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European Championships Berlin, Day 5 heats

Aug 22, 2014  - James Parrack

Day 5 heats

After four days of racing there are a number of swimmers beginning to be a little more selective about the events they swim: Sjoestroem withdrawing from the heats of the 200m free, Carlin and Friis out of the 1500m. 

The 6 events passed without difficulty for the key swimmers, Peter Bernek looking very smooth in heat 3 of the 200m back to lead the rankings on 1:58.45, with 6 swimmers looking relatively easy under 2 minutes.

The women’s 200m free was led by hosszu, who was the only one to attack the heats with a 1:57.05, in stark contrast o Femke Heemskerk, who barely got out of second gear to swim to 6th fastest in 1:59.77.  2008 Olympic champion and double world champion Pellegrini was also long and going through the motions with a 1:59.14 for 4th fastest behind Melanie Costa (ESP)a nd Veronika Popova (RUS).

The men’s 100m fly saw an increase in pace with the 16 fastest times of the heats all between 52.14 and 52.99.  Laszlo Cseh somehow managed to lead the times in front of Steffen Deibler, with the winner of the 200m fly, Viktor Bromer, swimming to 17th fastest but progressing to the semis by virtue of the fact that a maximum of two per national and go through.  Mehdy Metella of France is through after team orders to go slow in the heats of the 100m free yesterday to make sure that Manaudou and Gilot would progress, which they duly did and then again into the top two spots into tonight’s final.  A camera at the 15m line would be useful.  I am not sure it is really possible for 2 judges to see 5 swimmers accurately enough.

The women’s 50m backstroke sees joint champion from the 100m Mia Nielsen the only one under 28 seconds, with a 27.93, and 0.12 ahead of Commie Games champion and winner of the bronze in the 100m here, Georgia Davies.  All the other favourites are safely through, including the winner of the 200m back, Duane De Rocha (ESP) in 15th place.

Adam Peaty (GBR) the winner of the 100m breaststroke is a clear front runner after the heats of the 50m breast, leading the rankings with 26.91, with Gyurta (HUN) the one to miss out.  His 28.15 missing the cut by 0.11.  Peaty generates a terrific power and speed with a very sharp pull, but without snatching and slipping the water, as evidenced by Hendrick Feldwehr (GER), whose fast turnover isn’t generating the same speed for his effort.

The men’s sprinters are doing a lot of body slapping this week.  Cielo does it and now the habit is spreading through Europe with Slap Slap red raw chests, triceps and thighs (if we could see them).  I know it is important to stimulate the muscles so they are ready for the race, but really? We have teams of masseurs for after the races, so maybe the future will a Harry Potter world of ‘Beaters’, who do the slapping for you in the call room or as you walk out to the blocks.

Belmonte leads into the final of the 1500m and may be given a race by Italy’s Aurora Ponsele, as the pair lead the rankings on 16:11 and 16:14 respectively.

The mixed reception for the ‘it’s really fun’ mixed medley relay will continue as 4 teams have entered for the mixed 4x100 free relay.  How much fun is that?

James Parrack is the Eurosport swimming commentator and co-founder of the BEST Swim Centre, Mallorca