DEBRECEN, Hungary, RENANG INDONESIA (May 24). THE European Long Course Championships entered hump day with the middle of seven days this evening, and the host day has been running roughshod on the podium.
Hungary's Boglarka Kapas snared the distance freestyle triumph with a time of 8:26.49. That swim pushed her to fifth in the world behind Rebecca Adlington (8:18.54), Xin Xin (8:22.76), Mireia Belmonte (8:25.55) and Katie Ledecky (8:25.85). France's Coralie Balmy placed second in the event with an 8:27.79, edging Hungary's Eva Risztov (8:27.87) by .08 seconds. Balmy improved to 11th in the world, while Riszto took 12th.
Spain's Erika Villaecija Garcia (8:29.21), Spain's Melanie Costa Schmid (8:29.71), Romania's Camelia Potec (8:37.01), Liechtenstein's Julia Hassler (8:38.18) and Italy's Martina De Memme (8:38.86) also competed in the championship finale.
The host nation went back-to-back to start the night as Katinka Hosszu ripped off a 2:10.84 to win the medley. That swim cleared her eighth-ranked season best of 2:11.10 from earlier in the meet, but was not enough to push her past Hannah Miley's 2:10.77 for seventh in the world. Great Britain's Sophie Allen finished about a half-a-second back in second with a 2:11.49 for ninth in the world, besting her 10th-ranked season best of 2:11.71 from British Trials in March. Hungary's Evelyn Verrastzo also gave the partisan crowd a back-to-back 1-3 effort with a bronze-winning 2:11.63 to earn 11th in the world rankings.
Germany's Theresa Michalak (2:12.26), Sweden's Stina Gardell (2:12.29), Ukraine's Ganna Dzerkal (2:14.33) and Germany's Alexandra Wenk (2:14.95) placed fourth through seventh, while Spain's Beatriz Gomez Cortes drew a disqualification.
Hungary picked up its third straight continental title of the night with Daniel Gyurta throwing down a meet record in the distance breast. Gyurta posted a 2:08.60 for the win, vaulting from 10th in the world to third. Only Kosuke Kitajima (2:08.00) and Ryo Tateishi (2:08.17) have been faster, with the three being the only sub-2:09s thus far this year. Gyurta upended his meet record of 2:08.95 set in Budapest in 2010 with a superior backhalf after turning third at the 100-meter mark.
Germany's Marco Koch earned second in 2:09.26, edging his now fifth-ranked season best of 2:09.48 set at German Nationals earlier this year. He leapfrogged Andrew Willis (2:09.33) to stand fourth in the world rankings behind Gyurta. Greece's Panagiotis Samilidis also cleared 2:10 with a third-place time of 2:09.72 to tie Clark Burckle and Eric Shanteau for seventh in the world rankings.
Germany's Christian Vom Lehn (2:10.61), Italy's Flavio Bizzarri (2:12.47), Ukraine's Igor Borysik (2:12.51), Switzerland's Yannick Kaeser (2:13.23) and Hungary's Akos Molnar (2:13.33) comprised the rest of the championship heat.
Germany's Jenny Mensing became the first non-Hungarian winner of the night with a 1:00.08 for the victory. Her fastest time this year is a sixth-ranked 59.85 from German Nationals earlier in the month. Italy's Arianna Barbieri placed second in 1:00.54, off her 15th-ranked 1:00.26 from prelims, while Czech's Simona Baumrtova finished third in 1:00.57. France's Alexianne Castel, who qualified second through semis with a 1:00.48, elected to scratch the finale.
Ukraine's Daryna Zevina (1:00.59), Spain's Duane Da Rocha Marce (1:00.89), Italy's Carlotta Zofkova (1:01.01), Bulgaria's Ekaterina Avramova (1:01.48) and France's Cloe Credeville (1:01.54) placed fourth through eighth in the finale.
Hungary jumped back into the win column in the distance fly with a 1-2 finish. Laszlo Cseh smoked the field with a winning time of 1:54.95 to move to third in the world behind only Takeshi Matsuda (1:54.01) and Nick D'Arcy (1:54.71), while Bence Biczo finished second in 1:55.85, just off his eighth-ranked season best of 1:55.77 that lead the semifinal heats. Greece's Ioannis Drymonakos clipped Austria's Dinko Jukic, 1:56.48 to 1:56.53, for bronze as both moved into the top 20.
Serbia's Velimir Stjepanovic (1:57.06), Italy's Francesco Pavone (1:57.07), France's Jordan Coelho (1:58.24) and Switzerland's Alexandre Liess (1:59.13) rounded out the top eight.
Israel's Jonatan Kopelev clinched the sprint back title in 24.73, pushing to second in the world rankings behind only Daniel Orzechowski's 24.44 from Brazil in April. Kopelev's previous best had been the 24.98 he used to lead semis. Italy's Mirco Di Tora finished second in 24.95 for sixth in the world rankings, while threeway tie for third occurred with France's Dorian Gandin, Israel's Guy Barnea and Hungary's Richard Bohus posting matching 25.14s.
Belarus' Pavel Sankovich (25.25), Norway's Lavrans Solli (25.28) and Greece's Aristeidis Grigoriadis (25.46) completed the championship field.
Italy's Alice Mizzau (1:58.67), Alice Nesti (1:59.50) and Diletta Carli (1:59.40) kept Italy in the mix for the title before turning things over to superstar Federica Pellegrini. Pellegrini scorched Italy's anchor leg with a stunning time of 1:55.33 to secure the victory with a 7:52.90 overall.
Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos, Evelyn Verraszto, Agnes Mutina and Katinka Hosszu took second for the host nation with a 7:54.70, while Slovenia's Sara Isakovic, Anja Klinar, Ursa Bezan and Mojca Sagmeister wound up third in 7:59.73.
Germany (8:00.55), Austria (8:09.13), Ireland (8:09.15) and Ukraine (8:11.44) finished fourth through seventh, while Spain was disqualified. Germany's Silke Lippok posted the top leadoff time with a 1:57.77, nearly besting her top 200 free time this year of 1:57.61 from German Nationals earlier this month.
France's Amaury Leveaux paced semis of the men's 100 free with a time of 48.52. That time nearly clipped his 10th-ranked season best of 48.48 from French Nationals in March. Italy's Filippo Magnini, who popped a 47 as a relay anchor for his team's 400 free relay earlier in the week, cruised into second with a 48.84. Germany's Mirco Di Carli (48.96) and Romania's Norbert Trandafir (49.08) qualified third and fourth.
Norway's Ingvild Snildal pocketed the women's 100 fly top seed with a time of 58.07, jumping from 16th in the world with a 58.32 from Amsterdam in March to 13th. Sweden's Martina Granstrom touched second in 58.39 for 19th in the world, while Greece's Kristel Vourna placed third in 58.79.
Russia's Irina Novikova touched in 2:26.39 to top the women's 200 breast semis. Her time moved her just into the top 25. Sweden's Joline Hostman placed second in 2:27.89, while Norway's Sara Nordenstam earned third in 2:27.91.
In preliminary qualifying, Ukraine's Sergiy Frolov paced the men's 800 free with a 7:57.54 to move to eighth in the world rankings, while Italy's Gabriele Detti took ninth in the world with a 7:57.61. Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri (7:57.92) and France's Sebastien Rouault (7:57.94) earned third and fourth. Paltrinieri 97:51.97) and Rouault (7:52.23) likely have the most in the tank for the finale as the two stand second and third in the world respectively with their season bests behind only Sun Yang (7:47.11)