Going To Glasgow: Pellegrini, Heemskerk Highlight Women’s Freestyle


  • Wednesday, December 4th – Sunday, December 8th
  • Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow, Scotland
  • SCM
  • Entry List

Women’s 50 Freestyle

  • European Record: 22.93, Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 2017
  • European Championship Record: 23.30, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  • 2017 Champion: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 23.30

The women’s 50 looks like it’s going to be a shootout in the final – any of the six entered sub-24 could come out on top.

Tied with the top seed is Denmark’s Pernille Blume and the Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk. Blume was the 2017 bronze medalist in what remains her PB of 23.49, and she was 23.67 last year. Heemskerk went 23.67 twice last year, her fastest ever, and was also 23.72 in October. Blume hasn’t been under 24 in 2019, but unlike Heemskerk, doesn’t have the ISL finale to worry about in a few weeks.

A surprise star in the ISL this year is France’s Béryl Gastaldello, who was a lifetime best 23.81 in College Park. And then there’s Russians Maria Kameneva and Arina Surkova, who have been 23.7 and 23.9 respectively in November, and Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin who has been lighting up the NCAA this season with Arkansas.

Heemskerk has the experience, Blume has the highest ceiling, but the other four have been better over the last month. It’s really anyone’s game.


  1. Béryl Gastaldello, France
  2. Pernille Blume, Denmark
  3. Anna Hopkin, Great Britain

Women’s 100 Freestyle

  • European Record: 50.58, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  • European Championship Record: 50.95, Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 2017
  • 2017 Champion: Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 50.95

The scene in the 100 is very similar to the 50. In 2019, Heemskerk and Gastaldello are tied with the top time in the field at 51.81. Heemskerk’s 51.29 from last year makes her the official top seed, and her consistency over the years make her tough to go against. But, with both of them set to compete in the ISL final, it’s tough to know exactly how much rest they’ll have here.

We’ve also seen 52s this year from Blume, the 2017 bronze medalist, Great Britain’s Freya Anderson and Italian Federica Pellegrini. We also can’t forget Hopkin, who went 52.00 last December.


  1. Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands
  2. Béryl Gastaldello, France
  3. Pernille Blume, Denmark

Women’s 200 Freestyle

  • European Record: 1:50.43, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
  • European Championship Record: 1:51.17, Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 2009
  • 2017 Champion: Charlotte Bonnet (FRA), 1:52.19

Femke Heemskerk. Photo Andrea Masini/ Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

As the distance goes up, the field thins out a bit and the medal picture becomes a little clearer. Heemskerk, Pellegrini and Anderson’s times from ISL London are separated by just 0.11, their top swims of 2019.

Heemskerk has the quickest best time at 1:51.69 and she also has a 1:51.91 under her belt from last year. Anderson’s 1:53.33 from a few weeks ago broke a longstanding British Record, and Pellegrini has proven she always swims best when the pressure is on. A win would be her sixth in the event at this meet.

Barbora Seemanova of the Czech Republic, along with Germans Annika Bruhn and Isabel Marie Gose, will look to capitalize and get on the podium if one of the top-three slips up.


  1. Federica Pellegrini, Italy
  2. Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands
  3. Freya Anderson, Great Britain

Women’s 400 Freestyle

  • European Record: 3:54.52, Mireia Belmonte (ESP), 2013
  • European Championship Record: 3:54.85, Camille Muffat (FRA), 2012
  • 2017 Champion: Boglarka Kapas (HUN), 3:58.15

Gose and Pellegrini are the only two under 4:00 this year at 3:58.9 and 3:59.1 respectively, with Ajna KeselySimona QuadarellaAnastasia Kirpichnikova, defending champion Boglarka Kapas and Julia Hassler within the 4:00.6-4:01.5 range.

Pellegrini is a four-time medalist in this event but has never won gold, and after her impressive showing at ISL London, she’ll be tough to beat.

Anderson is a bit of an X-factor here. She was 4:04.8 last year, but based on her recent form could take off a few seconds and shake things up.


  1. Federica Pellegrini, Italy
  2. Isabel Marie Gose, Germany
  3. Boglarka Kapas, Hungary

Women’s 800 Freestyle

  • European Record: 7:59.34, Mireia Belmonte (ESP), 2013
  • European Championship Record: 8:04.53, Alessia Filippi (ITA), 2008
  • 2017 Champion: Sarah Kohler (GER), 8:10.65
Simona Quadarella ITA Gwangju South Korea 24/07/2019 Swimming 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Nambu University Aquatics Center Photo © Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Simona Quadarella. Photo © Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Quadarella, the bronze medalist two years ago, is the big favorite in the 800 after taking silver at Worlds last December and then winning the long course title in the 1500 in the summer. She’s been 8:12.19 this year and has a best of 8:08.03 from Hangzhou.

The Italian’s main challenger will be Kirpichnikova, who’s been 8:10.62 this year. Martina Rita Caramignoli of Italy, along with Celine Rieder and Lea Boy will be in the fight for the minor medals along with Hassler and Kesely.


  1. Simona Quadarella, Italy
  2. Anastasia Kirpichnikova, Russia
  3. Martina Rita Caramignoli, Italy

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3 years ago

When is Feemke Heemskerk retirement?

3 years ago

Niche reference, but every time one of these “Going to Glasgow” articles pops up, I imagine a mountain goats song about swimming. He did a whole album about pro-wrestling, so maybe it’s not so farfetched.

3 years ago

really wish Coleman was racing😢

3 years ago

I would place Kesely on the podium in 400.

3 years ago

I think between Hopkin and Anderson Britain will get 4 individual womens freestyle medals here. There i said it don’t @ me

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Jack
3 years ago

Bold call! I’m not sure that they’ll both get medals in the 100, it’s a fairly strong field. I do think the article under-estimates Hopkin mind, she’s been on fire for Arkansas and on a steep upward curve for the last 12-18 months. So if we’re doing bold predictions here’s mine: Hopkin to do the 50-100 double 🙂

Reply to  Jack
3 years ago

I think it’s certainly possible. I reckon Hopkin will win the 50 and medal in the 100 (possibly win, I’m not sure). And I think Anderson will medal in the 200 free and also has a chance in the 100 free.

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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