2015 European Short Course Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


(Note for those reading results: Only TWO swimmers per nation may advance to the semi-finals, therefore you will see some swimmers from bigger countries “skipped” in the order of Qs in preliminary results)


Just one sub-21 mark characterized this evening’s two semi-finals of the men’s 50 freestyle, with Russia’s Evgeny Sedov claiming the top seed in 20.84. This was a nice time drop from his 21.06 from heats and positions him in the middle of the pool to fend off the likes of Italy’s Marco Orsi and Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov. Orsi flew just over the 21-second mark at 21.05, with Govorov right behind in 21.20

Of note, Finnish swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen just keeps getting faster, dropping his 21.35 time from heats down to a mighty 21.31 for the 4th seed.  This clinched a new Finnish record for the 26-year-old and puts him in contention for at least a minor medal in the final of this event, taking place later on this same session.


Another swimmer who keeps raising the bar is Swedish siren Sarah Sjostrom. After a stellar championship season, where the 22-year old earned individual gold medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly, while earning silver in the 100m free and bronze in the 50m freestyle, Sjostrom put on a show here.

After trailing the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo‘s only sub-52-second time from the semi’s, Sjostrom strategized her finals race perfectly, splitting 24.76/26.61 to Kromowidjojo’s 24.91/26.68 to take the gold in a time of 51.37.  That time marks Sjostrom’s 3rd-fastest of her career, with her personal best being a 51.24 from just this past November.

Kromowidjojo sprinted to a final time of 51.59 for silver, the 3rd-fastest time of this Dutch sensation’s career. Kromowidjojo is the defending short course European Champion in this event, having snatched gold in 2013 with a time of 51.28. Last year in Doha at the Short Course World Championships, the 2012 Olympic double gold medalist earned bronze with a mark of 51.47.

Throwing down another eye-popping swim was Russia’s Veronika Popova, who lowered her own Russian National Record in the event. Popova raced her way to a new record of 52.21 in prelims, and came away with the bronze in her time of 52.02.


The men’s 100 breaststroke race is shaping up to be a heck of a final, with seemingly always on-fire British superstar Adam Peaty leading the way with the only sub-57 mark of the field.  His clocking of 56.84 is less than half a second off of the British National Record of 56.35, so that mark is certainly on notice come finals.

Not far behind is the Germany monster that is Marco Koch, the 200m breaststroke champion from earlier in the meet.  In that race, he swam the 2nd-swiftest time ever and he performed exceedingly well in this race as well.  HIs time of 57.02 not only nabbed the 2nd seed, but claimed a brand new German National Record in the process.

Also making the final is Lithuania’s Titenis Giedrius (57.47), Hungary’s been-rather-quiet-lately Daniel Gyurta (57.47), as well as the 50m breaststroke winner from this meet, Damir Dugonjic (SLO).

Of note, Russia’s Anton Chupkov, who was disqualified in the 200m breaststroke race, is lurking in this shorter distance, landing as the 8th seed with his semi mark of 58.09


Hungary’s #IronLady simply puts on a show every time she’s in the water.  This performance, she cranked out a new Championship Record in the women’s 200m backstroke, lowering her own mark from prelims. Below is a comparison of her splits between her two Championship Record marks:

58.46 (30.23)
1:29.34 (30.88)
1:59.95 (30.61)

57.97 (30.05)
1:28.83 (30.86)
1:59.84 (31.01)

Hosszu went out noticeably faster in the entire first 100, clocking a monster 57.97, a time which would have placed 7th in the individual 100m backstroke final at these championships. Her World Record of 1:59.23 remains in tact, but it is only a matter of time.

Silver went to Russian athlete Daria K. Ustinova with her time of 2:01.57, as she dropped well over a second between her prelims and final swim.

Icelandic swimmer Eyglo Osk Gustafsdottir threw down another out-of-nowhere swim to clinch bronze to match her same result in this meet’s 200m backstroke.  This time, she clocked a 2:03.53 to lower her own National Record (2:03.96) from prelims even further. Prior to coming into this meet, her swiftest effort was a 2:04.78 from 2014, so to say this girl is on fire is an understatement.


Turning 30 years old this week has proven to be an extra super power for Hungarian World Champion, Laszlo Cseh. In the men’s 200 IM final, he blasted a new European and Championship Record time of 1:51.36, beating the field by almost 2 full seconds.


