Podium sweeps are rare. A gold medal tie in the pool even more. But Dublin, Ireland, saw both as well as another four new world records on day two of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships.
The most dramatic moment of Tuesday (14 August) came in the men’s 50m freestyle S4 as Czech Republic and Slovenia won their first gold medals at exactly the same time. Czech Arnost Petracek and Slovenian Darko Duric clocked 40.40 to tie for first place. France’s David Smetanine finished third.
There were an astonishing two podium sweeps. The first of the day belonged to Great Britain, in the women’s 200m freestyle S14. Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Bethany Firth took gold (2:05.41) followed by Jessica-Jane Applegate and Louise Fiddes.
“It’s great that we’ve all managed to get on the podium today. I’m so happy that I have been able to retain my European title,” said Firth.
Half an hour later it was Ukraine’s turn to take gold, silver and bronze at the National Aquatic Centre. Five-time Paralympic champion Oleksii Fedyna won the men’s 100m breaststroke SB12 (1:04.16) with Maksym Veraska in second and Danylo Churafov third.
The podium sweep was just the start of another stunning performance from Ukraine. They took five more European titles and two world records to extend the country’s lead in the medal standings to ten golds in total, two more than Italy.
Yaroslav Semenenko won the men’s 50m backstroke S5 (34.95), only 0.15 behind the world record he had set in the morning heats. The 4x50m medley 20 point relay team also took gold and set a new world record (2:39.29).
Maksym Krypak in the men’s 100m backstroke S10, Viktor Smyrnov in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB11 and Anna Hontar in the women’s 200m individual medley SM7 completed the golden day for Ukraine.
Great Britain swimmers were responsible for the other two world records on Tuesday. First with newcomer Maisie Summers-Newton in the women’s 200m individual medley SM6 final (2:59.60), then, with Thomas Hamer in the men’s 200m freestyle S14 (1:55.71).
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I didn’t think I was going to go that fast, I just wanted to go quicker than this morning and that was a Personal Best. I just can’t believe it,” said Summers-Newton.
“This means everything! To be racing against these swimmers at my first Europeans, and to get a world record is amazing.”
Italians impress again
Italy repeated their day one performance, winning another four gold medals. Xenia Palazzo won her second European title in Dublin, this time in the women’s 400m freestyle S8.
“This is the event I have trained for more than any other with my coach. After so much work success has finally come. First day, one gold. Second day, second gold. I’m giving the best I can here,” said Palazzo.
Vincenzo Boni in the men’s 50m freestyle S3, Arjola Trimi in the women’s 50m freestyle S4 and Simone Barlaam in the men’s 100m freestyle S9 were responsible for the other Italian victories.
Spain’s national anthem was played for the first time during the Euros and repeated twice thanks to victories from Antoni Ponce Bertran (men’s 200m individual medley SM6), Inigo Llopis Sanz (men’s freestyle 400m S8) and Sarai Gascon (women’s 100m freestyle S9).
Turkey and Hungary topped the podium for first time. Sumeyye Boyaci was responsible for the Turkish gold in the women’s 50m backstroke S5 and Bianka Pap won the women’s 100m backstroke S10 for Hungary.
Belarus Ihar Boki improved his already impressive gold medal collection with a victory in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB13.
Elena Krawzow gave Germany its third gold in the Euros with a victory in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB12 and The Netherland’s Liesette Bruinsma took her first victory and her country’s third gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB11.
The European Championships continue on Wednesday (15 August) with 24 finals.
Full results and a complete schedule can be found on the Dublin 2018 website.
You can watch day three live on the World Para Swimming website and Facebook page.