2021 European Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Day 5 finals from the 2021 European Championships will feature six finals and four sets of semi-finals, led off by the women’s 1500 freestyle.

Italian Simona Quadarella is the odds-on favorite to win the women’s mile and defend her title as the reigning world champion, having already won gold in the 800 free.

Kathleen Dawson and Kira Toussaint are set up for an epic battle in the women’s 100 backstroke, as Toussaint tied the European Championship Record of 58.73 in the first semi-final on Wednesday evening before Dawson lowered it in 58.44 from the second heat.

Andrii Govorov has a shot to three-peat in the men’s 50 fly, Great Britain appears to be in line for a potential 1-2 in the women’s 200 breaststroke with Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood, and the men’s 200 free promises to be an exciting battle with no shortage of gold medal contenders.

Among those in the hunt in the men’s 200 free will be Brits Duncan Scott and Tom Dean, who have both been 1:44 this year, top seed and 400 free winner Martin Malyutin, and another swimmer who has dipped into the 1:44s before, Danas Rapsys. In 2018, Scott won the gold medal with Rapsys earning silver.

Malyutin led off Russia’s victorious 800 free relay earlier in the meet in a PB of 1:45.15, making him the man to beat tonight.

Federica Pellegrini led the Italian women to the top seed this morning in the 800 free relay, though the defending champion Brits are the likely favorites with a strong lineup consisting of Lucy HopeTamryn Van SelmHolly Hibbott and Freya Anderson. The coaches opted to leave off Wood, who swam a best time of 1:57.48 in April, as she already has a daunting double for the session with the 200 IM semis shortly after that 200 breast final.

The swim of this morning’s prelim session came in the men’s 200 back, where Luke Greenbank threw down a new British Record of 1:54.67 to annihilate his previous mark of 1:55.34 and rank third in the world this season. Greenbank heads into the semi-finals ranked first, followed by defending champion and European Record holder Evgeny Rylov (1:55.74).

Women’s 1500 Free Final

  • European Record: 15:38.88, Lotte Friis (DEN), 2013
  • European Championship Record: 15:50.52, Boglarka Kapas (HUN), 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 16:32.04
  1. Simona Quadarella (ITA), 15:53.59
  2. Anastasia Kirpichnikova (RUS), 16:01.06
  3. Martina Caramignoli (ITA), 16:05.81

Reigning world champion Simona Quadarella successfully defends her European title in the women’s 1500 free in dominant fashion, opening up an early lead and soaring to victory in a time of 15:53.59. The swim marks Quadarella’s fifth-fastest ever, and improves her season-best of 15:57.03.

Out in Lanes 1 and 2, Italy’s Martina Caramignoli and Russia’s Anastasia Kirpichnikova were locked in a battle for the minor medals, with Kirpichnikova slowly pulling away over the latter half of the race to touch second in 15:XX. Kirpichnikova’s silver marks Russia’s first medal in this event at the European Championships, having only been contested since 2008.

Caramignoli wins bronze for the second time in this event in 16:05.81, having also done so back in 2014. 2018 bronze medalist Ajna Kesely of Hungary took fourth in 16:10.50. Though it is well off her PB of 15:54.48, it still marks Kesely’s fastest swim since the 2019 World Championships.


  1. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), 23.00
  2. Andrii Govorov (UKR), 23.01
  3. Andrey Zhilkin (RUS), 23.08

As expected it was a razor-thin final in the men’s 50 fly, with just 18 one hundredths of a second separating the top six swimmers.

Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo executed the finish better than anyone to get his hands on the wall first, edging two-time defending champion Andrii Govorov by .01 in 23.00. Szabo holds the Hungarian Record at 22.90.

Despite losing the title, Govorov wins a medal for the fourth straight Championships with the silver, while Russia’s Andrey Zhilkin snagged the bronze in 23.08 over Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (23.09), Dutchman Nyls Korstanje (23.14) and Russian teammate Andrei Minakov (23.18).


  1. Kathleen Dawson (GBR), 58.18
  2. Kira Toussaint (NED), 59.02
  3. Maria Kameneva (RUS), 59.13

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

UPDATE: The women’s 100 backstroke final result has been cancelled due to a failure of the timing system. The final will be re-contested tonight.

