The 20th Euro Meet promises fast races with many of the World’s and Europe’s best swimmers.
Germany as well as Great Britain send many of their best swimmers to the Euro Meet. For the German swimmers, the qualification period for the 2018 European and Junior European Championships starts yesterday and ends on April, 29th.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström broke all sprint freestyle/sprint butterfly Euro Meet records last year. She bettered some records twice a day in 2017, but this won’t be easy to repeat on this weekend. Sjötröm will compete in the 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m and 100m backstroke, 50m and 100m freestyle. Another Olympic champion was set to compete at the Euro Meet: Katinka Hosszu. The organizers announced her participation at the end of 2017. But according to the entry lists, the Hungarian “Iron Lady” won’t attend the swim meet in Luxembourg.
Olympic Champion Adam Peaty will start in all breaststroke events. He will face Germany’s Fabian Schwingenschloegl, Ireland’s Jamie Graham and Germany’s Christian vom Lehn in the 50m sprint. Also in the 100m, the above-mentioned German swimmers plus Marco Koch and Peaty’s teammate Ross Murdoch are the fastest swimmers in the entry lists.
Apart from Adam Peaty, who is not a 200m breaststroke specialist, this race could be a tough battle between Ross Murdoch (GBR) and Marco Koch (GER). Murdoch was 4th at the 2017 World Championships and Marco Koch is the 2015 LC World Champion and world record holder on the 25m course. Koch could win the 200m breaststroke at the 2018 Euro Meet for the sixth time in a row.
The men’s 50 m freestyle start list includes with Bruno Fratus (BRA, silver at the 2017 World Championships), Ben Proud (GBR, bronze at the 2017 World Championships), Damian Wierling (GER), Andriy Govorov (URK), Shinri Shioura(JPN) and Ukraine’s Sergii Shevtsov six of the sixteen fastest men at the 2017 World Championships.
A similiar fast starter field is found in the men’s 50m butterfly with 2017 World Champion Ben Proud, bronze medalist Andriy Govorov and seventh place finisher Andrii Khloptsov (UKR). The field will be completed by top swimmers like Laszlo Cseh, Shinri Shioura and Bruno Fratus.
Russia’s shooting star Kliment Kolsenikov will challenge experienced backstroke swimmers like Great Britain’s Chris Walker-Hebborn who is 10 years older than Kolesnikov. The 17-year old is the Junior world record holder in the 100m and 200m backstroke (LC and SC) and the 50m backstroke (SC). The rising star from Russia earned four golds (100m and 200m backstroke plus two relays) and one silver (50m backstroke) at the 2017 European SC Championships.
The men’s 200m freestyle could be a British 1-2-3 finish with three world champions set to compete: Duncan Scott, James Guy and Stephen Milne won gold medals in the 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2017 FINA World Championships (LC).
On the women’s side, the 400m and 800m freestyle races promise to show a tough battle between Germany’s Sarah Köhler (2017 European Champion, SC, 800m freestyle and silver medalist 400m freestyle) and Great Britain’s Jazz Carlin who won the silver medal in both events at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Note: Many German topswimmers participate under the flag of their local swim club, like Marco Koch, or the “umbrella association” of a German Federal State, like Philip Heintz. Therefore they will participate only in the relays of these organisations at the Euro Meet.
Talking about relays: They are always very exciting in Luxembourg, this year (for example) the 4 x 100 m mixed freestyle relay will feature two Swedish teams, two from Ireland, three under the flag of the German Swimming Federation (DSV) alongside relays from Switzerland, France, Italy and Luxembourg.
The Euro Meet takes place in the beautiful aquatic centre “d’Coque” at Luxembourg-Kirchberg. The facility has a 50 m, 10-lane competition pool and also a 50 m training pool as well as a 25 m warm-up pool. Luxembourg is a small country in western Europe, it is bordered by Belgium, Germany and France and it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. Nonetheless the city of Luxembourg, which is the country’s capital, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the European Nation and Luxembourg is the largest private banking centre in the Eurozone.