Szczecin (pps) With four titles Spain’s Mireia Belmonte proved to be the top athlete at the 15th European Short Course Swimming Championships in Szczecin. Her last demonstration of power was in the 400m individual medley where the 21-year-old from Badalona missed her own European record by just 34 hundredths of a second when she clocked 4:24.55 minutes. “I didn’t prepare for these Championships at all. Nevertheless – four gold medals! That’s a really good starting point for the Olympics”, Belmonte said.
Thanks to her four gold medals, Belmonte led Spain to the third position in the medal table with five gold, five silver and two bronze medals, behind Germany (7-2-1) and Denmark (5-7-2). The Germans successfully defended their top position from Eindhoven 2010, winning three gold medals on the final day of the Championships: Britta Steffen in the 50m freestyle (24.01sec), Paul Biedermann in the 200m free (1:42.92min) and Silke Lippok in the 200m free (1:54.08min). Russia won the Championships Trophy with
901 points ahead of Italy with 768.
The Polish hosts were particularly delighted with Radoslaw Kawecki’s performance, who gained his second title in front of his home crowd. After his victory in the 200m backstroke, the 20-year-old also triumphed in the 100m back with 50.43 seconds. “I am really hoping that with these successes backstroke swimming will get more popular in Poland.”
Europe’s swimming elite set 15 new season’s World best times in the 34 individual events of these championships.
2011 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Szczecin, Poland / Summary 4th competition day
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