Diving –European Championships, Mare Nostrum: happenings of this week 22 days prior to the World Championships
Diving –European Championships, Mare Nostrum: happenings of this week 27 days prior to the World Championships
Open water swimming: Jack Burnell leading the British team
The British open
The British open water delegation coming to Balatonfüred consists of 6 members. The most experienced swimmer in the team is European Championships 10 km silver medallist Jack Burnell. According to their leader, Bernie Dietzig this will be one of their largest World Championships delegations and at the same time one of the strongest ones with great chances of top placements since the qualifications went very successfully. The beginning of the seasons was rather slow for them with relatively few competitions and the process started to accelerate only recently in major tournaments staged in Abu-Dhabi, US and France.
„It will be exciting to meet new faces in the team including Robinson and Shuttleworth who have just started their international career but I trust them and their skills” said Bernie Dietzig. „They have covered a great deal of kilometres and I am convinced this extensive experience will pay off in the long course.”
As the final station of the preparations for the FINA World Championships the British team will play in Setubal, Portugal at the World Cup commencing on 24 June.
Members of the British open water swimming team:
Women: Alice Dearing (10 km), Danielle Huskisson (5 km and 10 km)
Men: Jack Burnell (10 km), Caleb Hughes (10 km), Tobias Robinson (5 km), Tim Shuttleworth (5 km)
Members of the mixed relay team will be appointed directly prior to the event only.
Mare Nostrum, Barcelona: Sjöström was shining bright
The second stage of Mare Nostrum Tour took place at the beginning of last week in Barcelona where top swimmers were racing in pursuit of preparing for the World Championships. In light of the results at the tournament, the circle of those swimmers who will arrive in Budapest in top form is becoming clear now. At the tournament in Barcelona women’s field proved to be stronger since they managed to breach as many as 10 Mare Nostrum records.
After her dominance in Monaco Olympic champion and record holder 100m butterfly simmer continued her triumph in the Catalonian capital. She swept 100m freestyle with 52.28 – the best time of this season so far- approaching the world record of 52.06 set by Cate Campbell last July. The Australian freestyle swimmer, who decided not to enter the World Championships in Budapest finished second at this tournament. The 50m event was also topped by Sjöström with 23.96 ahead of Dutch Kromowidjojo and Bronte Campbell. Sjöström swam the best time of the season (24.90) in the shortest butterfly event in Monaco, this time she improved it by achieving 24.76, 33 hundredths slower than her world record of 24.43. To make her repertoire complete, she claimed 100m butterfly as well, doing 56.27 ahead of Russian Chimrova and Canadian Oleksiak.
The 200m butterfly saw the same finish as in Rio involving Spanish Mireia Belmonte and Australian Madeline Groves, this time Olympic champion Belmonte could win (2:07.11), Groves came second (2:07.90) and Liliana Szilágyi finished third (2:08.30). Belmonte, racing in front of her home crowd, clinched gold in 400m and 1500m freestyle as well.
Just like in Monaco Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova was unbeatable in Barcelona again. She did 2:19.83 in 200m breaststroke and 1:05.66 in 100m, both noted as the best time of the season so far. In the longer one she got really close to the world record (2:19.11) of Danish swimmer Rikke Moeller-Pedersen from 2013 set here in Barcelona, too. In order to repeat her brilliant performance achieved a few days before, she excelled in the 50m event as well (30.32) finishing ahead of Swiss swimmer Jennie Johansson.
By her second best time in the season (4:33.71) Katinka Hosszú beat British Hannah Miley and Spanish Mireia Belmonte in 400m medley and clinched gold in 200m medley, as well.
Open water swimming: Paltrinieri and Detti fighting in Merano
Several Italian swimmers were racing last weekend in front of their home crowd in Merano preparing for the World Championships. Olympic and world champion in men’s 1500m freestyle Gregorio Paltrinieri won the longest pool event with 14:53.90 ahead of fellow swimmer bronze medallist of Rio Gabriele Detti (14:55.14) and Czech Jan Micka (15:13.99). The two Italian swimmer were racing in 200m freestyle as well, however, this event saw the victory of Detti (1:49.24), Paltrinieri finished only third (1:52,94). European record holder Paltrinieri was quite content with his performance in the longer course. „I must do the same thing at the World Championships, I believe I have done a good job so far. I wish to do well both in 800m and 1500m in Budapest” – he told the Italian news agency, ANSA.
Diving: European Championships - final rehearsal for World Championships
The European Diving Championships were held between 12 and 18 June in Kiev offering a great opportunity for divers preparing for the World Championships to assess the balance of power. The continental tournament featured athletes from 23 countries in 13 disciplines. 39 medals were distributed among champions from 7 nations. Numerous youngsters entered the international stage, teams have changed, several world class divers stayed away from the tournament due to preparation for the World Champs.
First gold medals were clinched in the team event by French Laura Marino and Matthieu Rosset scoring 372.40 ahead of the duet by Ukrainian Kesar, Gorshkovozov (366,55) and Russian Bazhina, Minibaev (366.10). The final day of the week-long tournament saw the last gold claimed by the French thanks to 22-year-old Benjamin Auffret (511.75) clinching gold in men’s diving with runner-up Minibaev and third placed British diver, Matthew.
