Tue, May 29, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Gold for Cseh as hosts top medals table in Hungary

AFP, DEBRECEN, HUNGARY

Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh competes in the heats of the men’s 400m medley at the 31st European Swimming Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Laszlo Cseh lifted Hungary to the top of the medals table at the European swimming championships with success in the 400m medley on the closing day of the competition on Sunday.

The hosts ended up with a haul of 26 medals, nine of which had a golden hue, with Cseh responsible for three of them.

Behind Hungary came Germany, with 17 medals (eight gold) and then Italy (18, six gold).

Cseh won the men’s 400m medley in a time of 4 minutes, 12.17 seconds to beat his fellow countryman David Verraszto (4:14.23) and Ioannis Drymonakos of Greece (4:14.41).

In the 50m freestyle, victory went to France’s Frederick Bousquet in a time of 21.80 seconds, with silver going to Sweden’s Stefan Nystrand (22.04) and the bronze claimed by Andryi Govorov of the Ukraine.

The Italians took gold in the 4x100m medley relay ahead of Germany and Hungary.

Among the women, Germany’s Britta Steffen won the 50m freestyle in 24.37, with Dutch competitor Hinkelien Schreuder (24.78) and Greece’s Nery-Mantey Niangkouara (24.93) in second and third.

The 400m freestyle went to France’s Coralie Balmy, Czech Republic swimmer Petra Chocova won the 50m breaststroke, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu the 200m butterfly, while Germany took the honors ahead of Italy and Sweden in the 4x100m medley relay.

With two months to go before the London Olympics these championships nevertheless were missing a host of big names, while Russia dispatched a young team in need of experience.

The closing day was an unhappy affair for Federica Pellegrini, who had begun the competition with an historic victory for Italy in the 4x200m relay freestyle, with the Olympic champion and double world champion adding gold in her favored event, the 200m freestyle.

On Sunday, she lined up for the 400m freestyle heats, but posted the 11th fastest time and failed to make the final for the first time in three years.

Pellegrini appeared concerned afterwards and said she would undergo tests next week to try and determine what had gone wrong.

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