European Short Course Championships: Russian World Record Headlines Night Three

HERNING, Denmark, December 14. ANOTHER Russian world record headlined the European Short Course Championships this evening in Herning.

Men’s 1500 free
Swimming success definitely runs in the family as European Swimmer of the Year Daniel Gyurta’s younger brother Gergely Gyurta held tough with Faroe Islands’ Pal Joensen through most of the 1500 free before dropping the hammer the final 300 meters to win by more than five seconds.

Early on, Italy’s Gabriele Detti took the lead, but about halfway through the race, Joensen and Gyurta jumped ahead. Gyurta, however, had way more in the tank than the rest of the swimmers as he buried the field with a 14:30.26 for the win. That time jumped him to second in the world rankings behind Gregorio Paltrinieri’s top-ranked 14:27.65 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup.

Joensen, meanwhile, wound up second overall in 14:35.99 as he beat Detti to the wall for the silver. That time moved him to seventh in the world rankings, while Detti took third overall in 14:36.43 for ninth in the world rankings now.

Hungary’s Gergo Kis (14:37.66), Ukraine’s Sergiy Frolov (14:37.95), Spain’s Marc Sanches Torrens (14:38.19), Germany’s Soeren Meissner (14:46.99), Paltrinieri (14:50.08), Poland’s Pawel Furtek (14:52.97) and Denmark’s Mads Glaesner (14:53.05) rounded out the top 10 in the timed final event.

Women’s 400 free
She didn’t have enough in the tank to replicate her world record of 3:54.52 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, but Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia had plenty enough to win the middle distance event by more than two seconds.

Out under world-record pace at the 250-meter mark with a 2:26.49, Belmonte finished with a 3:56.14 for the win. That time would have put her second in the world this year behind Lauren Boyle’s 3:55.16 if she hadn’t already broken the world record earlier this year.

Denmark’s Lotte Friis, the top of the second-tier of distance freestylers in the world with the likes of Katie Ledecky and Belmonte Garcia in the top tier, took second in 3:58.35. That beat Friis’ fourth-ranked season best of 3:58.43 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup. Italy’s Federica Pellegrini rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 3:58.90. That vaulted Pellegrini from a ninth-ranked 4:02.38 this summer to fifth in the world as the former World Swimmer of the Year continues to find a new form in 2013.

The Netherlands’ Sharon Rouwendaal (3:59.22), France’s Camille Muffat (4:00.89), Spain’s Melanie Costa Schmid (4:00.92), Great Britain’s Jaz Carlin (4:00.92), Great Britain’s Hannah Miley (4:03.35), France’s Coralie Balmy (4:05.57) and Germany’s Sarah Koehler (4:05.93) also competed in the finale.

Women’s 100 IM
In a definite upset, Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte managed to overtake world-record holder Katinka Hosszu down the stretch in the sprint medley to claim the meet record with a 57.68. That swim beat Hinkelien Schreuder’s 2009 championship mark of 57.85, and crushed Meilutyte’s fourth-ranked season best of 58.57 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup. She moved to third in the world behind Hosszu’s WR and Alicia Coutts’ second-ranked 57.53 from the Tokyo stop.

Hosszu, meanwhile, wound up with silver in 57.96 after leading at the halfway mark with a 26.66. That’s half-a-second off her world beater of 57.45 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup. She’s still finding the podium with regularity as she’s entered in seven different events. Great Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor collected another medal for GBR with a third-place 58.26 to move to fourth in the world rankings.

Israel’s Amit Ivri (58.72), Germany’s Theresa Michalak (59.08), Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto (59.63), Sweden’s Stina Gardell (1:00.10), Slovakia’s Katarina Listopadova (1:00.69), Austria’s Birgit Koschischek (1:00.95) and Czech’s Petra Chocova (1:01.03) also vied for the title.

Men’s 200 fly
Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic took down some huge names en route to the continental title in the men’s 200 fly as he stopped the clock in 1:51.27. That swim not only claimed the crown, it vaulted him to sixth in the world rankings. He also picked up some serious notches on his belt as he slayed some big names in the process.

Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski touched just behind in 1:51.36 for silver, unable to replicate his second-ranked time of 1:50.43 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup. He had a rough start, turning seventh at the 50 and had to make up time the rest of the race.

European-record holder Nikolay Skvortsov placed third overall in 1:51.62, well off his fourth-ranked season best of 1:50.99 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup. Stjepanovic even knocked off Hungarian Laszlo Cseh, who placed fourth in 1:52.44. Those are some internationally-known names in the sport.

