2022 European Championships: Day 1 Finals Preview


It’s been a busy summer, but we hope you’re not sick of swimming yet because the first night of the 2022 European Championships. We’re easing into the meet this first finals session with only one individual event final: the men’s 400 IM. It’s sandwiched in between four semifinals, and wrapping up the session are both the women’s and men’s 4s200 freestyle relay.

Full Day 1 Finals Schedule

  • Men’s 50 Fly Semifinals
  • Women’s 100 Free Semifinals
  • Men’s 400 IM Final
  • Women’s 200 Back Semifinals
  • Men’s 100 Breast Semifinals
  • Women’s 4×200 Free Relay Final
  • Men’s 4×200 Free Relay Final

Finals Scratch Report

Women’s 100 Free Semifinals

Men’s 400 IM

Our lone individual final of the session is the men’s 400 IM. David Verraszto held onto his top seed, touching in 4:15.52 to secure the middle lane for the final. That was a strong morning swim from the veteran, who led his heat from the start. The 33-year-old is a three-time European champion in this event and has set himself up well to claim the title for a fourth-time.

Challenging him will be Italy’s Alberto Razzetti, who earned silver at last year’s championships and will be eager to upgrade to gold. He qualified in third with a 4:17.21. He’s been as fast as 4:13.72 this season, so expect him to shed time and push Verraszto.

Joan Lluis Pons Ramon should also be in the middle of the action. He had a strong middle 200 in prelims, so look for him to push the pace through that part of the race. Hubert Kos should be more of a factor in the 200 IM, though it’s possible he could make things interesting here. He set a lifetime best 4:13.50 in April this season, and though he was off that at Worlds, if he can get back down to it he could end up grabbing a spot on the podium.

Women’s 4×200 Free Relay

Nikoletta Padar
courtesy of LEN/Simone Castrovillari

Only eight teams ended up competing in the heats of the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay this morning, and all advanced safely through to the final.

Hungary posted the fastest time of the morning, 8:01.05. They have 16-year-old rising star Nikoletta Padar waiting to join them in the final. She did scratch her 100 free semifinal, so as long as nothing’s wrong, she’ll be a strong left for this Hungarian relay team. At Worlds, they were the highest finishing European team in 7:57.90, and should be back under the eight minute mark in finals.

The Brits were our pick to win gold in this event, but they put together an unremarkable prelims swim, making it through to the final in seventh. Like the Hungarians, they have substitutions to make that will make them faster in the final, including adding Freya Anderson. But with the Hungarians and the Dutch (who are sitting only a tenth back of the top seed) swimming well, it looks like we’re set for a much closer race than last year’s Championships, where the Brits won by three seconds.

Men’s 4×200 Free Relay

One of the biggest shocks of the morning was that Great Britain, the perennial gold medal favorites in this event, barely squeaked into the final, touching only two-tenths ahead of ninth place Bulgaria. We know that they’re capable of being much faster, and bringing Tom Dean and Matt Richardstwo of the usual relays legs, should help. However, They were nine and a half seconds back of the top qualifying Italy this morning, so they have a lot of ground to make up and they’ll be doing it from an outside lane.

This morning also promised a exciting race between Italy and France. This morning, France took the lead in their heat after the second leg, but Italy closed the gap over the back half of the race, thanks to Gabriele Detti and Lorenzo Galossi. If Great Britain can’t rebound from this morning, the race for the gold looks like it’ll be between those two teams in the middle of the pool.

Semifinals Quick Hits

  • Nyls Korstanje roared to a new Dutch record in the men’s 50 fly. One of three men to set national records in prelims, he touched in 22.90 for his first time under 23 seconds and the top time of the morning. With Maxime Grousset and Thomas Ceccon lurking behind him, these semis should be a great look at tomorrow night’s final.
  • The lone woman under 54 seconds in the 100 free this morning, Charlotte Bonnet looked in control of this event. She has the fastest lifetime best in the field (52.74, done in 2018) and shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting through to the final. Marrit Steenbergen is capable of pushing her though. Watch to see if Freya Anderson has more in the tank for tonight, or if she’ll cruise through and focus on the 4×200 freestyle relay.
  • The favorite coming into the women’s 200 back Margherita Panziera qualified first for the semifinal in 2:09.27. She set the Italian record last year at 2:06.08 and swam a smooth race this morning, so should be faster tonight. Hungary’s Dora Molnar had a good swim this morning too, hitting 2:09.53 thanks to a quick first 100–watch for her to take the race out again in the first semi.
  • The big threats for the gold medal, Nicolo Martinenghi and Arno Kamminga qualified first and second this morning, respectively. They’ll trade shots across the semis in this session, but don’t expect them to show all their cards until the final. Federico Poggio and Valentin Bayer were the other two men under a minute in the heats, look for them to try to hold off a surging field for a spot in the final.

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About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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