The 2021 European Aquatics Championships finished on Sunday. Among records and great performances, we have seen some remarkable and historical feats. Let’s take a look at some of them.
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– Katinka Hosszu became the female swimmer with the most medals in the history of the European Championships. After winning one gold (400 IM) and two silvers (200 fly and 200 IM) in Budapest last week, she now has 24 medals dating back to 2008 (15 gold, 7 silver, 2 bronze). Overall, she is ranked only behind Alexander Popov, who won 26 medals (21 gold) in his European Champs career.
– On the other hand, Hosszu became the swimmer with the most medals in individual events. Now she has 20 (13 gold, 6 silver, 1 bronze), having surpassed Hungarian fellow Laszlo Cseh, who has won 18 medals in individual events (14 gold, 4 silver). In Budapest, Cseh swam only the 200 IM and did not make the podium. Cseh is still the swimmer with the most gold medals in individual events.
– Adam Peaty won, for the fourth time, four events in Budapest (50 and 100 breast, 4×100 medley, 4×100 mixed medley). He has now 16 medals, all of them gold – in only one race he didn’t medal, the 200 breast in 2014. Now he is the 3rd swimmer with the most gold medals in the history of the championship, only behind Popov (21), and Franziska van Almsick (18).
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– No one won more medals in Budapest than three British swimmers: Freya Anderson, James Guy and Tom Dean. They all won six medals each. Anderson won five golds and one bronze. One could say that this is one of the best performances of all-time, since no one has won more than six gold medals in one edition (Michael Gross in 1985, Franziska van Almsick in 1993, and Pieter van den Hoogenband in 1999). Obviously, winning multiple medals in the past was harder, since today there are three mixed relays. In fact, all of Anderson gold medals were won in relay events.
– Katinka Hosszu could have won the 200 IM for the sixth time, but ended up with the bronze medal. It would have been an unprecedented feat, since no one has won the same individual event six times. Only three swimmers has won the same event five times: Hosszu (200 and 400 IM), Laszlo Cseh (200 and 400 IM), and Alexander Popov (50 and 100 free). By the way, Popov is the only one to have won the same event for six times: the 4×100 medley relay, in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2002.
– Simona Quadarella became the first swimmer to win the three distance events (400, 800, 1500 freestyle) back-to-back, having won all those events also in 2018. In fact, only one other swimmer won the 400, 800, and 1500 in the same championship: Boglarka Kapas, in 2016.
– Winning the men’s 100 and 200 fly in the same edition, like Kristóf Milák did in Budapest, is not an usual feat. Only three other swimmers have been accomplished this feat: Michael Gross (twice, in 1983 and 1985), Denis Pankratov (1995), and Laszlo Cseh (2016).
– Winning the men’s 200 and 400 free in the same edition, like Martin Malyutin did in Budapest, is also rare. It was done for the first time in 1993 with Antti Kasvio, then in 2012 with Paul Biedermann, and in 2014 with Velimir Stjepanovic.
– Last, but not the least: any idea of the country that has the longest current winning streak at the European Championships? It is Great Britain. Not in one event, but in four. And Adam Peaty has been in every one of them: men’s 50 and 100 breast, men’s 4×100 medley, and 4×100 mixed medley – the British swimmers haven’t lost these events for four straight championships since 2014. Hungary has been winning the men’s 200 fly three straight times since 2016. And in no other event has there been a winning streak longer than two championships, reflecting how well balanced the European Championships are.