Men’s 200 Back Semi-Finals

  • European Record: 1:53.23, Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 2021
  • European Championship Record: 1:53.36, Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 2018
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:57.50
  1. Luke Greenbank (GBR), 1:54.43
  2. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 1:55.11
  3. Adam Telegdy (HUN), 1:56.17
  4. Roman Mityukov (SUI), 1:56.37
  5. Antoine Herlem (FRA), 1:56.63
  6. Yohann Ndoye Brouard (FRA), 1:57.06
  7. Jakub Skierka (POL), 1:57.08
  8. Radoslaw Kawecki (POL), 1:57.10

Defending champion Evgeny Rylov rolled to victory in the first semi-final of the men’s 200 back, improving his prelim swim by over half a second in 1:55.11. Rylov leads the world rankings after setting a European Record of 1:53.23 at the Russian Olympic Trials in early April.

Taking second to Rylov in the first heat was Switzerland’s breakout star Roman Mityukov, who lowered his Swiss National Record by over a second in 1:56.37. Mityukov held the previous record at 1:57.39, set in January.

In the second semi it was all Luke Greenbank, who follows up his British Record of 1:54.67 from the prelims in a blazing 1:54.43, narrowly missing the world’s #2 time this season (1:54.38, Mitch Larkin).

Hungarian Adam Telegdy took second in the heat in 1:56.17, giving him a new personal best time and the third seed for the final.

Frenchmen Antoine Herlem (1:56.63) and Yohann Ndoye Brouard (1:57.06) qualified fifth and sixth, both within striking distance of France’s National Record of 1:56.10. Herlem was also just off of his personal best (1:56.42) set in the heats.

Poland’s Jakub Skierka set a new best time to qualify seventh in 1:57.08, and his countryman, three-time winner Radoslaw Kawecki (2012, 2014, 2016) eked into the final in eighth.

Women’s 100 Free Semi-Finals

  • European Record: 51.71, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  • European Championship Record: 52.67, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2014
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 54.38
  1. Marie Wattel (FRA), 53.34
  2. Femke Heemskerk (NED), 53.49
  3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 53.59
  4. Barbora Seemanova (CZE), 53.68
  5. Signe Bro (DEN), 53.70
  6. Anna Hopkin (GBR), 53.74
  7. Freya Anderson (GBR), 53.93
  8. Michelle Coleman (SWE), 54.12

Marie Wattel charged home to overtake Anna Hopkin and touch first in the opening semi-final of the women’s 100 freestyle, clocking 53.34 to finish two one hundredths outside of her personal best time set in March.

Hopkin, who was 53.49 last month at the British Trials, touched second in 53.74, and her teammate Freya Anderson closed strong for third in 53.93.

The second semi proved to be faster as a whole, with the second through fifth-fastest swimmers racing in that heat.

The Dutch duo of Femke Heemskerk (53.49) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (53.59) went 1-2 to comfortably qualify second and third overall, while 200 free winner Barbora Seemanova took a full half second off her Czech Record for fourth in 53.68. Denmark’s Signe Bro also hit a new best time for fifth in 53.70.

Men’s 50 Breast Semi-Finals

  • European Record: 25.95, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2017
  • European Championship Record: 26.09, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2018
  1. Adam Peaty (GBR), 26.38
  2. Ilya Shymanovich (BLR), 26.47
  3. Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA), 26.49
  4. Jan Kozakiewicz (POL), 27.09
  5. Alessandro Pinzuti (ITA), 27.11
  6. Arno Kamminga (NED), 27.13
  7. Lucas Matzerath (GER), 27.14
  8. Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 27.16

Nicolo Martinenghi dominated the first semi of the men’s 50 breast in 26.49, winning the heat by six tenths while finishing just a tenth outside of his Italian National Record.

Jan Kozakiewicz, who set the Polish Record in the prelims at 26.82, touched second in 27.09, edging Alessandro Pinzuti (27.11) and Arno Kamminga (27.13). Kamminga went 26.80 just last month, while Pinzuti lowers his three-year-old best time of 27.17, set at the 2018 Championships where he went on to finish ninth.

Adam Peaty claimed the top seed for tomorrow’s final in the next heat, clocking 26.38 to edge out rival Ilya Shymanovich (26.47). Peaty was slightly quicker, 26.34, in the prelims, which gave him the world #1 ranking over Martinenghi’s 26.39 from the Italian Nationals. Shymanovich finishes .01 off his best time and Belarusian Record set one month ago.

