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Berlin Day 1 Finals

Aug 18, 2014  - James Parrack

Day 1 finals

The story of the day 1 finals in Berlin was the disqualification of the Danish women’s 4x1 freestyle team, after they had done enough to hold of Sweden and the Netherlands for what would have been a famous win, their first in this event since 1947, and with echoes of the 4x200 team that won the title in 1991 in the days of Mette Jacobsen et al. 

But, history tells a different story after a -0.07 takover by 17 year old Julie Levisen, on the first relay after Jeanette Ottesen’s 53.59 was the fastest lead off time.  Mie Nielsen and Pernille Blume’s times are not recorded as celebration turned to heartbreak after an interminable wait for the results to be confirmed.  One hopes the young Levisen will have the maturity of Elsa, the snow queen of Arandelle and ‘let it go’, but this will be a heavy burden tonight.

Men: 400m free final

 A Brit was on the podium tonight but not the favoured Stephen Milne, as the unheralded Jay Lelliott, of Bournemouth and Bath University recorded a best time 3:47.50 to win bronze from lane 1, behind a sacrificial first 200m from Velimir Stjepanovic saw the Serb open up close to a 3 second lead at the midpoint.  An inexperienced field let him go (it really is a great film), and a final 50 of 27.57 sec from Andrea D’Arrigo (ITA), of Rome and Florida Gators, was too little too late to catch the winner, who stopped the clock at 3:45.66.  The times were nothing to trouble the rest of the world, or even those Europeans not here (like James Guy), but this is the next generation of 19 and 20 year olds that may well trouble the world in the years to come.

The fastest qualifier into the final, Britain’s Stephen Milne finished 6th.

Women: 50m fly semis

Sarah Sjoestroem (SWE) is the clear favourite in tomorrow’s final after a 24.87 win in the second semi.  Behind her are the other favourites for the medals: Ottesen, Halsall, and Dekker, but with over half a second on the field, it would be a huge surprise if anyone but the Swede wins this.

Men: 100m back semis

England’s Commonwealth champion Chris Walker-Hebborn looked very composed to lead the field over Jeremy Stravius and Jan Glania (GER).  53.62 the time for the Englishman and the wheel of a roof probably won’t bother him; he can’t see it very well.  But watch out for Stravius tomorrow, his 47.56 anchor leg for France in the 4x1 free was hugely impressive, especially off the turn.

Women: 400IM final

The battle of the big swimmers never really materialised after Katinka Hosszu (HUN) swam away from Belmonte (ESP) on the backstroke, to open a 3 second lead at the midpoint.  The Spaniard settled for silver doing enough to finish ahead of a fast closing Aimee Willmott (GBR).  Willmott’s 4:34.69 a shade behind her best of the season but a great swim in world class company.

Men: 100m breast semi

The swim of the night was Adam Peaty (GBR) with a stunning 58.68 in the second semi final to finish 0.22 off Van Der Burgh’s world record.  The Englishman gathered strength in the closing stages and dragged Ross Murdoch (GBR) to a 59.33 for a British 1,2 into the final.  Titenis (LTU) looked long and very strong to record a 59.35 and if he can keep his head in the final, this will be a great race, with Gyurta lurking in 4th.

Women: 200m back semi

Duane Da Rocha (ESP) leads the qualifiers with a  pedestrian 2:09.13 (in world terms), ahead of Lizzie Simmonds (GBR), but this is an event in Europe that is some way off the global pace.  Egerszegi’s 2:06 from 1991 springs to mind.

Men: 50m fly semi

Govorov (UKR) leads on 23.04, a little shy of his heat swim, but the giant Manaudou is just behind, after sucking in as much oxygen as he could in a 23.23 to save himself for a victorious relay shortly after.

Women 4x100 free final

And so to the relays where Sweden won thanks to a jump from the Danes and a final leg 52.14 from Sjoestroem, ahead of a 52.78 from Femke Heemskerk (NED), the two standout swims, as the results were SWE, NED, ITA. But oh, what might have been.

Men: 4x100 free final

And as if there was any doubt, the dominant team in world sprint free relays, the French nailed the win over a misfiring RUS and ITA.  No fireworks for Grechin or Morozov tonight, with Manaudou’s 47.54 the fastest split by a shade.  Allez les Bleus.