2019 LEN EUROPEAN SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, December 4th – Sunday, December 8th
- Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow, Scotland
- Entry List
The men’s sprint freestyle races are some of the most highly anticipated events of these Short Course European Championships. We’ll see the reigning 50m free champion from both Copenhagen, as well as the 2018 Short Course World Championships, Vlad Morozov, face off against the 2012 50m free Olympic champion Florent Manaudou of France.
Morozov will try to make it a double, coming in as the top-seeded swimmer in the 100m free as well, despite being heavily hunted by Russian teammate Vladislav Grinev.
In the 200m free, Lithuania’s dominant Danas Rapsys will try to continue his undefeated run from the World Cup Series but will face heavy competition from Russia and Ukraine.
MEN’S 50 FREE
Russia’s Morozov is familiar with topping the men’s 50m free podium, having done so both at the 2017 edition of these European Short Course Championships, as well as at the 2018 World Short Course Championships. The former USC Trojan also wreaked havoc in this fast and furious event across the 2019 World Cup Series, where the Russian topped the overall circuit with a big payday.
However, Frenchman Manaudou is also a man on a mission, having recently come back to the sport of swimming after a post-Rio break. There at those 2016 Olympic Games, the 6’6″ formidable athlete reaped silver in the 50m free. Since his return to competitive racing, Manaudou hasn’t missed a beat, holding the fastest 50m free time of all European men so far this year with the 20.57 logged at the November ISL meet representing Team Energy Standard.
Despite having tested positive for a banned substance earlier this year, Poland’s Pawel Juraszek is ready to make a run at a minor medal behind the two strongholds on this event. The 24-year-old ultimately won his appeal, with the positive test stemming from cold medicine, of which you can read more about here.
Competing in Gwangju this summer, Juraszek finished 7th in the men’s 50m free final, clocking a time of 21.67. He enters Glasgow as the 3rd seeded swimmer in a time of 20.98, just .01 ahead of Lithuanian national record holder Simonas Bilis.
The 2016 Short Course World Champion Jesse Puts of the Netherlands is among the top 10 entrants, although the 25-year-old squeaked into qualification for his nation with a 2019 trials time of 21.32, far off what will be needed to bring home hardware.
Predicted Top 3 Finishers in Men’s 50 Free
MEN’S 100 FREE
Although Manaudou will be out of the mix for this 4-lap affair, Morozov will still have his hands full with countryman Grinev breathing down his neck in the 100m free. Morozov took silver in this race at the 2018 Short Course World Championships behind American multi-World Record holder Caeleb Dressel, having logged a time of 45.64 in Hangzhou. He holds Europe’s fastest time for 2019 with the 46.14 notched at the ISL meet earlier this season, but will need to slash more than a second off of that to grab that gold with such a stacked field here.
Right behind him in the 2019 rankings of Europe is Grinev, with the man having put up a mark of 46.45 to win the Russian National title. He owns a PB of 45.92 from Hangzhou where he finished a frustrating 4th.
But even faster than that 46.45 from Grinev this year is Ukrainian Sergii Shevtsov, who produced a mark of 46.38 just last month to put his hat in the ring for the 100m free overall title here in Glasgow.
Britain’s Duncan Scott also remains a threat in this event, as does Rio silver medalist Pieter Timmers of Belgium. Both rank within the top 10 entering Glasgow and have proven in the past they have what it takes to make things happen when the moment counts.
Additionally, Italy’s Santo Condorelli will be competing in this event, representing his new nation for the first time at a Short Course European Championships.
Predicted Top 3 Finishers in Men’s 100 Free
MEN’S 200 FREE
Although Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys has shown his persistence in this men’s 200m free event, having wreaked havoc on this and the 400m free across the World Cup Series, the silver medalist from Hangzhou will have a heavy task ahead of him.
Russia’s Mikhail Vekovishchev lurks as the 2nd seeded swimmer, while an Italian is also ready to rumble in the form of Filippo Megli. Megli established a new national record in the long course version of this event at this summer’s World Championships in Gwangju, posting a huge lifetime best of 1:45.67 for 5th place.
As for Vekovishchev, the man has earned the top time of Europe in 2019 with the 1:41.73 that rendered him the Russian national title winner. Behind him at that meet was Grinev, proving he is a dangerous contender for a possible 100m/200m double gold in Glasgow.
However, Scott, former long course World Champion James Guy and relative newcomer Tom Dean lead the British charge, rich with a history of depth in this men’s 200m free event. Scott has been as fast as 1:42.78 untapered already this year at the British Universities & Colleges (BUCS) Championships, while Guy is also in the top 10 entrants with his 2019 best of 1:43.29.
Guy owns the British national record with a PB of 1:42.22, while Scott’s PB of 1:42.47 rests less than a half a second inside his aforementioned 2019 mark. Dean is the 7th fastest British swimmer of all-time owning a PB of 1:43.86 from just last month.
Predicted Top 3 Finishers in Men’s 200 Free