Triple For Denmark; Brace For Russia
Nov 23, 2012 - Craig Lord
Denmark took three gold medals and Russia two on the second day of action at the European Short-Course Championships in Chartres, France, absenteeism notable in a number of events. German and Swedish nationals are unfolding at the same time as the continental winter showcase.
Women's 800m freestyle
With Europe's 2012 top three missing - France's Camille Muffat, a world record holder on 8:01.06 a week ago at French nationals but opting out in Chartres, while Olympic medallists in London, Mireia Belmonte (ESP) and Rebecca Adlington (GBR) bypassing the meet - former world long-course champion Lotte Friis (DEN) took the crown in 8:10.24. Friis set the pace at 4:01.05 going through at the half-way mark and never looked back.
Britain's Hannah Miley too a second silver medal in Chartres in a Scottish record and big pb of 8:15.66, while Britain got a second bite at the podium, Aimee Wilmott the third fastest on the day from the slow heats in the morning, on a best time of 8:18.90 for her first senior international medal.
That Muffat should chose to target the world record - and knock it for six - a week out from an international championship being staged at home - speaks volumes about where the European s/c event finds itself on the pecking order of priorities in global waters. Titles are devalued when many of those who would be favourites to win them simply don't show up.
The European event will be held every second year in future, after FINA moved its world s/c showcase to a permanent December slot: 2012 will be the last time the two events clash as they do this year.
Men's 400m medley
Seasoned European champion Laszlo Cseh (HUN) added more trophies to his treasury with a 4:00.99 win over teammate David Verraszto, on 4:02.54, and Israel's Gal Nevo, on 4:04.80. Cseh, whose continental record of 3:57.27 dates back to the last season of shiny suits in 2009, turned second on butterfly and then led for the rest of the race, his teammate closest to him for almost all of the last 300m, Nevo moving from 6th to third on the first 50m of the breaststroke leg.
Women's 200m breaststroke
Rikke Pedersen gave Denmark its second crown of the evening with a 2:17.26 victory after leading from go to gold. her time left her 0.6sec shy of her own European record set in shiny suit back in 2009 but places her second best ever in textile behind the 2:16.39 of American rebecca Soni. The silver went to Spain's Marina Urzainqui, in a national record of 2:20.57, the bronze to Ukraine's Ganna Dzerkal in 2:21.94.
Men's 100m breaststroke
Italy's Fabio Scozzoli turned first at the half-way mark in 26.94 on the way to a solid 57.25 victory ahead of Estonia's Martti Aljand, on 57.75, with France's Giacomo Dortona third just 0.01sec away in a personal best that took him inside 58sec for the first time.
Women's 100m freestyle
The big sensation in 100m free swimming these days is when a woman gets inside 53sec long-course but Veronika Popova profited from that speed in the little pool with a 52.86 victory in Chartres this evening. Second at the turn in 25.66, she returned in 27.20, overhauling 2011 long-course world champion Jeanette Ottesen (DEN), who settled for silver in 53.13, 0.1sec ahead of France's Charlotte Bonnet. Popova's time set a Russian record inside the 53.20 established by Anastasia Aksenova at the same championships when shiny suits were in vogue back in 2008.
Women's 10m backstroke
As the final ends in Chartres, history recalls that only one world s/c record has ever fallen on November 23: Natalie Coughlin, back in 2002, clocked 58.08 in this event in East Meadow. In Chartres 10 years on, Ukraine's Daryna Zevina took the crown in 57.07, second best this year behind Australian Rachel Goh's 57.02 on world cup tour. The silver in France went to home hero and Laure Manaudou (FRA) in 57.70, the bronze to Simona Baumrtova (CZE) in 58.08, 0.14sec ahead of Kira Toussaint, the 18-year-old daughter of 1984 Olympic 200m backstroke champion Jolanda de Rover on a learning curve in senior waters.
Men's 100m butterfly
World record holder and ADN Project member, Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS) cracked 50sec to take the crown, his 49.98 falling just shy of the 49.88 in which he claimed the 2011 crown. The silver went to Spain's Rafa Munoz in 50.39, the bronze to France's Medhy Metella in 50.66.
Women's 50m butterfly
Jeanette Ottesen gave Denmark a third gold on the day with a 25.21 blast, 0.29sec outside the time in which she took the title a year ago. The silver went in 25.53 to joint world 100m free champion with Ottesen in Shanghai last year, Aliaksandra Herasimenia (BLR), who served a doping ban last decade. Melanie Henique added to France's tally with bronze in 25.76.
Men's 50m backstroke
Jeremy Stravius ended the session on high for France with a 23.28 victory ahead of Guy Barnea (ISR) and Vladimir Morozov (RUS), on 23.46 and 23.47 respectively.
Men's 100m freestyle
Russian Evgeny Lagunov set the pace in the second semi on 46.76 after watching teammate Vlad Morozov clock 46.52 in the first line-up.
Women's 100m medley
Britain's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor set the pace at 59.79 in the first semi before Hungarian teammates Katinka Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakabos clocked 59.50 and 59.54 at the helm of the second line up.
And finally, at the after-show party:
Mixed 4x50m medley (Omega: the word Mixt's doesn't exist)
France win in 1:38.74. No point in reporting the rest. Ridiculous: back to the days when LEN held 4x50m backstroke relays at the European sprint champs and only realised how stupid that was once they saw what happened!