2018 Euros Previews: Russians Looking Strong In Men’s Relays


  • August 3-9, 2018 (swimming portion)
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Tollcross International Swimming Centre
  • Psych Sheet

See all of SwimSwam’s European Championships previews here.

Last summer at the World Championships, the Russian men placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the relays. They weren’t the top European country in any of the three, losing out to Hungary in the 4×100 free and Great Britain in the 4×200 and medley, but come in with a stacked lineup and have a realistic shot at a sweep.

400 Free Relay

Dominik Kozma 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

The Hungarians wowed the home crowd at the 2017 Worlds, with Dominik KozmaNandor Nemeth and Richard Bohus all stepping up with massive splits as they won bronze. They’ll return the same team this year, joined by Peter Holoda, and could also sub-in Kristof Milak if they wanted. It will be difficult for Bohus to repeat his 47.2 anchor from Budapest, and they’ll likely need both Kozma and Nemeth in the 47s if they’re going to contend. Kozma did split 46.72 on the medley relay later in that meet, so if he can get anywhere near that they’ll be in good shape.

The Russians come in with a strong team led by Vlad Morozov, who leads the world rankings with a 47.75 from April. Behind him, they’ve got an additional six swimmers entered at the meet who have been 48-point flat start in 2018, giving them the deepest team in the field. Danila Izotov and Vladislav Grinev will likely be on the finals team, with Kliment KolesnikovIvan Kuzmenko and Sergey Fesikov in the running for the 4th spot.

The Italians will also be competitive, led by rising star Alessandro Miressi and veteran Luca Dotto, and Poland, France and Great Britain should also be reasonably quick. Poland has three solid legs surrounding Kacper Majchrzak, while France lacks their usual depth and will need to rely on Mehdy Metella and Jeremy Stravius to carry them. The Brits aren’t particularly strong in the individual 100 after Duncan Scott, but will be competitive assuming both Ben Proud and James Guy swim. The two of them split 48.3 at the Commonwealth Games despite Proud specializing in the 50 and Guy the 200.

800 Free Relay

Ducan Scott 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

The British are the reigning two-time World Champions in the 800 free relay, so we should expect them to easily win here. They have two aces in the hole with Scott and Guy, the 2nd and 3rd seeds in the individual event, and have a solid supporting cast in Calum Jarvis and Cameron Kurle (and could potentially sub-in Thomas Dean).

The Russians beat out the Americans for silver last year, but don’t have Aleksandr Krasnykh competing who anchored them in 1:44.80. They’ve still got a solid squad led by Mikhail Dovgalyuk and Mikhail Vekovishchev, and Izotov will likely also be used here despite missing the top-4 at their Nationals. He is the national record holder at 1:43.90, and split 1:45.9 on the relay at Worlds.

The Italians will again be good with Filippo Megli, Hungary has Kozma, Milak and Nemeth, and the Germans are low key dangerous. They only have Jacob Heidtmann entered in the individual event, but have three more swimmers entered in the meet who have been 1:47 this year. And again we can’t forget about Poland, who have Majchrzak and Jan Switkowski as a solid 1-2.

400 Medley Relay

Great Britain has managed to cover up their poor backstroking with Adam Peaty‘s 56-second breaststroke legs en route to back-to-back silvers behind the U.S. in the 400 medley relay at the Rio Games and 2017 Worlds. They are very strong on fly and free as well, with Guy and Scott, but the Russians bring a four-pronged attack which could give them problems.

Kirill Prigoda 2017 World Championships Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

They come in with the top-3 seeded swimmers in the 100 back, 2nd seed in the 100 breast, 2nd in the 100 free, and 6th in the 100 fly. Either Evgeny Rylov or Kolesnikov, Kirill PrigodaEgor Kuimov and Morozov form a formidable team that could pull it off. However, they all had solid splits last summer, with a scorching 46.69 anchor from Morozov, and still lost to the Brits by eight-tenths. It could very well come down to how fast Luke Greenbank can go on back and/or if Peaty is in top form. From what we saw at the Commonwealth Games, that is very much in question. Aggregate totals of their entry times at the meet leave the two teams separated by just a tenth.

Contenders for bronze include the Italians, who have a well-rounded team led by Fabio Scozzoli and Miressi, and Poland, Hungary and Germany all have a punchers chance as well. The Belarusians finaled at the 2017 World Championships but will need their freestyler Viktar Krasochka to step up with a sub-49 split to be competitive (he’s entered with a 49.80).

400 Free Relay Predictions

Place Prediction Country
1 Russia
2 Italy
3 Hungary
4 Great Britain
5 Poland
6 France
7 Netherlands
8 Belgium

800 Free Relay Predictions

Place Prediction Country
1 Great Britain
2 Russia
3 Hungary
4 Italy
5 Germany
6 Poland
7 Netherlands
8 France

400 Medley Relay Predictions

Place Prediction Country
1 Russia
2 Great Britain
3 Italy
4 Poland
5 Hungary
6 Germany
7 Belarus
8 Lithuania

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4 years ago

Serbia will final for sure in 4×100 free…

Reply to  Rush!
4 years ago

we all know they do that lol

4 years ago

The 4×200 could get interesting. Britain will potentally going into the race with Scott and Guy tired. If Scott makes both the 100fr final and /200im semi final – They’ll be before the 4×200… and if Guy makes the 200fl final it is 7mins before the 4×200 final. Expect Britain to go Milne/Kurle/Dean/Jarvis for heats and take the fastest two to final. Personally I’d love to see Litchfield get a swim in the heat though.

4x100fr – RUS/ITA/HUN
4x200fr – GBR/RUS/HUN
4x100md – GBR/RUS/ITA

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

Same problem for Kozma, Nemeth and Milak.

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

The russian have 1 second margin in the 4x100md: Kolesnikov/Prigoda/Kuimov/Morozov
Unless they mess up the change they will win

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

Peatypiper Jordan Slaon of northern Ireland swims a 1:47 but unfortunately for you Brits he swims for actual Ireland

Reply to  CHDH
4 years ago

of course he swims for Ireland since its not part of England

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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