2023 European Short Course Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2023 EUROPEAN SHORT COURSE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Day 3 Finals brings us to the midway point of what has been an exciting and fast European Short Course Championships. Held in Bucharest, Romania, this year’s edition is the 22nd running of the meet.

Tonight’s action-packed schedule is as follows.

  • Women’s 200 Backstroke Final
  • Men’s 50 Freestyle Final
  • Women’s 200 Butterfly Final
  • Men’s 200 IM Semifinal
  • Women’s 100 Freestyle Semifinal
  • Men’s 100 Backstroke Semifinal
  • Women’s 100 IM Final
  • Men’s 1500 Freestyle Final
  • Women’s 200 Breaststroke Semifinal
  • Women’s 50 Backstroke Semifinal
  • Men’s 100 Breaststroke Final
  • Women’s 4×50 Medley Relay Final

Tonight’s swimming kicks off with a bang as Great Britain hopes to defend their top billing across the first two finals.

Medi Harris, more known as a 100 backstroker (at least in long course), sits as the top seed (2:02.58) in the Women’s 200 back, but it is not a comfortable position as she is surrounded by her talented teammate Katie Shanahan (2:03.73) and the ever dangerous French pair of Pauline Mahieu (2:03.22) and Emma Terebo (2:04.70). Floating in the field are the much-accoladed pair of Kira Toussaint (2:04.56) and Margherita Panziera (2:04.59).

Keeping the Union Jack flag in lane 4 for the Men’s 50 free is top seed Ben Proud. Proud has been in great form this meet, anchoring his team in the Men’s 4×50 free relay to a new national record and a gold medal. Proud enters the final with a seed time of 20.66, but four other swimmers also enter with times sub 21, led by Italy’s Lorenzo Zazzeri (20.85) and Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo (20.87). The European Record Holder, Florent Manaudou, sits dangerously in lane 1 and could contest the medals if he is in good form.

Looking to move up the rankings and make it a potential three-for-three for Team GB is Emily Large, who enters as the #2 seed in the Women’s 200 butterfly. Seeded with a time of 2:05.47, Large will have to pass the top-seeded German Angelina Kohler (2:05.02) as well as fend off the likes of 2023 long course Worlds Finalists Lana Pudar (2:05.57) and Helena Rosendahl Bach (2:05.88).

Perhaps the most interesting storyline heading into tonight’s session is from the longest event on the books, the Men’s 1500 freestyle, where Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen holds down the top seed with a time of 14:34.50. It was a tight prelim yesterday morning, as the top eight are separated by less than six seconds. Joining Wiffen are Henrik Christiansen (14:36.25), Victor Johansson (14:38.58), and Nathan Wiffen (14:39.34).

Yes, two Wiffens are entered. Daniel’s twin brother Nathan  also qualified for tonight’s final and is the #7 seed racing out of lane 1.

The other individual finals tonight see the Women’s 100 IM, where Charlotte Bonnet will look to fend off eight other swimmers as the final sees an unusual nine competitors race as Bulgaria’s Diana Petkova has been seemingly reinstated after having been disqualified last night in the semifinals after a lengthy review. In the Men’s 100 breast, top seed Arno Kamminga (56.37) will look to fend off a stacked field that includes fellow Dutchman Caspar Corbeau (56.85), Turkiye’s Emre Sakci (56.68) and Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi (57.08).

Tonight’s semifinals are equally exciting as the likes of Duncan Scott, Thomas Ceccon, and Andreas Vazaios do battle in the 200 IM. The British pair of Freya Anderson and Anna Hopkin look to hold off the resurgent Michelle Coleman in the 100 free and Noe Ponti looks to capitalize on his European Record in the 100 butterfly in tonight’s 200 semifinals.

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE – FINALS

  • 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)
  1. Medi Harris (GBR) – 2:02.45
  2. Katie Shanahan (GBR) – 2:03.22
  3. Pauline Mahieu (FRA) – 2:03.90
  4. Margherita Panziera (ITA) – 2:04.35
  5. Camila Rebelo (POR) – 2:04.39
  6. Kira Toussaint (NED) – 2:04.47
  7. Emma Terebo (FRA) -2:04.57
  8.  Gabriela Georgieva (BUL) – 2:04.59

