Nevo captures bronze on last day of Euros

23-year-old doubles Israel’s medal count with effort in 400 individual medley.

gal nevo medal 311 (photo credit: AP)
gal nevo medal 311
(photo credit: AP)
After going a decade without a medal at the European Swimming Championships, Gal Nevo gave Israel its second medal in four days on Sunday, finishing third in the 400-meter individual medley final on the last day of competition in Budapest.
Nevo, who also won a bronze at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in December, came up just short in the 200 IM last week, finishing fourth, 37 hundredths of a second away from the podium.
However, he executed his race plan to perfection on Sunday, and joined previous medal winners Eitan Urbach (1997 and 1999), Miki Halika (1999), Yoav Gath (2000) and Guy Barnea, who took a bronze in the 50m backstroke last Thursday.
“I expected to win this medal,” said Nevo, who clocked a time of 4:15.10 minutes. “I came very close in the 200m IM and that certainly motivated me ahead of this race. My next big goal is next year’s World Championships in which I hope to reach finals.”
Nevo was in eighth and last midway through Sunday’s final, but a superb breaststroke section saw him climb all the way to third position and he held off Italy’s Luca Marin to touch the wall behind Hungarians Laszlo Cseh (4:10.95) and David Verraszto (4:12.96).
“Always the same people, always the Hungarians in the top positions,” said Nevo, who also finished behind Cseh and Verraszto in the short course Europeans last year. “I finally want to get closer to them. That’s my great goal for the coming years, but it will be damn difficult.”
Cseh’s post-race comments bordered on rudeness, but his margin of victory backed him up.
“I knew that I would not have too much to do to win this race,” said Cseh, who also won the 200 individual medley and was the Olympic silver medalist behind American Michael Phelps in Beijing.
“That is why I swam very relaxed on the last 100 meters.”
Therese Alshammar also won her second gold medal at the event on Sunday.
Alshammar clocked 24.45 seconds in the women’s 50 freestyle, the Swede finishing 0.21 seconds ahead of Dutch swimmer Hinkelien Schreuder. Francesca Halsall of Britain was 0.01 seconds behind Schreuder, adding a bronze to the gold and two silvers she won earlier.
“It’s going so well for me, so why should I retire? The 2012 Olympics are a great goal,” said Alshammar, a four-time Olympian who turns 33 later this month.
Alshammar also won silver and bronze in Budapest to extend her medal collection at major tournaments to nearly 70.
France’s Bousquet claimed the men’s 50 freestyle. The European record holder won in 21.49 seconds, 0.20 faster than Stefan Nystrand of Sweden and 0.27 ahead of teammate Fabien Gilot.
In the women’s 50 breaststroke, Efimova of Russia set a new meet record of 30.29, beating Kate Haywood of Britain and Jennie Johansson of Sweden.
Despite a nagging injury, Efimova won the 100 breaststroke on Wednesday but later skipped the 200 in the discipline. She is the defending world champion in the 50 and 100 breaststroke.
Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakabos gave Hungary a 1-2 finish in the women’s 200 butterfly – repeating the order from Thursday’s 200 individual medley – after Hosszu moved from fifth at the halfway stage to finish in 2:06.71 and win by 0.35 due to a fast last lap.
Adlington won the women’s 400 freestyle in 4:04.55, the Briton beating Ophelie Cyriell Etienne of France by 0.78 seconds. Lotte Friis, who won the 800 and 1,500 freestyle events, was third.
In other finals, Britain took gold in the women’s 4x100 medley relay and France was victorious in the men’s.
Israel’s men’s team ended the medley relay in 10th place, with the women’s side coming in 11th position.