HERNING, Denmark, December 13. THE second night of the European Short Course Championships featured two more world records on the board, both from the Russians.
Women’s 800 free
Denmark’s Lotte Friis looked pretty strong early during the women’s 800 free, pushing the pace hard throughout the first 400 meters, but she just didn’t have enough in the tank to hold off the world-record holder Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain in the back half.
Belmonte Garcia threw down an 8:05.18 to win her second continental title of the meet following her 200 fly victory on night one. That swim would have ranked her third in the world behind Lauren Boyle’s 8:01.22 if she hadn’t already broken the 8:00 barrier with a 7:59.34 at the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup. That swim was a bit more lucrative considering the boatloads of cash and World Cup points on offer.
Friis, meanwhile, wound up second overall in 8:08.68. That clipped her previous season best time of 8:09.84 from the Eindhoven stop of the World Cup but wasn’t fast enough to challenge the truly strong times of Belmonte Garcia and Boyle from this year.
The Netherlands’ Sharon Rouwendaal clinched third-place overall in 8:14.24 in the final heat. Great Britain’s Jaz Carlin turned up the heat during prelims with an 8:16.91 in heat one, nearly making the podium from the slower-seeded heats.
Germany’s Leonie Beck (8:18.78), Germany’s Sarah Kohler (8:18.97), Great Britain’s Hannah Miley (8:19.87), Slovenia’s Tjasa Oder (8:22.09), France’s Coralie Balmy (8:22.82) and Italy’s Martina Caramignoli (8:24.63) also made the top 10 in the timed final event.
Men’s 400 IM
With European record holder Laszlo Cseh out after an injury in the 200 IM last night, Hungary’s Davis Verraszto filled the void in the distance medley with a 4:03.48 for the win. That was two seconds off Verraszto’s fifth-ranked season best of 4:01.25 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, but was enough to score the Hungarian the continental title in the event.
Israel’s Gal Nevo touched just behind Verraszto with a 4:03.50 as he couldn’t hold off Verraszto final split of 27.99 compared to Nevo’s 28.09 down the stretch. The swim pushed Nevo to seventh in the world rankings.
Italy’s Federico Turrini closed out the podium with a third-place time of 4:03.94. That put Turrini eighth in the world, just ahead of Tyler Clary’s 4:04.35 from Eindhoven.
Germany’s Tim Wallburger (4:05.24), Russia’s Semen Makovich (4:06.33), Ukraine’s Maxym Shemberyev (4:07.56), Portugal’s Diogo Carvalho (4:08.67), Germany’s Jacob Heidtmann (4:10.64) and Russia’s Alexander Tikhonov (4:10.80) placed fourth through ninth, while Denmark’s Chris Christensen drew a disqualification.
Women’s 200 breast
This year’s complete revision of the women’s breaststroke world record books is complete after Russia’s Yuliya Efimova wiped out former Trojan teammate Rebecca Soni’s 200 breast world record at the European Short Course Championships.
Efimova clocked a sterling time of 2:14.39 to take down Soni’s 2:14.57 from 2009. With that swim, every single women’s breaststroke world record has been set this year as Efimova, Ruta Meilutyte and Rikke Moeller Pedersen tag-teamed to blast the record books. Efimova was pushed by Pedersen this evening with the Dane taking second in 2:15.21.
31.05, 1:05.18 (34.13), 1:40.00 (34.82), 2:14.57 (34.57)
30.80, 1:04.79 (33.99), 1:39.74 (34.95), 2:15.21 (35.47)
31.14, 1:05.24 (34.10), 1:39.33 (34.09), 2:14.39 (35.06)
Russia’s Vitalina Simonova took bronze in the finale with a 2:18.88, while Italy’s Giulia De Ascentis (2:20.93) and Lisa Fissneider (2:21.18) placed fourth and fifth.
Spain’s Jessica Vall Montero (2:23.21), Ukraine’s Ganna Dzerkal (2:23.40), Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (2:24.51), Germany’s Vanessa Grimberg (2:24.54) and Germany’s Caroline Ruhnau (2:24.92) also competed for the title in the finale.
Men’s 100 breast
Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, the European Male Swimmer of the Year, had just enough in the tank to hold off Germany’s Marco Koch for the title. Gyurta stopped the clock in 57.08 with Koch taking second in 57.14. Gyurta has been faster this year with a second-ranked 56.79 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, and took advantage of top-ranked Fabio Scozzoli (56.49) missing this meet due to injury.