Sweden’s Simon Sjodin (1:52.97), Poland’s Michal Poprawa (1:53.74), Hungary’s Bence Biczo (1:53.83), Germany’s Timm Wallburger (1:53.84), Denmark’s Viktor Bromer (1:54.08) and Belgium’s Egon Van Der Straeten (1:54.56) placed fifth through 10th in the championship heat.

Men’s 100 free
In another event hampered by Florent Manaudou’s shoulder injury prior to the meet, Russia’s Vlad Morozov had little trouble dispatching the field in the sprint free to earn a sprint sweep after his 50 free win. The Sizzling Siberian, who has been fighting off an illness this week, put up a 45.96 for the win. That’s off his third-ranked season best of 45.64 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup. Manaudou had clocked a 45.04 just a week ago at French Nationals, but suffered his injury at that meet and pulled out of Herning.

Russia’s Danila Izotov made it a Russian 1-2 in the sprint with a 46.41, moving to fifth in the world with his swim. Italy’s Marco Orsi took third overall in 46.49, now standing seventh in the world. Fabien Gilot, who is eighth in the world with a 46.52 from French Nationals, missed the podium tonight with a fourth-place 46.74.

Italy’s Filippo Magnini (47.00), Belgium’s Emmanuel Vanluchene (47.46), Hungary’s Dominik Kozma (47.51), The Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren (47.60), Belgium’s Jasper Aerents (47.77) and Poland’s Kacper Majchrzak (48.21) claimed the rest of the championship finishes.

Men’s 50 breast
Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic closed out the individual swims for the night with a dominant effort in the sprint breaststroke event. Dugonjic dropped a sizzling 26.21 for the win, just off Alessandro Terrin’s meet record of 26.14 from 2009. The swim pushed Dugonjic to third in the world behind only Roland Schoeman (25.65) and Fabio Scozzoli (25.72).

France’s Giacamo Perez Dortona touched out Ireland’s Barry Murphy by the slimmest of margins for silver, 26.55 to 26.56.

Sweden’s Johannes Skagius (26.57), Slovenia’s Peter John Stevens (26.64), Serbia’s Caba Siladji (26.69), Italy’s Francesco Di Lecce (26.83), Switzerland’s Martin Schweizer (26.89), Turkey’s Demir Atasoy (26.98) and Italy’s Andrea Toniato (26.99) also broke 27 seconds to close out the finale.

Mixed 200 Free Relay
Russia turned up the heat in the mixed 200 freestyle relay en route to a world record in the finale, but just missed unifying the world best and world record in the event.

Sergey Fesikov (21.13), Vlad Morozov (20.72), Rozaliya Nasretdinova (23.70) and Veronika Popova (23.98) combined to clock a 1:29.53. That performance downed Australia’s world record of 1:29.61 set at the Tokyo stop of the FINA World Cup. The time, however, came up short of the standing world best of 1:29.31 set by Australia at the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup in August. Matt Abood (21.21), James Magnussen (20.64), Brittany Elmslie (23.97) and Emma McKeon (23.49) combined in that swim.

Even though it was a fully sanctioned swim at a FINA event, the international organization only began recognizing world records in the 200 SCM relays in September. Therefore, the mixed relays in particular, have continued to progress from records first certified by Indiana University as a relay meet in September. The mixed 200 medley relay has been unified, but the world is still waiting for the world best and world record unification for the mixed 200 free relay.

Italy, led by a monster leg from Marco Orsi, placed second in 1:30.26 by the quartet of Luca Dotto (21.41), Orsi (20.66), Silvia Di Pietro (24.35) and Erike Ferraioli (23.84). The Netherlands’ placed third with Ing Dekker (24.26), Mike Marissen (21.49), Sebastiaan Verschuren (21.96) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (22.91) posted a 1:30.62.

Germany (1:30.65), France (1:31.30), Denmark (1:31.51), Finland (1:31.84), Serbia (1:33.62), Norway (1:33.84) and Czech Republic (1:34.56) also competed in the finale.

Women’s 50 back
Czech’s Simona Baumrtova posted a fourth-ranked 26.55 in the sprint back at the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, and nearly matched that season best this evening during semis with a 26.57 to lead the way. Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanzczyk took second in 26.71, well off her second-ranked 26.12 from the Berlin stop as well. Crowd favorite Mie Nielsen of Denmark took third overall in 26.79 to move to eighth in the world rankings, up from her 26.84 from Danish Nationals.

Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (27.01), Elena Gemo (27.05), Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (27.06), Russia’s Daria Ustinova (27.27), Spain’s Mercedes Peris Minguet (27.42), Croatia’s Sanja Jovanovic (27.44) and Poland’s Klaudia Nazieblo (27.45) also earned transfer spots into the finale.

