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
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We’re in store for a busy night of finals from the 2021 European Championships in Budapest, with 11 different events on the schedule, including six finals with medals on the line.
The men’s 1500 free will lead things off, where Gregorio Paltrinieri will look to follow up his standout showing last week in the open water events where he won both the 5k and 10k gold medals. Paltrinieri won three consecutive titles in this event from 2012-2016 before falling to bronze in 2018.
Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk, the 2018 silver medalist, is the top seed in 14:52.07, while Paltrinieri played with fire a little bit in the prelims (going 15:08.84) and will be out in Lane 1.
2018 winner Florian Wellbrock is not competing in the pool this week, though he did win a bronze medal behind Paltrinieri in the 10k open water event last Thursday.
We’ll also see three big guns go at it in the men’s 100 free, with Alessandro Miressi, Kliment Kolesnikov and Andrei Minakov all going 47s in the semis, and Kristof Milak seeks a second straight title (and third consecutive for Hungary) in the men’s 200 fly.
On the women’s side, Sophie Hansson leads the 100 breast field into the final after surprising herself with a Swedish National Record of 1:05.69 in the semis, and Kathleen Dawson has a chance to give Great Britain four consecutive titles in the 50 back.
The night will be capped off with the men’s 4×200 free relay, where Great Britain brings in a loaded lineup in search of a second consecutive gold medal.
Among the semi-finals, Kolesnikov had another scintillating performance this morning in the men’s 100 back (52.32), Arno Kamminga posted a strong 2:07.39 in the men’s 200 breast heats, and a competitive field in the men’s 200 IM saw seven men go sub-1:59.
Men’s 1500 Free Final
- European Record: 14:33.10, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), 2020
- European Championship Record: 14:34.04, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), 2016
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 15:00.99
- Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR), 14:39.89
- Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), 14:42.91
- Domenico Acerenza (ITA), 14:54.36
After Gregorio Paltrinieri pounced out to an early lead, Mykhailo Romanchuk took over first place at the 500m mark and slowly but surely distanced himself from the Italian, ultimately winning the gold by three seconds in a time of 14:39.89.
Romanchuk’s time is three seconds off his Ukrainian Record, and makes him the second-fastest swimmer in the world this season behind 2018 winner Florian Wellbrock, who opted not to compete. The gold medal winning time is also the slowest since 2014.
Paltrinieri, who won three straight golds from 2012-2016, claims the silver in 14:42.91, giving him a medal in five straight Championships after taking bronze in 2018.
Domenico Acerenza made it two Italians on the podium, claiming bronze in 14:54.36.
MEN’S 100 FREE FINAL
- European Record: 47.12, Alain Bernard (FRA), 2009
European Championship Record: 47.50, Alain Bernard (FRA), 2008
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 48.57
The men’s 100 freestyle saw an incredible five men break 48 seconds, led by Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov in a new Championship Record of 47.37. Kolesnikov breaks the previous Meet Record of 47.50 set by Alain Bernard in 2008, while falling .06 shy of his Russian Record set last month (47.31).
Italian Alessandro Miressi closed in a blazing 24.75 to snag silver in 47.45, lowering his Italian Record for the third time in as many days (it was 47.53 coming into today).
Andrei Minakov picks up the bronze in 47.74, while Hungarian Nandor Nemeth closed faster than anyone in 24.43 to set a new National Record in 47.84 for fourth. Frenchman Maxime Grousset was the fifth man to eclipse the 48-second barrier, hitting a 47.90.
16-year-old David Popovici reset his Romanian Record in 48.08 for sixth.
WOMEN’S 100 BREAST FINAL
- European Record: 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2013
- European Championship Record: 1:05.53, Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 2018
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:07.07
Sophie Hansson backed up her semi-final performance in a big way, equalling her newly-minted Swedish Record of 1:05.69 to win gold in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Hansson’s win is Sweden’s first in the event since 2002.
Italians Arianna Castiglioni and Martina Carraro both made their way to the podium in second and third, producing respective times of 1:06.13 and 1:06.21. This is Castiglioni’s third Euro medal in the event, having won bronze in both 2014 and 2018.
Locked out of the medals in fourth was 2018 champion Yuliya Efimova, who clocked 1:06.33. The last time Efimova missed the podium in this event at a major meet was the 2012 Olympics. The 29-year-old said she was fully focusing on the 100m event after failing to qualify for the Olympics in the 200 at the Russian Trials.
Men’s 100 Back Semi-Finals
- European Record: 52.11, Camille Lacourt (FRA), 2010
- European Championship Record: 52.11, Camille Lacourt (FRA), 2010
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 53.85
- Apostolos Christou (GRE), 52.77
- Mewen Tomac (FRA), 52.86
- Robert Glinta (ROU), 52.97
- Yohann Ndoye Brouard (FRA), 53.01
- Hugo Gonzalez (ESP), 53.14
- Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 53.15
- Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 53.34
- Luke Greenbank (GBR), 53.69
Apostolos Christou became the first Greek man under 53 seconds in the first semi-final of the men’s 100 backstroke, touching in a time of 52.77 to lower the 2009 National Record of 53.03 previously held by Aristeidis Grigoriadis. Christou showed immense opening speed in the race, flipping in a blistering 25.17.
