Great Britain ended a dominant relay performance at the 2021 European Championships with a pair of definitive wins in the men’s and women’s 400 medley, with both teams setting new Championship Records.
Both races saw plenty of noteworthy splits across the board – let’s take a closer look below.
Kliment Kolesnikov missed the final of the men’s 100 backstroke due to an incredibly tough double, but he showed he was in gold-medal form in the event on two occasions in relay scenarios.
After leading off the mixed 400 medley relay in 52.09, which doesn’t count officially due to it being a mixed relay, though it was under the existing Russian Record, Kolesnikov led off the men’s medley relay in 52.13 – .01 off of Evgeny Rylov‘s National Record and .02 off Camille Lacourt‘s European Record.
Kolesnikov also notably flipped in 24.98 at the 50, marking his second time go out under 25 this week after a 24.97 on the mixed medley. These may be the first two sub-25 splits on the opening 50 of a long course 100 backstroke in history, though that isn’t confirmed.
|Yohann Ndoye Brouard||France||53.22|
|Luke Greenbank||Great Britain||53.64|
Going 57-point in individual swims has become commonplace for Adam Peaty, so it’s no shocker when he does it on the medley relay. For anyone else, however, it’s a big deal.
Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi and Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich produced matching 57.84 splits on the medley, with Peaty leading the way in 57.38, making them just the third and fourth swimmers to go sub-58 on a relay. The other two are Brenton Rickard (57.80 for Australia in 2009) and Yan Zibei (57.96 for China in 2020). Arno Kamminga, whose Dutch team didn’t field a team in this event, has of course broken 58 seconds individually.
Peaty now owns the 13 fastest splits of all-time, having also been 57.13 and 57.63 earlier in this meet. His fastest ever stands at 56.59 from the 2016 Olympic Games.
The splits from both Peaty and Martinenghi put their respective nations back into the race with Russia, who were well ahead after Kolesnikov’s lead-off.
|Adam Peaty||Great Britain||57.38|
After back-to-back sub-51 swims from a flat start, culminating in a 100 fly bronze medal, James Guy was a very strong 50.65 for Great Britain to lead the pack, with Russia’s Mikhail Vekovishchev also coming through for his team in 50.94.
|James Guy||Great Britain||50.65|
At the end of a long week, Duncan Scott still managed to deliver a sub-47 anchor leg for Brits, splitting 46.92 to assure them the victory by almost a full second. Scott owns history’s #2 split of all-time from the 2019 World Championships, where he anchored the Brits to gold in the 400 medley relay in 46.14.
Alessandro Miressi was on fire all week for Italy and closed things out strong with a 47.21 anchor.
|Duncan Scott||Great Britain||46.92|
Kathleen Dawson swam five 58-second 100 backstroke swims this week, saving the best for last in the 400 medley relay.
Dawson broke Gemma Spofforth‘s European and British Record of 58.12 from 2009 in a blazing 58.08 on the opening leg, giving the team a massive 1.39 lead on the field.
Dawson had also gone 58.18, 58.43, 58.44 and 58.49 this week – though the first two don’t officially register due to, 1) the cancelled final, and 2) a mixed relay lead-off.
|Kathleen Dawson||Great Britain||58.08|
There wasn’t much it in on breast, with five women within .32 of one another at the top. Individual winner Sophie Hansson led the way for Sweden in 1:05.45.
|Molly Renshaw||Great Britain||1:05.72|
Svetlana Chimrova and Louise Hansson both came through with sub-57s on fly, with Chimrova’s 56.78 the key in leading Russia to silver over Italy.
|Elena di Liddo||Italy||57.27|
|Maaike De Ward||Netherlands||57.53|
|Laura Stephens||Great Britain||57.55|
Femke Heemskerk, who recorded the 10th-fastest split ever in last night’s mixed 400 free relay in 51.73, again delivered for the Netherlands in 52.19 – the fastest anchor in the field. The Dutch were back in fifth, but were still within .11 of their National Record in 3:57.41.
Anna Hopkin was very impressive for Great Britain in 52.66, giving them a new Championship Record of 3:54.01 and smashing the British Record by almost three seconds.
|Anna Hopkin||Great Britain||52.66|
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