2023 European Short Course Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2023 EUROPEAN SHORT COURSE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The second evening of the 2023 European Short Course Swimming Championships is about to start. This year’s edition, held in Bucharest, Romania, has already seen its fair share of new national and championship records, and tonight looks likely to follow the same course.

Tonight will the finals of the Women’s 50 freestyle, Men’s 50 backstroke, Women’s 100 breaststroke, Men’s 100 butterfly, Women’s 800 freestyle, and Men’s 4×50 medley relay. After having swam prelims this morning, the top 16 in the Men’s 50 free, Women’s 200 butterfly, Men’s 100 breaststroke, Women’s 200 backstroke, and Women’s 100 IM, would look to improve upon their times and advance out of tonight’s semifinals.

The Women’s 50 free saw four swimmers hit marks under 24 in the semifinals, with Frenchwoman Beryl Gastaldello leading the way with her time of 23.77. Right behind her by just .01 is the Swedish veteran Michelle Coleman. Slotting into the two lanes around are leaders are Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin and Denmark’s Julie Kepp Jensen.

The Men’s 50 back also sees France represented in lane 4, as Mewen Tomac will look to defend his top swim from the semis (22.91) against the likes of Ole Braunschweig and Thierry Bollin. Lorenzo Mora, Shane Ryan, and Apostolos Christou are lurking further back in the field but still dangerous.

While the 50s are expected to bring fast and tight races, the Women’s 100 breaststroke will certainly be a must-see swimming. Dutchwoman Tes Schouten holds onto the top lane by just .01 (1:04.02). Entering a finger-nail length behind are Eneli Jefimova and Sophie Hansson with the Estonia occupying lane 5 in a time of 1:04.03, and the Swede will take up lane 6 with a time of 1:04.07. Sitting in 4th is the WR-holder in the 50 (long course), the Italian Benedetta Pilato.

The men’s 100 fly is set to be a thrilling final, with Swiss Olympic medalist Noe Ponti having broken the championship record in the semifinals by over .3 of a second. His time of 48.61 is considerably faster than the 49.25 that he swam to finish 4th at the 2022 Short Course Worlds.

The only other swimmer sub -50 (let alone sub -49) was the World Long Course Champion, France’s Maxime Grousset. His time of 48.94 represented a new national record, but he has work cut out for him to catch Ponti.

The last individual final of the evening sees the woman’s 800 free take to the blocks. France’s Anastasiia Kirpichnikova leads with her time from yesterday morning of 8:14.37. Tightly contesting 2nd place in the prelims, but obviously looking to improve will be Italy’s Simona Quadarella and Hungary’s Ajna Kesely, who, respectively, enter as the 2nd and 3rd seeds (8:21.45 and 8:21.51).

The men’s 4×50 medley relay saw Italy touch 1st this morning, but Team GB sits less than half a second behind, and 3rd through 8th are all separated by less than .5 as well, so relay exchanges will be critical.

WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • World Record: Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) – 22.93 (2017)
  • European Record: Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) – 22.93 (2017)
  • SC Euros Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 23.12 (2021)
  1. Michelle Coleman (SWE) – 23.52
  2. Beryl Gastaldello (FRA) – 23.71
  3. Julie Kepp Jensen (DEN) – 23.89
  4. Valerie Van Roon (NED)/ Anna Hopkin (GBR) – 23.89
  5. Neza Klancar (SLO) – 24.03
  6. Jessica Felsner (GER) – 24.11
  7.  Sara Curtis (ITA) – 24.31

As anticipated the women’s splash and dash did not disappoint, with Sweden’s Michelle Coleman taking the title in a time of 23.52, a time that represents a new personal best.

France’s Gastaldello was quickest off the blocks with a .62 reaction time, but Coleman was first to wall in 11.44 and was the quickest back. Gastaldello improved upon her semifinals time to touch in 2nd place (23.71). Rounding out the podium was Denmark’s Julie Kepp Jensen who touched in 23.89.

MEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE – FINALS

  • World Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 22.11 (2022)
  • European Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 22.11 (2022)
  • SC Euros Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 22.47 (2021)
  1. Mewen Tomac (FRA) -22.84
  2. Ole Braunschweig (GER) – 23.00
  3. Lorenzo Mora (ITA)/ Thierry Bollin (SUI) – 23.10
  4. Shane Ryan (IRL) – 23.12
  5. Miroslav Knedla (CZE) – 23.26
  6. Ralf Tribuntsic (EST) – 23.30
  7. Apostolos Christou (GRE) – 23.37

Retaining his top billing from the semifinals, France’s Mewen Tomac used a strong 2nd wall and back half to surge to the win. Out in 11.27 and closing in 11.57, the Frenchman will find himself atop the podium when the medal ceremony commences.

Brauncshweig and Mora also surged in the back half, just 5th (11.31) and 6th (11.37) at the 25 turn, to finish in 2nd and 3rd. Touching in equal 3rd with Mora was the Swiss swimmer Bollin, who was out 2nd fastest (11.21), and managed to put enough into his last 25 to stay in the medal hunt.

WOMEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – FINALS

  • World Record: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) / Alia Atkinson (JAM) – 1:02.36 (2013/2014/2016)
  • European Record: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – 1:02.36 (2013)
  • SC Euros Record: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – 1:02.92 (2013)
  1. Eneli Jefimova (EST) – 1:03.21
  2. Benedetta Pilato (ITA) – 1:03.76
  3. Tes Schouten (NED) – 1:04.04
  4. Sophie Hansson (SWE) – 1:04.08
  5. Andrea Podmanikova (SVK) – 1:04.77
  6. Clara Rybak-Andersen (DEN) – 1:05.35
  7. Martina Carraro (ITA) – 1:05.47
  8. Imogen Clark (GBR) – 1:05.86

That race certainly did not disappoint. Taking it out fast and living up to her reputation as a sprint breaststroke, Italy’s Pilato led through the first 75 but was ultimately passed in the closing meters of the race by Estonia’s Eneli Jefimova.

Jefimova closed in 16.70, the fastest last 25 of the field and the only swimmer under 17 seconds besides Tes Schouten, who surged from 6th at the 50 to finish in 3rd. In comparison, Pilato was 17.89 on the last 25.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 20.16 (2020)
  • European Record: Florent Manaudou (FRA) – 20.26 (2014)
  • SC Euros Record: Vlad Morozov (RUS) – 20.31 (2017)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Ben Proud (GBR) – 20.66
  2. Lorenzo Zazzeri (ITA) – 20.85
  3. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN) – 20.87
  4. Lewis Burras (GBR) – 20.88
  5. Maxime Grousset (FRA) – 20.94
  6. Alessandro Miressi (ITA) – 21.02
  7. Florent Manadou (FRA) – 21.06
  8. Vladyslave Bukhov (UKR) – 21.16

The first semifinal saw Italy’s Zazzeri take the win in a time of 20.85, a marked improvement upon his heats swim of 21.03. Finishing 2nd and securing a spot in the finals was France’s Florent Manaudou. The European Record holder swam a 21.06, good for 7th overall.

Great Britain’s Ben Proud led the way in the 2nd semifinal, putting down a swift 20.66, nearly .3 faster than his morning swim. Four other swimmers from that semifinal will join him tomorrow evening.

Interestingly, two Great Britain, Italy, and France swimmers made it through with Hungary (Szabo) and Ukraine (Bukhov), the other countries represented. We just missed out on an epic swim-off as four swimmers tied for 10th, finishing in a time of  21.21.

WOMEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Mireia Belmonte (ESP) – 1:59.61 (2014)
  • European Record: Mireia Belmonte (ESP) – 1:59.61 (2014)
  • SC Euros Record: Mireia Belmonte (ESP) – 2:01.52 (2013)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Angelina Kohler (GER) – 2:05.02
  2. Emily Large (GBR) – 2:05.47
  3. Lana Pudar (BIH) – 2:05.57
  4. Laura Lahtinen (FIN) – 2:05.79
  5. Helena Rosendahl Bach (DEN) – 2:05.88
  6. Alessia Polieri (ITA) – 2:06.99
  7. Kajtaz Amina (CRO) – 2:07.94
  8. Katja Fain (SLO) – 2:08.48

In the first semifinal, Germany’s Angelina Kohler led from start to finish, taking the race out in 58.93 and touching in a time of 2:05.02. Finishing behind her and holding down 2nd for the entity of the race was Finland’s Laura Lahtinen.

