Ukrainian swimmer Govorov cruises to 50-meter butterfly gold
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Ukrainian swimmer Andriy Govorov cruised to victory in the men’s 50-meter butterfly at the European Championships on Tuesday, a month after he smashed the discipline’s nine-year-old world record.
Finishing in 22.48 seconds, the fourth fastest time ever, Govorov comfortably beat world champion Ben Proud by 0.30 seconds even though the Briton had the faster start.
“Ben is really in front for the first 15 meters and I have my power to put really good pressure in the right direction,” Govorov said. “The goal is not to be the fastest for a short 15 or 20 meters, the goal is to be stable over 50. So if you see my race analysis it’s all the time the same speed, so that’s the key.”
Govorov was more than two tenths short of the world record he set in July. At the Sette Colli meet in Rome, he swam 22.27 to shave 0.16 off the previous mark set by Spain’s Rafael Munoz, one of the last records standing from the pre-2010 “super suit” era.
It was the fifth European title for Govorov, who also won 50 butterfly gold two years ago. At the 2017 world championships in Budapest he took bronze, beaten by Proud and Brazil’s Nicholas Santos.
Italy’s Simona Quadarella eased to gold in the women’s 1,500 freestyle for her second European title after also winning the 800 freestyle.
Quadarella, who was the bronze medalist at last year’s world championships, swam side-by-side with Germany’s Sarah Koehler for almost half the race but enjoyed a lead of more than 3 seconds at the 1,000-meter mark and ultimately beat Koehler by 6.24 seconds.
In the 100 backstroke, Anastasiia Fesikova of Russia edged Britain’s Georgia Davies for the gold medal, while Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu missed the podium in fourth.
The track cycling competition concluded with Stefan Botticher winning the men’s keirin for Germany’s third gold and 11th medal overall.
The Netherlands failed to add to their gold medal haul in the sport but still topped the table with five, followed by Britain, which finished on four after Matthew Walls won the men’s elimination race.
“This is my first major championships and to get the win is just mega,” the 20-year-old Walls said. “I’m really happy with it. There’s a lot of British riders that have done it and, hopefully, going forward is my ambition.”
On the final day of synchronized swimming, Russia’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko won both the duet free routine, teaming up with Varvara Subbotina and Anastasiia Arkhipovskaia, and the concluding solo free routine for a perfect record of four golds from four events.
Russia won all eight events it entered, while Ukraine triumphed in the combination free routine for the only other gold medal.