2016 European Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


  • Monday, May 16th – Sunday, May 22nd
  • Prelims: 10:00 AM (London Time) / 5:00 AM (Eastern Time)
  • Finals: 6:00 PM (London Time) / 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
  • London Aquatics Center, London, UK
  • Meet Central
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live Results
  • Live Stream


  • Gabriel Detti (ITA), 3:44.01, *Championship Record
  • Henrik Christiansen (NOR), 3:46.49
  • Peter Bernek (HUN), 3:46.81

Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic fired off an opening 100m of 53.80, well ahead of the European Record, only to fall off the next the following lap until he was eventually entirely out of the top tier of racers. Stepping into his place, however, was Italy’s Gabriel Detti, who maintained over a second lead on the field for the majority of the race, winding up with the gold in  time of 3:44.01.

Detti’s personal best rests at the 3:43.97 he scored just last month in Riccione, so today’s outing represents his 2nd fastest time ever.

2015-2016 LCM Men 400 Free

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En route to the top of the podium for his first European title ever, Detti crushed the previous meet record of 3:45.10 held by Russia’s Yuruy Prilukov. Of his race, Detti commented immediately afterwards, “I’m very happy with the gold medal. After the heats I had a good feeling for the final, this time is the same I clocked at Italian Nationals and this is a good sign that I’m on the right track before the Olympics.”

Silver tonight went to the 19-year old Henrik Christiansen from Norway, who clocked a solid 3:46.49. Christiansen’s best time was only logged in March of this year at 3:46.37, so the young distance ace is on the right track notching a mark just over a tenth off that mark reportedly swimming untapered. Notable from his performance today, Christiansen became the first Norwegian freestyle medalist ever at a European Championships.

Hungary’s reigning World and European Short Course World Champion, Peter Bernek finished just behind Christiansen for bronze tonight, registering a time of 3:46.81.

Overall, the men’s 400m freestyle was different from most would have expected, as Britain’s reigning World Championships silver medalist in the vent, James Guy, failed to make it to the final, while the defending European Champion Stjepanovic finished 6th.


Top 8:

1. Fran Halsall (GBR), 25.35
2. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 25.42
3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 25.63
4. Jeanette Ottesen (DEN), 25.70
5. Therese Alshammar (SWE), 25.98
6. Maaike De Waard (NED), 26.05
7. Anna Dowgiert (POL), 26.10
8. Melanie Henique (FRA), 26.14

Defending European Champion Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) fired off a mighty 25.42 from the first semi-final, only to see Great Britain’s Fran Halsall take over the top seed with a time of 25.35.  Halsall has experience in this event, however, having nabbed bronze at the 2014 edition of these championships.

The usual sprinting suspects of Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Jeanette Ottesen are also in the top-tier headed into the final, claiming times of 25.63 and 25.70, respectively.

38-year old Alshammar from Sweden dipped beneath the 26-second threshold in tonight’s final, improving on her 26.01 prelims time to score a 25.98 and claim the 5th seed.

The women put a dent in the world rankings in this non-Olympic event, giving us a preview as to what may transpire during tomorrow night’s final. Halsall now sits as the 2nd-swiftest swimmer in the world, while Sjostrom’s time of 25.15 from earlier this year remains atop the throne. Kromowidjojo’s time today was just .01 slower than the 25.62 she registered in Eindhoven earlier this season.

2015-2016 LCM Women 50 FLY

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Top 8:

1. Apostolos Christou (GRE), 53.36
2. Grigory Tarasevich (RUS), 53.70
3. Simone Sabbioni (ITA), 53.86
4. Camille Lacourt (FRA), 54.09
5. Robert Glinta (ROU), 54.14
6. Yakov Yan Toumarkin (ISR), 54.18
7. Gabor Balog (HUN), 54.20
8. Shane Ryan (IRL), 54.39

After already notching a new personal best of 53.77 in this morning’s prelims, Grecian swimmer Apostolos Christou charged to an even lower result of 53.36 to lead the field into tomorrow night’s 100m backstroke final.

Christou, at just 19 years old, is inching ever closer to his nation’s record of 53.03 set by Aristeidis Grigoriadis back in the 2009 supersuit era. But, he’ll have another young swimmer, Russia’s 19-year old Grigory Tarasevich breathing down his heels. Tarasevich, who swims for the University of Louisville in America’s NCAA collegiate system, notched a time tonight of 53.70, the 5th-fastest ever of his budding career.