51.95 (27.89)
1:24.53 (32.58)
1:51.36 (26.83)

Cseh has never dipped into the 1:51-territory, having laid claim to a previous personal best of 1:52.74 from back in 2012. In fact, he had only clocked short course meters marks in the 1:52 range a total of 4 times overall and his most recent time was a sluggish 1:55.58 from November of this year.

He certainly turned it on when it counted, topping the podium with his 2nd Hungarian National Record of this meet, paired with his earlier 100 butterfly record. Not too shabby for a 30-year-old.

Silver was awarded to German swimmer Philip Heintz (1:53.21), while Portugal landed on the podium for the first time at these championships with Diogo Carvalho‘s bronze performance (1:53.45).


With current World Record Holder in the event, Spaniard Mireia Belmonte, not competing at this meet, the field was rather wide open for the taking. And take she did, as German swimmer Franziska Hentke wrangled up the gold medal in a new German National Record time of 2:03.01. Hentke overtook her own national mark of 2:03.47, which was registered at the 2013 edition of this meet, which garnered her the silver behind Belmonte.

It was a hard-fought battle against charging French 400m IM bronze medalist at this meet, Lara Grangeon, who would ultimately settle for the silver in 2:03.85. Italy’s Alessia Polieri finished on the podium as well, claiming bronze with her time of 2:04.37.


As with the women’s 200 butterfly, the current co-World Record Holder in the women’s 100m breaststroke, Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania) opted out of this meet, giving other European would-be gold medalists a shot at the title. Taking up the top seed post is the Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis, the 4th-place finisher in this event at the 2013 edition of the meet.  Nijhuis is her country’s national record holder, sitting with her best time of 1:03.96 from last year’s World Championships, a meet at which she scored a bronze medal.

Chasing Nijhuis is Finnish swimmer Jenna Laukkanen, who clocked a speedy 1:04.87 to sit right behind the Dutch woman. For Laukkanen, this swim represents the first time the 20-year-old dipped beneath the 1:05 threshold and now re-writes her own National Record. 1:05.02 was her best time coming into the meet.

Young star Viktoria Gunes also snagged herself a terrific time of 1:05.06.  A 1:05.31 was her best outing coming into the meet. A fun final is shaping up, as the field just keeps pushing each other to challenge their best times in a fight for gold.


Thrilling swim from 24-year-old Radoslaw Kawecki to claim his 2nd gold medal of these championships.  After winning the 200 backstroke in a new meet record, the Pole wrapped up the backstroke double with a super quick outing of 49.64 to win the 100m distance.

Kawecki rocked his best time ever in the event, knocking .05 of a second off of his previous personal best of 49.69 from Istanbul back in 2009. In fact, the fastest Kawecki has clocked this year short course is a 51.00, so what a time to crank out at the perfect moment to grab himself a gold. Splits were 23.83/25.81 for his swim tonight.

Kawecki was the only sub-50 swimmer in the final, but Russian Stanislav Donets did his part to get on the podium, registering a time of 50.30 for the silver.

Great Britian’s Christopher Walker-Hebborn scored his best time ever, throwing down a blistering 50.35 to garner a bronze for his nation.


Claiming her 4th gold medal at these championships, Hungarian machine Katinka Hosszu was simply unstoppable in the women’s 100 IM. The result? A new World Record – European Record – Hungarian Record – Championships Record of 56.67 to slice .03 off of her previous mark of 56.70 from last year’s World Championships.

The .03 of a difference came in the back-end, as Hosszu’s Doha splits were 25.96/30.71 to 26.17/30.53 here. Having a little more left for home, courtesy perhaps of dropping the 200m butterfly and 100m freestyle events, helped the Hungarian to lower her mark. Quite a performance today with the 200 back/100 IM double gold.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor added just a pinch of time to her prelims British National Record-setting swim of 57.59, winding up with a finals time of 57.65 for silver. Still her 2nd-swiftest time ever and a solid effort against one of the fiercest IM females in history.

Young sprinting phenom from the Netherlands’ Marrit Steenbergen also got her hand on the wall to stand on the podium, nabbing bronze in a time of 59.00. Steenbergen dropped the women’s 100m freestyle to focus on this event, and her focus paid off in spades. Her best time coming into the meet was a 59.87, so a super time drop for the 15 year old. (yes, she is only 15 years old).


