2018 European Championships: Official SwimSwam Awards


  • August 3-9, 2018 (swimming portion)
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Tollcross International Swimming Centre
  • Meet Central
  • Full Results

The 2018 European Championships were a fun, high-paced seven-day affair that saw some of the world’s greatest swimmers continue their dominance, a few past champions battle some adversity, and many young future stars proving that their time may be coming sooner rather than later.

Below, check out our official SwimSwam awards for the meet:

Women’s Swimmer of the Meet – Sarah Sjostrom

Sarah-Sjostrom-2018 European Championship Glasgow – courtesy of Giusy Cisale

While it was clear Swedish superstar Sarah Sjostrom wasn’t in peak form for the meet, she went 4-for-4 individually for the biggest gold medal haul of any swimmer. Easily winning the 50 and 100 butterfly, she really stepped up when the pressure was on, beating Pernille Blume by .01 in the 50 freestyle. Despite being well off best times in her other events, she came within seven-one-hundredths of her world record there in 23.74 to pull out the win. She became the 4th woman ever to win the sprint freestyle double, and the first ever to win the 50/100 free and fly double-double.


Her four golds gave her 14 total at the European Championships, tying her with Katinka Hosszu (who won one in Glasgow) for 2nd all-time to German Franziska van Almsick (18). Her four medals also gave her 23 medals total at the Championships, the most in history.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Yuliya Efimova -Tied Sjostrom with four gold medals, including a sweep of the breaststroke events. That was the first time a woman had done the breaststroke treble since Hungarian Agnes Kovacs in 1999. Her fourth gold in the 400 medley relay saw her post the fastest breaststroke split in history (1:03.95), and she added a silver in the mixed 400 medley.
  • Simona Quadarella – Was just one of many Italians who had a standout meet in Glasgow, sweeping the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles at just 19 years of age.

Men’s Swimmer of the Meet – Kliment Kolesnikov

Kliment Kolesnikov, 2018 European Championships Photo Andrea Masini/ Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Three different men won two individual gold medals at the meet, but it was Russian Kliment Kolesnikov who really stood out with five medals, the largest tally of anyone, along with his stunning world record performance in the 50 back. The 18-year-old took out Liam Tancock‘s mark of 24.04 in 24.00, erasing one of the vaunted 2009 records.

He also won the 100m event in a new Junior World Record of 52.53, becoming the third man in history to win the 50/100 back double, and added a gold in the men’s 400 free relay, two silvers in the men’s and mixed medley relays, and one bronze in the mixed freestyle.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Adam Peaty – Did Adam Peaty things the entire meet, rebounding from a sub-par Commonwealth Games performance (by his standards) to lower his world record in the 100 breast and swim his third-fastest time ever in the 50. He became the first swimmer to achieve the 50/100 double in any stroke at three consecutive Championships, also winning the sprint breaststrokes in Berlin and London. He added gold medals in the men’s and the mixed medley relay, breaking the meet record in the former and the European Record in the latter.
  • Mykhailo Romanchuk – Broke all three of his Ukrainian National Records in the distance freestyle events, becoming the first man to win the 400/800 double at the same competition. He won silver to German Florian Wellbrock in the 1500.

Women’s Performance of the Meet – Sarah Sjostrom, 50 Freestyle

Sjostrom’s 50 free was undoubtedly the swim of the meet as she came so close to her 23.67 world record in 23.74, narrowly edging out Blume (23.75).

Margherita_Panziera-2018 European Championships, courtesy of Giusy Cisale

Honorable Mentions:

Men’s Performance of the Meet – Kliment Kolesnikov, 50 Backstroke

Kolesnikov’s world record in the 50 back erased one of the five remaining non-freestyle individual world records from the 2008-2009 ‘super-suit era’, and was nearly a full half second under his best time coming into the meet.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Adam Peaty World Record 100 breast – European Championship 2018 Glasgow – courtesy of Giusy Cisale swimswam.com

    Adam Peaty, 100 breast – Both of Peaty’s individual swims could’ve made the list, but his 100 world record swim was a pretty big surprise considering his form just a few months prior. He is now 1.36 seconds faster than anyone else in history in the event.

  • Evgeny Rylov, 200 back – Rylov absolutely crushed the men’s 200 back field, breaking his own European Record in a time of 1:53.36. He is now the 5th-fastest performer in history and is the fastest in the world for 2018.
  • Anton Chupkov, 200 breast – Chupkov decimiated the men’s 200 breast field on the back-half, breaking his own European Record in 2:06.80 to miss the world record by just 13-one-hundredths.
  • Piero Codia, 100 fly – Codia’s upset win from lane 8 in the 100 fly final was one of the most surprising of the meet, as he broke the Championship Record and smashed his own Italian Record in 50.64 to win by a full six-tenths of a second. The swim ranks him 2nd in the world for the year.

Women’s Race of the Meet – 200 IM

Katinka Hosszu-2018 European Championship – Courtesy of Giusy Cisale swimswam.com

Expected to be a head-to-head battle between Olympic gold and silver medalists Katinka Hosszu and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, the women’s 200 IM final turned out to be an incredibly exciting four-way shootout between those two along with Italian Ilaria Cusinato and Switzerland’s Maria Ugolkova. Fourth at the 150 mark, Hosszu pulled out the victory on the freestyle leg to become the first woman ever to win five straight titles in an event. Cusinato (2:10.25) pushed her all the way to the wall for a new Italian Record, and Ugolkova (2:10.83) held off O’Connor (2:10.85) to lower her Swiss Record.


