2016 European Championships: Day 2 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


  • Andriy Govorov (UKR) – 22.92
  • Laszlo Cseh (HUN) – 23.31
  • Ben Proud (GBR) – 23.34

Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov was head and shoulders over the rest of the field for the entire 50, looking strong, smooth and efficient for the duration of the sprint race. Although slightly off his 22.73 personal best from last night, a mark which also checked in as the world’s fastest textile ever, Govorov still manage to slide under the 23-second threshold in 22.92 for gold.

Silver tonight was a close battle between Hungarian veteran Laszlo Cseh and Great Britain’s sprint promise Ben Proud. Cseh wound up out-touching Proud by just .03 of a second, snatching silver in 23.31 to the 21-year old Brit’s 23.34. The 2014 silver medalist as well, Proud already sits as 3rd fastest in the world ranking with the 23.26 he scored in January of this year, so tonight marks his season’s 2nd fastest.

As for Cseh, his outing tonight marks the 3rd best time of his long career and also makes a dent in the world’s top 5, further highlighting the fact that 30-year old double world champion is defying the odds and getting better with age. For the legendary Hungarian, tonight’s podium placement represented his 20th long course European medal.

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Top 8:

1. Femke Heemskerk (NED), 54.15
2. Charlotte Bonnet (FRA), 54.29
3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 54.44
4. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 54.55
5. Andrea Murez (ISR), 54.72
6. Mie Nielsen (DEN), 54.63
7. Nina Rangelova (BUL), 54.76
8. Silvia Di Pietro (ITA), 54.77

Whereas the women’s 100 freestyle prelims saw 3 athletes nab times in the 53-second territory, led by Dutch sprinter Ranomi Kromowidjojo‘s 53.37, tonight’s semi-final slowed down as a whole. Kromowidjojo’s swift time from the morning would have garnered her a silver medal back at the 2014 edition of this meet as a nod to how quickly the females fired off AM efforts.

Still impressive was the fact, however, that all 8 women managed semi times above 54.78 and finished within .62 of a second of one another, spotlighting that it’s anyone’s race to the podium given the ultimate target of Rio is less than 90 days away.

Yesterday in a post-400 freestyle relay interview, Kromowidjojo mentioned that the Dutch squad isn’t as rested as some of the other swimmers, but she managed to crank out a night swim of 54.44 for the 3rd seed. Her countrymate Femke Heemskerk, who also scored a 53-second time this morning (53.81) notched the top time of tonight in 54.15.

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen, the 2011 World Champion this event, but who has backed off competing in it regularly the past few years, opted out of swimming the final. She came in as the 2nd-seeded swimmer in 53.78 from her morning swim, but will focus on the 50m butterfly final tonight.

Reigning 50m and 100m butterfly World Champion Sarah Sjostrom from Sweden threw down a modest (by her standards) 54.55, most likely doing what she needed to land a spot in the final tomorrow night in light of the fact she, too, has the sprint fly final tonight. French swimmer Charlotte Bonnet‘s time tonight slides into the top 10 outings of her career, which is promising for a possible medal tomorrow night in this event.

Also of note, Bulgaria’s Nina Rangelova lowered her newly-minted national record in this event, taking her morning swim of 54.91 down to 54.76 to make the final.


  • Camille Lacourt  (FRA) – 53.79
  • Grigory Tarasevich (RUS) – 53.89
  • Simone Sabbione (ITA) – 54.19 (tie)
  • Apostolos Christou (GRE) – 54.19 (tie)

The 4th seed out of last night’s semi-final, France’s Camille Lacourt unleashed the swim he’d been saving, charging to the wall in 53.79 to beat out Russian Grigory Tarasevich. At 31 years of age, Lacourt reclaimed his 100m backstroke European Championship title from 2010 that helped earn him ‘European Swimmer of the Year’ that year.

After a 54.09 semi, Lacourt threw down 53.79, well off his 52.70 silver medal-winning performance from Kazan, but enough to hold off Tarasevich who is around 10 years his junior. For Tarasevich, or “Grisha” as his University of Louisville teammates call him, he notched a top-10 personal best with his effort his evening.

