Two European records, Morozov downs Manaudou, Hosszu wins two in 40min
A day of heroic efforts and brilliant battles saw some truly outstanding swims at 20th European Short-Course Swimming Championships in Glasgow. Two European records fell in the evening, Ilya Shymanovich brought the mark down in the 100m breast and Andreia Vazaios in the 200m IM. In the most anticipated clash of the entire meet, Vladimir Morozov managed to beat returning French superstar Florent Manaudou in the 50m free. Katinka Hosszu won two titles in 40 minutes, with 19 golds now she is tied first in the all-time individual ranks in the short-course Europeans. Italy added two more titles as Gregorio Paltrinieri sat back to his throne in the 1500m and Margherita Panziera came first in the 200m back. The hosts could celebrate another triumph thanks to Freya Anderson’s surprising win in the 100m free, Kliment Kolesnikov showed his class in the 100m back and as a worthy ending of this magnificent day France and the Netherlands were tied for gold in the women’s 4x50m free relay.
The home fans could get on their feet right at the beginning as Freya Anderson kicked in the party by winning the 100m free. The Brit turned sixth at the half-way mark but produced a breath-taking homecoming leg and became only the second Brit to win this event 21 years after Sue Rolph’s victory in Sheffield.
Next came the first European record of the day, Belorussian Ilya Shymanovich brought down Adam Peaty’s mark from 2017 in the 100m breast by clocking 55.89 in the semis. Soon another ER was gone, Andreias Vazaios did an outstanding job and he beat another legend’s best effort, Hungarian Laszlo Cseh’s record stood for four years before the Greek hero bettered it now (1:50.85).
There were other kind of doubles, first of all Katinka Hosszu’s passed a couple of milestones by claiming golds in a span of 40 minutes in the 200m fly and the 100m IM. The latter one was Hungary’s 1000th medal in swimming history at major events (all pools, Olympics, Worlds, Europeans, age-group included) – and her 19th title at the short-course Europeans, which ties her with Slovakia’s Martina Moravcova on the all-time ranks among the women. These are all individual victories, all-time bests as well (tied with Cseh), though the absolute leader Germany’s Thomas Rupprath is still a bit away with his 26 wins (17 individual, 9 relay golds).
Russia and Italy also enjoyed a golden double respectively. Vladimir Morozov won the most anticipated duel of the meet by beating Florent Manaudou who came back some six months ago, having opted to play handball for three years after the Rio Olympics. Morozov was dominant in all three acts, heats, semis and in the final where he gained 0.26sec on the French giant whose WR was also in danger but the Russian rocket missed it by 0.14sec.
Compatriot Kliment Kolesnikov was close to his own ER too in the 100m back, 0.19sec separated him from beating it – and 0.85sec from silver medallist Christian Diener so the young Russian retained his 2017 title with ease.
Italy grabbed two golds too: Margharita Panziera delivered the nation’s first-ever title in the 200m back – she turned her 2017 bronze into gold while Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, three-time champion in 2011-13, now returning from a year-long sabbatical, claimed silver just like in Copenhagen. Then Gregorio Paltrinieri re-conquered the 1500m free – once unbeaten for four years, Super-Greg couldn’t claim a title in his favourite race since the summer of 2017 but now he was back and ruled the race right from the beginning.
The session was closed by a special double: two relays stood on the top of the podium as the anchors of the French and the Dutch quartet in the 4x50m free clocked identical times so they shared the gold medals – in fact it was almost a three-way tie as the Danish touched the wall just 0.03sec later.
The European Championships return on Saturday with eight finals in the evening session – the morning heats start at 9.30 (GMT) while the finals kick-off at 17.00 GMT.