GOLD KEEPS GLITTERING FOR ARENA IN BERLIN
23 AUGUST 2014
There were four visits to the top of the rostrum for Arena swimmers on the penultimate day of the European Championships in Berlin.
Konrad Czerniak flew to gold in the 100m butterfly, Radoslaw Kawecki won the 200m backstroke while Fran Halsall and Adam Peaty both cut a dash in the 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke.
There were silver medals for Katinka Hosszu in the 200m freestyle, Laszlo Cseh (100m butterfly) and Giedrius Titenis in the 50m breaststroke while Mie Nielsen took bronze in the 50m backstroke.
There was gold for Arena in the diving as Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape teamed up to win the 3m synchro with 328.50pts.
Konrad, 100m butterfly bronze medallist at the 2013 World Championships, had qualified fastest and he led from start to finish to win in 51.38, a championship record.
The Pole became the fourth fastest man in the world this year but he said: “I expected more. Not for the medal, but for the time, I would have liked to be a little bit faster.”
Laszlo, who needed to win a swim-off to even make the final, was last at halfway but dug in to finish second, 0.51secs adrift.
Radoslaw successfully defended his title in 1:56.02, 1.14secs ahead of second-placed Christian Diener.
“Even though Diener was swimming in lane number one, I noticed that he was ahead,” he said.
“This pushed me to use all of my energy during the last lap.”
Adam had set a new world record of 26.62 in the 50m breaststroke last night.
Tonight he touched in 27.00 to claim his third gold of the meet after winning the 100m breaststroke and the 4x100m mixed medley relay in which Great Britain set a world record.
He said: “Absolutely amazing. Coming into this season I didn’t think I would touch that sort of time anyway – 26? No way.
“A little bit disappointed not to get a little bit near it or under it.
“But I gave my best for the country and it’s paid off.”
The 19-year-old added: “I was back later than usual last night and I couldn’t get to sleep until about 2am. It was tough getting out there this morning, I did a little warm-up and then come in again tonight and performed.
“I didn’t feel that great in the water but it’s a gold.”
Giedrius was second in 27.34.
Fran is better known as a freestyle and butterfly specialist but tonight she turned over to win gold in the 50m backstroke in 27.81.
She giggled: “I don’t even know how that happened, I honestly don’t. The 50 backstroke – I love it, my new favourite event.
“I didn’t even bring my presentation trousers with me tonight. I was like it’s just fun, I am going in fourth, the other girls are a lot quicker than me.
“I didn’t even bring them with me: I was hunting around and one of the boys (lent me theirs). I rolled them up seven times before I got on the podium.”
For Mie it was a second medal of the meet after she shared 100m gold with Katinka.
She said: “I am really happy with this medal because I prefer the 100m event.”
It was Fran’s third medal of the meet and she returned to the water straight after the medal ceremony to post the second fastest 50m freestyle semi-final time of 24.45, 0.06secs behind fellow Arena swimmer Sarah Sjostrom.
Inge Dekker and Therese Alshammar qualified in fifth and seventh.
She continued: “I know I am in good form and that 50 straight after I was really happy with that. Anything under 24:5 is pretty decent.
“It will be a good race tomorrow, I’m looking forward to that.”
Katinka was not happy with a silver medal in the 200m freestyle behind Federica Pellegrini.
The Hungarian was leading at halfway but was overhauled and finished 0.68 off gold in 1:56.69.
She said: “I hate to lose. I love winning so much that finishing even behind Federica makes me angry.”
Charlotte Bonnet of France was seventh in 1:58.22.