Dutch Men Win First European Relay Title Since 1999


  • Monday, May 16th – Sunday, May 22nd
  • Prelims: 10:00 AM (London Time) / 5:00 AM (Eastern Time)
  • Finals: 6:00 PM (London Time) / 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
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In a very tight battle between four teams the Dutch quartet of Dion DreesensMaarten BrzoskowskiKyle Stolk, and Sebastiaan Verschuren emerged victorious in the men’s 800 free relay in London, earning the country their first male relay win at the European Championships in 17 years. At the 1999 European Championships in Istanbul the Dutch men won both the 400 free and 400 medley relays, back when Pieter van den Hoogenband was competing for them.

The very close race saw the top four teams finish within 0.49 of each other, with the Netherlands on top. What was even closer was finishers 2-4, separated by just 0.03. The Dutch touched in 7:07.82 for first, with the Belgians claiming silver in 7:08.28, the Italians taking bronze in 7:08.30, and Poland locked out of the medals in 4th, just 0.01 behind Italy in 7:08.31.

Here’s a look at the splits from each teams four swimmers:

1. The Netherlands, 7:07.82

2. Belgium, 7:08.28

  • Louis Croenen, 1:48.47
  • Glenn Surgeloose, 1:46.12
  • Dieter Dekoninck, 1:47.70
  • Pieter Timmers, 1:45.99

3. Italy, 7:08.30

  • Mitch D’Arrigo, 1:47.57
  • Filippo Magnini, 1:47.82
  • Luca Dotto, 1:47.52
  • Gabriele Detti, 1:45.39

4. Poland, 7:08.31

  • Jan Switkowski, 1:47.43
  • Pawel Korzeniowski, 1:47.46
  • Kacper Klich, 1:47.82
  • Kacper Majchrzak, 1:45.60

With six teams at 5:22-something at the 600 mark, it was up to those swimming the anchor to finish the job for their team. All four anchors of the top-4 teams went 1:45-something, pretty remarkable when you consider the 200 freestyle was won earlier in the week in 1:46.02. Italy’s Gabriele Detti had the fastest anchor split of the four in 1:45.39, but it was Verschuren who fended off the charge with a 1:45.47 leg.

In 1999 the Dutch 400 free relay team of Johan KenkhuisMark VeensMarcel Wouda, and van den Hoogenband won gold over the Russians, including sprint legend Alexander Popov. The medley relay team of Klaas-Erik ZweringStefan Aartsen, Wouda and van den Hoogenband beat out the Germans, Swedes and Russians.

Since ’99 the Dutch men had only won three relay medals at the previous eight European Championships, with a bronze in each relay. In 2000 they won bronze in the 4×200 free, 2008 bronze in the 4×100 free, and 2010 another bronze in the 4×100 medley.



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8 years ago

Great read????

8 years ago

Anchors clutch as hell. Huge splits.

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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