Finnish Women Break Nat’l 400 Medley Relay Record, Move Closer to Rio

2016 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY 7

  • 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)
  • London Aquatics Center, London, UK
  • Meet Central
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live Results
  • Live Stream

The team of Mimosa JallowJenna LaukkanenEmilia Pikkarainen, and Hanna-Maria Seppala from Finland swam a time 4:01.49 to break the Finnish national record. The old mark stood at 4:02.30 from the 2015 World Championships in Kazan last summer, done by the same four women.

  Kazan, 2015 London, 2016
Jallow 1:00.64 1:00.42
Laukkanen 1:07.10 1:06.42
Pikkarainen 59.47 59.56
Seppala 55.09 55.09
TOTAL 4:02.30 4:01.49

The big moves came in the front half, especially with Laukkanen’s improvement of almost seven tenths from last summer. Laukkanen, a 21-year-old, snagged a bronze medal in the 50 breast and also made an appearance in the 200 breast finals, placing 7th. She was 9th in the semifinals of the 100 breast, just missing that final, but bounced back from her 1:08.22 semis showing with a much more dominant 1:06.42 in the relay.

Finland won a bronze medal in this race, touching behind only Great Britain and Italy in the final. Their time also further solidifies their chances at competing in this event in Rio. To qualify a relay to Rio, a nation must have finished in the top 12 at last year’s World Champs, or be one of the four fastest of any nation’s relays that did NOT place top 12 in Kazan.

See a more complete breakdown of the Rio relay standings here, updated through the conclusion of the 2016 European Championships.

Because Finland finished 13th in Kazan, just out of range of the top 12, they needed to put up a strong time to be among the other four qualifying nations. Having already owned the top “at-large” time prior to this meet with their 4:02.30 from Kazan, they now own the fastest “at-large” time by an additional eight tenths with their 4:01.49 from tonight. The Finnish women look to have all but punched their ticket to Rio in the 400 medley relay.

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Iain

Due to DQs I’m pretty sure that Finland and Brazil have pre-qualified for this relay, instead of Britain and Japan.

aquajosh

So crazy that Hanna-Maria Seppala is still swimming. It’s hard to believe she’s just 31 – she was the world champion in the 100m freestyle in 2003!

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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