2016 European Championships Day 1 Prelims 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

One of the biggest swimmers in these European Championships will be in the water for this morning’s first event. James Guy of Britain told his competitors to “watch out” for him, and sees a good performance here as a natural stepping stone to Rio. This meet always has a bit of a different tone in an Olympic year. Some top swimmers are absent, others have already qualified for Rio and may not risk peaking with the Olympics just a few weeks away. Still more swimmers actually have Olympic qualification on the line at this competition. With all that combined, expect some less than predictable results in many events.

Men’s 400 Freestyle

  1. Velimir Stjepanovic, SRB 3:46.72
  2. Peter Bernek, HUN 3:47.05
  3. Gabrielle Detti, ITA 3:47.18
  4. Maarten Brzoskowski, NED 3:47.63
  5. Felix Auboeck, AUT 3:47.92
  6. Henrik Christiansen, NOR 3:48.33
  7. Stephen Milne, GBR 3:48.43
  8. Filip Zaborowski, POL 3:48.43

In a shocker, James Guy did not qualify for the final, in fact he was not even close. The defending world silver medalist finished in 27th at 3:52.91. He swam in a brief and looked flat throughout the race. If this is what Guy meant by trying out some new race strategies, he can make sure to never use these same tactics again.

There were few other surprises in the final. Defending champion Stjepanovic qualified first in what is overall a young final field. Both Auboeck and Christiansen are just 19 years old, and Hungary’s Bernek is the oldest swimmer at 24 years.

Women’s 50 Butterfly

World record holder Sarah Sjostrom glided easily into the top position at 25.59. She was joined her regional nemesis, Jeanette Ottesen, who tied with Ranomi Kromowidjojo for 2nd at 25.80.

Other notable names in the top sixteen were former world record holder Therese Alshammar at a respectable 26.01. Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy each qualified two swimmers through to the semi-final.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

Robert Glinta set a new national record to qualify first in 53.43. The nineteen year old, coming off a junior swimming career where he never quite broke through, has made dramatic improvements over the last year. Glinta had never been under 54 before.

He was followed with 2013 World Junior champion, Apostolos Christou. Also in the same age vicinity is the 19 year old Simone Sabbioni, who made it in comfortably in 6th.

Great Britain’s men continues to scuffle a bit in front of the home crowd. Although Christopher Walker-Hebborn made the semi, Luke Greenbank touched 22nd and Joseph Hulme was in 45th.

Women’s 400 IM

  1. Katinka Hosszu, HUN 4:30.97
  2. Aimee Wilmott, GBR 4:37.49
  3. Hannah Miley, GBR 4:38.91
  4. Zsuzsanna Jakabos, HUN 4:39.10
  5. Carlotta Toni, ITA 4:39.60
  6. Anja Klinar, SLO 4:41.31
  7. Barbora Zavadova, CZE 4:41.63
  8. Luisa Trombetti, ITA 4:41.87

As usual, Katinka Hosszu wasted no time making her presence known. She blasted to the top seed in 4:30.97, never trailing her heat. That time puts her within 2.5 seconds of Ye Shiwen’s world record and is also close to her personal best of 4:29.89.

She was followed by two British swimmers, Aimee Willmott and Hannah Miley, with countrywoman Zsuzsanna Jakabos on the other side. Italy got two into the final as well.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

This event drew big cheers from the crowd, as two Britons claimed the top two spots. World record holder Adam Peaty swam a reserved looking 58.94, followed by Ross Murdoch in 59.91. Only Lithuania’s Giedrus Titenis was also under 1:00.

In contrast to earlier races, this semi-final will feature many experienced swimmers. Fabio Scozzoli of Italy qualified in 9th, while Damir Dugonjic is 4th. Also qualifying was 30 year old Valeriy Dymo of the Ukraine, who medaled in 2012 in this race.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

  1. Katinka Hosszu, HUN 2:08.44
  2. Daryna Zevina, UKR 2:09.90
  3. Ekaterina Avramova, TUR 2:11.21
  4. Matea Samardzic, CRO 2:11.30
  5. Margherita Panziera, ITA 2:11.45
  6. Simona Baumrtova, CZE 2:11.53
  7. Kata Burian, HUN 2:11.92
  8. Alicja Tchorz, POL 2:12.87

Katinka Hosszu, who plans on six individual races this weekend, qualified first for her second straight race. Overall the field doesn’t look particularly strong behind her. Her time was faster than it took to win in 2014 and none of the 2014 medalists return to this field.