Men’s 50 breast
Semifinal one proved to be exciting with France’s Giacomo Perez Dortona and Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic finishing in a tie with matching 26.59s to lead the way into the finale. Those times are both tied for 10th in the world this year, along with Joao Gomes’ effort from the Tokyo stop of the FINA World Cup. Slovenia’s Peter John Stevens took third in semi one and overall with a 26.75.

Turkey’s Demir Atasoy picked up the top time in semifinal two with a 26.79 for fourth overall, while Serbia’s Caba Siladji (26.81), Italy’s Adnrea Toniato (26.83), Sweden’s Johannes Skagius (26.85), Ireland’s Barry Murphy (26.86), Italy’s Francesco Di Lecce (26.93), and Switzerland’s Martin Schweizer (26.93) also made their way into the finale.

Men’s 100 IM
Italy’s Stefano Pizzamiglio cruised into the top seed in the sprint medley with a 52.77, while The Netherlands’ Mike Marissen finished second in 53.22. Denmark’s Daniel Skaaning rounded out the top three in 53.32 all from the first semifinal. Russia’s Vlad Morozov, still fighting off an illness, qualified fourth in 53.40.

Belgium’s Emmanuel Vanluchene (53.71), Russia’s Sergey Fesikov (53.74), Estonia’s Martti Aljand (53.77), Germany’s Philip Heintz (53.79), Israel’s Gal Nevo (53.81) and Luxembourg’s Raphael Stacchiotti (53.93) claimed the rest of the lanes in the championship heat.

Women’s 100 breast
Ruta Meilutyte’s world record of 1:02.36 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup will definitely be on notice in the finale after this evening’s semifinal heats witnessed a blazing meet record from Russia’s Yuliya Efimova.

Efimova scorched the second semifinal with a 1:03.27, erasing Rikke Moeller Pedersen’s meet record of 1:04.12 set a year ago. Efimova already has a third-ranked 1:03.02 from the Tokyo stop to her credit, and would love to add a second world record to her resume from this weekend.

Pedersen, meanwhile, checked in with a 1:04.10, under her previous meet mark as well. She’s been faster this year with a fourth-ranked 1:03.74 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup. Meilutyte will have a chance to defend her record after qualifying third overall in 1:05.13 for Lithuania.

Italy’s Lisa Fissneider (1:05.57), The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis (1:05.70), Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (1:50.79), Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (1:06.00), Ukraine’s Ganna Dzerkal (1:06.14), Czech’s Petra Chocova (1:06.32) and Russia’s Valentina Artemyeva (1:06.35) also turned in times to make the finale.

Men’s 100 back
Russia’s Vitaly Melnikov touched out France’s Jeremy Stravius in the second semifinal for the top time heading into the finale, 50.34 to 50.39. Both have been faster with Stravius leading the world with a 49.57, while Melnikov ranks third in 49.87.

Great Britain’s Christoph Walker-Hebborn (51.08), Germany’s Christian Diener (51.28), Russia’s Andrew Shabasov (51.28), Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich (51.47), France’s Camille Lacourt (51.61), Israel’s Guy Barnea (51.66), Estonia’s Ralf Tribuntsov (51.77) and Italy’s Niccolo Bonacchi (51.77) also grabbed spots in the finale.

Women’s 100 fly
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom raced her way to the top seed in the finale with a 56.66. That’s half-a-second off her fourth-ranked season best of 56.14 from the Tokyo stop of the FINA World Cup. Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark, who stands second in the world with a 55.94 from the Berlin stop, qualified second in 56.68.

Great Britain’s Jemma Lowe (57.06), Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi (57.16), The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (57.32), Hungary’s Katinka Hossu (57.42), Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi (57.50), Sweden’s Louise Hansson (57.55) and Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia (57.84) also earned their way into the championship finale.

Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova and Germany’s Franziska Hentke set up a swimoff for the final spot with matching 58.08s.

Women’s 50 back
Czech’s Simona Baumrtova vaulted to third in the world rankings with a winning time of 26.26 in the sprint backstroke finale. She needed every bit of that time to hold off Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk, who raced her way to second in 26.31. That’s a bit off Urbanczyk’s second-ranked 26.12 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup.

Sweden’s Michelle Coleman upset the local fans, touching out Danish hero Mie Nielsen, 26.67 to 26.68, for the final spot on the podium.

Italy’s Elena Gemo (27.01), Poland’s Klaudia Nazieblo (27.15), Croatia’s Sanja Jovanovic (27.18), Russia’s Daria Ustinova (27.27), Spain’s Mercedes Peris Minguet (27.36) and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (27.49) comprised the other swimmers in the finale.