Frenchman Mewen Tomac (52.86) and Romanian Robert Glinta (52.97) joined Christou sub-53 from the second semi, both breaking 53 for the first time. Tomac had previously been 53.10 in March, while Glinta breaks his Romanian Record of 53.26 from the prelims.
France will have a great chance to get two men on the podium tomorrow, with Yohann Ndoye Brouard sitting fourth in 53.01.
The biggest story of the race was defending champion Kliment Kolesnikov, who would’ve qualified first with his prelim time (52.32), but instead he finishes 16th in 54.86, being just minutes out of winning the 100 free final. His countryman Evgeny Rylov, the 2018 silver medalist behind Kolesnikov, will be in the mix tomorrow after going 53.15 for sixth.
In fifth, Hugo Gonzalez continues to perform well here, dropping a sizable best time of 53.14.
Jan Cejka set a new Czech Record in 54.03, placing ninth.
Women’s 200 Fly Semi-Finals
- European Record: 2:04.27, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2009
- European Championship Record: 2:04.79, Mireia Belmonte (ESP), 2014
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:08.43
- Boglarka Kapas (HUN), 2:07.25
- Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:08.75
- Helena Rosendahl Bach (DEN), 2:08.95
- Svetlana Chimrova (RUS), 2:09.08
- Ilaria Cusinato (ITA), 2:09.32
- Laura Stephens (GBR), 2:09.39
- Kathrin Demler (GER), 2:09.59
- Keanna Macinnes (GBR), 2:09.76
The swim falls three tenths shy of Hosszu’s 2:08.45 season-best. The Hungarian was the champion in 2010 and 2012, and took bronze in 2014.
Bach resets the Austrian Record in 2:08.95, crushing the previous mark of 2:09.76 held by Claudia Hufnagl.
Hosszu’s countrywoman Boglarka Kapas, the defending champion and reigning World Championship gold medalist, dominated the second semi in 2:07.25 for the top seed heading into the final, a full 1.5 seconds clear of Hosszu. Kapas has been 2:06.85 this season, ranking her fourth in the world.
Men’s 200 Breast Semi-Finals
- European Record: 2:06.12, Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2019
- European Championship Record: 2:06.80, Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2018
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.35
- Erik Persson (SWE), 2:07.85
- Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2:07.94
- Matti Mattsson (FIN), 2:08.26
- Arno Kamminga (NED), 2:08.31
- Ross Murdoch (GBR), 2:08.83
- Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 2:08.84
- James Wilby (GBR), 2:09.90
- Caspar Corbeau (NED), 2:09.97
2018 champion Anton Chupkov did what he does best, turning sixth at the 100 before charging through the field in the second semi-final of the men’s 200 breast, splitting 32.66/32.08 on the way home to touch first in a final time of 2:07.94.
Chupkov, the world and European Record holder at 2:06.12, holds a season-best of 2:07.32, ranking him fourth in the world.
Taking second to the Russian in the first semi was Matti Mattsson, who resets his Finnish National Record of 2:08.43 (set in the prelims) in 2:08.26.
In the second heat it was Sweden’s Erik Persson taking charge over the middle 100, splitting 32.38/32.70 to open up a sizable advantage on the field. Persson managed to stay away on the way home, finishing in a time of 2:07.85 to tie his Swedish Record set back in 2017 and qualify first for the final.
At the 2018 championships in Glasgow, Persson finished eighth in the final (2:10.25).
Arno Kamminga was fast opening (28.98) and closing (32.40), appearing to take the middle 100 off a little bit as he comfortably qualifies fourth for the final in 2:08.31. Kamminga is the only swimmer in the field to have been sub-2:07 this season (2:06.85 in December), and he was significantly faster than he was tonight in the prelims (2:07.39).
Marco Koch, the 2014 champion who also won medals in the event in 2012 and 2016, failed to make the final in ninth (2:10.03). The German did not compete in 2018.
WOMEN’S 50 BACK FINAL
- European Record: 27.10, Kira Toussaint (NED), 2021
- European Championship Record: 27.19, Kathleen Dawson (GBR), 2021
Toussaint, 26, owns the European and Dutch National Records at 27.10, set earlier this year. She also ends Great Britain’s streak of three consecutive gold medals in the event, and it’s also the first for the Netherlands in the women’s 50 back.
Dawson, who set a British and Euro Championship Record of 27.19 in the semis, claims the silver here in 27.46, and Maaike De Waard joined her countrywoman Toussaint on the podium with the bronze (27.74).
Men’s 200 IM Semi-Finals
- European Record: 1:55.18, Laszlo Cseh (HUN), 2009
- European Championship Record: 1:56.66, Laszlo Cseh (HUN), 2012
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:59.67
- Hubert Kos (HUN), 1:56.99
- Alberto Razzetti (ITA), 1:57.39
- Jeremy Desplanches (SUI), 1:57.42
- Duncan Scott (GBR), 1:57.48
- Hugo Gonzalez (ESP), 1:58.08
- Max Litchfield (GBR), 1:58.42
- Laszlo Cseh (HUN), 1:58.45
- Andreas Vazaios (GRE), 1:58.62
Alberto Razzetti‘s blistering 33.14 breaststroke split was the key difference-maker in the first semi of the men’s 200 IM, giving him the heat win by over a second in 1:57.39. Razzetti lowered the Italian Record earlier this year in 1:57.13.
