Day two of the 2014 European Championships was very exciting to watch with ties for medals, a World Record, and much more. The first two days have provided us with a little insight about who is at their best and who may not be performing as well as they were expected to. We noted a few swimmers to keep track of; some to track progress and how they’ve been training, and others because they are within striking distance of medals and records. Take a look at 10 things we noticed from the second day of the European Championships.
- Tonight’s final session started with the second tie for Gold in any mens event in European Championships history. Florent Manaudou and Yauhen Tsurkin both touched the wall at 23.00 in the 50 butterfly. The only other tie for a gold medal in a men’s event at the long course championships was back in the 50 breaststroke at the 2006 European Championships hosted in Budapest. Considering this meet was started in 1926, the chances of this only being only the second tie for Gold are slim.
- Marco Koch did not swim the men’s 100 breaststroke, but his breaststroke relay split in Germany’s 4×100 mixed medley relay was incredible quick. Prior to this meet, he had the 12th fastest time in the world this year in the 100 breaststroke at 1:00.08. Today, he split 59.14 on the relay which contributed to Germany’s fourth place finish. Without Gyurta in the 200 breaststroke this week, he will be one of the favorites to win that event; especially after seeing a 59 low from him today in the relay.
- On the same relay, Steffen Deibler anchored with a sub 48 second 100 freestyle, splitting 47.94.
- Femke Heemskerk had a fantastic anchor leg to bring home the silver medal for the Netherlands in the 4×100 mixed medley relay. She brought her final 100 home in 52.27.
- Mitch D’Arrigo, a standout at the University of Florida, had the 9th fastest time during the semi-finals and will serve as the first alternate for the finals of the 200 freestyle. His time, however, would have put him fifth at US Nationals earlier this month when you compare the times. The men’s 200 freestyle is one of USA’s weakest events on the men’s side. That is very evident as you track the times from this meet and other major international competitions around the world. To make this even more interesting, D’Arrigo has dual citizenship between Italy and the United States. As he climbs the world rankings, more and more American fans will pull for D’Arrigo to make the switch. If he continues to live in the US, that draw might surpass the tipping point as we’ve seen with other swimmers, including Darian Townsend.
- The defending Olympic Champion from France, Yannick Agnel, barely snuck into finals in the 200 freestyle but he did make it. He has not been as strong as many hoped he would be at this meet so far. He was left off France’s 4×100 freestyle relay that ended up winning the other night. He did take his 200 out strong, flipping at 51.8 half way through the race. He will need to be faster than 56 on the back half tomorrow night if he hopes to challenge Biedermann.
- Daniel Gyruta swum the 100 breaststroke and finished fourth at 59.88. That time is only a few tenths off of his lifetime best from London 2012. He chose to not swim the 200 breaststroke later in the meet in order to focus on the Short Course World Championships in December. Getting this close to his best times in his secondary events is a positive sign as we look forward to 2015 and then the 2016 Olympics.
- The mixed 4×100 medley relay team of Christopher Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, Jemma Lowe, and Francesca Halsall from Great Britain broke the previous World Record set by Australia On January 31st of this year at 3:46.52. The relay team from Great Britain won the event today with their new record time of 3:44.02. Check out their splits here:
- Walker-Hebborn: 53.68
- Peaty: 59.30
- Howe: 57.51
- Halsall: 53.53
- The Netherlands’ mixed medley relay finished in second place and they were also Australia’s previous World Record mark. The won the silver medal with their time of 3:45.93.
- Although Sarah Sjostrom won the 50 fly with a “slow” time compared to where she has been this season at 24.98, she was still faster than anyone else has ever been in this event. She has four of the five fastest 50 butterfly times in history.
Bonus** 37-year-old Swedish veteran and former world record holder Therese Alshammar was sixth in the final heat of the women’s 50 butterfly at 26.10.