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Golden start to European Championships for arena swimmers

Events & Competitions
Written by: Arena at 17 May '16 0
You are reading: Golden start to European Championships for arena swimmers

Arena swimmers won three out of four golds on offer on the first day of the European Championships in London.

Katinka Hosszu twice lowered the championship record to claim her third straight title in the 400m individual medley while Gabriele Detti won the 400m freestyle, also in a new championship mark.

The Netherlands then took the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay as Arena made a golden start to the championships at the Aquatics Centre, scene of the 2012 Olympics.

In the heats Katinka lowered her own championship record from the Europeans in Berlin in 2014, only to slice a further 0.07secs off in the final with a winning time of 4mins 30.90secs.

Hannah Miley of Great Britain was second with Katinka’s fellow Hungarian Zsuzsanna Jakabos third as Arena swimmers enjoyed a clean sweep.

Victory came as a pleasant shock to Katinka who felt she had started badly. “I was surprised,” she said. “I felt as though I had just taken my clothes off. But I kept my calm, I told myself I had 400 metres.

“So I am feeling pretty good, really excited.”

Hannah raced unrested and said: “Pleased and tired.”

“It’s hard to go into a championships when you are not 100 percent fresh, your ego gets bashed about a little bit because you want to swim fast.”

Katinka then returned to qualify third for the 200m backstroke final.

Gabriele took a slight lead at halfway before pulling away for a commanding win in the 400m freestyle in 3mins 44.01secs.

It lowered by 1.09secs the previous championship best of Yury Prilukov set in March 2008.

Gabriele was unable to haul himself on to the lane ropes to celebrate and he dedicated the title to his parents as he continued Italian success in London.

“It was a must for me to get gold after the diving and the synchronised swimmers got medals,” he said.

“I started slow as usual but I looked around and I knew I had the energy.”

Again there was an Arena clean sweep of the podium with Henrik Christiansen of Norway second and Hungary’s Peter Bernek third.

The Netherlands women won their first European sprint freestyle relay gold since 2008 – when they also won the Olympic title – as they led an Arena 1-2-3.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo anchored the quartet in 3:33.80, almost four seconds ahead of Italy – who were brought home by a jet-propelled Federica Pellegrini – and Sweden.

There was Arena representation on every step of the podium in the men’s race too with France winning their sixth straight 4x100m freestyle gold at Olympic, world and European level in 3:13.48 ahead of Italy and Belgium.

Adam Peaty was fastest into the 100m breaststroke final, his time of 58.74 only ever bettered by himself and Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh.

Fran Halsall produced her best 50m butterfly time since she won the 2010 Commonwealth Games, touching in 25.35 to lead the semis ahead of Sarah Sjostrom, the defending champion, and Ranomi.

Laszlo Cseh was fourth into the men’s equivalent in 23.57.

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