European Championships, Day 7 Prelims: Felix Auboeck Goes 3:48 To Head 400 Free

AUBOECK Felix AUT celebrating Gold Medal 400m Freestyle Men Final Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 16/12/2021 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Felix Auboeck: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

European Championships, Day 7 Prelims: Felix Auboeck Goes 3:48 To Head 400 Free

Felix Auboeck and Francisca Martins headed the 400 free during the seventh and final day of prelims at the European Aquatics Championships in Belgrade.

The sixth night of finals had been twice delayed because of driving rain, thunder and lightning which resulted in the men’s 1500 free being postponed until Sunday evening with the start of the session brought forward by 20 minutes.

That was ultimately the athletes’ ‘choice’. The eight swimmers were already poolside when the heavens threatened to open and they were given what amounted to an ultimatum: get in and risk being pulled out mid-race before having to restart the event or postpone it. They chose the latter which saw the likes of Nathan Wiffen withdraw from the 400 free on Sunday morning in the Serbian capital.

the women’s 400 free opened the session with Francisca Martins of Portugal booking lane four in 4:14.77 where she’ll be alongside Ajna Kesely of Hungary, the 2022 silver medallist clocking 4:14.93.

Barbora Seemanova progressed sixth in 4:16.55 as she seeks to complete the 100/200/400 treble.

Claiming the eighth and final slot was Vanna Djakovic of Switzerland in 4:17.46.

A second Djakovic sibling qualified for the men’s final with Antonio – three years Vanna’s senior – placing third in prelims in 3:49.99 behind Austria’s Felix Auboeck (3:48.86) and Bar Soloveychik of Israel (3:49.92).

Also through was Krzysztof Chmielewski, the Polish swimmer who came second behind Kristof Milak in the 200 fly on Saturday.

Hungary – flying high at the top of the standings with eight golds among 22 medals – headed the women’s 4×1 medley prelims in 4:04.30 followed by Poland (4:04.44) and Greece (4:06.21).

Hosts Serbia and Armenia are the reserves after 11 teams contested the prelims with Finland DQd and Great Britain not appearing.

Ukraine headed the men’s event in 3:34.35 ahead of Austria (3:35.13) and Hungary (3:35.73).



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