2021 European Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


Day 3 of the European Championships will feature another exciting slate of events including the men’s 200 IM, women’s 200 butterfly, women’s 200 freestyle, and men’s 200 breaststroke.

The prelims session will feature 3 world record holders in the form of Katinka Hosszu in the 200 fly, Anton Chupkov in the 200 breast, and Federica Pellegrini in the 200 free. Hosszu already has one gold medal to her name during these Championships, having previously won the 400 IM.

Additionally, Kliment Kolesnikov will be back in action in the men’s 100 backstroke fresh on the heels of his world record-breaking performance in the 50 backstroke.

Follow along here for a live recap and analysis of all the action.


  • European Record: 1:55.18 – László Cseh (HUN) 2008
  • European Championship Record: 1:56.66 – László Cseh (HUN) 200
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:59.67

Joe Litchfield established a 1:58.79 in heat 3 of the men’s 200 IM to lead the men’s prelims so far with only 2 more heats to go. That’s actually just shy of Litchfield’s best time in the event of 1:57.74 which he set just a few months ago at the 2021 British Olympic Trials. Italy’s Alberto Razzetti and Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez followed Litchfield in the heat, hitting times of 1:58.90 and 1:58.99.

Defending European Champ Jeremy Desplanches overtook Litchfield as the leader with a 1:58.10 during heat 3. Desplanches won the event back in 2018 with a 1:57.04 but has been as fast as a 1:56.56 before. Max Litchfield and Hubert Kos also got into the wall with 1:58s that were quicker than Joe Litchfield in the 3rd heat, keeping them in consideration to move on.

Unlike heats 3 and 4 where 2 men got under 1:59, the 5th and final heat only saw 2 men under the mark as Duncan Scott and Laszlo Cseh went head to head. Ultimately Duncan Scott pulled out the heat win with a 1:58.14 which puts him at 2nd place in the prelims. Cseh hit a 1:58.46 for second place, trailing his own European record in the event of 1:55.18. Russia’s Andrei Zhilkin was also under 2 minutes to take 3rd in the final heat with a 1:58.46.


  • European Record: 2:04.27 – Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2009
  • European Championship Record: 2:04.79 – Mireia Belmonte (ESP) 2014
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:12.56

The very first heat of the women’s 200 fly went to Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova who managed to get under 2:10 with a 2:09.48, edging out British competitor Kenna MacInnes‘ 2:09.82.

The Hungarian duo of Boglarka Kapas and world record holder Katinka Hosszu posted the quickest 2 times of the heats, taking the respective 1st place finished in heats 2 and 3. Kapas started with a 2:07.61, beating out Laura Stevens of Great Britain’s 2:09.15 and Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato who was a 2:10.15.

400 IM victor from earlier on in the meet swam the second-fastest time of the morning with a 2:08.36 which was just over Kapas’ leading time of 2:08.61. Fellow Hungarian Zsuzanna Jakabos made it a Hungarian top 3 with her 2:09.35. 3rd place in the final heat went to Denmark’s Helena Rosendahl Bach in a 2:09.42.


  • European Record: 52.11 – Camille Lacourt (FRA) 2010
  • European Championship Record: 52.11 – Camille Lacourt (FRA) 2010
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 53.85

A solid race broke out during the 3rd of heat of the men’s 100 backstroke as 4 men were separated by only 0.42 seconds. Viktar Staselovich opened things up with a 54.55 from Belarus to take first place in the heat, followed by Joao Nogueira Costa from Portugal, while Thierry Bollin of Switzerland and Nicolas Garcia Saiz were 54.86 and 54.97, respectively.

Italy’s Thomas Ceccon was the first man of the session to crack 54, hitting a 53.43 to win heat 4 of the 100 backstroke. Ceccon has been quicker than this season, having posted a 52.84 PB back in December 2020. France’s Mewen Tomac was second in the heat with a 53.46 which will also be good enough to move on to the semi-finals. The Hungarian duo of Richard Bohus and Benedek Kovac went 3-4 in heat 3 with respective times of 54.17 and 54.29.

