2021 LEN EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Swimming: Monday, May 17th – Sunday, May 23rd, 2021
- Budapest, Hungary
- Prelims at 10:00 am local/Finals at 6:00 pm local
- Event Site
- Entry List
- Live Results
- Live Stream
The 3 highest profile swim from the 2021 European Championships came from Kliment Kolesnikov‘s world record-breaking swims in the men’s 50 backstroke semi-finals and final and Benedetta Pilato‘s world record in the semi-finals of the women’s 50 breast. Kolesnikov managed to become the first man under 24 second in the event, bringing the mark to a 23.80 while Pilato took 0.10 second off Lilly King’s 2017 swim of 29.40 with her swim of 29.30.
While those were the only world records over the course of the meet, there was no shortage of quick racing throughout the 7-day affair. Among those elite-level races were Ilya Borodin‘s world junior record in the men’s 400 IM, Kathleen Dawson‘s impressive double victory in the women’s 100 backstroke which was swum and re-swum due to timing error which she followed up with a European record-breaking relay lead of on the women’s medley relay. Kristof Milak had a solid performance in the 100 butterfly to set a new championship record and become the 4th fastest man in the history of the event and the British mixed medley relay managed to down their own European record with a 3:38.82 gold medal-winning swim.
Also among the show-stopping performance over the past week, Ari-Pekka Liukkonen delivered a powerful performance in the 50 freestyle to collect his first Euros gold medal in history. Olympic gold medalists Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Adam Peaty won 2 of their signature events in the form of the 50 free / 50 butterfly and 50 breast / 100 breast respectively and Barbora Seemanova collected the first Czech gold medal at Euros since 2012 in the women’s 200 freestyle while setting a new national record.
Check out race videos from all of those events below, along with our live recap from the session:
Note: All videos are courtesy of the YouTube channel Snake Eyes
Note: All analysis was provided by SwimSwam’s James Sutherland
Men’s 50 Backstroke – Semi-Final
- Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 23.93
- Apostolos Christou (GRE), 24.49
- Robert Glinta (ROU), 24.57
- Hugo Gonzalez (ESP), 24.60
- Grigory Tarasevich (RUS), 24.68
- Conor Ferguson (IRL), 24.81
- Simone Sabbioni (ITA) / Viktar Staselovich (BLR), 25.02
Kliment Kolesnikov did it again.
The Russian broke the world record in the men’s 50 backstroke for the second straight European Championships, except this time, he also becomes the first man under 24 seconds.
Kolesnikov set the world mark at 24.00 in 2018, and now eclipses that barrier in 23.93 in a historical semi-final performance. The 20-year-old also takes out his European and Russian Records. He had previously been 24.08 this year at the Russian Olympic Trials.
Greece’s Apostolos Christou qualified second in 24.49, lowering his National Record of 24.75 set at the 2019 World Championships. The time slots him into second in the world rankings behind Kolesnikov.
Men’s 50 Backstroke – Final
Kliment Kolesnikov dropped an absolute stunner in the men’s 50 back final, shattering his 24-hour old world record in a time of 23.80.
Kolesnikov had set the record in last night’s semis in 23.93, which was history’s first under 24 seconds. Now, he is a full two tenths clear of that barrier, having won the gold medal by a staggering .62.
Romanian Robert Glinta repeats as the silver medalist behind Kolesnikov in 24.42, and Hugo Gonzalez broke the super-suited Spanish Record by .01 in 24.47 for bronze. The previous record of 24.48 was set by Aschwin Wildeboer.
Women’s 50 Breaststroke – Semi-Final 2
- Benedetta Pilato (ITA), 29.30 WR
- Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 30.25
- Sarah Vasey (GBR), 30.35
- Ida Hulkko (FIN), 30.39
- Arianna Castiglioni (ITA), 30.44
- Sophie Hansson (SWE), 30.53
- Veera Kivirinta (FIN), 30.76
- Tatiana Belonogoff (RUS), 30.84
Pilato also breaks the European Record of 29.48, set by Ruta Meilutyte in 2013, and re-lowers the Championship, Italian and World Junior Records she set in this morning’s prelims (29.50).
Pilato is the second swimmer to set a world record at these championships, with Kliment Kolesnikov doing so twice earlier in the meet in the men’s 50 backstroke.
Pilato was the silver medalist in this event at the 2019 World Championships behind King, and now has a chance to become Italy’s first European LC champion in this event tomorrow night. The 2019 European SC champion in this event, Pilato entered the meet with a best time of 29.61 set in December.
Defending champion Yuliya Efimova qualified second overall for the final, nearly a full second back of Pilato in the same semi in a time of 30.25. That time moves the Russian veteran up into third in the world.
It was Great Britain’s Sarah Vasey winning the first semi in a time of 30.35, just off her 2017 PB of 30.30, and 2018 bronze medalist Arianna Castiglioni will have a chance for a second straight medal after going 30.44 for fifth overall.