Great Britain’s Keanna MacInnes initially won the second semifinal, but she was ultimately disqualified after a lengthy review. Moving up in the rankings was her teammate Emily Large, who touched in 2:05.47, which will slot her into lane 5 tomorrow night, just behind Kohler. Lana Pudar, who has had a busy year of racing, placed 2nd in the heat, just a tenth behind Large, and will flank Kohler tomorrow night.

Of note, Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Jakabos finished in 9th with a time of 2:08.74. Jakabos won the bronze medal in the 400 IM at the 2005 edition of this meet, which was before Pudar was born.

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – FINALS

  • World Record: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 47.78 (2020)
  • European Record: Yevgeny Korotyshkin (RUS) – 48.48 (2009)
  • SC Euros Record: Noe Ponti (SUI) – 48.61 (2023)
  1. Noe Ponti (SUI) – 48.47 **NEW EUROPEAN RECORD**
  2. Maxime Grousset (FRA) – 49.00
  3. Jacob Peters (GBR) – 49.88
  4. Matteo Rivolta (ITA) – 50.24
  5. Daniel Gracik (CZE) – 50.25
  6. James Guy (GBR) – 50.39
  7. Nikola Miljenic (CRO) – 50.44
  8.  Michele Busa (ITA) – 50.61

Yesterday’s excitement from the semifinals certainly bubbled over into the start of tonight’s final as the stacked field took to the blocks. It was a tight race through the 75, by Swiss star Noe Ponti closed like no one else to add his name to the record books—his time of 48.47 just clips under the previous European record of 48.48, which dates back to 2009.

Ponti was just 3rd at the 50 (22.68), behind Great Britain’s Peters (22.64) and France’s Grousset (22.66), but powered through with a strong last underwater to take the win.

Grousset was .06 slower than his French record swim from yesterday but swam in the semifinals of the 50 free, less than 30 minutes earlier.

WOMEN’S 800 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 7:57.42 (2022)
  • European Record: Mireia Belmonte (ESP) – 7:59.34 (2013)
  • SC Euros Record: Alessia Filippi (ITA) – 8:04.53 (2008)
  1. Anastasiia Kirpichnikova (FRA) – 8:08.48
  2. Simona Quadarella (ITA) – 8:14.83
  3. Anja Kesely (HUN) – 8:18.73
  4. Nora Fluck (HUN) -8:26.96
  5. Sarah Dumont (BEL) – 8:29.89
  6. Diana-Gabriela Stiger (ROU) – 8:30.56
  7. Hakkarainen Ada (FIN) – 8:31.22
  8. Grace Palmer (BEL) – 8:33.33

France’s Anastasiia Kirpichnikova kept the French atop the podium, after Tomac’s win in the 50 back, leading the 800 from start to finish. She had a lead of .32 at the 200 over Quadarella, which expanded to 1.41 by the 400-meter mark.

Kirpichnikova was never in any real danger winning the race by over 6 seconds and ten seconds ahead of the bronze medalist Kesely.

Kirpichnikova won the 800 at the 2021 edition of the meet in a time of 8:04.65, swimming four seconds slower tonight. Quadrella also won the silver in 2021 and was also four seconds slower tonight.

MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – SEMIFINALS

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Arno Kamminga (NED) – 56.37
  2. Emre Sacki (TUR) – 56.68
  3. Caspar Corbeau (NED) – 56.85
  4. Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) – 57.08
  5. Simone Cerasuolo (ITA) – 57.21
  6. Berkay Omer Ogretir (TUR) – 57.36
  7.  Archie Goodburn (GBR) – 57.81
  8.  Bernhard Reitshammer (AUT) – 57.87

Defending lane 4 from the first semifinal was the Dutchman Capar Corbeau. The Texas Longhorn touched 1st in a time of 56.85, going out in 26.53, an improvement upon his morning swim of 57.26. Touching behind Corbeau was the Italian Simone Cerasuolo, who dropped .29 from his morning swim, touching in 57.21.