Tonight Hosszu will have to bounce back quickly from a 400 IM final to make it through the semi in this race.

Of note, Hungarian Reka Gyorgy did touch in 8th but cannot advance to the final as there were already two swimmers from her country in the final.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

Andriy Govorov, the returning bronze medalist in this race, blasted to a time (23.00) two tenths faster than he needed to take that bronze two years ago. He was followed by the swimmer he tied with, Britain’s Benjamin Proud.

Govorov’s time created a huge spread to 16th place, with 24.29 making the semi-final. Defending gold medalist Yauhen Tsurkin just got under 24 to qualify in 8th (23.97.

Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay

  1. Netherlands 3:38.58
  2. Italy 3:39.21
  3. Denmark 3:39.38
  4. France 3:41.26
  5. Spain 3:41.57
  6. Switzerland 3:42.10
  7. Finland 3:43.16
  8. Sweden 3:43.25

If the Netherlands are to win Olympic gold in Rio, they will need some of their second level to get closer to the strong duo of Heemskerk and Kromowidjojo. One such audition took place this morning, with only a measured Heemskerk joining three hopefuls: Maud van der Meer, Marrit Steenbergen and Esmee Vermeulen.

Van der Meer was excellent leading off in 54.55, with Steenbergen chipping in a solid 54.49. Still, the two will need to be in the 53s if Netherlands want to have any hope of winning in Brazil.

Britain, who did not swim their best possible lineup, missed the final in 9th.

Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay

  1. France 3:16.22
  2. Italy 3:16.42
  3. Belgium 3:16.53
  4. Romania 3:16.54
  5. Greece 3:16.82
  6. Hungary 3:17.15
  7. Spain 3:18.31
  8. Great Britain 3:18.46

Two time defending champion France qualified first with swimmers to add for the final. Their primary competitors, Italy, will be in the lane next to them tonight. In the void left by Russia’s absence, there is hope for the rest of this final of squeezing out a bronze.



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bobo gigi
6 years ago

Correction. Can you mention the top 16 after prelims for events which have semifinals? Thanks.

6 years ago

Katinka said that she had wanted to be first in the 200 back prelims because of the 3 more minuites for recovering 🙂

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Best time for France in the men’s relay prelims with Mignon, Meynard, Gilot and Bourelly.
Bourelly was slightly faster than Meynard this morning. Maybe they will change their plans for the final. Meynard was expected.
Manaudou will be in the team tonight. Stravius and Metella will not swim before Thursday and the 100 free individual.
It will be hard to beat Italy but that French relay has a special fighting spirit.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

GDP on 1:01:2 range, a little faster than on Trials, but maybe not good enough. Bobo, why is he on European? He was not third at trials??

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Belgium did a great time too – without any Superstars on the team .

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Chris, can you please mention for the next days the top 16 for the prelims of the 50s and the 100s? Thanks.

6 years ago

Talk about Hosszu:
Which events will she do in the Rio? I’m very excited to know. In my opinion, she should do the 200IM/400IM/200back. She has no chance in the 200 free and the 100m back final is in the same night with the 200m free semis and 200m IM semis. Super tough!!!!

bobo gigi
Reply to  MichaelTran
6 years ago

I agree. She has never won any medal at olympic games. That’s probably her last chance of gold this year.
She should focus only on the events she can win.
Of course the 200 IM and the 400 IM.
Plus the 200 back too.
I always repeat the same thing. It’s better to win one gold than 3 bronze.

6 years ago

Adam peaty is in the different league in the 100m breaststroke. Maybe only Van der Burgh can challenge him right now. What the time does Peaty want? 57 mid????

6 years ago

Hosszu is amazing as usual! 400 IM – 200 back: 4:30.97- 2:08.44. But tonight her double is very tough (about 25 minutes between 400im final and 200m back semis). Can’t wait to see what she is going to do especially the 400IM

6 years ago

58.94 heat for Peaty.

I am starting to think he wasn’t lying when he said he didn’t taper for Nationals. Frighteningly fast.

Hit & miss for the Brits so far. Israel are really deep on the mens events – Nobody amazing.. But 4 under 55 on back, 4 on 1.01/1.02 on breast… 2 o 3.52 400fr… Good team developing.

About Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis is a swim coach, writer and swimming enthusiast. Chris does private consulting and coaching with teams and individuals. You can find him at www.facebook.com/cdswimcoach. Chris is a 2009 Graduate from the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the first professional athletic coach …

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