From Russia, with speed: ER for Chupkov, WJR for Kolesnikov
Russia’s young world-beaters left their marks at the European Championships as well: Anton Chupkov brought down the European record of the 200m breast while Kliment Kolesnikov further betters his junior world record. The British mixed medley relay also bettered the ER. Russia claimed two more titles in synchro while Ukraine had a golden opening in the diving pool in Edinburgh.
Anton Chupkov and Kliment Kolesnikov are no longer the future of Russian men’s swimming – they are the present and they are set to rule the breaststroke and backstroke fields respectively in the years coming. Chupkov added the European title to his 2017 world crown and he did in style: he crashed his European record, his time of 2:06.80 is the second best ever swim in the 200m breast, just 0.13sec shy of the current WR.
Kliment Kolesnikov further bettered his junior WR while winning the 100m back – it was a Russian 1-2 as the 18-year old star managed to beat the reigning world champion Evgeny Rylov. At the wall, 0.21sec separated the two compatriots. Kolesnikov admittedly wanted more but the senior ER was 0.42sec away – though the time might not be far away when he downs the senior marks as well.
Besides the Russian duet, another pair of golds delighted neighbouring France and Switzerland. Charlotte Bonnet was a cut above the rest in the women’s 200m free while Jeremy Desplanches won gold in the men’s 200m IM. They train with the same coach and something else also connects them… This was the Swiss’ first European title since Flavia Rigamonti’s win in the women’s 1500m free in 2008 – and the first-ever male gold for the nation.
Hungary had another kind of double: won the 200m fly in both genders as Boglarka Kapas clinched the title among the women. The quadruple London 2016 champion pushed her usual long free swims aside to find a new pet event and with a brilliant finish she hit the wall first ahead of the event’s long-time specialists.
The home crowd could cheer for another relay win. The Brits didn’t leave any chance for the others in the mixed medley while gunning down the European record by almost 1.4sec.
The synchro pool witnessed the same ranks both in the solo technical and the team technical finals, so Russia had two more golds, Ukraine came runner-up twice and Italy earned two bronzes.
A badly missed dive switched the order on the opening day of the diving event in Edinburgh. The Russians were set to win the team event but Iuliia Timoshinina’s last attempt dropped them to the third place. The balanced performance of the Ukrainian and the German teams earned the gold and silver respectively.