2021 European Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Day 4 of the European Championships is underway and there is no shortage of quick swimming insight. We’ll get things started with the men’s 200 freestyle where defending champion Duncan Scott will look to set himself up to overtake current top seed Danas Rapsys.

Rapsys, Scott, and third seed Tom Dean will lead the final 3 heats of the prelims and each of them has an entry time quicker than the current championship record of 1:44.89 from 2002 set by Pieter van den Hoodenband.

Both Yuliya Efimova and Andriy Govorov will also be racing this morning as top seeds and defending champs in the women’s 200 breast and men’s 50 fly, respectively.

Another exciting race will come in the form of the women’s 100 backstroke. Looking to catch world-leaders Regan Smith of the USA and Kaylee McKeown of Australia, Great Britain’s Kathleen Dawson, and the Netherlands’ Kira Toussaint are entered with a 58.24 and 58.65 and will certainly be gunning for gold while potentially nearing the European record of 58.12.


  • European Record: 1:42.00 – Paul Biedermann (GER) 2009
  • European Championships Record: 1:44.89 – Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED) 2002
  • 2018 European Champion: Duncan Scott (GBR) – 1:45.34

As of the third heat mark, Denmark’s Andreas Hansen lead the men’s 200 freestyle pack with a 1:48.99 which he used to win heat 3. With 5 heats to go, it will be unlikely that that’s enough for Hansen to move on to semis.

With only 3 heats left to go, Romania’s David Popvivi has slid into the leading position, hitting a 1:48.38. Macedonia’s Alexei Sancov followed with a 1:48.48.42 while Enzo Tesic (1:48.47) from France and Denis Loktex (1:48.97) from Israel also got under the 1:49 mark.

Tom Dean pulled out the win in the 5th heat of the 200 freestyle and has likely secured qualification to the semi-finals by bringing it down to a 1:46.88. That’s just a bit over his PB and entry time of 1:44.58 which he swam in April. Italy’s Filippo Megli and Marco De Tullio followed Dean with their respective swims of 1:47.35 and 1:48.05.

Reigning champion in the event and current 200 freestyle British record-holder Duncan Scott wasn’t quite able to take the win in the 7th heat, adding on to his 2nd seeded entry time of 1:44.47 with a 1:47.45 for 4th in the heat. Instead, Kristof Milak for Hungary established the fastest time of 1:47.27 which won the heat but still trailed Dean’s leading time of 1:46.88 from the last heat. Swiss swimmer Antonio Djakovic was a 1:47.28 for second place in the heat while Jordan Pothain was a 1:47.44 for France.


  • European Record: 2:19.11- Rikke Moeller Pedersen (DEN) 2013
  • European Championships Record: 2:19.84 – Rikke Moeller Pedersen (DEN) 2014
  • 2018 European Champion: Yuliya Yefimova (RUS) – 2:21.32

The first 2 heats went to Slovakia’s Andrea Podmanikova with a 2:27.77 and Kotryna Teterevkova of Lithuania with a 2:27.06.

Lisa Mamie from Switzerland lead the 3rd heat at the 150-meter of heat 3 mark by a full second but Russia junior Evgeniia Chikunova made a successful bid on the last lap to overtake the lead. Chikunova came in with a 2:23.92, easily earning a spot in the semi-final. Mamie had a solid swim as well, notching a 2:24.47 for silver. Behind the leading duo, Jessica Vall and Martina Carraro delivered a 2:25.17 and 2:25.36 which will likely also be enough to advance to the next round.

Chikunova retained her lead as of the 4th heat of racing as Molly Renshaw from Great Britain swam a 2:24.52. That’s a bit over the 2:20.89 British record that she set earlier this year at British Trials. That swim brings 2018 silver medalist Renshaw into 3rd so far. Russia’s Temnikova also dipped under 2:25 with a 2:24.95 for but Chikunova’s 2:23.92 and Yuliya Efimova‘s 2:24.75 from heat 5 will knock her out of the semi-finals as only 2 from each country can advance.

Following teammate Molly Renshaw‘s lead, Great Britain’s Abbie Wood swam to victory in the final heat with a 2:24.16 which moves her into the #2 spot from heats. 2018 champion Yuliya Efimova swam a 2:24.75 to take second place in the final heat, 2 second over her winning time from the last championships of 2:21.32. Marina Garcia from Spain was a 2:24.99 for third in the heat while this year’s 100 breast victor Sophie Hansson from Sweden was a 2:36.08 for fourth.


Andrei Minakov swam a 23.39 50 butterfly to take first place in heat 5 of 7 which will be enough to advance to the semi-finals. Following him, France’s Maxime Grousset hit a 23.41 while Thom De Boer was a 23.45 for the Netherlands.

The next heat got a bit faster in the men’s 50 fly as Szebasztian Szabo took things out in a 23.03 which gets him within 0.13 second of his own Hungarian record in the event of 22.90 from 2019. Russia’s Andrei Zhilkin was a bit quicker than countrymate Minakov with his 23.32 for second place in heat 6 while Konrad Czerniak, nearing his own 2015 Polish record of 23.07.

Szabo’s swim of 23.03 will be enough to let him move on as top seed in the event to semi-finals as no one managed to beat him from the 7th heat. Italian swimmer Thomas Ceccon and the Netherlands’ Nyls Korstanje got the closest, each hitting a 23.39 in the final heat. While they didn’t catch Szabo, they will both advance to the semi-final, tied for 3rd with Minakov. European and European Championships record holder and defending champion Andriy Govorov from Ukraine rounded out the top 3 in heat 7 with a 23.41 which will keep alive his shot at a repeat title in the event. In 2018 Govorov lowered the European record to a 22.27 while bringing the championships record to a 22.48 with his gold medal-winning swim in Glasgow.


