Russia smashes WR, Dutch double, Rapsys gets second gold
The second day saw the first world record of the 20th European Short-Course Swimming Championships: the Russian mixed medley relay brought down the global mark. Dutch swimmers grabbed two titles, the hosts also opened their golden account like France and Germany, while Danas Rapsys added the 200m free crown to his win in the 400m on Day 1.
Danas Rapsys continued where he stopped a day earlier when he had climbed out from the pool as the undisputed victor in the 400m free. This time he stormed to another win in the 200m free in the session opener, leaving no chance for his rivals. Though Duncan Scott pushed hard but trailed 0.3sec by the end – though worth adding that the Brit also swam the 400m IM in the morning, quite a tiring load, qualified first but withdrew then – the Olympic preps required this and not more at this stage.
Arno Kamminga crowned his brilliant autumn by clinching gold in the 200m breast. The Dutchman had a great run in the World Cup series, won seven races and posted great times and here in Glasgow he claimed his first individual European title after his first medal in the 50m a day earlier. Another Dutch triumph came in the women’s 100m back and this was also a career-first for Kira Toussaint who had two relay golds from Copenhagen but only a silver in this event – now she also has an individual title.
Though Duncan Scott skipped the 400m IM final, the Brits had another ace in the pack and Max Litchfield proved to be no match for the others. He also ended the Hungarian reign in this event as this was the first time since 2008 that the champion came from another nation. It was the first gold for the hosts in this meet, Litchfield stood on the top of the podium in the company of two Russians Ilia Borodin and Daniil Pasnykov – the 16 year-old Borodin clocked a new junior European record.
Marius Kusch brought the first gold to the championships’ most successful nation Germany, he flew to victory in the 100m fly, ahead of Russia’s Mikhail Vekhovishchev whose feet deserves appreciation as he also got a bronze in the 200m free some 40 minutes earlier.
Simona Quadarella had a breakthrough performance in this pool in the summer of 2018 when she managed to complete the 400-800-1500m treble in the long-course Europeans. Since then she added the world title in the 1500m at the Worlds in Gwangju and here she clinched her first short-course European gold with a convincing swim, ahead of her main European chaser Ajna Kesely of Hungary, and fellow Italian Martina Caramignoli.
The women’s 50m fly ended up in a special two-country affair with two medals apiece though the French were superior as they finished 1-2, courtesy of Melanie Henique and Beryl Castaldello. Sharing medals is not a rarity in dash events but to have the same nations’ swimmers tied doesn’t happen too often – but this evening Jeanette Ottesen and Emilie Beckman stood next to each other and saw two Danish flags displayed. In a span of ten minutes, Ottesen earned another bronze as member of the Danish medley relay behind the Russians who set a new WR (1:36.22). Here the Netherlands came second so Toussaint and Kamminga could celebrate their golden day with a silver bonus.
The European Championships return on Friday with no less than nine finals in the evening session – the morning heats start at 9.30 (GMT) while the finals kick-off at 17.00 GMT.