Finland’s Ida Hullko Sets Pace As Race Practice Returns For Few Before Dawn Of July, COVID-19 Season

Ida Hullko of Finland - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

July 2020 dawns with few performance swims in the bank due to the COVID-19 pandemic but June saw a slow and modest return to racing in Europe, Finland’s Ida Hulkko providing the highlights on the clock.

Racing at the long-course Invitational in Tampere on June 13, Hullko, who opted to redshirt the 2019-20 U.S. collegiate season for Florida State University in NCAA Division I in order to focus on training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, clocked solid efforts of  30.33 and 1:06.90 over 50m and 100m breaststroke respectively.

National teammate Mimosa Jallow also topped the 800-points mark with a 28.67 in the 50m backstroke.

Among men, Matti Mattsson, who back in 2013 claimed bronze over 200m breaststroke at the World Championships in Barcelona, topped the men’s performances with a 1:01.51 effort over 100m breaststroke.

Last weekend at the Wewnetrzy Sprawdzian Kadry Narodowej meet in Lodz, Poland, Alicja Tchórz came close to the performance points score of Ida Hullko when she topped the table with 28.27 and 1:00.81 over 50m and 100m backstroke respectively. The best efforts among the men delivered by Jakub Kraska, who leaves his teenage years behind this year, on 49.21 in the 100m freestyle and Kacper Stokowski, 21, who clocked 25.78 and 55.44 in the 50m and 100m backstroke respectively and 23.89 over 50m butterfly.

There were also efforts of 2:00.28 from Michal Poprawa in the 200m butterfly and 53.89 over 100m butterfly from Jakub Majerski.

Return-to-race practice was also underway last weekend at the Meeting du Lac in Vevey, Switzerland, where national teamster Nils Liess clocked 50.37 and 1:49.53 in the 100m and 200m freestyle respectively, as well as 26.68 in the 50m backstroe.

Serbia hosted two meets last month, the Letnja Liga in Belgrade and the Petnica Cup in Valjevo, while June 19-20 featured the Landsbankamot IRB long-course meet in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, Anton Sveinn McKee topped the bill on 29.06, 1:03.08 and 2:19.08 in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke respectively.

Ida Hullko was among many who shaped her plans and life and training with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in focus only to have all of that thrown off course by the coronavirus pandemic. All major international events have been cancelled or postponed this year, while the International Swimming League plans to host Season 2 in late October and November during its ISL Solidarity camp, all of which is subject to developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

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