2021 LEN EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Swimming: Monday, May 17th – Sunday, May 23rd, 2021
- Budapest, Hungary
- Prelims at 10:00 am local/Finals at 6:00 pm local
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A pair of hotly contested relays took place during the opening finals session at the 2021 European Aquatics Championships, with the British women and Russian men prevailing in their respective 400 free relays.
There were several notable splits across the two races – including a sub-52 leg on the women’s side. Let’s take a look at the splits below:
Women’s 400 Free Relay
|Great Britain||Lucy Hope||53.89|
It was certainly no surprise to see 2012 100 free Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo lead the way for the Netherlands on the lead-off leg, clocking in at 53.56 – just over four tenths off her fourth-ranked 53.13 from April.
Lucy Hope had a standout lead-off for the British women, lowering her Scottish National Record by a full three tenths of a second in 53.89. She set the previous standard of 54.19 just last month at British Trials.
Denmark’s Signe Bro also set a best time by a tenth in 53.73.
|Great Britain||Freya Anderson||52.79|
|Great Britain||Anna Hopkin||53.59|
|Great Britain||Abbie Wood||53.90|
|Denmark||Julie Kepp Jensen||54.63|
Only two women broke 53 from a relay takeover – and Femke Heemskerk went sub-52.
Heemskerk matched her career-best split in 51.99, having also hit that mark at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan. It still wasn’t enough to run down Freya Anderson, however, who closed in 52.79 for Great Britain to hold on for the victory.
France had a promising swim from Charlotte Bonnet, who swam her fastest time in two years back in March (53.70). Today she split 53.36 for the third-fastest in the field.
Given Pernille Blume‘s 24.06 50 free semi-final, her split of 53.56 maybe left a little something to be desired. The Dane produced her fastest-ever relay leg – 51.77 – at this meet in 2018.
Men’s 400 Free Relay
Alessandro Miressi let everyone know he’ll be tough to dethrone in the individual 100 free, as the defending champion reeled off a new Italian Record on the opening leg in 47.74, taking out his previous mark of 47.92 set in 2018. Miressi had also gone 47.95 leading off in the heats.
Minakov put the Russians in second in 48.18, while Switzerland’s Roman Mityukov set a new National Record for the Swiss in 48.20. Tom Dean also set a best time for the Brits in 48.32, improving on his 48.51 from Trials.
Apostolos Christou set a new Greek Record leading off in 48.39, his second of the session after doing so in the 50 back semi-finals.
|Netherlands||Thom de Boer||49.03|
We saw 11 men split under 48 seconds with a relay exchange, led by none other than Kolesnikov who followed up his 50 back world record with a 47.10 anchor for the victorious Russians. 19-year-old Alexander Shchegolev (47.64) and Grinev (47.49) also had strong swims for the gold medalists.
The British men broke a 12-year-old National Record in 3:11.56, led by Scott’s 47.19 closing leg that moved them past Italy for silver. We also saw another sub-48 from James Guy (47.92), who has proven to be an invaluable asset on this relay despite his 200/400 background.
Serbia’s Andrej Barna – who previously competed for the University of Louisville in the NCAA – had the second-fastest split in the field at 47.15 after going 47.74 in the prelims. Barna’s flat-start best stands at 48.75 from the U.S. Open in November, so he appears to be in line for a big PB when the individual event rolls around.
Serbia ended up finishing seventh in a new National Record time of 3:13.73. Along with them and Great Britain, we also saw new national marks set by Greece (3:13.39), Switzerland (3:13.41) and the Netherlands (3:13.79).