In a tie for 3rd place was Italy’s Simone Sabbione and Greece’s Apostolos Christou, who both touched in 54.19. Christou had been on-fire through both prelims and semi’s, earning a seeded time of 53.36 to enter tonight’s final. Sabbione had also been beneath the 54-second threshold, having clocked a semi time of 53.86.


Two years later, the women’s 50m butterfly podium looks the same as it did in 2014, with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom leading the field with her 3rd consecutive European Championships gold medal in this event. Clocking the only sub-25-second outing of the field, Sjostrom scored a mighty 24.99 to blow her semi swim of 25.42 out of the water. Her time tonight also improves her previous season-best of 25.15 from the Swedish Open, scoring a new world #1.

Of note, Sjostrom appeared to complete the entire 50 without a breath, which is no easy feat in itself, no less having cranked out a top-5 semi finish in the 100m freestyle not too long ago.

Just under half a second behind was Danish swimmer Jeanette Ottesen, who touched in 25.44 for the silver, repeating her outcome of 2014. Great Britain’s Fran Halsall also got in on the action, claiming her 2nd consecutive bronze in this sprint event, logging a time of 25.48. Both of these women also now move into the world’s top 5 times in this non-Olympic event.

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Shout out to Dutch sensation Ranomi Kromowidjojo for also completing the dirty double of the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly as well. She finished 4th in the latter event as the only other swimmer with a 25-second time (25.82).


  • Adam Peaty (GBR) – 58.36, *Championship Record
  • Ross Murdoch (GBR) – 59.73
  • Giedrius Titenis (LTU) – 1:00.10

It was a tremendous 1-2 finish for the men of Great Britain, led by the reigning World Champion, World Record Holder and overall virtually untouchable Adam Peaty. Beating his own meet record of 58.68 set in 2014 in Berlin, Peaty scored a new mark of 58.36 to turn heads once again with his intense turnover and unrelenting race tempo.

Tonight, Peaty took it out in 27.21 and brought it home in 31.44, a race strategy that’s typical of the 21-year old. The only other swimmer who blasted a sub-28-second opening 50m was tonight’s bronze medalist Giedrius Titenis of Lithuania. Titenis rocked a split of 27.57 in an effort to keep up with Peaty, but paid for it dearly on the back half, dropping down to a split of 32.53 to wind up 3rd in 1:00.10. This is the Lithuanian’s 2nd consecutive bronze medal in this sprint breaststroke event.

University of Stirling stand-out Ross Murdoch continues to impress, nabbing a silver medal in this event in a speedy 59.73. Murdoch clocked a mark of 59.31 at British Trials, so the reportedly in-training Brit performed well with the only other sub-minute swim of the evening.


Top 8:

1. Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – 1:06.16
2. H. Luthersdottir (ISL) – 1:07.28
3. Martina Carraro (ITA) – 1:07.53
4. Sophie Hansson (SWE) – 1:07.59
5. Chloe Tutton (GBR) – 1:07.69
6. Viktoria Gunes (TUR) – 1:07.81
7. Molly Renshaw (GBR) – 1:07.82
8. Fiona Doyle (IRL) – 1:07.99

Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in this event, is proving to be in a class by herself in this competition, trouncing the field by over a second. 1:06.16 is what the young 19-year old registered tonight to earn the top seed headed into tomorrow’s final, a potential preview of what this dynamic swimmer might accomplish in Rio.

Meilutyte was the only swimmer of both semi-finals to score a 30-point opening 50m (30.80) and brought it home in a 35.36 for her 2nd best time of the year. The Plymouth Leander-trained swimmer was already a 1:05.82 from the Edinburgh International meet in March, but this time would still rank in the world’s top 10. For her efforts, Meilutyte’s 1:06.16 swim (remember, this is just prelims) scored a new Championship Record.

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Iceland’s Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir is knocking down the door of a possible best time, coming within half a second of her own career-fastest. Lithersdottir rocked a time of 1:07.28 tonight for the 2nd seed, where her best (and Icelandic National Record) rests at 1:06.87 from Kazan.

Also sneaking into the final are two Brits in the form of rising stars Chloe Tutton and Molly Renshaw, both just 19 years of age. For Renshaw, she just registered a new personal best, dropping beneath the 1:08-threshold for the first time. Ireland’s National Record Holder and 2016 Olympic roster member Fiona Doyle clinched the final slot for tomorrow night’s final.


