We’re up to day 6 at the 2014 European Championships, with heats of five more events slated to take place from Berlin this morning.
Russian Vlad Morozov will take to the pool for the 50 free after winning the 50 back but disappointingly missing the final of the 100 free. In other races, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom will look to get back on top of the women’s race. She was basically unbeatable in the early goings, but was nipped for the 100 fly title by .01 last night courtesy of Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen.
In the 200 fly, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu will go for her third straight European title. Also taking to the pool will be the women’s 50 breast and the men’s 4×200 free relay.
2014 LEN EUROPEAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, August 13-Sunday, August 24, 2014 (pool swimming Monday, 8/18-Sunday 8/24)
- The Velodrom, Berlin, Germany
- Local time: Prelims 9:30am, Finals 6pm (Monday-Thursday), 4pm (Friday-Sunday)
- Meet website
- Event schedule
- Live stream
- Live results
Women’s 50 Breast – Prelims
- 2012 European Champ: Petra Chocova, Czech Republic, 31.25
- 2010 European Champ: Yuliya Efimova, Russia, 30.29
- Meet Record: Yuliya Efimova, Russia, 30.29 – 2010
- World Record: Ruta Meilutyte, Lithuania, 29.48 – 2013
- European Record: Ruta Meilutyte, Lithuania, 29.48 – 2013
World Record holder Ruta Meilutyte did just what she needed to do this morning to lead the field in the women’s 50 breast. She leads all competitors heading into semifinals with a 30.73. She has the Netherlands’ Moniek Niehuis (30.75) and Sweden’s Jennie Johnsson (30.79) right at her heels, while Dorothea Brandt (30.82), Sycerika McMahon (31.02), Mariya Liver (31.13), and a tie between Rikke Moeller Pedersen and Hrafnhildu Luthersdottir at 31.21 rounds out the top 8.
Meilutyte will have plenty left with her semifinal and medal rounds, and she typically gets faster during subsequent heats. She has been a 29.90 already this year, and was a 30.14 at the Youth Olympic Games, so we can use those times to compare with how she performs tonight.
McMahon is looking very good after somewhat disappointing performances in the 100 and 200 meter distances. She is just off the Irish National Record of 30.93 held by Fiona Doyle from the World Championships last summer, and she’ll have a great opportunity to better that standard tonight. It is a very tight and competitive field all around, and she will be right next to Meilutyte in the second semifinal heat, so we know she’ll have a great pacesetter in the corner of her eye.
Men’s 50 Free – Prelims
- 2012 European Champ: Frederick Bousquet, France, 21.80
- 2010 European Champ: Frederick Bousquet, France, 21.49
- Meet Record: Frederick Bousquet, France, 21.36 – 2010
- World Record: Cesar Cielo, Brazil, 20.91 – 2009
- European Record: Frederick Bousquet, France, 20.94 – 2009
23 year old Marco Orsi out of Italy and 24 year old Russian Oleg Tikhobaev lead all morning swimmers with a pair of 22.18s. Only 0.11 second separate the top 8 as Kristian Gkolomeev (22.19), Florent Manaudou (22.20), Luca Dotto (22.21), Benjamin Proud and Konrad Czerniak (22.26), and Andrey Grechin (22.29) followed behind the two leaders.
Shockingly, Vlad Morozov did not qualify for a second swim as 3 Russian teammates placed ahead of in morning action. Though Morozov took 12th in prelims with a 22.35, Tikhobaev and Grechin will both represent Russia in the semifinal rounds tonight. This continues Morozov’s woes in the freestyle events at these European Championships, and it is particularly shocking that his 50 free was so sub-par considering how good his 50 back was just two nights ago.
Women’s 200 Fly – Prelims
- 2012 European Champ: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 2:07.28
- 2010 European Champ: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 2:06.71
- Meet Record: Otylia Jedrzejczak, Poland, 2:05.78 – 2002
- World Record: Liu Zige, China, 2:01.81 – 2009
- European Record: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 2:04.27 – 2009
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia captured the final heat and leads all competitors with a 2:08.49 time in prelims. She is very closely trailed by Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:08.73), Martina Van Berkel (2:08.81), and Katinka Hosszu (2:08.91) while Judit Ignacio Sorribes (2:09.21), Franziska Hentke (2:10.60), Anja Klinar (2:10.67), and Evelyn Verraszto (2:10.97) round out the rest of the top 8.
Belmonte Garcia, Hosszu, and Jakabos won each of their respective heats, and all of them are exactly where they need to be heading into semifinals. Van Berkel, a 25 year old from Switzerland, had a phenomenal swim considering she was entered with a 2:10.44, so it will be interesting to see if she can continue to carry that momentum forwards. In fact, her swim this morning is a new Swiss national record as she previously held the record of 2:09.68 from back at the 2011 World Championships.
Women’s 50 Free – Prelims
- 2012 European Champ: Britta Steffen, Germany, 24.37
- 2010 European Champ: Therese Alshammer, Sweden, 24.45
- Meet Record: Marleen Veldhuis, Netherlands, 24.09 – 2008
- World Record: Britta Steffen, Germany, 23.73 – 2009
- European Record: Britta Steffen, Germany, 23.73 – 2009
As has been typical all week, Sarah Sjoestroem set the early pace as she posted the top time at 24.38. Considering she is only four tenths of a second off her personal best from Swedish Nationals and didn’t have to work too hard to win her heat, she is in pretty good position leading into semifinals.
Comprising the rest of the top 8 was Jeanette Ottesen (24.67), Dorothea Brandt and Francesca Halsall (24.77), Pernille Blume (25.03), Therese Alshammar (25.06), Anna Santamans (25.15), and a tie between Maud Meer and Elizaveta Bazarova at 25.18.
As Jeanette Ottesen just clipped Sjoestroem yesterday by one one-hundredth of a second in the 100 fly, it’s looking like we’ll have another showdown to look forward to in the splash and dash both tonight and in the medal rounds. Regarding individual events, Sjoestroem has already won the 50 fly and 100 free this week, so it will be interesting to see if Ottesen can even the score. Of course Halsall was the top seed entering Saturday, so we have plenty of names to look out for in the next two rounds.
Also of note, once again 36 year-old Alshammar was able to improve on her seed time (seeded 25.17), and as one of the most decorated European athletes of all time, she continues to put her longevity on show.
Men’s 4×200 Free Relay – Prelims
- 2012 European Champ: Germany (Biedermann, Colupaev, Rapp, Wallburger), 7:09.17
- 2010 European Champ: Russia (Lobintsev, Izotov, Perunin, Sukhorukov), 7:06.71
- Meet Record: Russia (Lobintsev, Izotov, Perunin, Sukhorukov), 7:06.71 – 2010
- World Record: USA (Phelps, Berens, Walters, Lochte), 6:58.55 – 2009
- European Record: Russia (Lobintsev, Polishuk, Izotov, Sukhorukov), 6:59.15 – 2009
Robin Backhaus (1:47.76), Yannick Lebherz (1:47.67), Clemen Rapp (1:47.75), and Paul Biedermann (1:47.08) combined to give Germany the top time in prelims with a 7:10.26. Right behind them are Russia at 7:11.37 and the Netherlands at 7:15.52
The Germans were very consistent in their splitting, though they may not have held back too much this morning in terms of roster selection. The Russians can still substitute Alexander Sukhorokuv and Artem Lobuzov into their finals relay to give them a potential extra boost, so we will have to see how close the finish is in finals.