  • European Record: 58.12 – Gemma Spofforth (GBR) 2009
  • European Championships Record: 58.73 – Mie Nielsen (DEN) – 2016
  • 2018 European Champion: Anastasia Fesikova (RUS) – 59.19

As third seed in the event, Margherita Panziera wasted no time during the prelims, posting the first sub-1:01 time of the morning with a 59.94. As the holder of one of 3 entry times under 59 seconds, Panziera will be looking to improve upon this prelim swim in the following rounds. Maaike de Waard was a 1:00.23 for the Netherlands which will likely be enough to advance, as will Anastasia Fesikova‘s 1:00.44 for Russia.

The second last heat saw two women crack a minute as Kira Toussaint notched a 59.57 for the Netherlands. Easily advancing to the semis, it will be exciting to see whether or not Toussaint will be able to beat top-seeded Kathleen Dawson in the subsequent rounds. Maria Kameneva also got under 1:00 with her swim of 59.74, earning a second swim for the Russian.

In the final heart, Kathleen Dawson did what she needed to retain her top seed heading into the semi. The British Olympian notched a 59.32 to trail her PB and entry time of 58.24 by just over a second. Anastasia Gorbenko of Israel swam a 59.96 for second in the heat, notching a new Israeli record. Gorbenko improves upon her own NR of 1:00.58 from the 2019 World Championships.

Mimosa Jallow of Finland in heat 5 and Spain’s Africa Zamorano Sanz in heat 6 tied with a 1:01.11, placing them both in the 16th spot. Assuming no scratches occur, that tie will necessitate a swim-off in order to determine who will advance to the semi-final.


  • European Record: 3:40.18 – Great Britain (2018)
  • European Championships Record: 3:40.18 – Great Britain (2018)
  • 2018 European Champion: Great Britain – 3:40.18 (2018)

Over the course of the 3 mixed 4×100 medley prelims, Great Britain had the fastest time, establishing a 3:43.30. Joe Litchfield got things started for them with a 53.92 backstroke leg while Adam Peaty hit a 57.63 in the breaststroke. Harriet Jones kept the momentum going, contributing a 58.66 butterfly leg and Anna Hopkin brought it all together in a 53.09 freestyle.

Russia’s Grigory Tarasevich swam a 53.43 to beat Litchfield’s opening swim but Danil Semyanovich couldn’t hold off Peaty, posting a 59.66 100 breaststroke. Svetlana Chimrova‘s 57.37 butterfly leg and Arina Surkova‘s 54.63 freestyle, however, were enough to give Russia a 3:45.09 for second-place in the heat and third overall in the prelims.

Italy was second overall as Simone Sabbioni opened things up for the team with a 54.25 backstroke split, followed by a solid breaststroke split from Nicolo Martinenghi at a 58.11. Elena do Liddo was next, notching a 57.89 butterfly leg while Silvia di Pietro rounded things out in the freestyle with a 53.84. That meant a 3:44.09 overall for the team, less than a second slower than Great Britain.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo (1:01.58), Arno Kamminga (58.31), Nyls Korstananje (52.52), and Femke Heemskerk (52.85) delivered a 3:45.26 for the Netherlands which lets them advance to the final in fourth place.


  • European Record: 15:38.88 – Lotte Friis (DEN) 2013
  • European Championships Record: 15:50.22 – Boglarka Kapas (HUN) 2016
  • 2018 European Champion: Simona Quadrella (ITA) – 15:51.61

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5 months ago

first. HAHA

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
5 months ago

This made me laugh for no reason. Thank you

5 months ago

Milak with that straight arm 200 Free

5 months ago

Guy scratched the 200 free.

Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Guy has a weird over rotation in his stroke when he breathes to the left

Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Watch the relays, when Jimmy guys stroke is flowing on the 3rd 50 it looks class!
Scratched the heats this morning due to already swimming 4 flat out 200 frees already this meet 😂

Sapnu puas
5 months ago

Suddenly Richards’ split looks more impressive yesterday

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Sapnu puas
5 months ago

This looks like a Haas level taper.

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Sapnu puas
5 months ago

Yeah that looked very leggy from him this morning. The GB 100-200 swimmers have been doing a lot of swimming so far this meet, so understandable.

Reply to  Sapnu puas
5 months ago

He’s like Cal Jarvis, loves a taper, struggles to break 1.50 in season then looks transformed come the big day.

5 months ago


5 months ago

Bruh, Russians have it hard. They need to do awesome times right in prelims because of the 2 men rule. If you slow a bit you re out! Brutal!

5 months ago

Swimming competitions really shouldn’t have semifinals for 200 meter races. We would see massive time drops in those events if semifinals were abolished.

Thomas Selig
5 months ago

GB mixed medley lining up with J. Litchfield, Peaty, West, Hopkin. Wilby and Murdoch have the 200 breast final tonight, and have swum more than Peaty so far, so presumably that’s why he’s in. Dawson, Guy and Anderson presumably to come in for the final.

Sapnu puas
Reply to  Thomas Selig
5 months ago

Women’s 200 free final only 20mins before though…wonder if they’ll keep Hopkin for the final?

Reply to  Thomas Selig
5 months ago

You mean Jones

Reply to  5wimmer
5 months ago

No, he means Hopkin

Reply to  Thomas Selig
5 months ago

Shame to never see D Scott in the GB mixed relays. Schedule I’m sure .

Reply to  KatyJ
5 months ago

It has more to do with maths than the schedule. The time differences between male and female backstrokers and breasstrokers are larger so these legs tend to be swum by men leaving the fly and free for women.

Last edited 5 months ago by Troyy