Top 8:

1. Andreas Vazaios (GRE) – 1:58.47
2. Alexis Santos (POR) – 1:59.93
3. Diogo Carvalho (POR) – 2:00.07
4. Gal Nevo (ISR) – 2:00.32
5. Federico Turrini (ITA) – 2:00.57
6. Raphael Stacchiotti (LUX) – 2:00.72
7. Dan Wallace (GBR) – 2:00.74
8. Max Litchfield (GBR) – 2:00.86

After 2 rounds, still just 2 swimmers have broken the 2-minute barrier, led tonight by Grecian swimmer Andreas Vazaios. Improving on his time of 2:00.00 from this morning, the 22-year old established a new National Record in this event tonight, stopping the clock at 1:58.47 for the top seed.

Right behind him are two Portuguese teammates in the form of Alexis Santos and Diogo Carvalho, who touched in times of 1:59.93 and 2:00.07 for 2nd and 3rd seeds, respectively.

Israeli National Record Holder Gal Nevo holds the 4th-fastest time, while two Brits made the final in the 7th and 8th seeds. Former University of Florida collegiate swimmer Dan Wallace is coming off of what he admitted was “the worst meet of his life” that was his British Trials to earn a time of 2:00.74. His time at Trials was 1:58.45, not enough to notch an Olympic roster spot in the event, but the 800 free relay World Champion  was still named to the British line-up for Rio.

Hungarian Laszlo Cseh earned the top seed (1:58.17) after prelims, but opted out of swimming tonight’s semi-final.


  • Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2:07.01
  • Daryna Zevina (UKR) – 2:07.48
  • Matea Samardzic (CRO) – 2:09.24

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu earned her 2nd individual medal of this championships meet, doubling up on her 400m IM victory from last night with a gold in the women’s 200m backstroke. 2:07.01 is what the ‘Iron Lady’ threw down tonight to win by .47 of a second and log the best time of the season. This also marks Hosszu’s first European Championship win in this event.

Without a 400 IM swim already in her system, Hosszu was able to dip well into the 2:07 territory, almost into 2:06, with tonight’s 2:07.01 representing the 4th-best time of her career. Given how prevalent Hosszu races, that is speaking volumes to how prepared this Hungarian appears to be headed into the final stretch towards Rio.

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Putting up a fight in the race, however, was Ukrainian Daryna Zevina. With her race splitting of 1:01.97/1:05.51, Zevina was able to lower her own Ukrainian national record to 2:07.48 and keep up with Hosszu. They were the only 2 swimmers of the field to log 1:01-point opening splits, although Hosszu blasted a 1:01.18 to lead right from the get-go.

Croatia’s Matea Samardzic held on for the bronze tonight, scoring a time of 2:09.24, her new personal best and Croatian National Record.


Top 8:

1. Sebastian Verschuren (NED) – 1:45.87
2. Velimir Stjepanovic (SRB) – 1:46.04
3. James Guy (GBR) – 1:46.59
4. Glenn Surgeloose (BEL) – 1:46.91
5. Kacper Majchrzak (POL) – 1:46.95
6. Andrea (Mitch) D’Arrigo (ITA) – 1:47.56
7. Matias Koski (FIN) – 1:47.58
8. Maarten Brzoskowski (NED) – 1:47.62

The defending European Champion, Velimir Stjepanovic, remains very much in the mix, clocking the night’s 2nd-fastest time in 1:46.04. After finishing 6th in the 400m freestyle and, thus, not repeating his 2014 title in that longer event, the Serbian is looking for a small dose of redemption in this race.

Standing in his way, however, is Dutchman Sebastian Verschuren, whose time of 1:45.87 now checks in as the world’s 7th-fastest outing this season.

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He’s joined by countryman Maarten Brzoskowski, the man who broke Dutch freestyle legend Pieter van den Hoogenband‘s 400m freestyle en route to earning 5th place in that final last night. Today, Brzowskowski narrowly tiptoed into the final with a time of 1:47.62, the 3rd-best time of his career.

