Savtsova sets world record at swimming Euros

Portugal’s David Grachat also placed himself in pole position to claim the hosts’ first medal in Funchal. 05 May 2016
A swimmer's head rising out of the water

Viktoria Savtsova of Ukraine

ⒸLuc Percival Photography. All rights reserved.

“It’s very, very good so I’m very, very happy with my time. This is not my race, my race is the 400m freestyle, but maybe I can do my personal best and that would be superb.”

Ukraine’s Viktoriia Savtsova was in world record breaking form in the women’s 50m freestyle S6 heats on Thursday (5 May), lowering the best of her world and European champion teammate Yelyzaveta Mereshko in Funchal, Portugal.

Savtsova’s new mark of 33.78 places her in pole position for gold ahead of next fastest qualifiers Mereshko (33.92) and Great Britain’s Eleanor Robinson (35.88).

“I want to swim even better this evening!” Savtsova simply said.

David Grachat (58.04) is hoping to secure the hosts’ first medal of the Championships this evening, after qualifying fastest in the men’s 100m freestyle S9.

“I’m very happy, I was not expecting this time,” Grachat said. “It’s very, very good so I’m very, very happy with my time. This is not my race, my race is the 400m freestyle, but maybe I can do my personal best and that would be superb.”

Grachat will have to maintain his form over second placed Russian Alexander Skaliukh (58.07) and Great Britain’s Lewis White (58.38) in third.

Spain’s European and world champion Teresa Perales (43.67) looks in great shape to take her first individual gold of the Championships in the women’s 50m backstroke S5, having finished behind Norway’s Sarah Louise Rung on three occasions. The Czech Republic’s Bela Trebinova (46.44) was second and Rung (47.65), third.

“It’s a personal best time so I’m really happy,” a satisfied Perales said. “I’m going to try to win because I think with this time I am able to do it.”

Nuria Marques Soto (1:07.02) and Sarai Gascon (1:07.66) could add to Spain’s medal haul in the women’s 100m freestyle S9, having gone through as the two fastest qualifiers. British European champion Stephanie Millward (1:07.71) was third.

Going for her fourth medal and second gold is Italy’s Arjola Trimi (3:07.31) in the women’s 150m individual medley SM4.

“This time for me is good for the morning,” Trimi said. “I expect to do my best time this evening, but we will see.”

Following her into the final are Ukrainians Olga Sviderska (3:07.82) and Mariia Lafina (3:08.03), with Sviderska swimming a new SM3 world record.

Great Britain’s European champion Susannah Rodgers (5:39.86) qualified fastest in the women’s 400m freestyle S7.

Israel’s Erel Halevi (5:50.31) was second. Italy’s Arianna Talamona (5:51.50) is also looking for her second gold, alongside Rodgers.

Rodger’s teammate, Paralympic bronze medallist Oliver Hynd (1:08.13) was the fastest man in the 100m backstroke S8. He was closely followed by Ukraine’s European champion Iurii Bozhynskyi (1:08.70) in second.

Paralympic and word champion Ihar Boki (4:04.23) will try for his fourth gold for Belarus as the fastest qualifier in the men’s 400m freestyle S13. Ukraine’s World Championships silver medallist Iaroslav Denysenko (4:06.18) was second quickest whilst Azerbaijan’s Raman Salei (4:18.11) was third.

“It was ok, I feel comfortable,” Denysenko said. “It was a pretty good time for the morning. I will do everything it takes to win.”

Russia’s world champion Roman Zhdanov (2:35.86) qualified fastest in the men’s 150m individual medley SM4, as did his world and European title-holder teammate Andrei Gladkov (4:57.43) in the men’s 400m freestyle S7.

Mariia Pavlova (1:22.65) has picked up a medal in all but one event she has competed in so far for Russia but has not won gold. The 17-year-old qualified fastest in the women’s 100m backstroke S8.

Ukraine’s World Championships silver medallist Anna Stetsenko (4:32.55) led the women’s 400m freestyle S13 heat. Uzbekistan’s Shokshsanamkhon Toshpulatova (4:44.80) broke her latest Asian record to progress in second, and has done so in every single event she has swum this week. Spain’s Ariadna Edo Beltran (4:46.34) was third.

Ukraine’s world and European champion Denys Dubrov (2:16.16) and teammate Dmytro Vanzenko (2:17.53) were the first and second fastest in the men’s 200m individual medley SM10. Belgium’s Sven Decaesstecker (2:19.15) was third.

Ukraine’s Serhii Palamarchuk (1:01.03) was fastest in the men’s 50m freestyle S2, hoping to improve on his silver medal from 2014. Poland’s Jacek Czech (1:01.94) was second ahead of another Ukrainian, Ievgen Panibratets (1:02.02).

Heading into this evening’s finals as the favourite to collect her fourth Open gold is Canada’s Worlds silver medallist Aurelie Rivard (2:34.48) in the women’s 200m individual medley SM10.

“It went really well, better than I thought,” Rivard said. I was not planning on going hard, just on finishing the race and just trying to keep as far as possible ahead of the Russian [Nina Ryabova] and it turns out it was a really good time.

“I’m pretty sure I can go faster tonight so I’m looking forward to it.”

Russian world record holder Ryabova (2:36.98), already a double gold medallist from this week, was second quickest. Hungary’s Bianka Pap (2:37.07) was third.

Brazil’s world and Paralympic champion Daniel Dias (36.62) was happy with his qualifying time in the men’s 50m backstroke S5.

“It’s a good time for the morning and I hope that I can go even better this evening,” Dias said.

Vietnam’s Thanh Tung Vo (39.29) was second, leading Great Britain’s European champion Andrew Mullen (39.57) into the final.

Colombian Nelson Crispin (30.26) went fastest in the men’s 50m freestyle S6. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Komarov (31.20) and Greece’s Christakis Panagiotis (32.21) were second and third respectively as Germany’s defending champion Sebastian Ivanow also qualified in fourth.

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