Our second World Record of the session fell in the form of Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri. The favorite to win the men’s 1500m freestyle did it with abandon, racing his way to the gold in a new globe-dominating mark of 14:08.06. The 21-year-old blew away his previous personal best of 14:16.10 that earned him the World Title in Doha last year.

Analysis of his splits will be detailed in a separate post, but know that the record Paltrinieri just crushed was held by legendary Australian distance ace Grant Hackett….from all the way back in 2001.  That’s got to be one of the oldest records that was still standing before we entered Netanya.

Silver went to Paltrinieri’s teammate, Gabriele Detti in a time of 14:18.00, while Norway’s Henrik Christiansen nabbed bronze in 14:23.60.

With the win, Paltrinieri further cemented himself as a completely viable contender to challenge China’s Sun Yang, the defending 1500m Olympic gold medalist, in Rio. Let’s hope an empty lane isn’t in the mix when these two go head-to-head.


Italian Marco Orsi led after heats and Russia’s Evgeny Sedov led after semi’s, so a battle was brewing between the two headed into the final race tonight.  In the splash n’ dash, Orsi ultimately got knocked down by just .04 of a second when it came down to the money swim. Sedov raced to his first sub-21-second mark of the meet and this year, as his 2015 short course best was 21.00 from last month.

Orsi swam the 3rd-fastest time of his career and, at 25 years old, that’s saying something. He comes away with the silver at this meet, with Poland’s Sebastian Szczepanski scraping up bronze in 21.21.



The Italian women paved the road to gold in the final event of the session. The foursome of Silvia Di Pietro (24.03), Erika Ferraioli (23.59), Aglaia Pezzato (24.14) and Federica Pellegrini (24.29) scorch their way to the finish in a time of 1:36.05 for the win over silver medalists from the Netherlands.

The Dutch squad scored a time of 1:35.20 to miss out on gold by just .15 of a second, while Russia got the bronze in a collective effort of 1:36.62.

Sub-24-second splits were thrown down by Italy’s Ferraioli (23.59), the Netherlands’ Kromowidjojo (23.26), Russia’s Popova (23.92) and, the swiftest of them all, by Sweden’s Sjostrom in 23.21.

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6 years ago

Love Hosszu. She is always in good form, always at 100%. Second best swimmer in the world only behind the unmatchable Katie Ledecky.

6 years ago

Radoslaw! Baby don’t hurt me…don’t hurt me…no more


Stanislav “Time to make the” Donets

6 years ago

Holy crap, Hungary is at 8 golds already after 3 days! To be honest I just can’t believe it how much we progressed in the past decade in swimming.

Reply to  Hunorix
6 years ago

More than 1/3 of the golds so far.

Daniela Kapser
6 years ago

I”am also a huge Phelps and Lochte fan but honestly would love to see Laszlo on the top of the podium in Rio. He has been a constant medal winner during the Phelps/Lochte era so far and he really earns an Olympic gold medal at the -perhaps- end of his awesome career. Great athlete. Hope will meet him in person soon.

Reply to  Daniela Kapser
6 years ago

This was his 65th (hope i count well) medal at a major adult champs (european, world, olympics l/c and s/c) and holds the longest streak of winning at least one medal on consecutive l/c world champs.

6 years ago

Wow! Paltrinieri! WR in LCM next year I’m calling it.

6 years ago

Amazing swim for Pantrinieri!

Absolutely devastating! Eight seconds off his own ER! Imagine if he did that in long course. He would go 14:31!!!

As others said, he cracked the oldest record on the books by far! (Though in that race Hackett finished to his feet because he miscounted!)

Makes you wonder what he will go in long course. Hackett was 14:34 around the time when he did his 14:10, so you would expect Pal can go 14:35 something at least. The 1500 is turning into what could be one of the best races in the men’s program.

6 years ago

I was a bit disappointed with the 100 final. Sarah got really tired the last length so her time suffered(I mean, it’s not terrible, but she was faster at the nationals), while Ranomi swam worse than in the semis despite full rest. Femke nowhere to be seen.

6 years ago

Has to be

He really needs to get more recognition. We barely hear about him

I have been watching him since 2011 he is amazing has to be the faveroute in rio

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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