On the first night of the Finnish National Championships in Helsinki Ari-Pekka Liukkonen broke the men’s 100 freestyle record dipping under the 50 second barrier for the first time in his career. Liukkonen set a new record in the prelims posting a time of 49.44 breaking the record of 49.77 set by Jani Sievinen 21 years ago. Liukkonen did not swim the finals of the event telling the press that he is focusing on peaking at the Stockholm Open in a week’s time.
His time today was under the FINA B standard of 50.70. Coming into the competition Liukkonen had a lifetime best of 50.00.
Liukkonen’s 2012 Olympic teammate Matti Mattsson qualified for Rio winning the men’s 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:16.17, finishing over four seconds ahead of the field. Mattsson’s time was just under the FINA B standard of 2:16.27.
Mattsson has a lifetime best of 2:08.95, which he recorded at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.
Another 2012 Olympian stood on top of the podium on the first night of competition. Jenna Laukkanen took the women’s 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:28.14. Laukkanen finished over seven seconds ahead of the field and posted a time under the FINA B standard of 2:32.08.
Aino Otava won the women’s 200 freestyle in a time of 2:02.77, beating her own junior national record of 2:03.70, which she set in February of 2015. She was also under the FINA B standard of 2:03.13.
Other winners on the first night of competition included:
- Men’s 200 butterfly – Emil Martikainen – 2:08.25
- Women’s 50 backstroke – Mimosa Jallow – 28.51
- Men’s 1500 freestyle – Waltteri Rintala – 16:41.82