Great Britain’s Max Litchfield rallied from sixth at the 150 to snag second in the heat with a final 50 of 27.67, clocking 1:58.42 to edge out five-time champion Laszlo Cseh (1:58.45). Cseh, the Hungarian legend, won five straight titles from 2006 until 2014.
In the second semi it was all youngster Hubert Kos, as the 18-year-old Hungarian got out to an early lead at the 100 (53.90), and then after falling to second behind Jeremy Desplanches at the 150, he closed in 28.04 to touch first in 1:56.99.
The time for Kos is a new World Junior Record, taking out the previous mark of 1:57.06 held by China’s Qin Haiyang. Kos’ previous best was 1:57.58 from March. It’s also worth noting Michael Phelps‘ junior time of 1:55.94 – before the records began being officially recognized.
Desplanches, the 2018 champ, held off Duncan Scott by .06 in 1:57.42, as they qualified third and fourth overall for the final.
In fifth, Hugo Gonzalez was .05 off his Spanish Record in 1:58.08.
Women’s 200 Free Semi-Finals
- European Record: 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 2009
- European Championship Record: 1:54.95, Charlotte Bonnet (FRA), 2018
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:57.28
- Barbora Seemanova (CZE), 1:57.20
- Charlotte Bonnet (FRA), 1:57.30
- Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 1:57.47
- Freya Anderson (GBR), 1:57.71
- Valentine Dumont (BEL), 1:57.98
- Katja Fain (SLO), 1:58.16
- Andrea Murez (ISR), 1:58.81
- Julia Mrozinski (GER), 1:59.21
Charlotte Bonnet and Freya Anderson cruised to the top two times in the first semi of the women’s 200 free, with Bonnet opening up a lead of three tenths on the first 50 before the two were fairly even the rest of the way.
Bonnet, the defending champion, finished in 1:57.30, with Anderson not far back in 1:57.71. Slovenian Katja Fain closed strong in 29.92 to take third in a personal best time of 1:58.16.
Czech Republic’s Barbora Seemanova defended her top seed from the prelims from the second semi, out-racing Federica Pellegrini on the closing 50 in 29.87 to touch first in 1:57.20. Seemanova set a new Czech Record of 1:56.96 in November.
Pellegrini qualifies third overall in 1:57.47, where she’ll look to reclaim the title that she won four straight times from 2010 to 2016.
Valentine Dumont lowered the Belgian Record for third in the semi and fifth overall, clocking 1:57.98 to break her previous mark of 1:58.16.
MEN’S 200 FLY FINAL
- European Record: 1:50.73, Kristof Milak (HUN), 2019
European Championship Record: 1:52.79, Kristof Milak (HUN), 2018
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:56.48
Kristof Milak may have lulled us into a false sense of security through the early rounds of the men’s 200 fly.
After a pair of easy 1:54s, the Hungarian world record holder dropped the second-fastest swim in history to defend his European title, dropping a 1:51.10. The showing smashes his Championship Record of 1:52.79 set in 2018, and overtakes his 1:51.40 from earlier this year for #1 in the 2020-21 world rankings.
Burdisso moves up from bronze to silver with his time of 1:54.28, breaking his Italian Record of 1:54.39 in the process. Burdisso was a clear second at the 150, up by 1.38 seconds on Kenderesi, but struggled down the last lap in 31.32, narrowly holding off the Hungarian by .15.
Men’s 4×200 Free Relay Final
- European Record: 6:59.15, Russia, 2009
European Championship Record: 7:05.32, Great Britain, 2018
- Russia, 7:03.48
- Great Britain, 7:04.61
- Italy, 7:06.05
The Russians got out to a big lead and never relinquished it in the men’s 4×200 free relay, winning the event for the first time since 2010 in a new Championship Record.
Martin Malyutin set a best time of 1:45.15 on the lead-off leg, and then Alexander Shchegolev (1:45.39), Aleksandr Krasnykh (1:46.52) and Mikhail Vekovishchev (1:46.42) showed no chink in the armor, clocking 7:03.48 to erase Great Britain’s meet record of 7:05.32 set in 2018.
Down by almost three seconds at the halfway mark, James Guy (1:45.88) and Duncan Scott (1:45.29) provided a valiant effort for the Brits in taking silver, inching closer to the Russians but not enough to catch them for gold. GBR finished in 7:04.61, also under the old meet record, with Tom Dean (1:46.47) and Matthew Richards (1:46.97) also on the squad.
The Italians win bronze for a third straight time in 7:06.05, with Marco De Tullio their top split at 1:46.02 swimming third.
France had four 1:46s for fourth in 7:07.24, and the Swiss were disqualified after an early jump from anchor Roman Mityukov, according to the results.