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Cseh: First Under 4min 400m Medley

Dec 14, 2007  - Craig Lord

Debrecen, Hungary - European s/c Championships, Day 2:

Laszlo Cseh set his second world medley record in two days, claiming the European s/c crown in 3:59.33. The first sub 4-minute 400m medley flowed as follows:

Debrecen: Cseh - 54.93; 1:54.24; 3:02.97; 3:59.33.
The world record had stood to Cseh since he lifted the same crown in Trieste on December 9, 2005 off the following splits:54.98; 1:54.54; 3:03.52; 4:00.37. Thiago Pereira (BRA) comes closest with 55.65; 1:55.57; 3:03.41; 4:00.63 in Berlin last month.

Yesterday, Cseh cracked the world record over 200m medley, in 1:52. 99. The 400m spoils went to Luca Marin (ITA), in 4:04.10 and Ioannis Drymonakos (GRE), on 4:05.08, that a national record, with young Hungarian Gergo Kis just missing the podium in 4:05.12. The final almost produced the sub 4:10 field: 19-year-old Lewis Smith (GBR) clocking a 4:10.70 Scottish record for 8th, after having set the record at 4:10.88 in heats.

Women's 4x50m freestyle: doubtless there will be claims of two world records being set tonight in Debrecen but this is an event not swum in any other major event in the world. The world best time of 1:34.82 was established by the Netherlands quartet ahead of Germany, on 1:36.74, and Sweden, on 1:36.81. Great swims from Inge Dekker, Hinkelien Schreuder, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 17, and Marleen Veldhuis, but the real thrill of setting records rests in waters populated by the whole world ready to race at peak. Something you can't say of the 4x50 free in the little pool. The standard had stood to the Dutch at 1:36.27.

Women's 100m freestyle: Britta Steffen challenged the 3-week-old European record of Marleen Veldhuis (NED) but in missing the mark by just 0.06sec the German world long-course record holder defeated her Dutch rival 52.20 to 52.30. Veldhuis, who led at the 50m 24.61 to Steffen's 25.14, set the European record at 52.14 in Berlin last month, when Steffen clocked 52.17. The world record stands at 51.70 to Libby Lenton (AUS). The bronze in Debrecen went to Josefin Lillhage (SWE) in 52.84, locking Alena Popchanka (FRA) out of the medals on 53.60.

Women's 800m freestyle: Trawl through history and it is hard to find a tighter finish over 800m freestyle that that which ended in four women racing between 8:12.27 and 8:12.91. The victor was Lotte Friis, of Denmark, followed by Erika Vilaecija (ESP), 8:12.40; Alessia Filippi (ITA), 8:12.84; and US-based Flavia Rigamonti (SUI), 8:12.91. Each of those efforts set a national record. The first four home follow the leading lady on the world rankings - Kate Ziegler (USA) set a scorching 8:08.00 world record in Essen, Germany, back in October. All-time, the four are also now ranked 3rd to 6th fastest behind the American, Laure Manaudou (FRA), whose European record stood the Debrecen challenge at 8:11.25, and the doping-banned Russian Anastacia Ivanenko, and ahead of Olympic champion Ai Shibata (JPN). Filippi would not only have won but might have broken Laure Manaudou's European record and got close to breaking 8:10 had it not been for the fact that she miscounted her laps and stopped at 750m.

Men's 100m breaststroke: a nervous final saw Grigory Falko (RUS) and Igor Borysik (UKR) tie for the gold at 58.57, with Mihail Alexandrov (BUL) third in 58.75. Former world record holder Dimitry Komornikov (RUS) and Alessandro Terrin (ITA), were both disqualified.

Men's 100m butterfly: Milorad Cavic (SRB) took the crown in 50.53 ahead of Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS), on 50.59, and Peter Mankoc (SLO), on 50.62.

Women's 50m butterfly: The crown went to world record holder Anna-Karin Kammerling (SWE), on 25.70, 0.04sec ahead of Inge Dekker (NED), with bronze going to her teammate Hinkelien Schreuder, on 25.90. Kammerling's standard stands aloft at 25.33.

Men's 50m backstroke: There was no denying Thomas Rupprath (GER) yet another European short-course gold - the 53rd international medal of his career, most of those won at Euro s/c level. Victory came his way in 23.43, 0.16sec shy of his own world record, and ahead of teammate Helge Meeuw, 23.69, and the 23.75 of Aschwin Wildeboer (ESP).

Here's the medals table half-way through (a thought: how close do you think that reflects what's going to happen in Beijing?):

1 GER - Germany 4 3 4 11
2 RUS - Russia 3 3 1 7
3 HUN - Hungary 2 1 2 5
4 POL - Poland 2 1 0 3
5 SWE - Sweden 2 0 2 4
6 FRA - France 2 0 1 3
7 NED - Netherlands 1 2 2 5
8 AUT - Austria 1 1 0 2
9 DEN - Denmark 1 0 0 1
9 SRB - Serbia 1 0 0 1
9 UKR - Ukraine 1 0 0 1
12 CRO - Croatia 0 3 0 3
13 ESP - Spain 0 1 2 3
14 ITA - Italy 0 1 1 2
15 BUL - Bulgaria 0 0 1 1
15 GRE - Greece 0 0 1 1
15 SLO - Slovenia 0 0 1 1
(NB: 2 Gold Medals to Yuliya Efimova/RUS and Janne Schaefer/GER, 50 m breast, both tied in 30.33; 2 Gold Medals to Grigory Falko/RUS and Igor Borysik/UKR, 100 m breast, both tied in 58.57; many thanks to PPS).