Euro Report – Day 3 – Friis was Fabulous

The Europeans had a good day in the pool collecting two gold, two silver and a bronze. On most days the event winners would be the athletes we would highlight, but on this day Danish swimmer Lotte Friis, who won the silver in the 1500 freestyle stole the show.

It a race that is hard to describe in words Lotte Friis battled with American Katie Ledecky for the 1500 freestyle crown. Friis lead up until the 1250 mark and kept within five tenths of a second of the American until the final 100 meters where Ledecky widen the margin between the the two to two seconds (you can find an in depth look at the race here).

Ledecky took the race in a time of 15:36.53 while Friis finished second in a time of 15:38.88. Friis time was incredible considering that she was almost four seconds faster than the world record set by Kate Zeigler in 2007. She also beat her previous lifetime best of 15:46.30, a time she swam at the infamous 2009 World Championships in Rome, by almost eight seconds.

Friis is no stranger to world championships success At the 2009 World Championships in Rome she won gold in the 800 and silver in the 1500 and at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai she won gold in the 1500 and silver in the 800.

With Friis being less than two seconds away from her lifetime best at the 800 meter mark it will be interesting to see what she will do in that event.

The story of the day yesterday was in women’s 100 breaststroke where Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte set a new world record of 1:04.35 en route to qualifying for the top spot in today’s final. Meilutyte was impressive once again winning the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:04.42, just off her world record, but more then half a second ahead of Russian Yuliya Efimova who finished second in a time of 1:05.02.

Meilutyte’s splits:

Semi-final – 29.97/1:04.35 (34.38)

Final – 30.10/1:04.42 (34.32)

After her world record swim yesterday Meilutyte told Nick Hope that the world record was more important than the win, but after accomplishing both there isn’t anything to quibble about.

Throughout the long course season there has been much discussion about Yannick Agnel‘s decisions. First he decided to leave his coach Fabrice Pellerin, who guided him to Olympic glory, to swim with American coach Bob Bowman. Then there was the debate over what individual events he was going to swim at the competition, if any.

On day three there was no debate on how either decision has worked out so far, very well. Agnel won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:44.20, is the fastest he has been in the 200 other than the Olympics where he posted a 1:43.14.

Agnel’s split’s today compared to those in the Olympic final:

Today – 24.07/50.64 (26.57)/1:17.00 (26.36)/1:44.20 (27.20)

Olympics – 24.55/50.64 (26.09)/1:17.16 (26.52)/1:43.14 (25.98)


  • The Spanish women are thriving at home. In every race on day three that included a Spanish women a national record was broken:
    • 1500 freestyle – Mireia Belmonte Garcia
    • 100 breaststroke – Marina Garcia Urzainqui 
    • 200 freestyle – Melanie Costa Schmid
  • At both the Olympics and World Championships Ruta Meilutyte in her 100 breaststroke swam her semi-final faster than her prelim, but than her final faster than the semi-final
  • With Lotte Friis winning silver in the 1500 freestyle the Danish team is halfway to their goal of two medals
  • Did Camille Muffat hold back in the 200 freestyle semi-finals or is it a sign that her 200 freestyle will be a disaster as well?
  • Russia is only one silver away from their medal count in London


Men’s 200 freestyle

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – Ensar Hajder – 1:51.84

Women’s 100 backstroke

  • Czech Republic – Simona Baumrtova – 59.84

Women’s 1500 freestyle

  • European – Lotte Friis – 15:38.88
  • Denmark – Lotte Friis – 15:38.88
  • Spain – Mireia Belmonte Garcia – 15:58.83

Women’s 100 breaststroke

  • Russia – Yuliya Efimova – 1:05.02
  • Denmark – Rikke Moller Pedersen – 1:05.93
  • Spain – Marina Garcia Urzainqui – 1:07.08

Men’s 50 breaststroke

  • European – Damir Dugonjic – 26.83
  • Slovenia – Damir Dugonjic – 26.83
  • Poland – Dawid Szulich – 27.48
  • Portugal – Carlos Almedia – 28.16
  • Sweden – Johannes Skagius – 27.16

Women’s 200 freestyle

  • Spain – Melanie Costa Schmid – 1:56.19

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Just for the record, Rikke Møller Pedersen’s 50 split in the 100 breast also broke the Danish 50 breast record (30.79, previous record was 31.00).


> “Did Camille Muffat hold back in the 200 freestyle semi-finals or is it a sign that her 200 freestyle will be a disaster as well?”

She didn’t. For me it seems she went all-out over the last 50m. I hope that fabolous French support helps her in the evening. This race is going to be a thriller. All eight finalists within one second in semis.


It was interesting, at the last turn she started to accelerate and halfway through the last 50 looked poised to pull away as we’ve seen so many times, but it just didn’t happen. Should be a great race, although it will take something special to top yesterday.



You’re going to surpass your goal of two medals. Lotte showed she’s capable of doing fast 800m and no one can challenge Ottesen in 50 fly or RMP in 200 breast.


I still worry about Efimova, she looks in really great form, and she’s such a dangerous swimmer with the turn of speed she has. Interesting to see what Suzuki does, she was very underwhelming in the 100 considering she’s the Olympic bronze medallist.

With everything else yesterday I also forgot to mention how impressed I was with Skagius in the 50 breast. Sweden are back in a big way (if they ever went away…), roll on the Nordic rivalry.

david lyles

Lauren Boyle swam 2 NZ records – heat and final 1500 Fr. Also, her final time was an Oceania and quite possibly a Commonwealth Record as well


Yes, Boyle beat Carlin’s Commonwealth Record of 15.47 from June’s British Trials.

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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