One day after his world record-breaking 50 backstroke swim, Kliment Kolesnikov rocketed to a 52.32 in the 100 backstroke, threatening the European and championship record of 52.11 set by France’s Camille Lacourt back in 2010. He also neared the Russian record of 52.12 held by Evgeny Rylov from earlier this year.

In the final heat, Russian record holder Rylov couldn’t quite match Kolesnikov’s speed and instead posted a 53.37. Trailing his own NR, that swim will easily be enough for Rylov to advance to the semi-finals. Greece’s Apostolos Christou will also advance, hitting a 53.47 to take second place in heat 6. That swim for Christou gets him close to his own PB of 53.23 from back in 2020 as well as the 2009 Greek record of 53.03 held by Aristeidis Grigoriadis.

In between Kolesnikov and Rylov’s 1st and 5th place prelim swims, Yohann Ndoye Brouard managed a 53.24 for second seed while 50 backstroke silver and bronze medalists Robert Glinta and Hugo Gonzalez took 3rd and 4th in a 53.26 and 53.37, respectively.


Towards the halfway point of the heats, Africa Zamorano Sanz leads the way for Spain with her 2:00.81 during heat 4. That was enough to beat out Silke Holkenborg‘s 2:01.12 for the Netherlands and Monique Olivier‘s for 2:01.28 for Luxembourg but may not be enough to advance as a number of swimmers will follow with sub-2:00s.

Charlotte Bonnet came into heat 5 for France with a 1:58.33 to take over the lead with only 2 more heats to go. That was a solid prelim swim for Bonnet but was a little bit over her 2018 European Championships gold medal-winning swim of 1:54.95. Connet will safely advance to the semis with that swim and will be gunning for a repeat Euros title. Italy’s Stefania Pirozzi was the only other woman in heat 5 to crack 2 minutes, swimming a 1:59.87 for second.

Great Britain’s Freya Anderson came into heat 6 looking to overtake Bonnet’s leading morning swim but wound up just shy with a 1:58.30. Like Bonnet, that’s a bit over her own PB, having posted a 1:56.06 in 2020. Anderson will advance to the semi-finals and will be hoping to unseat reigning champion, Bonnet. Belgium’s Valentine Dumont and Great Britain’s Lucy Hope also got under 2 minutes here, swimming a 1:59.09 and 1:59.67, respectively.

Czech record holder Barbora Seemanova won the final heat of the 200 freestyle prelims, notching a 1:58.25 to get within 2 seconds of her 1:56.96 national record from November 2020. That heat-winning swim required Seemanova to out-race world record holder Federica Pellegrini who was second in the heat with a 1:58.48 which is a decent amount over her 2009 world record of 1:52.98. Andi Murez and Janja Segel also got under 1:59 with their swims of 1:58.84 for Israel and 1:58.95 for Slovakia.


  • 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

Great Britain’s 2 2021 Olympic qualifiers in the men’s 200 breaststroke swam during heat 3 of the event and were the first men of the session to crack 2:10. Ross Murdoch won the heat with a 2:09.60 while James Wilby established a 2:09.96 for second place. Both of them were a bit faster at the recent British Olympic Trials earlier this year where Wilby won the event with a 2:08.06 while Murdoch was a 2:08.98. Russia’s Aleksandr Zhigalov followed here with a 2:10.07 for third in the heat.

During the 4th heat of the men’s 200 breast, Arno Kamminga brought the field down to a 2:07.39. That’s a solid prelim swim for Kamminga but wasn’t quite as fast as his 2:06.85 from December 2020 which gave him a new national record for the Netherlands. Finnish swimmer Matti Mattsson and Russia’s Kirill Prigoda both managed to outswim the British duo from the heat before, hitting respective swims of 2:08.43 for 2nd and 2:09.21 for third.

Upon the conclusion of the 5th and final heat, Kamminga and Mattsson remain the other swimmers under 2:09 and world record holder Anton Chupkov posted a 2:09.44 to win the heat. That will be enough for Chupkov to move on to the next round of racing but was just under 3 seconds slower than his 2:06.12 world record from 2019. Chupkov took gold in the event back at the 2018 European Championships with a 2:06.80. Lithuania’s Andrius Sidlauskas was a 2:09.74 and Erik Persson a 2:09.77 for Sweden to round out the top 3 in the heat.


