European Long Course Championships: Yuliya Efimova Posts World Best, Hungary Gets Last Laughs in Front of Home Crowd

BUDAPEST, Hungary, August 15. THE European Long Course Championships came to a close with yet another top-ranked time going up on the board. Meanwhile, Hungary had an outstanding final night with a pair of top-two sweeps in front of a partisan crowd in Budapest.

Women's 50 free
Sweden's Therese Alshammar cruised to victory in the women's splash-and-dash with a time of 24.45. She's already been faster this year with a top-ranked time of 24.27 from June, but did not need that type of speed to best the field. Some of the top sprinters in the world that might have helped Alshammar produce a faster time were missing with both Britta Steffen and Ranomi Kromowidjojo out this year.

The Netherlands' Hinkelien Schreuder earned second in 24.66, while Great Britain's Fran Halsall took third in 24.67. Schreuder improved her fourth-ranked season best of 24.69, while Halsall also improved her fifth-ranked season best of 24.70.

Germany's Dorothea Brandt (24.71), Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia (24.82), Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (24.96), Estonia's Triin Aljand (25.38) and Ukraine's Oxana Serikova (25.44) rounded out the championship heat.

Men's 50 free
France's Fred Bousquet did enough to win the men's sprint free with a time of 21.49, but could not replicate his meet-record effort of 21.36 from yesterday that stands as the top time in the world this year.

Sweden's Stefan Nystrand touched second in 21.69 to move to third in the world, while France's Fabien Gilot placed third in 21.76 – just off his fifth-ranked season best of 21.75 from yesterday.

Russia's Andrey Grechin (22.09), Italy's Luca Dotto (22.14), Germany's Steffen Deibler (22.24), Italy's Marco Orsi (22.26) and Great Britain's Simon Burnett (22.38) placed fourth through eighth in the finale.

Women's 50 breast
Russia's Yuliya Efimova lowered her meet record and top ranking in the sprint breast with a swift 30.29 for the win. Her meet record of 30.32 set yesterday also stood as the top-ranked time in the world this year. Only three other swimmers have cleared 31 seconds this year: Rebecca Soni (30.63), Jessica Hardy (30.69) and Leisel Jones (30.87).

Great Britain's Kate Haywood finished second in 31.12 to move into a seventh-ranked tie with Sarah Katsoulis. Sweden's Jennie Johansson took third in 31.24 to grab a spot among the top 10 this year.

The Netherlands' Moniek Nijhuis (31.41), Belgium's Kim Janssens (31.74), Germany's Caroline Ruhnau (31.84), Russia's Valentina Artemyeva (31.93) and Sweden's Rebecca Ejdervik (32.18) comprised the rest of the final field.

Women's 200 fly
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu led a Hungarian 1-2 in the event, much to the delight of the homecountry crowd. Hosszu charted a 2:06.71 for the victory to become just the second swimmer under 2:07 this year. Jiao Liuyang was the first with a 2:05.46 from the Chinese Long Course Nationals in April.

Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos nearly joined Hosszu in the sub-2:07 ranged with a second-place 2:07.06 to move to fourth in the world. Kathleen Hersey stands third overall now with a 2:07.00 from the U.S. Long Course Nationals earlier this month.

Great Britain's Ellen Gandy rounded out the podium with a third-place 2:07.54 – good enough for sixth in the world.

Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia (2:08.30), France's Aurore Mongel (2:08.87), Germany's Franziska Hentke (2:09.01), Italy's Caterina Giacchetti (2:09.28) and Slovenia's Anja Klinar (2:09.44) also competed in the finale.

Men's 400 IM
Hungary claimed a second straight gold medal, and top-two sweep, when Laszlo Cseh dominated the distance medley with a 4:10.95. He became just the second swimmer under 4:12 this year, with Ryan Lochte atop the rankings with a 4:09.98. Hungary's David Verraszto clinched second-place honors with a time of 4:12.96 to take fourth in the world.

Israel's Gal Nevo finished third overall with a 4:15.10, while Italy's Luca Marin took fourth in 4:15.47. Germany's Yannick Lebherz (4:15.72), Russia's Alexander Tikhonov (4:17.36), Spain's Carlos Vives Gomis (4:18.27) and Greece's Ioannis Drymonakos (4:18.35) claimed fifth through eighth in the final.

Women's 400 free
With favorite Federica Pellegrini scratching due to a fever, the door was wide open for Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington to run away with the title in 4:04.55. That time put her second in the world behind Pellegrini's sterling 4:03.12 from June.

France's Ophelie Cyriell Etienne gave Adlington a run for her money, leading at the 300-meter mark from out in lane one, but could not withstand Adlington's final charge to fall to second in 4:05.40 to tie Coralie Balmy for third in the world. Denmark's Lotte Friis wound up third in 4:07.10 to complete the podium.

Romania's Camelia Alina Potec (4:07.81), Great Britain's Joanne Jackson (4:09.14), Balmy (4:09.72), Spain's Erika Villaecija Garcia (4:09.73) and Spain's Patricia Castro Ortega (4:10.11) made up the rest of the finishes in the finale.

Women's 400 medley relay
Great Britain's Gemma Spofforth, Kate Haywood, Fran Halsall and Amy Smith won the relay race with a time of 3:59.72, half-a-second off the meet record of 3:59.33 set by Great Britain in 2008. Sweden's Henriette Stenkvist, Joline Hostman, Therese Alshammar and Sarah Sjostrom took second in 4:01.18, while Germany's Jenny Mensing, Caroline Ruhnau, Daniela Samulski and Silke Lippok placed third in 4:03.22.

Denmark (4:04.81), Italy (4:05.53), France (4:06.76) and Belgium (4:09.33) completed the rest of the final finishes, while Russia, which had clocked the fastest time with a 3:59.39, was disqualified for and early relay start.

Men's 400 medley relay
France's Camille Lacourt (52.46), Hugues Duboscq (59.67), Fred Bousquet (51.84) and Fabien Gilot (47.35) crushed the meet record in the medley relay with a time of 3:31.32. That swim far surpassed the former record of 3:34.25 set by Russia in 2008.

Russia's Stanislav Donets, Roman Sludnov, Evgeny Korotyshkin and Evgeny Lagunov took second in 3:33.29, while The Netherlands' Nick Driebergen, Lennart Stekelenburg, Joeri Verlinden and Sebastiaan Verschuren placed third in 3:33.99.

Great Britain (3:35.74), Italy (3:36.61), Poland (3:38.57) and Hungary (3:38.73) took fourth through seventh while Germany drew a disqualification for an early relay start.

Day Seven Finals Results