On Saturday, Peaty will look to win a fourth straight title in this event, which would match the record set by Ukrainian Oleg Lisogor, who won four in a row from 2002-2008.


  • European Record: 2:19.11, Rikke Moeller Pedersen (DEN), 2013 – WR
  • European Championship Record: 2:19.84, Rikke Moeller Pedersen (DEN), 2014
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:25.52
  1. Molly Renshaw (GBR), 2:21.34
  2. Lisa Mamie (SUI), 2:22.05
  3. Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 2:22.16.

British star Molly Renshaw took control of the women’s 200 breaststroke final on the second 50, opening up an eight tenths of a second lead on the field to ultimately earn the victory by a similar margin in 2:21.34.

Renshaw, 25, now has a full set of medals in this event at the European Championships, having won silver in 2014 and bronze in 2018. She owns a best time of 2:20.89, the British Record, set in April.

In an incredibly tight battle for silver, Switzerland’s Lisa Mamie had yet another massive drop to claim second in a National Record time of 2:22.05, lowering her mark of 2:23.15 set in the semis. Mamie edged out defending champion Yuliya Efimova (2:22.16), who held off her 16-year-old Russian teammate Evgeniia Chikunova (2:22.17) by a mere hundredth. Mamie’s medal marks Switzerland’s first-ever in this event.

Abbie Wood, who had hit a 2:21.86 in the semis, fell to fifth in 2:22.78. Spain’s Jessica Vall‘s streak of three straight medals (bronze in 2014, silvers in 2016 and 2018), ends after finishing eighth in 2:25.84.


  • European Record: 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (GER), 2009 – WR
  • European Championship Record: 1:44.89, Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED), 2002
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:47.02
  1. Martin Malyutin (RUS), 1:44.79
  2. Duncan Scott (GBR), 1:45.19
  3. Tom Dean (GBR), 1:45.34

Martin Malyutin continues to be everyone’s nightmare on the final 50 of a race, closing in a scorching 26.27 to overtake Brits Duncan Scott and Tom Dean and win the men’s 200 free in a new Championship Record time of 1:44.79.

Malyutin’s swim lowers the previous CR of 1:44.89 set by Dutch legend Pieter van den Hoogenband back in 2002. Malyutin entered the meet with a best of 1:45.18, and then lowered it to 1:45.15 leading off Russia’s 800 free relay. The 21-year-old moves up one spot to fourth in the 2020-21 world rankings, and also gives Russia their first-ever gold medal in this event.

Scott, the defending champion, was the only swimmer to keep all four 50s sub-27, taking over the lead with a 26.98 third lap before closing strong in 26.83 for a time of 1:45.19, incredibly impressive given that it seems clear he hasn’t tapered much this week. Dean was relatively even with Scott for the second half of the race, winning the bronze medal in 1:45.34.

Scott and Dean hold the #1 and #2 spots in the world rankings this season after going 1:44.47 and 1:44.58, respectively, at the British Olympic Trials in April.

Lithuanian Danas Rapsys came on like a train down the stretch, closing in 26.06, making up over a second on early leader Kristof Milak to snag fourth in 1:45.72. Milak, who opened up in a blazing 23.96, goes sub-1:46 for the first time in 1:45.74, taking fifth. Milak’s sub-24 first 50 from out in Lane 1 may have reminded fans of the strategy employed by Chad Le Clos in the 2016 Olympic final (from the same lane), where he went on to win the silver medal.

Women’s 200 IM Semi-Finals

  • European Record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015
  • European Championship Record: 2:07.30, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2016
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:12.56
  1. Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR), 2:10.35
  2. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:10.66
  3. Ilaria Cusinato (ITA), 2:10.72
  4. Maria Ugolkova (SUI), 2:10.76
  5. Abbie Wood (GBR), 2:10.81
  6. Sara Franceschi (ITA), 2:11.41
  7. Cyrielle Duhamel (FRA), 2:12.12
  8. Dalma Sebestyen (FRA), 2:12.34

Five-time defending champion Katinka Hosszu comfortably topped the first semi of the women’s 200 IM in 2:10.66, improving her season-best of 2:11.47.