100 breast winner Sophie Hansson should be a factor in the medal conversation tomorrow as well, qualifying sixth in 30.53 and after going a best of 30.46 in the morning.
Ema Rajic, a member of the Cal Bears in the NCAA, broke her Croatian Record for the second time today in 31.04 to tie for 13th overall.
Men’s 400 IM – Final
Russian teenager Ilya Borodin grabbed the lead of the men’s 400 IM final on the backstroke leg and really asserted himself on breast, splitting 1:10.41 to set himself up for a big win in 4:10.02.
Borodin, 18, lowers his Russian, World Junior and European Junior Records of 4:11.17 set in April, and moves him up into third in the world this season.
He also effectively ends Hungary’s incredible streak of eight straight wins in the men’s 400 IM, and it’s also the first time since 1999 that Hungary doesn’t even reach the podium. Borodin also claims Russia’s first win in the event, though the former Soviet Union did claim the title in 1962, 1977 and 1981.
Italian Alberto Razzetti put together an incredible performance out of Lane 2, with strong splits everywhere, minus the backstroke leg, which clearly cost him the gold. Razzetti led after fly (56.33), fell to eighth after backstroke (1:07.53), moved up to fifth on breast (1:10.33), and then closed in 56.98 to snag the silver medal.
Known more as a 200 IM specialist, Razzetti drops three seconds from his PB set in the prelims, and is now just over a second outside of the Italian Record of 4:09.88. According to Swim Rankings, Razzetti entered the meet with a best time of 4:21.60 from 2018, and hadn’t raced the event since then.
Great Britain’s Max Litchfield, the silver medalist in 2018, came home in 27.92 to run down three-time defending champion David Verraszto and win bronze in 4:11.56, leaving Verraszto (4:12.15) locked out of the medals for the first time since 2008.
Women’s 100 Backstroke – Final (Swim #1 – Times Cancelled)
After setting a Championship Record in the semis, Kathleen Dawson would not be denied tonight, winning the women’s 100 backstroke in decisive fashion in a new personal best and meet record of 58.18.
The time lowers Dawson’s previous best of 58.24, set last month, and improves on her 58.44 CR set last night. Dawson thoroughly dominated the field, out-splitting everyone on both 50s (27.99/30.19).
Dawson was the bronze medalist in 2016, and wins Britain’s first gold in the event since Gemma Spofforth in 2010. Dawson also missed Spofforth’s super-suited European and British Record of 58.12 by just .06.
Kira Toussaint, who had tied the initial CR of 58.73 in last night’s first semi, was never close to Dawson and takes the silver in 59.02, her first Euro LC medal in this event.
Maria Kameneva, who scratched out of the 100 free semis to put all of her focus on this race, wins the bronze in 59.13, just .03 off of her Russian Record set in April.
Defending champion Anastasia Fesikova was a distant sixth (tie) in 1:00.33
Women’s 100 Backstroke – Final (Swim #2 – Official Times)
It wasn’t as fast as she had initially gone, but ultimately it doesn’t matter as Great Britain’s Kathleen Dawson officially wins the women’s 100 backstroke in a time of 58.49, 31 one hundredths slower than her 58.18 from the original final. Dawson also was .05 off her Championship Record set in the semis.
The major change in the podium came in the silver medal position, where Italy’s Margherita Panziera finds herself after coming home in 30.10 to snag second in 59.01. Panziera had gone 59.65 for fourth earlier in the session.
Kira Toussaint, who thought she had won silver after going 59.02 earlier, falls off the podium in fourth, clocking 59.32. Russia’s Maria Kameneva maintains the bronze medal, going 59.22 after a 59.13 in the original heat.
Louise Hansson, who clearly missed the start in the initial final, swam over two seconds faster (and exactly the same as her semi-final time) in 1:00.04 to take sixth.
Men’s 100 Butterfly – Final
After jamming his finish in the semi-finals, Kristof Milak executed everything right in tonight’s final of the men’s 100 fly, soaring to a new Hungarian and European Championship Record of 50.18.
Milak led the field at the 50 in 23.58, with teammate Szebasztian Szabo and Russian Mikhail Vekovishchev within a tenth, but pulled away from the pack on the second length, coming home in a blazing 26.60.
Milak’s time ranks as the ninth-fastest in history, and he’s also now the fourth-fastest performer of all-time, trailing only the trio of men who have cracked 50 seconds: Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps and Milorad Cavic.
Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay – Great Britain
- Great Britain, 3:38.82 ER
- Netherlands, 3:41.28
- Italy, 3:42.30
Great Britain remains undefeated at the European Championships in the mixed 400 medley relay, winning a fourth straight gold medal by smashing their European Record by over a second in 3:38.82.
Kathleen Dawson was right on her semi-final time on the lead-off leg for the Brits, and then Adam Peaty scorched a 57.13 breast leg. James Guy split 50.61 on fly, the fastest among men in the field, and then Anna Hopkin closed things off with a strong 52.65 free split.
The previous European, Championship and British Records were set at the 2018 Euro Championships in Glasgow in a time of 3:40.18.
