Martina Moravcikova a Czech national record to bust her way into the final of the 200 breaststroke, but she was not the only record breaker on the final preliminary session in Netanya. The 27 year old swimmer is on a sudden tear, having twice lowered this national record in the past month. Moravcikova hacked her own record down from 2:24.18 to 2:23.20, and she needed it to qualify 7th.
Similar to Moravcikova, Czech swimmer Jan Sefl had gone years without improving his 200 butterfly. His best time and record had stood since 2009, when he finally broke through and lowered the record .05 to 1:53.79. That swim earned him a spot in tonight’s final.
Ralf Tribuntsov continued his assault on Estonia’s backstroke records. This time it was the 50, and he was once again breaking his own record. Tribuntsov swam 23.72 to improve on the 23.90 he swam at the previous European Short Course in Herning.
Not content to leave the session without one more record, Tribuntsov teamed up with Martin Liivamagi, Daniel Zaitsev and Pjotr Degtjarjov to set a new Estionia 4×50 Medley Relay record in 1:3479.
Several other swimmers from smaller countries swam to national records in a fight for spots in tonights finals. Magnus Jakupsson, another swimmer who has changed which nationality he represents, broke his own Danish senior record in the 50 backstroke to finish 14th. Jakupsson, who grew up in the Faroe Islands, shaved .05 off his own record.
Alas, record breaking swims are sometimes still not good enough to advance. Such was the fate of another Scandinavian, Sindri Thor Jakobsson of Norway. Despite improving his own record in the 200 fly from 1:56.82 to 1:55.18, Jakubsson finished well out of the final in 14th.
Likewise, Andrea Podmanikova’s steep improvement curve was not enough to make the 200 breaststroke final. She lowered her own national record from 2:24.42 to 2:23.61. Still, the 17 year old has a bright future ahead of her if she keeps this up.