Leading at the halfway point was Great Britain’s Medi Harris, who touched at 59.85, leading out teammate Katie Shanahan (1:00.18) and Frenchwoman Pauline Mahieu (59.96). Harris, known for her sprinting prowess, used a strong back half to win her first international medal in the 200 back in a time of 2:02.45. Shanahan would pass Mahieu at the 150 turn making in a 1-2 finish for the British.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • 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)
  1. Ben Proud (GBR) – 20.18 **NEW EUROPEAN RECORD**
  2. Florent Manaudou (FRA)/ Szebasztian Szabo (HUN) – 20.74
  3. Alesasndro Miressi (ITA) – 20.90
  4. Lorenzo Zazzeri (ITA) – 20.91
  5. Lewis Burras (GBR) – 21.03
  6. Maxime Grousset (FRA) – 21.08
  7.  Vladyslav Bukhov (UKR) – 21.16

WOW!! Everything went right there for Ben Proud. Proud was off the blocks like a rocket; he had the fastest reaction time of .58 and the fastest first 25 of 9.64. He closed in 10.54 to finish in a new European Record of 20.18. A time that makes him the second fastest in the world and was only .02 off the World Record.

The former record holder Florent Manadous had a strong swim, the only other swimmer out under 10 seconds (9.82), and held on to tie for the silver with Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo in a time of 20.74.

WOMEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – FINALS

  • 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)
  1. Angelina Kohler (GER) – 2:03.30
  2. Helena Rosendahl Bach (DEN) – 2:03.86
  3. Lana Pudar (BIH) – 2:04.55
  4. Laura Lahtinen (FIN) – 2:05.26
  5. Emily Large (GBR) – 2:06.14
  6. Katjaz Polieri (CRO) – 2:08.26
  7. Alessia Polieri (ITA) – 2:08.91
  8. Katja Fain (SLO) – 2:09.39

Germany’s Angelina Kohler claimed her first European title in convincing fashion, leading from start to finish. Out in 57.98, Kohler had a lead of nearly half a second over 17-year-old Lana Pudar and Helena Rosendahl Bach. Kohler kept pace and held onto the win, touching in a time of 2:03.30, while Bach used a strong back half out splitting Pudar on the last 50 by over half a second to steal the silver.

MEN’S 200 IM – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Ryan Lochte (USA) – 1:49.63 (2012)
  • European Record: Andreas Vazaios (GRE) – 1:50.85 (2019)
  • SC Euros Record: Andreas Vazaios (GRE) – 1:50.85 (2019)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Duncan Scott (GBR) – 1:51.90
  2. Alberto Razzetti (ITA) – 1:53.31
  3. Danas Rapsys (LTU) – 1:53.53
  4. Andreas Vazaios (GRE) – 1:53.68
  5. Joe Litchfield (GBR) – 1:54.09
  6. Ronnt Brannjarr (FIN) – 1:55.22
  7. Balazs Hollo (HUN) – 1:55.60
  8.  Vadym Naumenko (UKR) – 1:56.12

Because of the limit of only two swimmers per nation, Great Britain’s Joe Litchfield pushed this morning’s swim in order to guarantee a spot in the semifinal. Litchfield entered as the top seed in the heat and dueled the entire swim with Danas Rapsys trading the leading after the fly and after the breast, but Rapsys, more known for his freestyle, pulled away to take the win in a time of 1:53.53 vs Litchfield’s 1:54.09. Italy’s Thomas Ceccon initially placed 3rd in the heat but, after a video review, was disqualified.

The second semifinal saw Litchfield’s teammate Duncan Scott take the win. Scott led from start to finish, swimming an impressive time of 1:51.90, well ahead of Italy’s Alberto Razzetti (1:53.31) and Andreas Vazaios (1:53.68)

WOMEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Cate Campbell (AUS) – 50.25 (2017)
  • European Record: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 50.58 (2017)
  • SC Euros Record: Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) – 50.95 (2017)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Anna Hopkin (GBR) – 51.70
  2. Beryl Gastaldello (FRA) – 52.19
  3. Barbora Seemanova (CZE) – 52.21
  4. Michelle Coleman (SWE) – 52.56
  5. Sofia Morini (ITA) – 52.57
  6. Freya Anderson (GBR) – 52.66
  7. Barbora Janickova (CZE) – 52.83
  8. Chiara Tarantino (ITA) – 52.96

Michelle Coleman looked smooth and in control as she finished first in a time of 52.56 to win the first semifinal. Coleman used the fastest last 25 (13.39) in the heat (and in both semifinals) to pass Freya Anderson in the last length.

While the first heat was controlled, the second semifinal was much faster, posting three of the fastest four times. Leading the pack was Anna Hopkin, who was out in 24.77 and finished with a time of 51.70. Hopkin’s time represents the only swim under 52, as France’s Beryl Gastaldello, who was out in 24.96, fell off the pace a little and touched second in 52.19.

MEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Coleman Stewart (USA) – 48.33 (2021)
  • European Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 48.58 (2020)
  • SC Euros Record: Arkady Vyatchanin (RUS) & Stanislav Donets (RUS) – 48.97 (2009)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Mewen Tomac (FRA) – 50.01
  2. Yohann Ndoye-Brouard (FRA) – 50.19
  3. Andrei Ungur (ROU) – 50.33
  4. Luke Greenbank (GBR) – 50.51
  5. Miroslav Knedla (CZE) – 50.61
  6. Ole Braunschweig (GER)/Ralf Tribuntsov (EST) – 50.64
  7.  Apostolos Christou (GRE) – 50.65

The first semifinal was an interesting contest, with the Czech swimmer Miroslav Knedla out fast in lane 1, flipping first at the 50 in a time of 24.07. He would keep the lead through the 75 but struggled on the last 25, splitting 13.42 and ultimately being passed by two other swimmers. Leading the charge down the last 25 were France’s Yohann Ndoye-Brouard and Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank, who closed in 12.69 and 12.65, respectively.

Much like many of the other semifinals at this meet, the 2nd semi put more swimmers into the final, with five swimmers moving on. Leading the pack was France’s Mewen Tomac, who will take lane 4 tomorrow with a time of 50.01. Host nation’s Andrei Ungur finished 2nd in the semi and will flank Tomac tomorrow as the #3 seed, posting a time of 50.33.

Missing out on tomorrow’s final is Italy’s Lorenzo Mora, who tied for bronze in the 50 back but finished just 9th tonight with a time of 50.69.

WOMEN’S 100 IM – FINALS

  • 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)
  1. Charlotte Bonnet (FRA) – 57.47
  2. Beryl Gastaldello (FRA) – 57.67
  3. Louise Hansson (SWE) – 58.33
  4. Neza Klancar (SLO) – 58.55
  5. Lena Kreundl (AUT) – 58.65
  6. Diana Petkova (BUL) – 58.95
  7. Costanza Cocconcelli (ITA)/ Nele Schulze (GER) – 59.40
  8. Fanny Teijonsalo (FIN) – 1:00.21

France’s Beryl Gasteldello was .01 under the European record at the 50 turn (25.96) and was in a tight contest with Sweden’s Louise Hansson, but it was Charlotte Bonnet‘s use of a strong breaststroke that gave her the gold.

Bonnet, who has lately focussed more on breaststroke, posted the only split under 17 (16.77) and used it to hold onto the win, finishing with a split of 14.34, winning in a time of 57.47. Gasteldello closed with the fastest last 25 (14.26) but was too far back after a 17.45 breaststroke split. Hansson, for her part, also closed faster than Bonnet (14.30), but posted the slowest 25-breast split (17.95).

Bulgaria’s Diana Petkova, who was initially disqualified in the semis, was 3rd after a strong breaststroke split (17.19), but faded to 6th.

MEN’S 1500 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  1. Daniel Wiffen (IRL) – 14:09.11
  2. David Aubry (FRA) – 14:21.78
  3. Mykhallo Romanchuk (UKR) – 14:22.18
  4. Henrik Christiansen (NOR) – 14:23.00
  5. Damien Joly (FRA) – 14:28.86
  6. Vlad-Stefan Stancu (ROU) – 14:34.52
  7. Victor Johansson (SWE) – 14:35.41
  8. Nathan Wiffen (IRL) – 14:38.75

Right out of the gates, Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen set a breakneck pace, leading from the 1st 50 and never looking back. At the 200, Wiffen was just under WR pace, but by the 800 (7:31.82), it was 1.03 under Florian Wellbrock’s split (7:32.85). However, Wiffen fell off the pace and by the 1000 was on the wrong side of the pace.

Despite that, Wiffen still dropped a massive new personal best of 14:09.11, becoming the 3rd fastest performer of all time.

While much of the attention was on Wiffen, there was a tight race for the minor medals as France’s David Aubrey and Ukraine’s Mykhallo Romanchuk traded positions throughout the race, with Aubrey ultimately taking the silver medal after passing the Ukrainian in the final 125 meters.

The other Wiffen in the field, Nathan, finished 8th in the final but dropped over half a second from his prelims swim.

WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Rebecca Soni (USA) – 2:14.57 (2009)
  • European Record: Rikke Moller Pedersen (DEN) – 2:15.21 (2013)
  • SC Euros Record: Rikke Moller Pedersen (DEN) – 2:15.21 (2013)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Tes Schouten (NED) – 2:16.98
  2. Thea Blomsterberg (DEN) – 2:19.59
  3. Clara Rybak-Andersen (DEN) – 2:19.69
  4. Francesca Fangio (ITA) – 2:19.78
  5. Kristyna Horska (CZE) – 2:19.81
  6. Andrea Podmanikova (SVK) – 2:21.30
  7. Nikoleta Trnikova (SVK) – 2:21.43
  8. Eneli Jefimova (EST) – 2:21.44

Denmark’s Thea Blomsterberg took over the lead after the 1st 50 and never looked back, taking the win in the first semifinal posting a time of 2:19.59. The early leader, Eneli Jefimova, was out first at the 50 but found themselves in a hole sitting in 6th at the 150 turn, but using that sprinting ability, closed with the fastest last 25 (18.17) to finish 3rd in the semi and just sneaking into the final by .06.

The second semifinal was a faster affair as not only did five swimmers move on, but top-seeded Dutch swimmer Tes Schouten posted a speedy time of 2:16.98 to lead all swimmers by over two seconds. 2nd through 4th in that heat all move in as the 3rd, 4th and 5th seeds and only .22 separate 2nd through 5th tomorrow.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Tomoru Honda (JPN) – 1:46.85 (2022)
  • European Record: Laszlo Cseh (HUN) – 1:49.00 (2015)
  • SC Euros Record: Laszlo Cseh (HUN) – 1:49.00 (2015)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Noe Ponti (SUI) – 1:51.79
  2. Alberto Razzetti (ITA) – 1:52.25
  3. Ondrej Gemov (CZE) – 1:52.46
  4. Ramon Klenz (GER) – 1:52.73
  5. Edward Mildred (GBR) – 1:53.01
  6. Richard Marton (HUN) – 1:53.25
  7. Kregor Zirk (EST) – 1:53.35
  8. Petar Mitsin (BUL) – 1:53.77

Taking it out hard in the 1st semifinal was Czech swimmer Ondrej Gemov. Swimming out of lane 2, Gemov touched 2nd at the 100 turn (53.82) but used a strong back half to post the top time in the heat of 1:52.46.  The early leader, Richard Marton, faded to third in the head after being passed by Gemov at the 125 turn and by Mildred at the 150 turn.

The top two overall times came from the final semifinal as the recent European record holder in the 100 butterfly, Noe Ponti, took the win in convincing fashion, finishing in a time of 1:51.79. The Swiss star, like Gemov, was 2nd at the 100 (53.55) and 3rd at the 150 but powered through the last 50, passing both Alberot Razzetti and Ramon Klenz to claim lane 4 tomorrow night.

WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE – SEMIFINALS

  • World Record: Margaret MacNeil (CAN) – 25.25 (2022)
  • European Record: Kira Toussaint (NED) – 25.60 (2020)
  • SC Euros Record: Sanja Jovanovic (CRO) – 25.70 (2009)

Top 8 Advance to the Final:

  1. Louise Hansson (SWE) – 26.23
  2. Kira Toussaint (NED) – 26.29
  3. Analia Pigree (FRA) – 26.33
  4. Lora Komoroczy (HUN) – 26.47
  5. Tessa Giele (NED) – 26.54
  6. Danielle Hill (IRL) – 26.62
  7. Kathleen Dawson (GBR) – 26.63
  8. Medi Harris (GBR) – 26.64

The first 50 semifinal saw recent 200-back champion Medi Harris take to the water again, but came would end up finishing in a precarious 4th place in the heat (26.64). Taking the win was France’s Analia Pigree, who was out fast in 12.97 and closed to touch in 26.33. Harris’s teammate Kathleen Dawson, who has been battling a back injury, finished 3rd in the semi, just .01 ahead of Harris.

The second semifinal was a faster affair as the European Record Holder, Kira Toussaint, and the 2021 Worlds bronze medalist Louise Hansson, took to the pool. The Dutchwoman was out fastest, flipping in 12.94, but Hansson, who was just .03 behind, came home faster to take the semifinal and overall top spot in tomorrow’s final.

MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – FINALS

  1. Arno Kamminga (NED) – 56.52
  2. Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) – 56.57
  3. Caspar Corbeau (NED) – 56.66
  4. Emre Sakci (TUR) – 56.84
  5. Simone Cerasuolo (ITA) – 56.89
  6. Bernhard Reitshammer (AUT) – 57.18
  7. Berkay Omer Ogretir (TUR) – 57.68
  8.  Archie Goodburn (GBR) – 57.87

A very strong field promised an exciting race, and it certainly did not disappoint. The early leader was a bit of a surprise as lane 1’s Bernard Reitshammer took it out hard and fast, touching in 26.30. Just behind him was Martinenghi, who sat just .02 behind.