Italy got on the board with Simone Sabbioni‘s 53.86 to wrap up the top 3 sub-54-second swimmers, while defending World Championship silver medalist, France’s Camille Lacourt, is lurking in the 4th slot with a cool and comfortable 54.09.

Romania’s Robert Glinta broke his nation’s record this morning with his swim of 53.43, but backed off that mark in a slower time of 54.14, still making tomorrow night’s final. Now eligible Irish swimmer Shane Ryan nabbed the 8th and final spot for tomorrow night’s final, earning 54.39.

Of note, the defending 2014 European Champion, Great Britain’s Christopher Walker-Hebborn wound up 12th in a time of 54.77.


  • Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 4:30.90
  • Hannah Miley (GBR), 4:35.27
  • Szuszanna Jakabos (HUN), 4:38.39

Racing almost a full 300m under World Record pace, Hungary’s #IronLady lowered her own Championship Record that she set just this morning in prelims. Katinka Hosszu notched her 3rd European 400m IM Title, topping the podium in a new meet mark of 4:30.90, just .07 faster than her morning outing.

Hosszu still sits atop the world rankings with her stellar outing of 4:29.89 from Marseilles, although of her swim tonight, Hosszu commented, “I have a great three and half years behind me, I have been enjoying every moment of the journey. This day was also about to erase all bad memories I had from this pool [from the 2012 Olympics from when she was 4th]. Today I managed to achieve that. Also, at the European Championships, I feel no pressure, so my only task is to enjoy this competition.”

2015-2016 LCM Women 400 IM

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Teammate Szuszanna Jakabos made it a 1 & 3 Hungarian finish with a milestone of her own. In earning the bronze in 4:38.39, Jakabos just claimed her 7th European Championships long course medal.

In between the Hungarians was host nation’s Hannah Miley, who, with her time of 4:35.27, took home Great Britain’s first swimming medal of these championships. Miley was just over 2 seconds faster at her nation’s Olympic Trials in which she earned her Olympic roster spot in this event in 4:33.40.


Top 8:

1. Adam Peaty (GBR), 58.74
2. Ross Murdoch (GBR), 59.67
3. Giedrius Titenis (LTU), 59.99
4. Damir Dugonjic (SLO), 1:00.06
5 Andrea Toniato (ITA), 1:00.48
6. Panagiotis Samilidis (GRE), 1:00.59
7. Anton Sveinn McKee (ISL), 1:00.98
8. Yannick Kaeser (SUI), 1:01.13

It certainly speaks to the depth of British breaststrokers that 2 of its would-be semi-finalists had to sit out tonight’s race due to the ‘2 per country rule.’ Craig Benson and Callum Tait finished within the top 18, but Adam Peaty and Ross Murdoch already nabbed the spots for GBR.

And represent their teammates they did in spades, as Peaty, the current World Record Holder in this event, notched yet another sub-59-second outing. 58.74 is how Peaty made the race look easy tonight, touching almost a full second over countryman Murdoch from the University of Stirling. Murdoch was still impressive with a 59.67 mark tonight, only slightly off his OLY-qualifying swim of 59.31 from British Trials.

Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis, the defending European Championship bronze medalist in this sprint event, was also under a minute tonight, albeit by just 01 of a second. He holds the 3rd seed in 1:00.06. Iceland’s Anton Sveinn McKee is hanging in there as the 7th seed with a time of 1:00.98. He holds the Icelandic National Record in 1:00.53, so look for him to make a move up the rankings toward a possible new national mark during tomorrow’s final.


Top 8:

1. Daryna Zevina, (UKR), 2:08.66
2. Matea Samardzic (CRO), 2:09.87
3. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:09.98
4. Kata Burian (HUN), 2:10.83
5. Eyglo Gustafsdottir (ISL), 2:10.87
6. Simona Baumrtova (CZE), 2:11.26
7. Alicja Tchorz (POL), 2:11.63
8. Zeran Zulal (TUR), 2:11.71

Remarkably, none of the medalists from the 2014 European Championships in this event returned to the semi-finals, leaving the door wide open for any number of swimmers to take to the podium. Seemingly unbeatable, however, is the Iron Lady herself, Katinka Hosszu, fresh off her 400m IM victory less than 40 minutes ago.

Hosszu clocked a morning swim of 2:08.44, over a second ahead of the field and she followed that up with another sub-2:10 outing of 2:09.98. Although her result tonight rendered her a 3rd seed, she’s only just over a second back from Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina who raced to the top spot in 2:09.87; well within Hosszu’s reach.

