Rabu, 14 Desember 2011

Russia Wins Championships Trophy, celebrates Mireia Belmonte

“We have experienced excellent championships in Szczecin, on the sporting as well as on the organisational side. And an historical event too. Poland played host to a LEN Championship for the very first time”, was LEN President Nory Kruchten’s personal conclusion to the 15th European Short Course Swimming Championships in Szczecin
Szczecin was the first sporting highlight on the road to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. 15 new season’s World best times in the 34 individual events demonstrated the strength of the European elite. Various top swimming federations gave their juniors the opportunity for their first international test on the road to the Olympics. 
Approximately 550 athletes represented 39 LEN Member Federations in Szczecin. 20 nations won at least one medal. Germany successfully defended the top position in the medal table with 7 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal. Denmark achieved its best ever European Championship result with a total of 14 medals (5‐7‐2). Hosts Poland (5‐0‐3) finished in fourth position behind Spain (5‐5‐2). “Danish Dynamite” – well‐known from football in the 1980s – fired for the first time in swimming too. The Scandinavians have never been better than in Szczecin. Russia proved to be the best team by points, winning the Championships Trophy by a clear margin with 901 points, followed by Italy (768), Germany (625), Great Britain (590), Poland (490) and Denmark (471). 
The triple 2010 World Champion, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, was the most successful athlete of the 2011 Short Course Europeans with four titles: 400m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley. She also came closest to a European record, clocking 4:24.55 minutes in the 400m individual medley. Her European Record stands at 4:24.21min. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh gained three titles in the men’s event, the 200m butterfly, the 200m and 400m individual medley, and won an additional bronze in the 200m free. 
The total prize money of 35,000 Euro, offered by LEN, was distributed as follows: Denmark’s Lotte Friis earned 6,000 Euro, Mireia Belmonte 5,500 Euro, 1,500 Euro each went to Erika Villaecija (ESP), Daryna Zevina (UKR) and Britta Steffen (GER). Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta (HUN) headed the men’s list with 5,000 Euro, followed by his compatriot Laszlo Cseh (3,000 Euro), Nikolay Skvortsov (RUS/2,000 Euro), Joe Roebuck (GBR), Mateusz Sawrymowicz (POL), Mads Glaesner (DEN) and Konrad Czerniak (POL) 1,500 Euro each. 
Denmark’s Mie Oe Nielsen and Belarus’s Pavel Sankovich were named “Newcomers of the Championships” and were awarded 1,500 Euro each. As in previous years, LEN partner Omega donated four valuable Seamaster watches for the “Best Performance of the Day”, awarded to Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, Denmark’s Lotte Friis, Poland’s Konrad Czerniak, and Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta. 
The 16th European Short Course Swimming Championships will be staged in Chartres (FRA) from November 22nd to 25th, 2012.

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