Kliment Kolesnikov got Russia off to a great start with a 52.09 lead-off, his fastest swim ever and under the official European Record, but it won’t count officially because it’s a mixed relay. Evgeny Rylov has been as fast as 51.97 on a mixed relay, but the official ER is 52.11 and the Russian mark is 52.12.
Despite that hot start for the Russians, it was the Netherlands (3:41.28) and Italy (3:42.30) getting on the podium in second and third, both lowering National Records. Russia ended up fourth in 3:43.60.
Switzerland placed fifth in 3:46.16, also breaking their National Record of 3:46.85 set in the heats. Noe Ponti was sub-51 on fly in 50.98.
Ilya Shymanovich had an eye-popping 58.00 split on breast for Belarus, which actually had them out in the lead at the 200. The team ended up sixth in 3:46.82.
Men’s 50 Freestyle – Final
In the tightly contested men’s 50 free final, Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen had the power over the closing meters, inching ahead of the field to win the gold medal in a time of 21.61.
Liukkonen, 32, falls .03 shy of his National Record set in 2017, and moves into third in the world this season. The Finn was the bronze medalist back in 2014.
2018 champion Ben Proud got in for silver in 21.69, his third straight medal in the event and good for fifth in the world this season.
Kristian Gkolomeev, the top seed from the semis in 21.60, wins the bronze medal in 21.73, his second consecutive trip to the podium after a silver in 2018.
Dutchman Thom De Boer (21.80) and Frenchman Florent Manaudou (21.81) were on the outside looking in terms of the podium, with De Boer equalling his semi-final time and Manaudou going 14 one hundredths slower.
Women’s 50 Freestyle – Final
Ranomi Kromowidjojo reclaims her European title in the women’s 50 freestyle, producing the first sub-24 swim of the Olympic year in 23.97. Kromowidjojo was the 2016 gold medalist, but fell to bronze in 2018.
The Dutchwoman, who had gone 24.11 in April, overtakes Pernille Blume‘s 24.06 from the semis for first in the world this season. Kromowidjojo holds the Dutch Record at 23.85.
Blume repeats as the silver medalist in 24.17, except this time she’ll share the podium with Kasia Wasick, who broke her Polish Record yet again after going 24.34 in the semis.
Maria Kameneva was within a tenth of her Russian Record (24.20) for fourth in 24.29, while Femke Heemskerk (24.32) was fifth and Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin clocked 24.51 to put herself on the Olympic team.
Women’s 50 Butterfly – Final
Kromowidjojo’s time falls .06 shy of her Dutch Record, 25.24, set in March. Henique, who owns the French Record of the same time (25.24), wins silver in 25.46, her second medal in the event after bronze back in 2010.
Denmark’s Emilie Beckmann won bronze in a best time of 25.59, her second straight medal and the fourth in a row for the Danes.
Anna Ntountounaki reset her Greek Record yet again for fourth in 25.65.
Sweden’s run of five straight wins comes to an end.
Men’s 50 Breaststroke – Final
Adam Peaty, mustache and all, made it four straight in the men’s 50 breaststroke, using his patented up-tempo stroke rate to accelerate ahead of the field and touch first in a time of 26.21, taking over the #1 time in the world this season.
Belarusian Ilya Shymanovich, who missed his National Record by .01 in the semi-finals, was about a tenth slower in 26.55 for silver, while Italian Nicolo Martinenghi rounds out the podium in 26.68. Shymanovich was eighth in this event in Glasgow.
Men’s 100 Breaststroke – Final
It’s a fourth straight European title in the men’s 100 breaststroke for Adam Peaty, the longest in the event’s history.
Down the second 50 Peaty pulled away from those two, winning gold by almost half a second in 57.66 – .01 faster than in the semis.
It was Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands charging home in 31.09 to take silver in 58.10, two tenths off his newly minted Dutch Record from a few weeks ago, and Peaty’s teammate James Wilby actually came back faster than anyone in 30.91 for bronze in 58.58. Wilby’s PB stands at 58.46 from the 2019 Worlds. He moves up into fourth in the world this season.
Shymanovich (58.75) and Martinenghi (58.94) settled for fourth and fifth.
Women’s 200 Freestyle – Final
The women’s 200 free final turned out to be an unbelievable four-way battle all the way to the final touch, with Czech Republic’s Barbora Seemanova edging out the gold medal victory in a National Record time of 1:56.27.
Seemanova, who held the previous record at 1:56.96, is the first Czech women’s champion since 2012.
Seemanova and 2018 champion Charlotte Bonnet established themselves early in the race, sitting out front of the field, but Federica Pellegrini and Freya Anderson really turned on the jets down the stretch.
Pellegrini made one last charge in the closing meters, but Seemanova held her off and nipped her at the wall by .02, with the Italian taking silver in 1:56.29, marking her fifth medal in the event’s history.
Anderson snagged bronze in 1:56.42, getting by early leader Bonnet (1:56.55).