ZUMO Performance of the Week: Danas Rapsys Nearly Cracks World Record in 400 Free at European SC Championships

danas-rapsys
Danas Rapsys continued his strong 2019 with two wins at the European Short Course Championships in Glasgow. Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

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This week’s ZUMO Performance of the Week goes to Danas Rapsys of Lithuania for his 400 freestyle gold medal at the European Short Course Championships in Glasgow, United Kingdom. That swim put Rapsys third all-time in the 400 free with the 3:33.20 this past week in Glasgow in the win over home favorite Tom Dean (3:37.95) and two-time reigning Worlds bronze medalist Gabriele Detti (3:38.06).

Rapsys has been on fire this fall since the World Championships when he won the 200 free but was disqualified for a false start, and finishing fourth in the 400 free. He swam the world leading time in the 200 free LCM at the World Cup in Singapore three weeks after the World Championships, and has continued to swim lights out on that World Cup circuit. He elected to not swim the first season of the ISL this year in favor of the long course venue of the World Cup because the ISL was only swum in short course meters. However, Rapsys still swam at European Short Course Champs this past week where he won the 400 free and 200 free as well, in a come-from-behind win over British fan favorites Duncan Scott and James Guy.

His time in the 400 free of 3:33.2 was a new European championships record, breaking Paul Biedermann’s 3:34 from 2009, as well as a new Lithuanian national record, which Rapsys held at 3:34.0.

Rapsys is one of the favorites to take home the 200 free and 400 free gold medals next summer in Tokyo where he will be swimming his second Olympics at age 24. He did not swim either the 200 or 400 free in Rio last time around, instead finishing 21st in the 200 backstroke and not making it out of the heats. He has since changed his focus to middle distance freestyle as he has become one of the best swimmers in the world in those events. If Rapsys can continue this hot streak into the Olympics, he will be a popular pick to take down China’s Sun Yang in both the 400 and 200 if he is allowed to compete.

Congratulations to Danas Rapsys on winning the ZUMO Performance of the Week over Abbey Weitzeil and Maggie MacNeil, who broke NCAA records at the Minnesota Invitational.

Top 10 All-Time (Men’s 400 Freestyle SCM)

  1. 3:32.25, Yannick Agnel, FRA (2012)
  2. 3:32.77, Paul Biedermann, GER (2009)
  3. 3:33.20, Danas Rapsys, LTU (2019)
  4. 3:34.32, Peter Bernek, HUN (2014)
  5. 3:34.58, Grant Hackett, AUS (2002)
  6. 3:34.59, Park Tae-Hwan, KOR (2016)
  7. 3:34.63, Ian Thorpe, AUS (2002)
  8. 3:34.66, Zhang Lin, CHN (2009)
  9. 3:34.81, Peter Vanderkaay, USA (2009)
  10. 3:35.30, Aleksandr Krasnykh, RUS (2016)

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