2016 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Monday, May 16th – Sunday, May 22nd
- Prelims: 10:00 AM (London Time) / 5:00 AM (Eastern Time)
- Finals: 6:00 PM (London Time) / 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
- London Aquatics Center, London, UK
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results
- Live Stream
With some swimmers already having secured their 2016 Olympic berths, while others are gunning for final spots on their nation’s rosters, there’s a mixed bag of athletes’ current states entering this year’s European Championships.
The competition kicked off this morning at the London Aquatic Centre with some expected results, such as Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu leading the women’s 400m IM field. However, a few surprises were also sprinkled throughout the morning, with one being that of Great Britain’s James Guy missing out on the 400m freestyle final.
Guy is the reigning World Championship silver medalist in this event, having earned a time of 3:43.75 to finish behind China’s Sun Yang in Kazan. 20-year old Guy followed that performance up with a commanding 400m freestyle win at his nation’s Olympic Trials where he clocked a time of 3:43.84.
Headed into this year’s European Championships, Guy made the comment that he’d be trying out a few new tactics in London. The meet’s ambassador was quoted as saying, “The European Championships is really important to me because it is a process meet before Rio. I will try a few things and tactics there and I hope to be on form there ahead of the big one in Rio. I want to race hard and it is a step towards Rio and I am going to try new things so watch out!”.
As such, with Guy’s winding up in a 27th place position in the men’s 400m freestyle after having swam a pedestrian (for him) time of 3:52.91, heads turned a little. What tactics is Guy exactly trying out that would render his outing almost 10 seconds slower than his season-best?
One answer is that Guy was confirmed to be swimming in a brief – the only unsuited swimmer of the event – while also appearing unshaved. There are reports that Guy is also unrested, all of which would point to the swimmer not being in top form to contest this event to the best of his ability.
Per the photo provided by Karen Pickering below, Guy very much stands out in his brief and has noticeable facial hair.
Guy is slated to swim the 200m freestyle event tomorrow, so we’ll see how the reigning World Champion in that event fares against the likes of his own teammate, Brit Robbie Renwick, as well as Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren and France’s Jordan Pothain.