Only One Repeat Champion
Radoslaw Kawecki of Poland was the only athlete to defend his title from the 2013 Championships. In fact Kawecki has won gold in the 200 backstroke at the 2011 and 2012 European Short Course Championships along with the 2012 and 2014 World Short Course Championships.
Kawecki was off his lifetime best of 1:47.38, but beat his own championship record of 1:48.51 posting a winning time of 1:48.33.
The Hungarians in a Familiar Place
The Hungarian team is used to being at or close to the top of the medal standings at major international competitions and are there once again. The Hungarians won two of the five individual medal events on the first day of competitions and are currently leading the standings.
Their first gold came in the women’s 400 IM. Katinka Hosszu who is on her way to show why she has earned the moniker “The Iron Lady”. Hosszu broke the world record in prelims posting a 4:19.46, but was not able to match that feat in the evening winning the event in a time of 4:19.75.
Their second gold was earned by Peter Bernek in the men’s 400 freestyle. Bernek, who won this same event at the 2014 World Short Course Championships, won a hard fought battle with German Paul Biedermann eventually winning in a time of 3:35.46.
At the 2013 European Short Course Championships Hungary finished second with five gold, three silver and two bronze. They also finished in the same position at the 2014 World Short Course Championships.
Three out of the five medal events came down to the wire with the closest being the men’s 50 breaststroke where Slovenian Damir Dugonjic beat Adam Peaty of Great Britain by one one-hundredth of a second. Dugonjic took the event in a time of 26.20 followed by Peaty who finished in a time of 26.21.
In the women’s event Jenna Laukkanen of Finland beat Fanny Lecluyse of Belgium by 13 one-hundredths of a second posting a time of 29.71. Lecluyse took the silver in a time of 29.84.
Peter Bernek had a comfortable lead going into the final 50 meters of the 400 freestyle which is when Paul Biedermann made his move. Biedermann put up a 25.79 in his final 50 compared to Bernek who posted a 26.37. Bernek was able to hold off Biedermann winning the event in 3:35.46 five one-hundredths of a second ahead of Biedermann who finished in a 3:35.96.