LEN Announces Nominees for 2022 European Swimmers of the Year Awards

LEN, the governing body for European Aquatics, has opened public voting for its 2022 LEN Awards, honoring the best aquaticians on the continent last year.

The public vote will count for 30% of the voting, with LEN members and technical committee members getting the other 70% of the vote.

Voting ends February 10th.

The Awards honor male and female competitors from Swimming, Diving, Artistic Swimming, Open Water and Water Polo. For the first time, LEN will also award male and female winners for High Diving, which debuted at the 2022 European Championships.

Nominees were chosen based on their performances during the 2022 season in LEN and World Aquatics (formerly FINA). These shortlists were approved by the Technical Committee of each discipline and ratified by the Executive Bureau.

Swimming Nominees:

Men’s Nominees:

An absolutely brutal field for the men’s award, the list includes three World Record breakers in 2022 and another who didn’t break a World Record, but might be as deserving as any of them.

Italy’s Thomas Ceccon won World Championships in the 100 back and 400 medley relay, including a World Record in the former. That went along with a long course Worlds bronze in the 400 free relay, four European Championships, three World Short Course Championships, and a number of other minor medals across a number of meets.

Hungary’s Kristof Milak won a pair of World Championships in front of a home crowd in Budapest. He won the 100 fly and 200 fly, including shattering his own World Record in the latter. He added to that three European Championships and two European silver medals as well, including in a secondary event, the 100 free.

The teenager David Popovici from Romania won the 100 free and 200 free World Championships in Budapest in June, and ended his summer with an even bigger show in Rome at Euros. There, he won the 100 and 200 free, and set a stunning World Record in the 100 free.

France’s Leon Marchand won the 200 IM and 400 IM at the World Championships and added a silver medal in the 200 fly. His 400 IM is a European Record and the closest that anyone has come to one of the all-time legendary World Records, Michael Phelps’ 4:03.84 – a swim that has captured imaginations.

Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi won a pair of long course World Championships: one individually in the 100 breaststroke, and the other in the same Italian 400 medley relay where Ceccon was a winner. He also won 3 European titles and 5 World Short Course titles.

My ranking:

  1. Kristof Milak, Hungary
  2. David Popovici, Romania
  3. Thomas Ceccon, Italy
  4. Leon Marchand, France
  5. Nicolo Martinenghi, Italy

Women’s Nominees:

There were only four nominees for women, though only one of them set a World Record. That was Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania, who on her comeback year from about three away from the sport, broke the World Record in the 50 breast in short course.

She won World titles in that 50 breast in both short course and long course, as well as the European Championship. She added to that long course bronze medals in the 100 breast at both Worlds and the European Championships.

Pilato, meanwhile, won that 100 breaststroke at both the World Championships and European Championships, and added silver medals in the 50 at both meets behind Meilutyte.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who continued to battle through injuries in 2022, was the only European woman to win multiple World Championships in long course in 2022. She won the 50 free and 50 fly, and also added a silver in the 100 free. She went on to win European Championships in the 50 free and 50 fly, though she didn’t compete at the World Short Course Championships.

She had no medals in the 100 fly, the event that made her famous and where she is the World Record holder (one of four long course World Records she still holds).

The other nominee, Marrit Steenbergen, had a monster breakthrough year. She swam the 10 fastest 200 IMs of her career in 2022, which led to 4 European Championships (100 free, 200 free, 800 free relay, 400 mixed medley relay) and a World Short Course Championship (100 IM).

My ranking:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden
  2. Ruta Meilutyte, Lithuania
  3. Marrit Steenbergen, Netherlands
  4. Benedetta Pilato, Italy

Other Discipline Nominees (SwimSwam’s Pick Bolded)

Diving, Men:

  • Timo Barthel, Germany
  • Kirill Boliukh, Ukraine
  • Jack Laugher, UK
  • Lorenzo Marsaglia, Italy
  • Oleksiy Sereda, Ukraine
  • Giovanni Tocci, Italy
  • Noah Williams, UK

Diving, Women:

  • Elena Bertocchi, Italy
  • Sofiya Lyskun, Ukraine
  • Chiara Pellacani, Italy
  • Tina Punzel, Germany
  • Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, UK
  • Lois Toulson, UK

Artistic Swimming, Men:

  • Giorgio Minisini, Italy
  • Pau Ribes, Spain
  • Jozef Solymosy, Slovakia

Artistic Swimming, Women:

  • Anna-Maria Alexandri, Austria
  • Linda Cerruti, Italy
  • Marta Fiedina, Ukraine

Open Water, Men:

  • Averenza, Italy
  • Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy
  • Olivier, France
  • Verani, Italy
  • Florian Wellbrock, Germany

Open Water, Women:

  • Leonie Beck, Germany
  • Lea Boy, Germany
  • Giulia Gabbrielleschi, Italy
  • Aurelie Muller, France
  • Sharon van Rouwendaal, Netherlands

Water Polo, Men:

  • Unai Aguirre, Spain
  • Marko Bijac, Serbia
  • Giacomo Cannella, Italy
  • Alvaro Granados, Spain
  • Szilard Jansik, Hungary

Water Polo, Women:

  • Roberta Bianconi, Italy
  • Judith Forca, Spain
  • Rita Keszthelyi, Hungary
  • Margarita Plevritou, Greece
  • Brigitte Sleeking, Netherlands

High Diving, Men:

  • Constantin Popovici, Romania
  • Catalin Preda, Romania
  • Alessandro De Rose, Italy

High Diving, Women:

  • Elise Cosetti, Italy
  • Iris Schmidbauer, Germany
  • Antonina Vyshyvanova, Ukraine

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1 month ago

I think Kolesnikov should be on the list of nominees, he still broke one of the untouchable world records, which was held for 8 years, even though it was in a short course. If not for the suspension, he would probably have won the World Championship (at least 50 on the back, at the Russian championship he swam 23.93, and the WorldСhamp won 24.12). But I think Len did not include him in the list, simply because he is a Russian

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