A member of yesterday’s Belgian bronze medal-winning 400 freestyle relay, Glenn Surgeloose dropped .02 of a second from his morning swim of 1:46.93. As such, he lowered his newly-minted National Record even further, with another race in which to see it go down by a great degree on his way to a potential podium placement.

In the top 3 along with Stjepanovic and Verschuren is home crowd-backed Brit James Guy who raced to a time of 1:46.59. Guy, who drew criticism from some yesterday after appearing in a brief and beard only to miss out on the 400m freestyle final, seemed calm and comfortable with his solid mark headed into tomorrow night’s race.



  • Great Britain – 3:44.56
  • Italy – 3:45.74
  • Hungary – 3:49.50

The home crowd saw another Brit win, this time via a combination of Christopher Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, Siobhan Marie O’Connor and Fran Halsall. The four collected a mixed 400 medley relay time of 3:44.56, just off their nation’s own championship record of 3:44.02 from 2014, but enough to claim gold tonight.

Splits were as follows for the winning squad:

CWH – 54.36
Peaty – 58.84
O’Connor – 57.69
Halsall – 53.67
For Walker-Hebborn, his lead-off beat both his prelim and semi individual 100m backstroke times from yesterday, which fell flat at 54.94 and 54.77, respectively. For Halsall, it’s encouraging to see her speed come through with a 53-point at the end of the meet after she’s already managed a bronze in the women’s 50m butterfly.

Other notable splits:

– Italy’s Piero Codia – 51.05 butterfly
– Italy’s Federica Pellegrini – 53.20 freestyle

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7 years ago

That mixed relay would have been more competitive if France didn’t get DQ. Sad.

7 years ago

Vazaios, Samilidis are rested but their main taper will be for Rio. I’m not sure that the the same has done Christou.

7 years ago

Enough of this rested/tapered /shaved stuff . Tapers don’t always work , resting means anything & shaving is less of a deal now that hairy chests are out of the conversation because any one may be thinking of transiting either way . We just don’t know .

In the end it’s the time that matters. Basically a pool is a pool , there is no one else tackling you & stopping you getting to the wall. Some person in another lane may be PED’ed , but then have n’t you had assistance above some poor person stuck walking miles to get their drinking water for each day & carrying it back on their head ?

Reply to  Gina
7 years ago

Well said, Gina. There’s no such thing as a level playing field. People are born with different physical attributes, different financial circumstances, different amounts of bad things happening. Sport is a game, a pastime, a hobby – it doesn’t save lives – and it is only because people have brought unnecessary nationalism and money into it that we have today’s angst. It’s not an exact science as shown by several people this week going slower in finals / semis than heats and as you say tapers don’t always work!

7 years ago

I find it TOTALLY pointless to hold European championships less than three months from the olympics. Didn’t some of these countries have trials a few weeks ago, that scheduling is crazy! I bet that the swimmers who swam lights out here will be slower in rio and the ones that were cautious here will swim faster in rio. All these meets are fun and games till the BIG SHOW starts on Saturday August 6th!

Reply to  tm71
7 years ago

I agree, but there is probably no other option. We have world championships in 2013 and 2015 + olympic games in 2012 and 2016, so when should the european championships be scheduled to not conflict with an other more important competition?
Some possible solutions:
European championships only once every 4 years (2014, 2018 …)
European championships every two years, but very early in the year to not conflict with the olympics/world championships. We could schedule european championships for April or even December/January (instead of short course season) and world championships/olympics for August, so that swimmers can peak for both events.

Reply to  tm71
7 years ago

Germany for example had trials one week before the european championships, so only 2 of our swimmers (Koch and Hentke) who will compete in Rio also compete here. In most events we either dont compete at all or only without our 2 or 3 best athletes, pretty much the same is true for Russia. I think of all the big nations Netherlands and Italy care most about this event, some british and hungarian swimmers are also in a good shape.

Stay Human
Reply to  tm71
7 years ago

I agree that fully tapering is unwise except for those few last chance individual or relay qualifiers. But it’s still a good training meet to test various strategies, practice swimming prelim/semi/final format when tired and stressed, swim vs future rivals. It’s a notch up from the US training meets like the Grand Prix/arena tours, etc. And unlike most of the US swimmers, they don’t have to try to pull off the delicate double taper for Trials and then Rio a month apart.

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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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