Double gold for Belmonte on the opening day
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte was the most successful swimmer on the opening day of the 2011 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Szczecin, winning double gold within just a few minutes. The 21-year-old, three-time World Short Course Champion dominated the finals in the 200m individual medley (2:07.06) and the following 200m butterfly (2:03.37).
“It wasn’t a big problem for me to swim the two races within just 15 minutes. I had focused a bit more on the 200m IM. Everything went according to plan to win the two titles.“
The Spaniard also won a valuable watch from LEN sponsor Omega for the best performance of the day (200m IM).
The Polish hosts also went strong on the opening day: Konrad Czerniak (50m freestyle/20.88) and Radoslaw Kawecki (200m backstroke/1:49.15) both achieved their first ever European gold medals.
“I am swimming four races today, and thank God everything went smoothly. I clocked Polish records in the heats in the morning and in the final in the evening”, declared Czerniak.
Russian Valentina Artemyeva possibly gave herself the best present on her 25th birthday on Thursday when she regained her 2008 title in the 50m breaststroke. The other European Champions on the opening day were Paul Biedermann (Germany/400m free), Laszlo Cseh (Hungary/200m IM), and the Italian men’s 4x50m medley relay team.