Paltrinieri cracks ER, Cseh wins 12th career title
Two great individual efforts highlighted the third day of swimming action at the 32nd European Championships in Berlin. Italyâ€™s Gregorio Paltrinieri crashed the European record in the 1500m free, while veteran Laszlo Cseh earned his 12th gold medal at the Europeans while winning his 5th straight crown in the 200m IM. In the meantime Germanyâ€™s Patrick Hausding clinched his second title in his second competition in the diving pool.
Gregorio Paltrinieri has become the first European swimmer who swam the 1500m free under 14:40 minutes. The Italian title-holder started the race with an unbelievable pace and after 200m he gained more than a body-length on the field. Soon the gap grew to 15m, while all his splits remained under 30sec. The crowd got louder and louder as the big screen showed that he was way ahead of the magical red line (the mark for the ER pace). At the end he smashed the European record, shaving off more than 3sec of the old one for 14:39.93. His training partner, Gabriele Detti earned the bronze, while Faroerâ€™s Pal Joensen managed to clinch the silver with a great finish.
Hungaryâ€™s Laszlo Cseh, nearing to his 29th birthday, seemed ageless while battling with his six-year younger rivals. The Hungarian medley maestro did it again in the 200m: it was his closest win ever at the Europeans â€“ 0.07 sec ahead of local favourite Philip Heintz (GER) â€“, still, he retained his crown. It was his 12th European gold, the first came 10 years ago. Now he also equalled his own record by winning the same event five times in a row: he did in the 400m IM between 2004 and 2012 (he skips this here) and he won his 5th straight gold in the 200m IM in Berlin.
The Germans had an unlucky day, indeed: before Heintzâ€™s minor loss to Cseh, Paul Biedermann was also out-touched by Serbiaâ€™s Velimir Stjepanovic by 0.02sec â€“ it was a magnificent race, decided by millimetres.
The women winners from Scandinavia were busy to better their respective eventsâ€™ Championships Records: Rikke Moeller Pedersen (DEN) won the 100m breast with ease (1:06.23), just as Sarah Sjoestroem (SWE) did in the 100m free (52.67) â€“ it was the second title for the Swede in two days.
The hosts had something to cheer for in the diving pool. The second stage of Patrick Hausdingâ€™s quest was just as successful as the first one. After his win in the 1m, the 10m synchro came next and together with Sascha Klein they were superior again . The reigning world champions led from the beginning, they had great dives, once even a mark 10 appeared on the scoreboard and they finished the event with an almost 40-point advantage, ahead of the Belorussian pair, Vadim Kaptur and Yauheni Karaliou.
The womenâ€™s 1m was like a thriller, the first and the fourth diver was separated by 3.80 points with the eventual winner, Tania Cagnotto prevailing by 0.75 points! The Italian diva held a comfortable 10-point lead after 3 dives but she committed a mistake in the penultimate round and the gap suddenly narrowed to 0.75 points between her and Russiaâ€™s Kristina Ilinykh. Interestingly, the margin remained the same as both earned the same totals for their last dives (62.40 â€“ even the bronze medal winner German Tina Punzel received this amount) so Cagnotto won again just as in Rostock last year.
Press release from LEN
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