The Dutch pair of Kamminga and Corbeau were just 7th (26.63) and 6th (26.58) at the 50 but used a strong back half to power through the field and finished with the gold and bronze medals, respectively.

Kamminga’s winning time of 56.52 was not incredibly fast, especially considering his semifinal time was 56.37, but it is unknown as to what form the Dutchman brought into these Championships.

WOMEN’S 4×50 MEDLEY RELAY – FINALS

  • World Record: Australia – 1:42.35 (2022)
  • European Record: Sweden – 1:42.38 (2021)
  • SC Euros Record: Netherlands – 1:42.69 (2009)
  1. Sweden – 1:43.26
  2. Italy – 1:43.97
  3. Great Britain – 1:44.67
  4. Netherlands – 1:45.78
  5. Denmark – 1:46.34
  6. Finland – 1:46.43
  7. Slovenia – 1:47.09
  8. Czechia – 1:47.27

The Swedish team put together a comprehensive team with the Hansson sisters, Louise and Sophie leading off. Louise Hansson got the team out fast, touching in 26.47, just a little slower than her 50 time in the individual event. Sophie Hansson (28.96) took over from the early leaders, and the Swedes never looked back. Sara Junevik posted the fastest fly split (24.76), the only swimmer under 25, and handed it off to Michelle Coleman. Coleman, the winner of the individual 50 free, also posted the fastest split of the field (23.07).

Italy finished in 2nd with Virgina Cavalier Jasmine Nocentini posting a freestyle split of 23.16 (2nd fastest behind Coleman).

Team GB finished 3rd, helped by Imogen Clark, whose 28.66 in the breaststroke was the fastest in the field, faster than even Benedetta’s Pilato 28.75.

The Dutch team had the fastest back split (Toussaint – 26.32), but Schouten is much more a 200 swimmer and posted a breaststroke split of only 30.22.

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Dee
2 months ago

Chapeau, Luke Greenbank. I thought we had seen the best of him – Then he pops up and rattles his PB after not having raced since trials. Also, credit where it’s due, Mel has taken a hammering over the past year as her group struggled – But Hopkin and Greenbank both look great this week. Hopefully that group is back on track.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dee
AgentBond
Reply to  Dee
2 months ago

Both have spent extensive periods training away from Mel, and that’s not to take anything away from her. Just a fact.

YellowSubMarine
2 months ago

Arno !!!!
Awesome finish

Last edited 2 months ago by YellowSubMarine
Binky
Reply to  YellowSubMarine
2 months ago

The Dutch “Always Be Closing”. On to the 200.

YellowSubMarine
Reply to  Binky
2 months ago

I trust him but hopefully it wasn’t a 99,8meters breast.

NornIron Swim
2 months ago

It’s you.

Scuncan Dott v2
2 months ago

Sweden could’ve got the WR if Sjostrom was here on Fly

Splash
Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
2 months ago

Or even if L Hansson and Junevik were closer to their best. Hansson has a PB of 25.83 and went 26.47. Junevik split 24.06 in Melbourne and was (only) 24.76 today.

Last edited 2 months ago by Splash
swimfan
2 months ago

Fast swim by Wiffen

Last edited 2 months ago by swimfan
PFA
2 months ago

This 1500 free has shown me that the oldest world record on the books is under threat this week his PB is 7:25.8 and if he’s swimming as good as he just did the WR is gone

Sub13
2 months ago

Random observation but only just realised the 200 fly record is slower than the 200 back record. Every fly WR is faster than every back WR except the 200 SCM for both genders where it’s switched. Wonder why that is

Winkelschleifer
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Turns and underwaters

Troyy
Reply to  Winkelschleifer
2 months ago

Kaylee’s underwaters weren’t that strong in the SCM 2 back WR.

Marsh
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

More backstroke walls make it a hair faster I figure?

snailSpace
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

The NCAA records of the 200 back are also faster than the 200 fly (for both genders), so it’s a short course thing. A combination of flip turns being faster than open turns, and backstroke having faster underwaters than butterfly (which I think is partially due to the greater retention of momentum thanks to the flip turn).

Scuncan Dott v2
2 months ago

Wiffen could get this WR…

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
2 months ago

Not quite but bodes well for the 800