In synchronised diving 3m mixed Elena Bertocchi and Maicol Verzotto did a historic act, they were the first Italians to win gold in this event at the European Championships. The pair claimed silver a year before at the continental tournament, this time scoring 287.88 they topped the podium beating the Ukrainian and the German pair. In addition, Elena Bertocchi clinching gold in women’s 1m solo ahead of Russian and German contenders further enhanced the success of Italians at the tournament.
When announcing the British roaster, head coach Alexei Evangulov told that they are aiming at forming the strongest possible team for Budapest. Several world class athletes did not attend the tournament in the Ukraine, including Tom Daley, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears, however Lois Toulson -aged only 17 now- did. Firstly, the young British lady won scoring 330.75 ahead of Russian rivals, then she topped the podium again claiming gold in duet with Matty Lee. Scoring 308.16 the British pair beat the Russian pair of Timoshinina, Minibaev as well as the Italian one of Batki, Verzotta. This was the third gold for the Brits as Ruby Bower and Phoebe Banks topped the podium, too, clinching gold in 10m synchronised swimming. The youngest pair participating in the competition that day were surprised themselves about their victory, especially considering the fact that it was their first competition together.
Host country, Ukraine did a great job, too. Ukrainian men won 2 gold medals, Ilja Kvasha (1m platform) and the pair of Maksym Dolhov, Oleksandr Gorshkovozov (synchronised diving), while female diver Hanna Pysmenska (3m platform) claimed another one.
In men’s 3m event Russian Illia Zakharov excelled ahead of two Ukrainian rivals, then he claimed another gold together with Evgeny Kuznetsov. Till the closing day Ukrainians were leading the medal table, however, in women’s synchro diving the pair of Nadezhda Bazhina and Kristina Ilinykh (304.80) beat the German Punzel, Feyer and the Dutch Jansen, Wils pairs thus Russia finished first at the European Championships.
As for the results of the Hungarian team hosting the World Championships this summer: for women Villő Kormos finished 15th in 3m and 1tth in 10m, she and Flóra Gondos finished 7th in 3m duet. Concerning men, in 1m Botond Bóta finished 23rd, Ábel Ligárt finished 31st, in 10m they had the same placements. In 10m Krisztián Somhegyi claimed 15th.
The Hungarian diving roaster will be finalised probably next week, negotiations will be conducted this week to discuss such questions.
Swimming: Mare Nostrum concluded in France successfully
The third and final station of Mare Nostrum series was staged in Canet-en-Roussillon, France last weekend.
Similarly to the case of Monaco and Barcelona the competition report on this event shall begin with highlighting the results of Sarah Sjöström, since it was not only the number of victories but the time results she had were also amazing. Although most records achieved in shark suits at the famous World Championships in Rome are still prevailing, considering Sjöström’s current form there is a good chance that the situation would change in Budapest. Last weekend she came 0.12 second close to the record of German swimmer Britta Steffen (23.73) in women’s 50m freestyle. Her time of 23.85 is the third best of all times in this course, this year no swimmers have gone under 24 seconds except for her. Then she approached the current record of 52.06 set by Cate Campbell last year as close as no one has before, when she clinched gold with 52.08. Record holder Australian swimmer Campbell was her runner up with 53.03 and Swedish swimmer Michelle Coleman finished third with 53.36. Sjöström was excellent in 100m butterfly, also, she approached her own record of 55.48 from Rio by swimming 55.76 this time and this was the 8th time she swam within 56 seconds in this event. She won 50m butterfly with 24.95, she had done better than this only at the previous stage of the series in Barcelona, the second place was claimed by 16-year-old Japanese, Rikako, while the bronze went to Belgian swimmer Kimberly Buys.
As for women, Yulia Efimova concluded the series with great results. She swept the 100m breaststroke with new personal best (1:04.82) coming half a second close to the world record by Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte (1:04.35) of 2013. On top of that, Russian swimmer demonstrated her dominance by claiming two more events: 50m and 200m breaststroke.
Katinka Hosszú claimed 2 gold medals, one is 200 and another in 400m medley. Women’s 200m butterfly was won by Japanese Hasegawa, Liliána Szilágyi finished third, Hosszú was placed fourth. In women’s 400m freestyle 15-year-old Hungarian talent Ajna Késely clinched gold. Junior European champion swimmer beat her rivals in 800m as well.
From the Hungarian aspect 200m butterfly was the most exciting event. Olympic bronze medallist Tamás Kenderesi finished first (1:54.98) beating Hungarian fellow swimmer László Cseh (1:56.39), az while Olympic champion South-African swimmer Chad Le Clos (1:56.64) was only third. Another silver went to László Cseh (51.87), this time in 100m butterfly, runner-up to French Metella Mehdy (51.63) and South-African Le Clos Chadnak (51.92) had to settle with the bronze again. The shortest butterfly course, 50m was dominated by the Ukrainian Govorov (23.05) achieving the 4th best time of the year ahead of Finnish Poytakivi (23.72) and László Cseh (23.75).
Ádám Telegdy clinched two silver medals, one in 200m backstroke, runner-up to Polish Kawecki, the other in 200m medley behind Swiss swimmer Desplanches. In the latter one Dániel Dudás finished seventh.