European athletes delivered a host of brilliant, breathtaking and record-breaking medal-winning performances across the aquatic disciplines in 2022.
We have picked out some of the most dramatic moments and stunning successes from artistic swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, pool swimming and water polo events during the Roma 2022 and Split 2022 LEN European Championships.
Don’t forget that LEN TV has covered it all and is also a great source for full video playlists.
Let us know what you think about these magical moments though by sharing and tagging @LenAquatics on social media – enjoy!
SWIMMING AT ROMA 2022
DAVID POPOVICI – 100M FREESTYLE WORLD RECORD:
There is simply no other place to begin that with the most talked about moment in swimming globally during 2022.. 17-year-old David Popovici of Romania beating a 13-year- world record in the men’s 100m freestyle final in Italy.
After 100m and 200m World Championship gold medals earlier in the summer expectations were high heading into Roma 2022, but he not only matched, but exceeded the predicitions of many in the sport. Popovici lowered the landmark from 46.91 to 46.86.
SARAH SJÖSTRÖM – RECORD CAREER EUROPEAN MEDAL HAUL
Winning medals and setting records is far from a new occurrence for the Swedish superstar swimmmer, but two individual titles and three relay honours helped the Olympic champion secure a new honour.
It took her to an all-time total of 28 European medals, which saw her overtake the previous mark of 26 set by Russia’s Alexander Popov.
Nicolò Martinenghi – national records and Italian hero status
Martinenghi claimed a 50m and 100m European breaststroke double in what was a stunning event for the Italian, who also claimed gold as part of the men’s 4x100m medley relay team and silver in the mixed medley final.
Ben Proud – fastest swimmer in the world in 2022
Proud has twice come agonisingly close to claiming an Olympic honour and after missing out at Tokyo 2020 the British swimmer considered quitting the sport.
Fortunately for his nation and sprint fans around the world the 28-year-old continued and completed unique World, Commonwealth and European treble in the space of just four months!
Breakthrough star – Marrit Steenbergen
Steenbergen made her European debut back at London 2016 and claimed three relay honours with the Netherlands. At Roma 2022 she proved herself to be a highly capable solo star with two individual freestyle titles, a 200m individual medley silver and four relay medals.
HIGH DIVING AT ROMA 2022
History was made at Roma 2022 with the High Diving discipline included for the first time at a LEN European Championships.
Fans packed into the stunning venue in the heart of Italy’s Olympic Park for three days of dramatic diving, which saw Iris Schmidbauer of Germany claim the first-ever European title in the sport with victory from 20m.
24 hours later Constantin Popovici claimed gold in the maiden men’s 27m European event.
DIVING AT ROMA 2022
Oleksii Sereda – high quality 10m gold
The Ukrainian made history in 2019 by becoming the youngest-ever European diving champion at 13. Three years on he claimed his second individual title with a brilliant display in the 10m platform final.
It was a success he dedicated to those still Ukraine fighting for their country.
Chiara Pellacani – women’s record medal haul
Chiara Pellacani is quickly establishing herself as one of the world’s most formidable divers, while her versatility was also on show at Roma 2022.
The then 19-year-old diver became the first female diver in history to claim five medals at a single European Championships, with her victory in the individual 3m event a notable highlight.
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix – Britain’s new golden girl
Just two weeks after securing a maiden Commonwealth title with England in her homeland the teenager was returned to the pool – and the podium.
The British diver won both the individual 10m platform gold and the synchronised 10m crown alongside fellow Olympian Lois Toulson.
Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding – new pairing, same old success
Britain’s Jack Laugher – a three-time Olympic medallist – is one of the biggest names in the sport. Although he has struggled to find consistency in the last two years, he is still capable of delivering some of the best routines in the world.
After claiming the individual 1m title at Roma 2022 he teamed up with Youth Olympic silver medallist – and new synchronised partner – Anthony Harding. The pair impressed and their victory will be noted by the Chinese heading towards next year’s World Championships in Japan.
ARTISTIC SWIMMING AT ROMA 2022
Ukraine, much to the delight of many given the on-going conflict in their homeland, dominated the European artistic swimming competition at Roma 2022 winning all of women’s events.
Marta Fiedina, who competed in the solo events as well as the team competitions, claimed six gold medals including this stunning Solo Free title…
Ukrainian sisters Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiiva dominated women’s duet events and also secure six titles.
Fiedina as well as Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiyiva teamed up in Ukraine’s Combination Routine victory…
Italian Giorgio Minisini also made history by winning the first-ever European men’s solo events as the discipline made its senior debut in Rome.
He would finish with four gold medals after two solo titles and success in the mixed duet events.
OPEN WATER AT ROMA 2022
Women’s 10km – Leonie Beck claims shock win
Following her success in the 5km distance Rio Olympic open water champion Sharon van Rouwendaal was seen as the woman-to-beat in the 10km event, but it was Germany’s Leonie Beck who powered through to take her maiden major individual title.
Men’s 10km – Domenico Acerenza dominates
Home-favourite Gregorio Paltrinieri had already claimed two golds at Roma 2022, taking the 800m freestyle in the pool and 5km open water titles. It was his team-mate Domenico Acerenza who stole the show in the headline 10km event though.
WATER POLO AT SPLIT 2022
Women’s Final – Spain 9-6 Greece
Spain became the first team since 2010 successfully defend their European Water Polo crown with a strong display against Greece who fought hard throughout this fascinating encounter…
Men’s Final Croatia 10-9 Hungary
Just as in 2010 Croatian secured victory in their home European Championships and were this time cheered on by 9000 fans in a packed Spaladium Arena.
It really was a thriller against defending champions Hungary…