Tokyo 2020, Europe Day 5: Finland Wins First Olympic Swimming Medal in 25 Years

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Matti Mattson crushed his Finnish National Record to win bronze in 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:07.13 on Thursday at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This was Finland’s first Olympic swimming medal in 25 years.

“Few know the deep waters I’ve weathered to reach this point,” Mattson told Finnish news outlet Yle Sport. “I have tried many different things and been sent home quite a few times after the first rounds, but now we finally made it all the way to the medals. I couldn’t be any happier.”

Finland’s last Olympic swimming medal was in 1996 when Jani Sievinen won silver in the men’s 200 IM.

27-year-old Mattson broke this record twice in two days. Going into this meet, the National Record was set at 2:08.26 from his performance at the recent European Championships. In the semifinals, on Tuesday he swam a 2:08.22.

Mattson is the first Finnish man to ever break 1:00.00 in the 100 meter breast. He owns that National Record, which he set at 59.99 at the recent European Championships, alongside the 200 breaststroke.

In the same race, the Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga won silver in 200 breaststroke, .16 off his Dutch National Record. Kamminga has now swept silver in both breaststroke events.

On the women’s side, 16-year-old Evgeniia Chikunova placed 2nd in 200 breaststroke semifinals, within 1.16 of Yuliya Efimova’s Russian National Record

In the same race, Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri won silver with a time of 7:42.11, about 3 seconds off his National Record.

Mykhailo Romanchuk won Ukraine’s first medal by claiming bronze in the 800 free  (7:42.33), about a second off his National Record from prelims.

The men’s 800 freestyle final was a European-dominated race with Europeans claiming 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th place.

Quick Hits

  • Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov won bronze in men’s 100 free (47.44), one third off a second off the National Record he set yesterday
  • Pernille Blume came within one-third of a second of her Danish National record in 100 free prelims for 7th place
  • Luke Greenbank won 200 back prelims within two-tenths of his British National Record. In the semifinals, Greenbank placed 2nd behind Evgeny Rylov of Russia
  • Fanny Lecluyse came within .12 of her Belgian National Record in the 200 breast prelims for 11th place
  • Israel’s Andi Murez broke the 100 free National Record with a time of 54.06 to earn 22nd place in prelims
  • Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches came within .33 of his National Record in the 200 IM for 2nd place in prelims
  • Alberto Razzetti was about one-third of a second off his Italian National Record in the 200 IM to take 8th place in prelims
  • Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom got 4th in 100 free semifinals (52.82), 1.01 off her World Record
  • Femke Heemskerk .24 within her Dutch National Record to place 6th in 100 free semifinals (52.93)
  • Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas 4th in 200 fly final (2:06.53) 
  • Duncan Scott 2nd in men’s 200 IM semi’s, within .8 of his British National Record, 

Continental and National Records on Day 5

  • Anna Hopkin posted a 52.75 in the 100 freestyle prelims race for 3rd place, breaking the British National Record and taking nearly half a second off her previous lifetime best time. The previous record was set at 52.87.
  • Tomoe Hvas‘ 12th place finish in prelims in the 200 IM (1:57.64) broke the Norwegian National Record.
  • Matti Mattson broke his Finnish National Record to win bronze in 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:07.13.

Europe Medal Table After Day 5

Nation Total Medals Gold Silver Bronze
Great Britain 4 3 1 0
ROC 4 1 2 1
Hungary 1 1 0 0
Italy 4 0 2 2
Netherlands 2 0 2 0
Finland 1 0 0 1
Germany 1 0 0 1
Ukraine 1 0 0 1

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2 years ago

An Israeli national record was broken in the 1free heats as well 🙂
Andi Murez(Standord alumna, ) went 54.0 to slice a tenth.
In addition, they shattered the M4×200 by 5 seconds to place tenth with an individual 1.46.6 2free NR on the leadoff for Loktev(lanepulling guy).

Lex Soft
Reply to  Bud
2 years ago

They made it to the final in mixed medley relay final, thanks to Gal Cohen in butterfly leg, clocking 51.06. Who is better in butterfly leg : Cohen or Tomer Frankel ?

Reply to  Lex Soft
2 years ago

In general would say Frankel is the better flyer and swimmer overall(Big 10 champion, NCAA B finalist this year), but sadly he’s not at his best this week(went a full second slower than his 2018 flat start PB in the 200 free with a flying start plus just off his PB in the 1fly heats).

Last edited 2 years ago by Bud

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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