Honorable Mentions:

  • 200 fly – In another crazy battle for the medals, Boglarka Kapas moved up from 5th on the last 50 of the women’s 200 fly to get the win in 2:07.13 over Svetlana Chimrova (2:07.33), Alys Thomas (2:07.42) and Franziska Hentke (2:07.75).
  • 800 free relay – Both of the women’s freestyle relays were great races, but the 4×200 saw rising star Freya Anderson dive in 3rd on Great Britain’s anchor leg and come away with the gold after producing the fastest split in the field (1:56.00). France, who were in the lead at the last exchange, fell to 4th as the Russians and Germans grabbed the minor medals.

Men’s Race of the Meet – 200 Freestyle

Though in the end the difference between first and second wasn’t that close, the 200 freestyle was arguably the most exciting event on the men’s program as Duncan Scott delighted the home crowd with a win from lane 8. Top seed Danas Rapsys had the early speed going out, but Scott closed on him to turn in a dead-heat with the Lithuanian at the 150 before taking over coming home. Behind Scott the race ended up being incredibly close too, as the 2nd through 7th place finishers were separated by less than a second, and 2nd-4th were separated by just 0.13.

Honorable Mentions:

  • 1500 free – Two of the fastest swims ever came out of the men’s 1500, and neither were from reigning Olympic and World Champion Gregorio Paltrinieri. Germany’s Florian Wellbrock and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk dropped the Italian around the 1100m mark and duelled the rest of the way with Wellbrock (14:36.15) taking the title over Romanchuk (14:36.88).
  • 400 IM – A see-saw battle between David Verraszto and Max Litchfield saw the Hungarian do just enough on the freestyle leg to win gold by just over three-tenths in 4:10.65. Verraszto’s win was his third straight in this event and a record 8th straight for Hungary.

Women’s Breakout Performer – Freya Anderson

Freya-Anderson-2018 European Championship Glasgow – courtesy of Giusy Cisale swimswam.com

Despite winning zero individual medals, Great Britain’s Freya Anderson was the breakout performer on the women’s side. The 17-year-old broke her own European Junior Record to take 4th in the 100 freestyle in 53.61, and anchored four British relays to medals and another to a 4th-place finish.

She anchored the mixed medley relay to gold and a new European Record with the top female freestyle split, and also had the top split in the field as she brought the women’s 4×200 relay up from 3rd to 1st on the anchor leg. Anderson also produced the fastest female split on the mixed 4×200 relay, anchoring in 1:55.80 to move Great Britain up from 6th to 3rd, and was 2nd-fastest on the women’s medley (52.69) that also won bronze.

Honorable Mention:

  • Margherita Panziera – The 23-year-old Italian capped off an incredible year with her victory and new meet/Italian Record in the 200 back, and now sits 3rd in the world for 2018 after placing 14th at the World Championships last summer. She also went under her old Italian Record in the 100 back (59.71), but was beaten out by teammate Carlotta Zofkova (59.61).

Men’s Breakout Performer – Alessandro Miressi

2018 European Championship Glasgow – courtesy of Giusy Cisale swimswam.com

The 19-year-old Italian joined the elusive sub-47 relay club on the opening day of competition in the 400 free relay, splitting 46.99 as the Italians won silver. He followed up beating a stacked field in the individual 100 free for gold in 48.01, and just days after the Championships concluded he lowered the Italian Record in the event down to 47.92.

Miressi looks to have seamlessly taken over for Italy’s long-time sprint freestyle star and relay ace Filippo Magnini, who won three gold medals of his own in the 100 free at Euros in 2004, 2006 and 2010.


Honorable Mention:

  • Florian Wellbrock – The 20-year-old German became the 4th-fastest performer in history with his gold medal win in the 1500, and also broke his German Record to win silver in the 800 free. European men’s distance freestyle continues to get stronger and stronger.

Country of the Meet – Italy

If it wasn’t already abundantly clear from reading about the other awards, the Italians had a pretty good meet.

Italy_team_Glasgow-2018 European Championships, courtesy of Giusy Cisale swimswam.com

Their 22 medals was their most in history, topping their 2012 total of 18. They also had National Records in 12 events, six individual gold medals and 14 individual medalists despite less than stellar performances from 2017 World Champions Gregorio Paltrinieri and Federica Pellegrini, and the absence of another 2017 gold medalist Gabrielle Detti. They were also missing rising breaststroke talent Nicolo Martinenghi. Standouts included Quadarella, Miressi, Panziera, Cusinato and Codia.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Russia – Despite the incredible performance from Italy, the Russians still topped the medal table with 10 gold and 26 total medals. They managed to reach the podium in eight out of the nine relays, and had dominant showings from Kolesnikov and Efimova, along with a pair of record-breaking swims from Rylov and Chupkov.
  • Great Britain – The Brits were right between Russia and Italy on the medal table with 24, and just one behind the Russians with nine golds. Peaty was a revelation as always, and they won four relay golds and added another two silvers (only not medalling in the men’s, women’s and mixed 400 free relays).

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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