Croatia’s Matea Samardzic registered a new National Record in the women’s 200m backstroke event, taking the 2nd seed in a blistering 2:09.87. That knocks over a second off of her individual best time of 2:11.47 from last year’s Arena Pro Swim Series in Orlando and notches a new National Record for the 20-year old.


Flying to the top of the semi-final is Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov, who crushed a new championship record in this event tonight.  Govorov cranked out a time of 22.73, his best by .14 of a second. His previous fastest result of 22.87 was the championship mark he just over took.

Govorov is trained by Brazil’s Arilson Silva, the former coach of sprinting legend Cesar Cielo and it seems to be working, as the Ukrainian was the only sub-23-second swimmer of tonight’s field. He now comfortably sits atop the world rankings, but in an Olympic year, the 50’s don’t carry merely the same weight as a 100 or 200 where one can compete in Rio.

2015-2016 LCM Men 50 FLY

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The next-fastest was GBR’s Ben Proud, who notched a time of 23.42 to claim the 2nd seed in this non-Olympic event, followed by Italy’s Piero Codia. Proud earned one of his first international senior medals via the bronze he took home in this event at the 2014 edition of the meet.

Not to be counted out is old-man speed personified, Laszlo Cseh, who is very much in the mix with his time of 23.57.


  • Netherlands, 3:33.80
  • Italy, 3:37.68
  • Sweden, 3:37.84

The Netherlands completely dominated the women’s 400 freestyle relay, highlighted by two eye-popping sub-53-second splits by the big guns. Femke Heemskerk unleashed a 52.80 split on the 2nd leg, followed by Ranomi Kromowidjojo‘s anchor of 52.50. They were the only 2 to notch times in the 52-zone of the entire field.

Sarah Sjostrom fired off an opening split of 53.48 to help give Sweden the edge it needed to land on the 3rd tier of the podium for bronze.


  • France, 3:13.48
  • Italy, 3:14.29
  • Belgium, 3:14.30

A pedestrian opening leg by William Meynard was saved by French teammate Florent Manaudou, who took things up a notch with his 2nd leg. Meynard led out with a time of 49.67, well off Italy’s Luca Dotto who clocked a sound 48.03 to get his squad moving.

Manaudou unleashed a 47.64, however, to register the 2nd-fastest split of the entire field to give the Frenchmen a surge to the top of the podium.

Belgian anchor Pieter Timmers scorched a split of 47.37 to put his squad within .01 of a second of silver, settling instead for bronze. All eyes will be on Timmers now, to see if the 28-year-old can crank out a good time in the individual 100m freestyle and prove his contendibility in Rio in that event.

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bobo gigi
4 years ago

Detti easily wins the men’s 400 free in 3.44.01.

4 years ago

Detti – I really like this guy… Masterful tactician!

Halsall 25.35… Something went very wrong for her at trials, as she has been flying at every other meet this year.

4 years ago

Its quite fun to watch this event without having to care for the results, on the other hand all races are shown live in german tv, so i really wouldve liked to see guys like Wierling, Hintze or Wellbrock swim …
Italy, France, GB and Hungary compete with pretty much their best team here, Russia and Germany dont, so lets see who will have the better results in Rio.

bobo gigi
Reply to  thomaslurzfan
4 years ago

French team is not tapered at all for that meet. Maybe apart from Perez Dortona who tries to qualify for the medley relay.

Reply to  thomaslurzfan
4 years ago

I think it’s irrelevant – Both the Brits & French are clearly not at all rested & are swimming through. Germany’s only gold medal contenders (Hentke & Koch) for Rio are both competing – Aren’t they?

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

We will see, Italian athletes for example clearly tried to be in top shape here. Peaty is also in a good shape, Murdoch or Miley as well, lets see if they will be in top shape in Rio. We did the same in 2012 and paid for it with 0 medals in London. GB and France will win some medals in Rio, but it still would have been better for them to not show up at all.

Reply to  thomaslurzfan
4 years ago

We will indeed see – I am confident though – For once, I am glad to see so many Brits off their best times.

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

And what about Halsall? She is faster than at the trials, but not rested at all? Really interesting …

Reply to  thomaslurzfan
4 years ago

Halsall had a disaster trials… She was 25.6 & 24.2 on free & fly in February & March… Also faster than her times at trials.

Halsall is definitely an outlier – GB did PBs in Glasgow 2014 (tapered(, then swam faster at Berlin 2014 a month later.

I doubt many will be affected by this meet. Most are dabbling, not taking it too seriously – SMOC only swimming 200IM, Peaty only 50/100 etc.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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