The second semi was significantly faster as a whole, producing five of the six-fastest qualifiers.

Anastasia Gorbenko turned fourth at the 150 and then soared home on the freestyle in 30.99, smashing her Israeli Record in 2:10.35 to qualify first for the final.

Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato and Switzerland’s Maria Ugolkova, the 2018 silver and bronze medalists, were second and third in the heat and 3-4 overall, both narrowly missing their respective National Records.

Great Britain’s Abbie Wood had a very impressive showing of 2:10.81 coming off of the 200 breast final, advancing easily to the final in fifth.

Women’s 4×200 Free Relay Final

  • European Record: 7:45.51, Great Britain, 2009
  • European Championship Record: 7:50.53, Italy, 2014
  1. Great Britain, 7:53.15
  2. Hungary, 7:56.26
  3. Italy, 7:56.72

The British women cruised to a second straight title in the 800 freestyle relay, with Lucy Hope (1:58.45), Tamryn Van Selm (1:58.59), Holly Hibbott (1:59.71) and Freya Anderson (1:56.40) combining for a final time of 7:53.15. Hibbott and Anderson swam in the same positions on the winning relay in 2018.

The fight for silver came down to Hungary and Italy, with Hungarian Laura Veres (1:59.23) handing off a 1.4 second lead to Boglarka Kapas, who would be facing Federica Pellegrini on the anchor leg.

Pellegrini managed a 1:56.54 split, second in the field to Anderson, but could not run down Kapas, who had a strong 1:57.50 of her own to give the Hungarians silver in 7:56.26 – their fourth medal over the last five championships. The Italians, who hadn’t medalled since winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2014, win bronze in 7:56.72.

France was a distant fourth in 7:59.45, with Charlotte Bonnet a bright spot with the fastest lead-off in the field at 1:57.31.

Anastasia Gorbenko deserves a mention for anchoring Israel home just minutes after setting a National Record in the 200 IM semis.

UPDATE: The women’s 100 backstroke final result has been cancelled due to a failure of the timing system. The final will be re-contested at 8:45 local time (2:45 ET). The times swum in the original final won’t count officially. Word is that lanes 7 and 8, Maaike De Waard and Louise Hansson, couldn’t hear the start.


  1. Kathleen Dawson (GBR), 58.49
  2. Margherita Panziera (ITA), 59.01
  3. Maria Kameneva (RUS), 59.22

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.

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3 years ago

It seems over the top to cancel the results of a race because of a malfunction in one of the lanes. By all means swim the race again and take each swimmer’s best time over the two races to determine the placings.

3 years ago

So will Dawson keep her PB of 58.18 or is it scrapped, just like the Championship Record?

Reply to  sepgup
3 years ago

I believe if the results are voided they can’t be used for PB purposes.

Last edited 3 years ago by Dee
Reply to  sepgup
3 years ago

It’s scrapped.

3 years ago

Holy cow Van Den Hoogenband’s 200 Free record was almost 20 years old and it was BARELY broken.

If you think about it…we really haven’t gotten that much faster. What a GOAT. That’s crazy to me.

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 years ago

Thorpe’s 200m and 400m textile swims would still win the 2021 Olympics 20 years on LOL

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 years ago

Swimguy12345: In the meantime, think of Perkins going 14:41 in the 1500 & 3:43 in the 400 in a brief over a quarter of a century ago. Both will get him well into the finals in Tokyo.

3 years ago

I don’t expect the American men to medal in the 200-400-800-1500 meter freestyle events in Tokyo.

3 years ago

Toussaint is really getting hit by the bad luck isn’t she? First that false positive doping test that meant she had to drop out of a major tournament while in amazing shape, and now this… Hope it will pay her back dividends in a positive way during the Olympics

Sam B
3 years ago

Bogi held off Pellegrini -IN THE 200 FREE!!!!

Joris Bohnson
3 years ago

You know what, I’m about to say it: it will take at least 1:43 to win gold in the 200 free in tokyo

Reply to  Joris Bohnson
3 years ago

hum… Olympics finals are always slower… especially 200m . It will be a strategy race!

Last edited 3 years ago by seetheworldswim
Mr Piano, what do you think?
3 years ago

Imagine if Michael Andrew was in the same position to repeat the 200 IM.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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