2020 Lithuanian Open Championships
The 2020 Lithuanian Open Long Course Championships are set to kick off on Thursday in Klaipėda, with seemingly all of the nation’s top swimmers in action.
The event, which will run through Saturday, will feature over 220 competitors, some of whom have been training in a bubble environment in Klaipėda for several weeks in the lead-up to the meet.
The most notable entrant in the meet is Danas Rapsys, indisputably the nation’s top current swimmer, who will race the men’s 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Rapsys, 25, is the reigning short course world champion in the men’s 400 free, and was also the silver medalist at those 2018 Championships in the 200 free. In the long course pool, the 2016 Olympian was disqualified in the 200 free final at the 2019 World Championships for a false start after initially touching first, and also placed fourth in the 400 free.
In Klaipėda, Rapsys enters the 100 free seeded second to national record holder Simonas Bilis, holding a best time of 49.04 from the Tokyo stop of the 2019 FINA World Cup circuit. Bilis, an NC State grad who set the Lithuanian Record at 48.64 back in 2016, is entered with the 48.90 he swam at last summer’s World Championships (placing 21st).
In the 100 fly, Rapsys also holds down the #2 seed behind another Lithuanian record holder, Deividas Margevicius, with his 53.14 from February’s National Winter Championships. Rapsys set his best time of 52.81 back in 2018, while Margevičius is entered with his national record of 52.55, set at the 2019 Worlds.
Bilis is also the top seeded swimmer in the men’s 50 free (22.29), while he sits second (24.55) behind Margevicius (23.89) in the 50 fly.
Sidlauskas and Titenis hold down the top-two seeds in all three male breaststroke events, with Sidlauskas notably coming off a semi-final appearance in the 100 breast at the 2019 World Championships. Rapsys and Sidlauskas are also the only two Lithuanian swimmers to have locked up a spot on the 2021 Olympic team coming into the meet.
Titenis, 31, is a three-time Olympian who picked up a bronze medal at the 2009 Worlds in the 200 breast. While his national record time of 2:07.80 from that meet still stands, he reset the marks in the 50 (27.20) and 100 breast (58.96) in 2015.
In a time trial held at the meet’s site December 12-13, Sidlauskas and Titenis put up times of 1:00.40 and 1:00.61, respectively, in the 100 breast, while Sidlauskas also went 27.88 in the 50 and Titenis went 2:14.27 in the 200.
Other noteworthy results from the TT included Bilis going 22.36 in the 50 free and Margevicius hitting a 53.96 in the 100 fly.
OTHER NOTABLE ENTRANTS
- Ugne Mazutaityte, a two-time Lithuanian LC World Championship team member, holds the top seeds in the women’s 50, 100 and 200 back. The 23-year-old holds national records in both the 100 (1:02.02) and 200 (2:11.56).
- Colombian Omar Pinzon is entered to race the men’s 100 back, 200 back and 200 IM at the meet, including holding the top seed in the 100 back. Pinzon, a four-time Olympian, is married to 2008 Lithuanian Olympian Raminta Dvariskyte Pinzon.
- Daniil Pancerevas will be a name to watch out for throughout the meet, as the 16-year-old will have his eyes set on some Lithuanian Age Group Records. Panceveras currently holds the 15-16 records in the 200 free (1:50.49) and 100 fly (55.14), while he’ll also be looking to hit the 100 free mark of 50.39. Pancerevas hit that 200 free time in the recent time trial, while also resetting his 100 free PB down to 51.05.