2019 European SC Championships – Day 1 Preview & Start Lists


There was very little in the way of significant pre-session scratches for the first day of the 2019 European Short Course Swimming Championships. The biggest name absent was that of Romanian backstroker Robert Glinta, who was entered as the 14th seed in the 200 back but won’t race.

His social media posts confirm that he is in Glasgow and expected to race, but his better chances at hardware come in his other two races later in the meet, the 100 backstroke (3rd seed) and 50 backstroke (6th seed). He finished 3rd in the 100 back at the last edition of these championships in 2017.

That leaves the focuses of the day’s racing not on those who are absent, but rather those who are in the pool – the way we’d all prefer it to be.

A key to the prelims sessions are the 2-per-country qualification rule. While countries can enter up to 4 swimmers per event*, only 2 can advance from the preliminary heats.

*except in the women’s 800 and men’s 1500 freestyles, which are timed-final races, where countries are only allowed 2 entries per event.

That leaves a scenario where, in some cases, we’ll see swimmers have to push much harder in preliminary rounds than they will in semi-final rounds.

While this 2-per-country rule is likely to come into play in several races on each day of competition, the first big battle will be in the women’s 50 breaststroke, where Italy has 3 of the top 4 seeds in Benedetta PilatoMartina Carraro, and Arianna Castiglioni. The 3 have put serious hurt on the Italian Record books in the breaststroke races all season long, and so who advances might come down to who has the most left to give still this week in Glasgow. The 14-year old Pilato is the future of the group, but 26-year old Carraro has struck a late-career renaissance thanks, in part, to adding a serious weightlifting routine to her training.

There will come a similar test in the women’s 400 IM, where Hungarians are seeded 1-3-4. That’s led by Katinka Hosszu, the top seed and two-time defending champion in the event. Zsu Jakabos is the #3 seed and Boglarka Kapas is the #4 seed in the event. On paper, Hosszu and Jakabos are well ahead of their countrymate Kapas for the spots in the final.

That race will also have some subtext of the first big showdown between Hungary’s Hosszu and Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato. Cusinato spent a period of time training with Hosszu’s former coach, and former husband, Shane Tusup, though Cusinato and Tusup have since ended their arrangement. This will be the first test of where Cusinato is in her training after abruptly leaving Tusup. She’s currently training with the club Padova Nuoto under coach Moreno Daga.

Again, on paper, that women’s 400 IM doesn’t leave much room for mystery. Hosszu is the top seed by over 6 seconds, and Cusinato and Jakabos have another 6+ seconds to the 4th seed, but with a sudden change of training, Cusinato could be overtaken for a spot on the podium.


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400IM prediction: Hosszu 4:20.96

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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