The 5 Most Important Storylines of the 2022 Euro Champs (Women’s Edition)

2022 EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

The European Championships start tomorrow and the women’s side is set to have some key matchups. Here SwimSwam has come up with five of the top storylines to follow on the women’s side:

Another Week of Taper for the British Sprinters

Both Freya Anderson and Anna Hopkin had solid swims at 2022 Worlds in June as both earned A final swims but were just off the podium. At the Commonwealth Games around a week ago though, both were slightly off their best. Neither won an individual medal at the Commonwealth Games. Now, a week later, will either women benefit off of an extra week of taper to help get them over the hump?

The two come in as the top (Hopkin) and third (Anderson) seeds in the women’s 100 freestyle. Anderson also comes in as the top seed in the 200 freestyle, and Hopkin is the third seed in the 50 free. Here, Anderson has a big opportunity to break through and win a major long course title after much promise in recent years.

Anderson had a huge swim in the 200 free in semi-finals at Worlds in June as she swam a lifetime best of 1:56.05. She was the top seed heading into finals but was slightly off her time from semis as she swam a 1:56.61 to finish fourth. Her time from semis would have finished third earning a bronze medal.

Neither swimmer has won a major long course title. Notably, both swimmers finished as high as third at last summer’s European Championships. Will this extra week after Commonwealth help give them the taper and rest they need?

Will Kira Toussaint Bounce Back?

The Netherlands’ Kira Toussaint will look to bounce back here after not medaling at Worlds in June. At Worlds, Toussaint finished sixth in the 100 back (59.99) and eighth in the 50 back (27.80).

She swam the 100 and 200 backstrokes along with the 50 and 100 freestyles at US Nationals two weeks ago but will only be in the 50 and 100 backstrokes here at Euros. She was faster at US Nationals than she was at 2022 Worlds in the 100 back as she swam a 59.24 to finish second in Irvine.

Toussaint is the defending European Champion in the 50 backstroke after swimming a 27.36 in May of last summer. There she also finished fourth in the 100 back with a 59.32. She comes into both events as the top seed.

She holds a best time of 58.65 in the 100 back which she swam in April 2021. This calendar year, her best time stands at a 59.16. She hasn’t been under the 59 mark since last summer’s Tokyo Olympics where she swam a 58.99 during a relay lead off.

Will she be able to continue her progression from Worlds to US Nationals here?

The Italian “War” in the Breaststrokes

In both the 50 and 100 breaststroke, Italy has three of the top eight seeds. The country was allowed to have four swimmers in a single event, but only two being able to advance out of prelims.

It is expected to be a tight race between the Italian women in all the breaststrokes with the closest competition coming in the 100 breast.

The 100 breaststroke features three Italians as the second (Arianna Castiglioni), third (Benedetta Pilato), and fourth (Martina Carraro) seeds. With only two swimmers allowed to move on, the race becomes more than just moving past prelims, it also turns into swimming faster than fellow teammates.

In the 50 breast, Pilato holds the top seed, Castiglioni holds the third seed, and Carraro holds the seventh seed.

Notably, Pilato is coming off Worlds in June where she won the women’s 100 breaststroke in a 1:05.93. She also finished second in the 50 breast with a 29.80. Pilato was the only woman to win gold or bronze for the Italians at Worlds and will look to continue her momentum here.

Wide Open IMs

Last summer, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the 400 IM by over two seconds. Hosszu is the world record holder in the event but holds a season best of 4:37.89. Hosszu also finished third in the 200 IM last year with a 2:10.12. She comes in here as the top seed in both the 200 and 400 IMs.

Hosszu, 33, is the long course World Record holder in both the 200 and 400 IMs. She also holds the short course meter (SCM) 200 IM world record as Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia holds the record in the 400 IM. The 31 year old Belmonte is the second seed behind Hosszu in the 400 IM.

Last year, teenager Anastasya Gorbenko of Israel captured the 200 IM title. She is the second seed in the event here behind Hosszu.

At 2022 Worlds, Gorbenko had the highest finish in the 200 IM of any of the entrants here. Hosszu finished just off the podium at Worlds in the 4o0 IM as she finished fourth, the highest of any swimmer entered in the event this week.

What can the Swedish women put together?

The Swedish women put on a show at short course Worlds last December. There they won both the 4×50 and 4×100 medley relays including tying the World Record in the 4×50 and setting a new European Record in the 4×100. In addition, they also won a silver or gold medal in all four 100s.

Here at Euros, three out of the four legs on both of the medley relays from 2021 SCM Worlds will be swimming. Notably, Sarah Sjoestroem will also be focusing on the 50 free and 50 fly as she opted not to swim the 100 fly or 100 free. She is the top seed in both 50s.

At Worlds, the Swedish 4×100 medley relay finished fourth and were the highest finishing European team. All four of their legs there will be swimming here.

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Scuncan Dott
1 month ago

Anna Hopkin is out of the 100 free and Ben Proud is out of the 50 Fly according to the startlists on the live results page.

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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