Great day for Germany, Hungary, Russia and the Netherlands
A four-medal haul delighted the German, Hungarian, Dutch and Russian swimmers, while Italy collected a full set (1-1-1) on the second day at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Copenhagen. The hosts could also celebrate their first podium-finish in the Royal Arena.
The Hungarians and the Dutch enjoyed a great spell on the second day, both teams clinched two golds, a silver and a bronze respectively. The Germans were just as good with a gold, two silvers and a bronze, while Russia had a gold, a silver and two bronzes.
For the Magyars – who topped the medal table in Netanya 2015 – Katinka Hosszu delivered another gold, as she retained her 100m back title with ease. Though the title-holder David Verraszto skipped the meet, the medley nation threw another ace to the table as Peter Bernek showed his skills for the first time in the 400m IM (he won the 400m free in 2015 and came second in that event yesterday). He was a class apart, touched home with a 3.6sec advantage ahead of Germany’s Philip Heintz, while the other Hungarian, Gergely Gyurta clinched bronze.
The Germans took revenge in the 800m free where Sarah Koehler won a wonderful duel against Boglarka Kapas (HUN). This was a great consolation for the nation topping the all-time ranks as Marco Koch couldn’t recover fully from his sickness and could clinch silver in his favourite 200m breaststroke. The fourth German medal, a bronze, came in the 100m fly, courtesy of Marius Kusch.
Here the Italian pair of Matteo Rivolta and Pietro Codia produced the meet’s first 1-2 for the same nation. It was a breathtaking race where the first three hit the wall in a span of 0.08sec, Rivolta just out-touched his compatriot by 0.03.
The Dutch had a 1-3 in the women’s 50m fly where Ranomi Kromowidjojo enjoyed a much easier race than expected after Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – in the middle of a busy schedule with 100m free and 100m IM swims – bowed out in the semi-finals. Maikee de Waard got the bronze for the Netherlands then Kromowidjojo rushed to the start to the 4x50m mixed medley relay and claimed a second gold in a span of ten minutes. It was a thriller, only 0.04sec separated the winners from the bronze medallists but Kromowidjojo had the magical touch at the wall.
The first day belonged to the Russians and they didn’t slow down too much. They also posted a 1-3 finish, in the 200m breast where Kirill Prigoda came first and Mikhail Dorinov third. Maria Kameneva added a bronze in the 100m back, while Aleksandr Krasnykh seemed a bit disappointed after his silver medal finish in the 200m free. However, the 400m champion couldn’t do much to prevent Danas Rapsys’s triumph. The Lithuanian, bronze medallist in the 200m back, sailed away early and built a 1.37sec gap by the end of the race.
The 50m fly final caused some noise in the stands since Emilie Beckman delivered the first medal to the hosts, a silver, much to the joy of the crowd.
Men’s 200m freestyle
Danas Rapsys, Lithuania, 1:40.85
“I’m pretty happy, this is my first ever European title. I’ve been expecting this, yes, I clocked the best time in the morning. It was my best race ever, probably.”
Aleksandr Krasnykh, Russia, 1:42.22
“I’m not satisfied, I have to swim faster next time to clinch the gold.”
Duncan Scott, Great Britain, 1:43.07
“It was a tough race, I swam really off my personal best. Then there is no way to win the race. Nevertheless, it is my first individual medal.”
Men’s 200m breaststroke
Kirill Prigoda, Russia, 2:01.11
“That’s my first medal in the 200m and it’s so amazing that it’s a gold. I’m really satisfied with this time and it can be even better with more and more work, work, work…”
Marco Koch, Germany, 2:01.52
“A few days ago I was really sick so I have to be satisfied with this silver medal.”
Mikhail Dorinov, Russia, 2:01.85
“Good time, good enough for the bronze medal. It was a good swim after all.”
Men’s 400m IM
Peter Bernek, Hungary, 3:59.47
“I’m pretty happy of course though I’m in real pain now… It’s been hurting since the 200m turn, perhaps I went out too fast. The time is great, though I would have loved to clock 3:58-something – in fact, I’m never really satisfied with myself. This was a great race, my job now is to bring this whole experience to the long pool for the next season.”
Philip Heintz, Germany, 4:03.16
“I felt tired from this morning’s prelims and my goal was just to make a medal. I’ve just done that.”
Gergely Gyurta, Hungary, 4:03.36
“Last time I missed the bronze by 0.2sec, faith now gave that back as this time I was a bit lucky to clinch a medal. It’s quite brutal to swim this event twice a day, I was tiring towards the end but I’m satisfied with my time.”
Women’s 100m backstroke
Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 55.66
“I’m pretty happy with the time, then I had 20 minutes to be ready for the 100m IM semis. There the time wasn’t as good as I expected though I was trained to do this busy programme for years. But I’m feeling confident.”
Kira Toussaint, Netherlands, 56.21
“It’s a dream! My first-ever international medal and my personal best by more than half a second.”
Maria Kameneva, Russia, 57.01
“I’m absolutely surprised as I favour the 50m. This is my first medal in Europe so I’m jumping out of my skin!”
Men’s 100m butterfly
Matteo Rivolta, Italy, 49.93
“I’m happy with the medal but not really with the time. I planned to do a bit better, faster, to improve my stroke but I didn’t really realise everything. But the medal is fine.”
Pietro Codia, Italy, 49.96
“My last 50m were really hard but I’m very happy with the result. Probably that was my best race ever.
Marius Kusch, Germany, 50.01
“There is a great atmosphere here. I didn’t set any specific goal regarding the time, I’ve just wanted to do the job and touch the wall. Nevertheless it’s very nice to see on the scoreboard that you bettered your PB by half a second.”
Women’s 800m freestyle
Sarah Koehler, Germany, 8:10.65
“I saw Boglarka Kapas and I knew it was going to be very close. I concentrated on my last turns and gave everything in the last 50m.”
Boglarka Kapas, Hungary, 8:11.13
“We can toy with the idea that it could have been better if I hadn’t swum the 400m IM yesterday but it’s useless. I simply didn’t have enough power to stage a big finish which I’m usually capable of. I wanted to win but I won’t be really sad because of this silver.”
Simona Quadarella, Italy, 8:16.53
“My tactic was to start slowly and be more powerful in the end. I swam almost alone, still, I’m happy with my time as I wanted to come inside 8:20.”
Women’s 50m butterfly
Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands, 24.78
“I was looking forward to a tough fight with Sarah Sjostrom but unfortunately she didn’t make the final. Still, Scandinavia is strong in this event as my biggest opponent came from Denmark this evening.”
Emilie Beckmann, Denmark, 25.16
“I really tried to enjoy the race and it was such an amazing feeling to swim in front of the Danish crowd. I felt the power they gave me, there was not pressure at all.”
Maaike De Waard, Netherlands, 25.46
“That’s my third best time so I’m really glad that I could swim this fast and have the bronze medal.”
Mixed 4x50m medley relay
Netherlands (Kira Toussaint) 1:37.71 CR
“We are really happy, we won such a great race! It’s awesome!”
Belarus (Pavel Sankovich) 1:37.74
“When there is a chance that you got the first place or the fourth then you really need luck. I’m really happy, especially because we managed to win a silver medal with a 15 year-old girl, Anastasia in our line-up. I’m really proud of her!”
France (Charlotte Bonnet) 1:37.75
“We had exactly the same team as this morning so we knew we could finish somewhere between first and fourth. With this new team it’s nice to make the podium.”