Sjostrom Thunders To 53.02 100m Free As Five Meet Records Fall On Final Day Of Euro Meet 2020

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Swedish ace Sarah Sjostrom. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Sarah Sjostrom fired a shot across the bows of her rivals with a thunderous 53.02 in the 100m free as she claimed her fourth gold medal and second meet record on the final day of the Euro Meet 2020 in Luxembourg.

The Swede had already taken down her own meet mark in the 100 fly to 56.71 and there were also golds in the 50 fly and free plus silver in the 50 back at the National Aquatic Center d’Coque.

Bearing in mind that it’s January, it begs the question what Sjostrom can do and where she can go with Tokyo 2020 just six months away and looming fast.

There must have been something in the water on Sunday as world silver medallist Jeremy Desplanches set a new meet mark in the 200IM heats of 1:57.59 although he did not appear for the evening final.

Yohann N’doye Brouard set a new mark of 1:58.04 in the 200 backstroke with a sub-30 final 50 to claim his second gold and third medal overall while Daryna Zevina lowered her own record from 2016 in the 200 backstroke to 2:09.85.

There was also a meet mark of 3:49.74 for an Italian quartet in the mixed 4x100m medley relay in the final race of the three-day competition.

Mykhaylo Romanchuk and Dan Jervis produced their third one-two of the competition – this time in the 400 free – and Velimir Stjepanovic added the 100m free title to his 200m win on Saturday.

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Sarah Sjostrom – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Sjostrom went out in 25.15 to leave the field trailing in her slipstream and she was already 1.47secs ahead of Hannah Kuechler at the turn.

Back in 27.87, the 26-year-old hit the wall 0.19secs inside her meet record from 2017 and just 0.03secs outside the time which propelled her to Olympic bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Kuechler was second in 55.08 with Valentine Dumont matching her 100m bronze in 55.10.

Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland celebrates after finishing second in the men's 200m Individual Medley (IM) Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 25 July 2019.

Jeremy Desplanches celebrates an historic Swiss silver in the 200m medley at the World Championships in Gwangju – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Morning speed will be the order of the day in Tokyo six months hence and Desplanches had it in buckets.

The Swiss set a national record of 1:56.56 for world silver behind Daiya Seto last year in Gwangju, South Korea and the Japanese has been firing warning shots left, right and centre of late.

Splits of 25.52; 55.49; 1:29.18; 1:57.59 saw Desplanches easily head the morning heats and take a hefty 1.42secs off Laszlo Cseh‘s mark from 2016.

In his absence, Philip Heintz won in 1:58.92 ahead of 400IM champion Arjan Knipping (2:02.30).

N’doye Brouard had won 50m gold and 100m silver behind European junior champion Thomas Ceccon.

Second at the final turn, 0.24 adrift of Brodie Williams, the Frenchman produced a last 50 of 29.93 to slice 1.59secs off Christopher Ciccarese‘s 2017 mark.

To put his last 50 into context, only the three medallists went quicker in the final at last year’s World Championships, the teenager following in the footsteps of some fine French backstrokers including Jeremy Stravius and Camille Lacourt.

Ciccarese was second in 1:59.42 with Williams third in 1:59.58.

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Photo Courtesy: Maria Dobysheva

Zevina led from start to finish in the women’s 200 back and splits of 30.62; 1:03.50; 1:36.58; 2:09.85 guided her to a commanding victory, 0.10secs inside her meet record from 2017.

Honey Osrin, the 2003-born Briton, came from fourth at 150m to move through the field for second in 2:13.50 with

Eszter Szabo-Feltothy and Jenny Mensing are separated by 16 years but were identical in their finish in 2:13.52.

Ceccon led off the Italy mixed medley relay quartet in 54.36 before Nicolo Martinenghi (1:00.22), Ilaria Bianchi (59.66) and Silvia Di Pietro (55.50) guided them to a new record, slicing 2.80secs off the record set by a British team in 2018.

It was the second meet record for an Italian squad in as many days after they lowered the mixed 4×100 free mark on Saturday.

Romanchuk and Jervis Go Again In Their Duel In The Pool

Romanchuk and Jervis had finished one-two in the 800m and 1500m freestyle and again the Ukrainian won out over 400.

Where Jervis had gone out fast in the first two races, Romanchuk led all the way over eight lengths and although his Welsh rival came back at him in the latter stages, he won out in 3:50.24 to 3:50.76.

Stjepanovic completed the 100-200 double with a two-length victory in 48.59 ahead of Ceccon (48.98) and Martinenghi was the only sub-minute man in the 100 breaststroke in 59.96.

European junior champion Kayla van der Merwe shared the 100m breaststroke title with Matilde Schroeder after the Dane made up a deficit of 0.36 at the turn with both touching in 1:08.59.

Katinka Hosszu completed the medley double with victory in the 200IM in 2:10.83 and Barbora Seemanova won the 400 free in 4:11.96.

Results in full