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2021 European Championships Kazan Euro SC 2021 LEN Events News

2021 European Short-Course Swimming Championships, Kazan (RUS) – Opening Press Conference Highlights

Celebrating 25 years of s/c Europeans, a six-day event for more prize money

The 21st edition of the European Short-Course Swimming Championships marks the 25th anniversary of the event, started back in 1996. To highlight this special occasion, the meet in Kazan will last for six days for the first time, in a more athlete-friendly format. The prize-money has also been increased from 220,000 Euros to 300,000 to reward the top 15 individual performers both among the men and women. World and European record bonuses are also up for grabs.

Schedule, entry lists, start lists & results click HERE

 

Free live streaming of the event, visit HERE

LEN’s top season-ending showcase has been extended to six days which opened the way to a more athlete-friendly format by eliminating the same-day semis and finals in the 50m events. Two events were added too – men’s 800m free and women’s 1500m free – so this week more than 400 athletes representing 40 nations may seek 42 titles in the 25m pool.

The prize-money pot has also been increased: in the previous decade the top 12 performers were recognised and 220,000 Euros were distributed among them. In the upcoming edition the top 15 individual efforts (one per athlete, based on FINA points) will be rewarded, the sum totals 300,000 Euros, the best male and female shall receive 25,000 Euros respectively.

Kazan, the host city is a well-known site for many participants – it welcomed numerous major aquatic meets in recent years with the 2015 FINA World Championships being the absolute highlight and the LEN Family also enjoyed an outstanding junior Europeans in the magnificent Aquatic Palace in 2019.

As Russian Swimming Federation’s President, the legendary Vladimir Salnikov and Tatarstan’s Deputy Sports Minister Halil Shayhutdinov underlined, Kazan is the capital of swimming in Russia, and they were delighted to host another big championship (indeed the first-ever senior LEN event in Russia). Sadly, because of the current lockdowns in place, spectators are not allowed to attend the event but the live broadcasts – including LEN free live streaming – will bring all the action to the swimming lovers.

LEN Bureau Swimming Liaison Marco Stacchiotti and LEN TSC Chairman Craig Hunter praised the efforts of the Kazan hosts as they both considered the local facilities and the organising team worldclass. Mr Stacchiotti also expects the new generation of swimmers making some splash at this event.

LEN Operations Manager Marco Birri said that besides the youngsters, three Olympic champions from Tokyo – Russia’s Evgeny Rylov, Hungary’s Kristof Milak and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock – will compete this week, plus several Olympic medal-winners thus the level of the races should be really high. Due to the current situation, the broadcasters will not be present in the usual numbers, still 42 right-holders will broadcast the event. Mr Birri added that LEN’s partner EBU (European Broadcasting Union) shall offer a special web platform featuring a Virtual Media Lounge where athletes can be interviewed from remote.

In the second part of the press conference, a couple of star athletes were invited to share their respective expectations before the start. Russia’s double Olympic champion Evgeny Rylov said he was very much looking forward to competing at home though it was going to be challenging to gear up once again after the Olympics.

Tokyo bronze medallist and six-time long-course European champion Simona Quadarella of Italy had similar thoughts. “For the first time since I was thirteen, I had a long break after the Games, a full month, so I just restarted my practices in September. I work really hard as we have a lot of events, Europeans and Worlds first in short-course, then in long-course. Because of this, I don’t have any great expectations here, just wish to do my best.”

Two great youngsters, Russia’s Maria Kameneva and Romania’s David Popovici are on track to have some memorable days in Kazan. “I wasn’t satisfied with myself at the Olympics so I’m determined to do my best in this short-course event” Kameneva said.

Romania’s new sensation David Popovici, claiming three titles at the junior Europeans in July and missing the Olympic podium by a fingernail in Tokyo, was in upbeat mood as usual. “The Olympic year has been very challenging, I also had a longer break of three weeks but I’m back and these Europeans offer me a chance to have some fun racing against some of the bests in the world.” Replying to a question, Popovici said that he was very much expecting to have showdowns in his pet sprinting events with Russian rocket Kliment Kolesnikov. “Kliment is one of those swimmers whom you immediately recognise what he wants to achieve in this sport and also that he knows perfectly how to achieve that. It is an honour to compete against him, also an honour to lose to him and even bigger honour to beat him in case.”

The short-course Europeans kick off on Tuesday, heats start at 10.00 local time (8.00 CET), semis and finals begin at 18.30 (16.30 CET).

For schedule, entry lists, start lists and results click HERE

For free live streaming of the event, go HERE