The 2nd semifinal was the speedier of the two, with five swimmers advancing from it to tomorrow’s final. Leading the way was Corbeau’s teammate Arno Kamminga. Kamminga was just 5th at the 1st turn but used a strong back half to grab tomorrow night’s top seed with a time of 56.37. 2nd in the semifinal and fast enough for the 2nd seed overall was Turkiye’s Emre Sakci, who touched in 56.68.

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE – Semifinals

  • World Record: Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 1:58.94 (2020)
  • European Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 1:59.23 (2014)
  • SC Euros Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 1:59.84 (2015)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Medi Harris  (GBR) – 2:02.58
  2. Pauline Mahieu (FRA) – 2:03.22
  3. Katie Shanahan (GBR) – 2:03.73
  4. Gabriela Georgieva (BUL) – 2:04.37
  5. Kira Toussaint (NED) – 2:04.56
  6. Margherita Panziera (ITA) – 2:04.59
  7. Emma Terebo (FRA) – 2:04.70
  8. Camila Rebelo (POR) – 2:05.44

The 1st semifinal saw Great Britain’s Katie Shanahan take the win. Out in 1:00.29, Shanahan cruised to the finish, touching in 2:03.73. Nearly a full second back touching in 2nd was Italy’s Margherita Panziera, who was out nearly half a second slower than Shanahan.

Panziera used a strong last 25 to pass France’s Emma Terebo, as the pair swapped between 2nd and 3rd throughout the course of the 200.

Like many of the previous semifinals, the 2nd one was faster, with five swimmers moving on to tomorrow night’s final. Leading the way was Shanahan’s teammate Medi Harris. Harris, more known for her sprinting prowess in long course, recorded the only time under 2:03, touching in 2:02.58.

The second semifinal, much like the men’s 100 breast, saw the top two times as France’s Pauline Mahieu posted the 2nd fastest time of the evening and will slot into lane 5 tomorrow, hitting the wall in 2:03.22

WOMEN’S 100 IM – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 56.51 (2017)
  • European Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 56.51 (2017)
  • SC Euros Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 56.67 (2015)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Charlotte Bonnet (FRA) – 57.95
  2. Beryl Gastaldello (FRA) – 58.64
  3. Louise Hansson (SWE) – 58.75
  4. Neza Klancar (SLO) – 58.78
  5. Lena Kreundl (AUT) – 58.83
  6. Costanza Cocconcelli (ITA) – 58.95
  7. Nele Schulze (GER) – 59.00
  8.  Fanny Teijonsalo (FIN) – 59.55

Cruising to the win in what looked like an easy 100 IM was France’s Charlotte Bonnet, who led from start to finish, touching in 57.95, a strong 1.5-second drop from this morning. Touching behind Bonnet was Austria’s Lena Kruendl, who hit the wall in 58.83.

Bulgaria’s Diana Petkova, the 3rd seed in the heat, was disqualified after a lengthy review.

The second heat was won by France’s Beryl Gastaldello, who touched in 58.64, after having been in 3rd at the 50 turn. Sweden’s Louise Hansson, more known as a butterflier, was just 3rd off the start but used a strong backstroke leg to move into first at the 50 and was ultimately just touched out at the end by the Frenchwoman.

Another review at the conclusion of the 2nd semifinal saw Italy’s Anita Bottazzo disqualified.

MEN’S 4×50 MEDLEY RELAY – FINALS

  • World Record: Italy – 1:29.72 (2022)
  • European Record: Italy – 1:29.72 (2022)
  • SC Euros Record: Italy – 1:30.14 (2021)
  1.  Italy – 1:30.78
  2. Great Britain – 1:32.60
  3.  Netherlands – 1:33.03
  4.  Norway – 1:33.64
  5.  Portugal – 1:33.82
  6.  Romania – 1:33.89
  7.  Ukraine – 1:34.82

Italy led from start to finish, putting together a comprehensive victory. Leading them off was Lorenzo Mora, who split 22.98, notably faster than his swim in the individual 50 back of 23.10. Mora handed it off to Martinenghi, who swam the fastest split amongst the breaststrokers of 25.32 (the only other swimmer under 26 was Caspar Corbeau, who split 25.50).