  • European Record: Russia – 6:59.15 (2009)
  • European Championship Record: Great Britain – 7:05.32 (2018)

Great Britain and Russia have set up a solid race for the finals of the 4×200 freestyle relay, finishing just a second apart from each other in the heats. The British contingent of Max Litchfield, Calum Jarvis, Matt Richards, and James Guy delivered 7:08.58 to advance as top seed, trailing their 2018 Championship record of 7:05.32 by just a few seconds.

Russia notched a 7:09.68 for second place in the prelims, also trailing their 2018 swim of 7:06.66 which was good enough for silver. Russia currently holds the European record in the event which was set at a 6:59.15 back in 2009.

Italy and France were 3rd and 4th during the prelims session with swims of 2:10.26 and 7:10.44. At the 2018 Championships, Italy earned a bronze medal while France was silver.

Rounding the top 8 teams that will advance to the men’s 4×200 freestyle finals, Switzerland was a 7:11.15, Ireland a 7:12.73, while Spain hit a 7:13.08 for 7th and Belgium rounded out the finalists with a 7:13.79.

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4 months ago

Old man Cseh still in the thick of things 4th in 1:58.46

Reply to  ooo
4 months ago

Yes, great Laszlo and, in a certain way, in these heats were reminded also the other two legends of the 200 IM: Phelps through the arms slapping before the start of the youngster Kos, and Lochte through the visible slow-down in the final 20 metres of the freestyle leg of Desplanches (the most impressive of these heats, too easy predicting that he’ll improve his PB in the next rounds).

Last edited 4 months ago by nuotofan
Thomas Selig
4 months ago

smooooooth looking freestyle leg from M. Litchfield. Knocks about 3 tenths off his entry time, and knocks his brother out of the semis, courtesy of the 2-per-nation rule.

Scott with a slightly dozy-looking morning swim there, but got the job done.

McFadzen had a decent swim too, 1:59.34, and actually leading at the 150 mark before fading a bit on free. 10th fastest in the heats, but only the 4th Brit…

Thomas Selig
4 months ago

Commentator has generally been doing a great job at pronouncing names, and I know he’s not a native English speaker, but pronouncing MacInnes as “Massins” is quite amusing.

Reply to  Thomas Selig
4 months ago

Thomas, if the name is from some region it has Gaelic …let´s say nothing you know about pronouce will match.Some names like Siobhan(shavonne) and Saoirse(searsha) give me the creeps.

Corn Pop
Reply to  DDias
4 months ago

Equally nothing worse than your gaelic name becoming popular in the US . The spelling , the pronunciation …. Aaaaarghhh!

Deep water
4 months ago

Are the Canadian men no longer able to qualify their 2 relays for Tokyo? Asking because their trails have been pushed back to June and it looks like the relay qualification period is cut off May 31st. They currently sit outside of the wildcard spots.

Reply to  Deep water
4 months ago

Would be a shame for the Canadian swimmers to miss out and have to wait another 4 years.

Last edited 4 months ago by Drake
Deep water
Reply to  Drake
4 months ago

Agreed. Somehow, I really hope they get an opportunity to try and qualify. Although I’m not sure this is possible.. 🙁

Reply to  Deep water
4 months ago

They still sit in the 4th wildcard spot for the 4×1 free

Reply to  Iain
4 months ago

Probably in on 4×100 free.. On 4×200 out by far now, NZL also is out

4 months ago

Zsu Jakabos 4th of the prelims and out. Tough to be a Hungarian flyer or 4IMer

Thomas Selig
4 months ago

A bit of a ropey swim from Thomas there. She was massively long on her 150 turn, and whether that took a lot of momentum away or she was struggling anyway, that last 50 looked painful. Decent from Stephens and MacInnes though: hope one of them can push towards the CT later on.

4 months ago

Hungarians and 200 Fly, name a better duo.

Reply to  Jackman
4 months ago

Hungarians and 400 i.m.

Oh wait..
You can find the same names LOL

Reply to  Ell.eff
4 months ago

And 200 Breast?

Might as well call this the Hungarian lineup at college conference meets

tea rex
Reply to  Jackman
4 months ago

Japanese and 200 Breast?

4 months ago

Casual 52.32 from Kolesnikov.