearly a second ahead of her closest pursuer, Lena Grabowski (2:08.60) of Austria.

Given that Aussie Kaylee McKeown recently went 2:04 at the Sydney Open and several Americans have been in the 2:06 and 2:07 range in summer-tuneup competitions, Panziera has considerable room to make up to put herself in the medal conversation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Perhaps the Italian is preparing that type of performance for the European final.

Katalin Burian of Hungary was third-fastest into the final, thanks to a time of 2:08.89.

SUMMARY
1
 ITA
PANZIERA Margherita 2:07.61 Q
2
 AUT
GRABOWSKI Lena 2:08.60 Q
3
 HUN
BURIAN Katalin 2:08.89 Q
4
 GBR
WILD Cassie 2:09.31 Q
5
 ESP
ZAMORANO SANZ Africa 2:09.89 q
6
 HUN
SZABO FELTOTHY Eszter 2:09.97 q
7
 GBR
SHANAHAN Katie 2:10.84 q
8
 UKR
ZEVINA Daryna 2:11.73 q

Melanie Henique Paces Wide-Open Field in 50 Butterfly

In the absence of Swedish star Sarah Sjostrom, who is on the mend following a broken elbow, a wide open field heads into the final of the women’s 50 butterfly, Frenchwoman Melanie Henique entrenched as the top seed following a semifinal swim of 25.53. Emile Beckmann qualified second in 25.64, with the third slot going to sprint sensation Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who went 25.71. Earlier in the meet, Kromowidjojo claimed gold in the 50 freestyle.

SUMMARY
1
 FRA
HENIQUE Melanie 25.53 Q
2
 DEN
BECKMANN Emilie 25.64 Q
3
 NED
KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi 25.71 Q
4
 RUS
SURKOVA Arina 25.75 Q
5
 NED
DE WAARD Maaike 25.81 q
5
 DEN
OTTESEN Jeanette 25.81 q
7
 GRE
NTOUNTOUNAKI Anna 25.93 q
8
 SWE
JUNEVIK Sara 26.00 q

 

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