The third day of racing at the European Short Course Championships in Otopeni produced several blistering swims, including a new European Record in the men’s 50 free and the third-fastest performance of all time in the men’s 1500 free.
Below, find flash quotes from the swimmers after an incredible night of racing.
Gold medalist, new European record, and championship record in the 50 free in a time of 20.18
“That definitely exceeded my expectations. When we were looking for times, I would have been really happy with anything about my personal best, which was 20.4. But then I’m just coming in here to learn more about championship racing. The mentality, my mindset. That’s my first real record to be broken. A European record, which is very cool and, to take it from Florent (Manaudou), it’s the best. I just came in here to go: fast, faster, fastest from heat to the final.
“I wanted this title. I’ve heard many times in the past 10 minutes that the last thing that I miss in my career is the Olympic medal, but to be honest, I’m, I’m not chasing medals. I’m chasing my dream of being a swimmer sprinter. And I love my event. And I’m just looking forward to being able to race on the big stage against great people.
“This is just a very small stepping stone in terms of the season. But to say we’re on track is an understatement. And, I’m just very grateful. My two coaches have been a great help this chunk of the season. So I’m going to go and see them. I’m sure they’ll be happy.”
Gold medalist in the 1500 free in a time of 14.09.11 (3rd performance all time)
“It’s a great time. I knew I was going fast when I took it out quite fast. I was just seeing how long I could hold on, and I got to 500. I was really feeling a bit sick, to be honest. It definitely hurt. I mean, I expected to be that fast, I guess, building off the 400 European title, and I guess I’m just taking a lot of confidence from this and I’ll bring it back and hopefully convert it to long course. For the past week, I’ve done a lot of racing. I said, if I can still go that fast after that, I mean, it’s amazing. I got a five-second PB, and that’s all I can ask for. We’re looking forward to the 800.
“Did I miss them (Florian Wellbrock and Gregorio Paltrinieri)? Yeah. I mean, I prefer they not to be here, to be honest. It makes it easier for me.”
Gold medalist in the 200 backstroke women in a time of 2:02.4
“This is definitely a surprise for me. I’ve not done this event in three years. So I was just a bit apprehensive coming into the meet and doing it, but I’m really thankful that I was pushed by my coach to do it. Last year, I won the European silver in Rome; this title is like an upgrade. I’ve recently moved programs, so our main focus is to better all my events, obviously. And then Dave saw something in me to do the 200, so I guess we’ve been pushing that more. But it’s all about building confidence for everything. So everything helps each other out. What I do expect from the 100? Um, hopefully, PB and maybe a gold.”
Silver medalist in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 56.5
“I am very happy for the race, for the approach I had, for how it happened. However, I wasn’t supposed to win a medal today, but I fought for that, even though I thought I couldn’t do it. Of course, I’m not happy with the 0.05, which separates me from the gold, but If I’m upset, it means that I love this sport and I love to win, so it’s fine. Arno (Kamminga) has the best last 25 meters so I knew I needed to be faster in the first part of the race, but this time it was not enough. This is not a good moment in my life for some personal reason, and it’s definitely not easy being there and doing what I am doing. But at the same time, it helps me somehow to focus on something different from my personal issues, so it’s a balance and also this medal helps me in my process right now, I’m happy with the team, I love these guys (the Italian team) and I love racing with them.”