Freya Anderson: A Sprinter Who Hints At Endurance With 50-400 Free Double Header At European SC

Freya Anderson gets her head round a range that extends from 50m to 400m - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

European Short-Course Championships

Glasgow, Day 5 Heats

Freya Anderson returned to the pool the morning after winning the 200m freestyle for a double header that took her from the shortest of sprints to middle distance in little more than an hour at the European Short-Course Championships in Glasgow.


Freya Anderson into the all-time top 10 at No 10 for victory in the 100m freestyle at the European Short-Course Championships in Glasgow – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The 18-year-old completed a 100-200m freestyle golden double on Saturday by coming from sixth with 50m to go before unleashing a thunderous final length to get her hand to the wall first ahead of Federica Pellegrini, the queen of 200m racing seeking her sixth crown.

It came two days after the British athlete claimed her first senior international solo medal of any colour when she won the 100m, the teenager now competing on level terms with the likes of Pellegrini and Femke Heemskerk, the women she has so looked up to.

Whatever happens next, Anderson will leave Glasgow as champion over 100 and 200m and a finalist over 400m, her shot at extending that range down top the 50m to unfold at the start of action in the curtain-closing session at the championships this evening.

This morning Anderson returned to the fray finish joint 10th in the 50m in 24.32 with Maria Kameneva (23.73) and Anderson’s fellow Briton Anna Hopkin (23.81) leading the way.

She wasn’t done though. Instead, there was an appearance in the 400m freestyle heats – one from which Pellegrini had withdrawn – an event raced so rarely by Anderson she has no entry time on the federation website.

No matter. Anderson and her long, languid stroke out in lane eight were eighth at 250m at which point she turned on the pace, her splits metronomic, coming home in 29.77 to touch third in her heat in 4:04.37.

And that was good enough for eighth overall for the Ellesmere College Titans swimmer who will tonight undertake a programme that could result in three races in 80 minutes.

Anastasia Kirpichnikova heads the 400 free in 4:02.45 ahead of Ajna Kesely (4:02.54).

What had it been like to come in this morning facing a 50 and a 400m after the high of yesterday evening? Anderson told Swimming World:

“It was hard. I struggled sleeping last night. I was really tired this morning but once you get in the call room you just concentrate on your race.”

The 50 and 400 in same session, Anderson compartmentalised the two as separate moments, the longer race one she has raced short-course every year as far back as she an recall but never before at a major championship:

“I was sort of using the 50 as a sort of ‘blow the cobwebs way’ thing. It didn’t feel too bad and then once you’ve done the 50 you just forget about it and concentrate on the 400.”

Florent Manaudou at the European Championships in Glasgow - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK

Florent Manaudou cuts a dash at the European Championships in Glasgow – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK

Championship Quick Links:

There was a Russian one-two in the women’s 200m breaststroke with Mariia Temnikova, who reached the semis in Gwangju in July, touching in 2:19.92 ahead of Evgeniia Chikunova, 2:20.99, who turned 15 last month.


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Aleksandr Kharlanov headed the 200 butterfly in 1:52.00 while his Russian team-mate Kliment Kolesnikov, who already has a trio of gold medals, including the 100m backstroke, led the way in the 50m in 23.03, 0.29 off Stanislav Donets’ championship record from 2010.

The 19-year-old is joined by Christian Diener of Germany (23.13) and Shane Ryan of Ireland (23.16).

Germany headed the men’s 4x50m medley relay in 1:32.64 ahead of Italy and Hungary with France and Great Britain missing out.

Russia led the women’s equivalent in 1:45.81 ahead of Italy and Great Britain.