Koch bettered his fourth-ranked season best of 57.38 to tie Christian Sprenger for third in the world. Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic picked up bronze with a time of 57.24 to put him fifth in the world rankings in what proved to be a strong finale.
Slovakia’s Tomas Klobucnik (57.75), France’s Giacomo Perez Dortona (57.83), Great Britain’s Michael Jamieson (58.07), Russia’s Oleg Kostin (58.17), Portugal’s Carlos Almeida (58.74), Italy’s Claudio Fossi (8.79) and Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis (58.80) turned in the non-podium performances in the finale.
Women’s 100 free
The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo, already the top-ranked swimmer in the world with a 51.28 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, put in an easy-speed time of 51.78 to win the sprint freestyle event this evening. She didn’t turn first, but she certainly came home like a freight train with a 26.64.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom gave up too much time on the front end with a 25.34 at the 50 before coming home in 26.65 for a sub-52 of her own as she clocked a 51.99 for silver. That nearly cleared her fourth-ranked season best of 51.93 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup.
Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia won the battle for bronze with a 52.34, while Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen took fourth in 52.46.
Great Britain’s Fran Halsall (52.50), Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (52.67), Russia’s Veronika Popova (52.73), The Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk (52.77), Denmark’s Pernille Blume (53.37) and France’s Charlotte Bonnet (53.51) also competed in the finale.
Women’s 100 back
The hosting Danes finally had their time to cheer as the entire audience began to chant “Mie” following an amazing swim in the women’s 100-yard back from youngster Mie Nielsen.
Nielsen charted a swift time of 55.99 in the finale to become the first European to ever break 56 seconds. That swim smashed the previous European and meet record of 56.36 set by Ksenia Moskvina in Istanbul in 2009. The swim also shot the youngster to the top of the world this year, ahead of Aya Terakawa’s 56.10 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup.
Nielsen split the swim 27.16 going out, as she touched behind Czech’s Simona Baumrtova’s 27.04, but the difference really came with Nielsen bringing it home in a sizzling 28.83 to win in 55.99. Baumrtova wound up with silver in 56.28. Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina tracked down bronze with a time of 56.94.
Russia’s Daria Ustinova (58.11), Italy’s Elena Gemo (58.76), Germany’s Jenny Mensing (58.99), France’s Cloe Credeville (59.04), Iceland’s Eyglo Gustafsdottir (59.39), France’s Mathilde Cini (59.45) and The Netherlands’ Maaike De Waard (59.53) also vied for the title.
Men’s 100 fly
World-record holder Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia had the only sub-50 second time of the finale as the Russian won the title in 49.68. That’s his first time under the barrier this year, moving him to fourth in the world behind Tom Shields (48.80), Chad Le Clos (49.01) and Steffen Deibler (49.38).
France’s Jeremy Stravius took second in 50.09, just off his sixth-ranked season best of 50.04, while Deibler had a tough time matching his early season speed with a bronze-winning 50.23.
Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin (50.49), Russia’s Nikita Konovalov (50.53), Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich (50.71), Italy’s Matteo Rivolta (50.90), Poland’s Michal Poprawa (50.93), Italy’s Piero Codia (51.33) and Croatia’s Mario Todorovic (51.64) comprised the rest of the championship heat.
Women’s 50 fly
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom took down the meet record in the sprint fly with a winning time of 24.90. That effort clipped the 24.92 set by Jeanette Ottesen back in 2011, but is well off Therese Alshammar’s world record of 24.38 from 2009. Sjostrom just missed beating Ottesen’s top-ranked 24.87 from this year’s Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup, but did beat her own second-ranked 24.91 from the Tokyo stop.
Ottesen, meanwhile, captured silver with a 25.03, while The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker placed a distant third in 25.29. Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk wound up fourth in 25.58.
Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro (25.99), Poland’s Anna Dowgiert (26.07), Russia’s Rozaliya Nasretdinova (26.22), Czech’s Lucie Svecena (26.23), Norway’s Elise Olsen (26.24) and France’s Melanie Henique (26.32) made up the other finishes in the finale.
Men’s 50 back
France’s Jeremy Stravius, who owns the top time in the world with a 22.99 from the Doha stop of the FINA World Cup, dominated the sprint backstroke finale with a 23.19. Germany’s Christian Diener touched well behind with a 23.38, while Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich rounded out the podium with a third-place 23.45.
Italy’s Niccolo Bonacchi and Stefano Pizzamiglio tied for fourth with matching 23.55s, while Great Britain’s Christoph Walker-Hebborn (23.59), France’s Camille Lacourt (23.61), Russia’s Andrey Shabasov (23.68), Israel’s Guy Barnea (23.71) and Turkey’s Baslakov Iskender (23.91) turned in the other swims in the finale.
