On the first day of the 2015 Luxembourg-hosted Euro Meet, Hungarian Zsu Jakabos stepped out of her countrymate Katinka Hosszu’s prodigious shadow in a big way.
While Hosszu is off racing in Nice, France, Jakabos has been left to dominate the women’s side of this Euro Meet in a first-session performance on Friday that includes one title already, and another top seed headed into finals in a battle for 20.000 € of prize money
Jakabos started the day in a timed-final 400 IM by swimming a 4:43.02. That included just-barely holding off the defending Short Course World Champion in the event Mireia Belmonte of Spain.
Jakabos built a big lead early in this race that was four seconds better than Belmonte after the backstroke. But Belmonte, just as she showed in short course in Doha, clawed back into the race on the breaststroke, and over the last 50 meters made this a race (she was a full second faster than Jakabos on three of the last four 50’s). Ultimately, the Spaniard’s gamble would come up short, as she was a tenth behind in 4:43.14.
Beatriz Gomez (4:45.03) and 17-year old Jimena Perez (4:48.10) were a part of a four-in-five finish for Spain at the top of the rankings. Germany’s Franziska Hentke was 6th in 4:53.41.
Jakabos’ second swim of the morning was just a preliminary race, but already she took down Hosszu’s Meet Record in the 200 fly set last season by swimming a 2:10.08 (the old record was 2:10.55). She will be chased by a large cast of swimmers who cruised through prelims, including the 4th-seeded Belmonte (2;13.10) and Switzerland’s 2014 breakout star Martina van Berkel (2:11.30).
On the men’s side, the 400 IM victory went to Jacob Heidtmann in 4:21.73.
The men’s 200 fly top seed went to Viktor Bromer in a 1:58.42. Bromer, the defending European Champion, has taken a huge leap forward this year, having already been a 1:47 last weekend in Norway and now going a 1:58 already here in prelims. In January of last year, his breakout season, he was just a 2:00 in January.
Other high seeds in that 200 fly include Spain’s Carlos Peralta (2:00.17) and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh (2:00.71).