Rapsys And Bilis Among Those Set To Race At Lithuanian Champs This Week

2021 Lithuanian Winter Championships

The 2021 Lithuanian Swimming Championships will get underway this week in Klaipėda, Lithuania with many of Lithuania’s top swimmers making their way to the 3-day affair.

Meet Schedule

Prelims Finals
Thursday, February 18 11 am local time / 4 am EST 6 pm local time / 11 am EST
Friday, February 19 10:05 am local time / 3:05 am EST 5:30 pm local time / 10:30 am EST
Saturday, February 20 10:05 am local time / 3:05 am EST  4:30 pm local time / 9:30 am EST

MEN

Energy Standard-trained sprinter Simonas Bilis will be at the meet as the top seed in the 50 and 100 freestyles. While Bilis is entered with a 22.29 in the 50, he has been as fast as a 21.70 back in 2018 and the European Championships. Bilis hasn’t been back under 22 and his seed time hails from January of last year. In the 100, Bilis will go in with a 48.90 which is just over his actual best time of 48.64 from back in 2016.

Bilis has raced for Lithuania at the last three World Swimming Championships along with the 2016 Olympics. Both of his personal bests in the freestyle sprints (21.70 and 48.64) are Lithuanian swimming records.

Also present at the meet this week will be multiple Lithuanian record holder Danas Rapsys. Rapsys will race the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, and 100 butterfly. In the 100 freestyle, Rapsys is entered with a 49.04 right behind top-seeded Bilis. As the national record holder in the 100 backstroke, Rapsys will go in as #1 seed. Entered with a 54.66, Rapsys has been a 53.79 back in 2017 when he set the NR. In the 100 fly, Rapsys will go in in second with a 53.14 behind Lithuanian record holder Deividas Margevičius’s 52.55.

Rapsys won’t be swimming what is arguably his strongest event recently which is the 400 freestyle. At the 2019 World Swimming Championships, Rapsys was a 3:43.50 in the event, earning a fourth-place finish. He also recently had a strong short course 400 freestyle run in the 2020 ISL season, winning the event a number of times.

In Rapsys’ absence, Džiugas Miškinis will be entered as first seed with a 4:09.46, followed by Deividas Kazilas (4:09.81), and Nojus, Skirutis (4:11.81) in second and third, respectively.

WOMEN

No women in Lithuanian swimming have been able to touch the breaststroke national records since elite Rūta Meilutytė spent much of the last decade re-writing the record book. Since Meilutytė’s 2019 retirement from the sport, Kotryna Teterevkova has been on the rise within the Lithuanian breaststroke scene and will swim the 50, 100, and 200 this week as top seed in all 3. Each of Teterevkova’s PBs are still a bit off Meilutytė’s standing records but certainly within striking distance for the 19-year-old over the next few years:

Kotryna Teterevkova‘s Personal Best Rūta Meilutytė Personal Best
50 Breast 31.20 (2019) 29.48 (National, European Record)
100 Breast 1:07.34 (2019) 1:04.35 (National, European Record)
200 Breast 2:26.97 (2018) 2:25.62 (National Record)

Also racing this week on the women’s side is Ugnė Mažutaitytė. She holds the fastest entry time in all three backstrokes and is the Lithuanian record holder in the 100 and 200. Her 1:02.10 NR in the 100 gives her a significant edge over second seed Paulina Pekunaitė (1:04.54). Mažutaitytė and Pekunaitė are also seeded in first and second in the 200 with Mažutaitytė’s NR of 2:11.56 giving her a 9 second lead over Pekunaitė’s 2:20.88. In the 50, Mažutaitytė is the only sub-30 entry with her 29.24 PB giving her nearly a second lead over Pekunaitė’s 30.21.

Racing gets underway at 11 am local time tomorrow which is 4 am EST, with finals beginning at 6 pm in Lithuania, 11 am Eastern. Check back in beginning tomorrow for our daily recaps of the meet as racing gets underway in Klaipėda.

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