Mixed 200 medley relay
Russia provided the second world record of the evening at the European Short Course Championships as Vitaly Melnikov (23.70), Yuliya Efimova (28.39), Svetlana Chimrova (25.29) and Vlad Morozov (20.25) raced to a 1:37.63. That swim beat the unified world record of 1:37.84 set by Australia on the Tokyo stop of the FINA World Cup circuit.
There’s been much talk about the 200-meter medley relays, especially the single-gender events, and how many “world records” will be set in the events since FINA first began recognizing them this September. The mixed events, however, don’t have as much controversy as the FINA World Cup swimmers nearly unified both the world record and standing world bests this fall. The mixed medley relay is the one that is completely unified, and Russia now stands on top of that mountain.
Germany’s Christian Diener (23.44), Caroline Ruhnau (29.96), Steffen Deibler (21.93) and Dorothea Brandt (23.99) took second in 1:39.32, while Czech’s Simona Baumrtova (25.99), Petr Bartunek (26.55), Lucie Svecena (25.83) and Tomas Plevko (21.17) took third in 1:39.54.
Italy (1:39.68), Great Britain (1:39.81), Hungary (1:39.86), France (1:39.91), Ukraine (1:40.18), Belarus (1:40.19) and Slovenia (1:41.52) also battled in the finale.
Men’s 50 back
Italy’s Stefano Pizzamiglio posted the top time out of semis with a 23.55 That time is good enough to move him to eight overall in the world rankings. Germany’s Christian Diener (23.58) and Italy’s Nicoolo Bonacchi (23.59) qualified second and third into the finale, while Israel’s Guy Barnea captured fourth overall in 23.64.
Great Britain’s Christoph Walker-Hebborn (23.67), France’s Camille Lacourt (23.70), France’s Jeremy Stravius (23.80), Russia’s Andrey Shabasov (23.84) and Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich (23.95) rounded out the top nine into finals, while Turkey’s Baslakov Iskender and Estonia’s Ralf Tributnsov set up a swimoff for the final spot into the finale with matching 23.98s.
Women’s 50 fly
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen topped semifinal qualifying with a time of 25.44. She’s been much faster this year with a top-ranked 24.87 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup, so she could have more in the tank for the finale.
The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker led the second semi with a 25.46, off her fifth-ranked season best of 25.43 from Tokyo. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom snared third in 25.55, while Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk claimed fourth in 25.90.
Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro (25.92), France’s Melanie Henique (26.01), Russia’s Rozaliya Nasretdinova (26.03), Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova (26.10), Norway’s Elise Olsen (26.13) and Czech’s Lucie Svecena (26.15) also earned sports into the championship finale.
Men’s 100 free
Italy’s Marco Orsi just beat out Russia’s Vlad Morozov for the top spot heading into the finale, 46.64 to 46.66. Orsi moved to ninth in the world with his swim, while Morozov definitely has proven he’s capable of a faster time with a third-ranked effort of 45.63 from the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup. With top-ranked Florent Manaudou pulling out of the meet with a shoulder injury, there’s little doubt Morozov will pick up the sprint free double after winning the 50 free on night one, unless someone like Orsi has a transcendent swim.
France’s Fabien Gilot (46.91), Russia’s Danila Izotov (46.96), Italy’s Filippo Magnini (47.05), Belgium’s Emmanuel Vanluchene (47.36), The Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren (47.52), Lithuania’s Mindaugas Sadauskas (47.57), Hungary’s Dominik Kozma (47.65) and Belgium’s Jasper Aerents (47.68) also made the finale.
Women’s 100 IM
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who set the world record with a blazing 57.45 in Berlin earlier this year, looked dominant this evening in the semifinal heats with a 58.37. There’s a definite chance she will challenge her global mark during the finale.
Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte continued to turn her scary sprint breaststroke ability into a solid sprint medley with a second-seeded 58.78. That’s just off her fourth-ranked 58.57 from the Moscow stop of the World Cup. Israel’s Amit Ivry picked up third overall in 58.87, off her fifth-ranked 58.66 from the Doha stop.
Great Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (58.90), Germany’s Theresa Michalak (59.06), Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto (59.41), Sweden’s Stina Gardell (1:00.29), Czech’s Petra Chocova (1:00.42), Slovakia’s Katarina Listopadova (1:00.49) and Austria’s Birgit Koschischek (1:00.76) earned the rest of the transfer spots into the 10-lane finale.