Italy’s fly leg was swum by Thomas Ceccon, who, like his other teammates, posted the fastest split of 22.05. Lorenzo Zazzeri made it four for four, anchoring in 20.43 as Italy won by nearly two seconds, finishing in a time of 1:30.78.

Team GB placed 2nd in a time of 1:32.60. They opted to rest Ben Proud and Lewis Burras and tapped Matt Richards to swim the free leg (20.43). Oliver Morgan lead off in 23.48, followed by Archie Goodburn (26.20) and Jacob Peters (22.20).

Turkiye’s relay was disqualified after a judging review.

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Troyy
2 months ago

That was a bit of an ass whooping in the relay.

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

True, that Italian team is just so good and GB didn’t swim Proud

Chachi
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

Give the Dutch a better BK leg and it’s a different race. Corbeau went in 8th and moved them to 4th.

Dee
2 months ago

That’s a Welsh record for Medi Harris – Taking down Greenslade’s old mark.

Thomas Selig
2 months ago

Great swim from Harris again. I do wonder if she’ll give the 200 a go in long course based on her progression here.

Amusingly there’s potentially a 4-way swim-off for second alternate in the men’s 50 free final.

Relay takeover watch has Romania absolutely nailing it with takeovers of 0.02, 0.09, and 0.00. Imagine hitting a 0.09 takeover and still getting grief from your team-mates for being 4.5 times slower than the rest of the team combined.

On the subject of takeovers, the slowest for all teams was from breast to fly. Is there a reason for that? Harder to judge the finishing swimmer’s arrival in breast compared to back/fly?

Also, on takeovers, Matt Richards seems to consistently hit something… Read more »

Alison England
2 months ago

Fabulous 2 back from Medi Harris. The second fastest Brit ever. She’s not swum a sc 200 since 2019, and her time then was 2.11.58 Not that surprising, I guess, as her 2 free is very good.

notabackstroker
Reply to  Alison England
2 months ago

Came here to say this – love it when swimmers smash a new event!

FST
2 months ago

I’m trying to figure out who the commentator is. Can anyone help? Obviously a former swimmer…

Binky
Reply to  FST
2 months ago

Andy Jameson. GB international, ex-ASU.

FST
Reply to  Binky
2 months ago

Thanks.

Alison England
Reply to  FST
2 months ago

1988 Olympic silver medallist on 100 ‘fly.

FST
Reply to  Alison England
2 months ago

Really? I remember Nesty winning, Biondi second and then maybe Jameson bronze?

Alison England
Reply to  FST
2 months ago

Yes, you are right! Sorry. He won bronze.

Luis
2 months ago

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: what happened to spanish swimmers?

Adrian
Reply to  Luis
2 months ago

No Spanish team in the entire meet, as well as the Polish, I assume their federation decided to not send a team to the meet.

Luis
Reply to  Adrian
2 months ago

I wasn’t talking abouth this meet alone. I meant, Spain hasn’t produced a meaningful presence in any international meet for 10 years or so, since Belmonte. I find it odd since they’re a country with a strong aquatics tradition, their waterpolo team is still strong but swimming is completely derelict. Portugal, my country, has five times less population and we’ve been able to make fairly decent swimmers here and there.

Tencor
2 months ago

Will Ponti be a threat in LCM? His time here converts to 50 flat

2Fat4Speed
Reply to  Tencor
2 months ago

The guy is already an Olympic bronze medalist in the event. So yeah, I would say he is a threat!

Pescatarian
Reply to  Tencor
2 months ago

More like 50.4

Caleb
Reply to  Tencor
2 months ago

Shaping up as one of the best races in Paris, with most contenders in good form… except, when was the last Milak sighting? Even without hiim, you’ve got Ponti, Grousset, Liendo, Temple, Rose, even Casas and of course Dressel all thinking they can win. If Dressel is really back to form (and U.S. Open was a good sign) then he would be the favorite, but what a race. Almost as good as the 100 free.

e-Swimmer77
2 months ago

200 fly: Macinnes dove more than 15 meters, DSQ.

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  e-Swimmer77
2 months ago

She didn’t though, she came up at around 11 meters. She was within 15m on all the other turns too and didn’t twitch on the blocks either. It must’ve been for a one hand touch.