Two golds apiece for Hungary, GB, Italy clinches Championship Trophy
Hungary finished atop in the swimming medal table, producing its best even European Championships run for the first time with double digits for gold medals. The hosts also had a great finish and with two titles in the medley relays they came first in the overall medal haul. In swimming Italy clinched the Championship Trophy.
Hungary and Great Britain made a perfect 10 respectively – the Magyars achieved this in the swimming pool while the hosts in swimming and diving. As for the last day’s action, the Hungarians maintained their reign in the men’s 400m IM, since 2004 only their athletes captured titles here, now David Verraszto retained his with a convincing performance. Slovakia’s Richard Nagy – coming from the Hungarian minority living there – earned the silver, Italy’s Federico Turrini claimed the bronze.
Soon Boglarka Kapas added the 10th gold to the nation’s tally making the long-distance hattrick for the first time at the Europeans by winning the 400m, 800m and 1500m free at the same meet. This time the title-holder Jaz Carlin (GBR) couldn’t match her rival’s speed at the end (at the short-course in Netanya she was able to catch Kapas in the finish), while Spain’s Mireia Belmonte was a distant third.
A bit earlier Hungary was extremely close for another win, in fact Liliana Szilagyi led all the way in the 200m fly but Germany’s Franziska Hentke passed her in the last centimetres and won by the tiniest margin possible (0.01sec). Judit Ignacio Sorribes was also close to the top two, trailed only 0.29sec to Hentke who repeated her win in Berlin two years ago.
The session opening dash events saw some deja vu winners: just as four years ago at the Olympics, the 50m free crowns went to France’s Florent Manaudou among the men and Dutch Ranomi Kromowidjojo among the women – interestingly, this was the first individual European title for sprinting queen Ranomi.
The women’s breaststroke dash turned into a Nordic party with Sweden’s Jennie Johansson touching in first, the next three hit the wall in a span of 0.08sec, the silver was grabbed by Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir (the Icelandic completed a medalling hat-trick in the breaststroke with two silvers, one bronze) while the bronze was grabbed by Jenna Laukkanen from Finland.
The event finished on a real high as the medley relays created a magnificent atmosphere with the Brit quartets delivering both in the women and in the men events. Adam Peaty’s 58.08 breaststroke leg was the most outstanding effort in the mix, and he finished his home campaign with four titles (two individual, two relay), the most in the male field. The queen of the meet was Katinka Hosszu with four golds and a silver, only matched by compatriot Boglarka Kapas with four titles.
The quality of the swimming Europeans was highlighted by 21 Championship Records broken, and courtesy of Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri a European Record also fell in this week. It was also the meet’s best individual effort, based on FINA points (989, 14:34.04 in the 1500m free), among the women Sarah Sjostrom’s 100m fly swim tops this rank (986 – 55.89 in the 100m fly).
Italy clinched the Championship Trophy with 702 points, ahead of Hungary (577) and Great Britain (564), while Hungary topped the swimming medal table for the third time in the history of the Europeans (1954, 2012, 2016). The overall medals favour the Brits who staged really unforgettable championships in the London Aquatics Centre. And in only a little more than two years the Old Continent’s aquatic elite will return to Great Britain as Glasgow will host the 2018 edition.
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Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of Deepbluemedia