ARENA SWIMMERS IN THE MEDALS ON DAY ONE IN BERLIN
18 AUGUST 2014, BERLIN
Katinka Hosszu was the first individual Arena winner on the first night of the European Swimming Championships in Berlin.
The Hungarian won the 400m individual medley while Russia and Italy claimed silver and bronze respectively in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay at the Europa-park sports complex in the German capital.
Sarah Sjostrom reduced the 50m butterfly mark she had set in the heats.
Katinka had set a championship record in the heats and the self-styled ‘Iron Lady’ returned in the evening, victory never in doubt as she led from start to finish, winning in a championship record of 4:31.03, 2.10 ahead of Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia with Great Britain’s Aimee Willmott in third.
“I just really wanted to swim my best time, that was my main goal going into the 400IM,” smiled Hozzsu who will take on 10 events in total.
I was pretty excited after the morning swim and I had a pretty good time. I might have got too excited and I started really fast. I was out two seconds faster at 200 than I have ever been before and I really felt it on the last 100.”
Katinka failed to make the 200m backstroke final but Jenny Mensing was fourth in 2:10.26.
Gabriele Detti was just outside the medals in the 400m freestyle – the opening final of the event – as he was edged into fourth.
He had qualified third fastest from the morning’s heats but Great Britain’s Jay Lelliott beat him to bronze with the Italian clocking 3:48.10.
The Russian quartet of Andrey Grechin, Nikita Lobintsev, Alexander Sukhorukov and Vladimir Morozov were second in the men’s 4x100m freestyle, 1.03 behind France in 3:12.67.
Italy were first after the opening leg but Luca Dotto, Marco Orsi, Luca Leonardo and Filippo Magnini claimed bronze in 3:12.78.
Daniel Gyurta was fourth fastest through in 59.58.
“I think the two young British boys (Adam and Ross Murdoch) are in shape. They are really fast.
“Tomorrow it will be a hard race for me.”
Sarah reduced her own 50m butterfly championship record to 24.87 in the semi-finals.
“I was very happy to go under 25 seconds again because it is going to be tough to do that tomorrow in the final as my 100 freestyle semi-final is 10 minutes before the 50 fly final.
It might be too hard to get out under 25 tomorrow so I knew I had to take that chance today.”
Fellow Arena athletes Fran Halsall, fresh from her victory and British record at the Commonwealth Games, qualified third fastest for Tuesday’s final in 25.67.
Fran said: “Just getting my racing head on. I feel strong for tomorrow now which is good.”
Former world champion Inge Dekker and Therese Alshammar, in her first major meet since the birth of baby Fred in June 2013, also progressed.
Jeremy Stravius, 2013 world bronze medallist, was second fastest into the final of the 100m backstroke.