European Short Course Championships: Three World Records Set During Finals, 2008 Total Upped to 105

RIJEKA, Croatia, December 14. THE fourth night of finals at the European Short Course Championships held in Rijeka, Croatia moved the total 2008 world record tally to 105 for the year.

After a preliminary world record from France's Amaury Leveaux in the men's 50 fly, Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia (women's 400 IM), Italy's Federica Pellegrini (women's 200 free) and Russia's Stanislav Donets (men's 100 back) each rocketed to world records during finals.

Women's 50 free semis
The Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis clocked a quick time of 23.84 to lead the semifinal round. Compatriot Hinkelien Schreuder placed second in 24.01, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (24.02) and Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala (24.51) qualified third and fourth.

Sweden's Claire Hedenskog (24.57), Russia's Anastasia Aksenova (24.65) and Germany's Petra Dallmann (24.68) placed fifth through seventh, while Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia and Estonia's Triin Aljand set up a swimoff with eighth-place tying 24.74s.

Men's 50 fly semis
After setting the world record with a 22.18 in prelims, Amaury Leveaux cruised in the semifinal round with a time of 22.33. That effort tied him with Spain's Rafael Munoz Perez for the top seed. Croatia's Alexei Puninski touched third in 22.63, while Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin took fourth in 22.78.

Serbia's Milorad Cavic (22.81), Croatia's Mario Todorovic (22.81), Germany's Johannes Dietrich (22.85) and The Netherlands' Bastiaan Tamminga (23.20) made up the rest of the finale.

Women's 400 IM final
Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia knocked nearly a second off the women's 400 IM world record.

Belmonte Garcia scorched the finale with a time of 4:25.06 for the 103rd world record of the year. The performance cleared the global standard set by Julia Smit with a 4:25.87 in Toronto last month.

Alessia Filippi of Italy took second in 4:26.06, while compatriot Francesca Segat took third in 4:27.12.

Here are the comparative splits:
Belmonte Garcia: 29.60, 1:02.28 (32.68), 1:36.63 (34.35), 2:10.12 (33.49), 2:46.86 (36.74), 3:24.51 (37.65), 3:55.13 (30.62), 4:25.06 (29.93)
Smit: 28.88, 1:01.28 (32.40), 1:35.17 (33.89), 2:08.25 (33.08), 2:46.18 (37.93), 3:24.76 (38.58), 3:55.49 (30.73), 4:25.87 (30.38)

Men's 200 breast final
France's Hugues Duboscq set the European record with a top time of 2:04.59, just edging Italy's Edoardo Giorgetti, who took second in 2:04.98. Ukraine's Igor Borysik finished third in 2:05.47. Duboscq's time beat Giorgetti's continental record of 2:05.02 set last month.

Women's 200 free final
The women's 200 free world record fell by the wayside as Italy's Federica Pellegrini blistered the pool.

Pellegrini recorded a stunning time of 1:51.85 to smash Coralie Balmy's global standard of 1:53.18 set during the French Short Course Championships last week. The record-setting time is the 104th of the year.

The Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk (1:53.79) and Russia's Daria Belyakina (1:53.85) completed the podium.

Here are the comparative splits:
Pellegrini: 26.73, 55.40 (28.67), 1:23.86 (28.46), 1:51.85 (27.99)
Balmy: 26.98, 55.86 (28.88), 1:24.78 (28.92), 1:53.18 (28.40)

Men's 100 IM final
Slovenia's Peter Mankoc posted a European record in the sprint medley with a time of 51.97. The swim eclipsed the 52.21 he set at the 2008 World Short Course Championships. Italy's Christian Galenda finished second in 52.29, while Great Britain's James Goddard placed third in 52.36.

Women's 100 breast final
Russia's Valentina Artemyeva claimed the continental crown with a time of 1:05.02. France's Sophie De Ronchi took second in 1:05.43, while Austria's Mirna Jukic clinched third in 1:05.64.

Women's 50 free swimoff
Estonia's Triin Aljand earned a spot in the finale by beating Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia, 24.31 to 24.56

Men's 200 free final
Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry gave the world record a run, under pace at the 150-meter mark, but gassed out as he watched Russia's Daniil Izotov rocket by to claim the title in 1:43.09. Meichtry placed second in 1:43.11. Italy's Massi Rosolino made up the rest of the podium in 1:43.52. Paul Biedermann kept his world record at 1:40.83 as his final split of 24.90 was too much to overcome.

Women's 100 fly final
Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen captured the title in 56.70, while France's Diane Bui Duyet placed second in 56.83. Hungary's Eszter Dara rounded out the top three in 56.88.

Men's 100 back final
The swimming world witnessed the 105th world record of the year as Russia's Stanislav Donets blasted the men's 100 back standard.

Donets clocked a blazing time of 49.32 to crush Peter Marshall's month-old global record of 49.63 set at the Berlin stop of the World Cup circuit.

Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer Faber (49.61) dipped under the previous record for second, while Germany's Helge Meeuw took third in 50.89.

Here are the comparative splits:
Donets: 23.71, 49.32 (25.61)
Wildeboer Faber: 23.66, 49.61 (25.95)
Marshall: 23.85, 49.63 (25.78)

Women's 200 back final
France's Alexandra Putra (2:02.48) and Alexianne Castel (2:03.10) went 1-2, while Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds touched third in 2:03.12.

Men's 50 fly final
France's Amaury Leveaux came up just short of his preliminary world record of 22.18 with a winning time of 22.23 in the sprint fly. Serbia's Milorad Cavic took silver in 22.36, while Spain's Rafael Munoz Perez placed third in 22.48.

Women's 50 free final
The Netherlands went 1-2 with Marleen Veldhuis winning in 23.55 and Hinkelien Schreuder finishing second in 23.72. Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen wound up third in 24.05.

Men's 200 free relay final
During prelims, France's foursome of Alain Bernard (20.77), Fabien Gilot (20.54), Antoine Galavtine (20.95) and Fred Bousquet (20.12) set the world-best time with a readout of 1:22.38. That performance cleared the previous mark of 1:24.19 set by Sweden in 2007. Notably, Italy's team of Alessandro Calvi (21.52), Marco Orsi (21.16), Mattia Nalesso (20.74) and Filippo Magnini (20.72) also cleared the former world best with a second-place 1:24.14.

France came back during finals to shatter the world best set during prelims. Bernard (20.64), Gilot (20.33), Amaury Leveaux (19.93) and Bousquet (19.87) posted a stunning time of 1:20.77. Leveaux and Bousquet posted short course yardesque splits by dipping into the 19s.

Italy's Calvi, Orsi, Nalesso and Magnini took second in 1:23.37, while Croatia's Duje Draganja, Alexei Puninski, Bruno Barbic and Mario Todorovic placed third in 1:23.68.

Full Results