Nevo misses podium at European Championships by a stroke

Israel will have to wait at least one more day to see its decade-long medal drought at the European Swimming Championships come to an end.

GAL NEVO 311 (photo credit: FIsrael Swimming Association)
(photo credit: FIsrael Swimming Association)
Israel will have to wait at least one more day to see its decade-long medal drought at the European Swimming Championships come to an end after Gal Nevo came within a half second of the podium on Wednesday, finishing fourth in the 200-meter Individual Medley final.
Nevo, a medalist at the European Short Course Swimming Championships last December, was only in seventh position after 100m, but moved up to fourth place after the 50m breaststroke section and with 10m remaining was set for a place on the podium.
However, in the final meters of the race, Britain’s Joe Roebuck overtook the Israeli and beat him to the bronze medal by 37 hundredths of a second.
Despite the disappointment, Nevo, who finished in 1 minute and 59.83 seconds, can take a lot of encouragement from his performance ahead of the 400m IM, his favorite event which will be raced in the final day of the championships on Sunday.
On Thursday, Guy Barnea will look to become the first Israeli since Yoav Gath in 2000 to win a European long-course medal when he takes part in the 50m backstroke final.
Barnea advanced to the final from fifth place overall on Wednesday, touching the wall after 25.24s, 13 hundredths slower than his time in the morning heats.
Jonatan Kopelev finished the 50m backstroke in 13th place in a personal best time of 25.42s.
Amit Ivri set the first Israeli record of the championships on Wednesday. The 21-year-old clocked a time of 2:16.12m to end the 200m IM in 13th position and improve Vered Borochovsky’s national record from 10 years ago by over a second.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh set a meet record of 1:57.73 to win the final of the 200m IM. Markus Rogan of Austria finished 0.30 seconds back.
“This was not my best performance, but it was enough to win,” said Cseh, who swam more than 2.5 seconds slower than his European record.
“I knew I had to turn in front of Rogan at the 150-meter mark. The last lap was very hot.”
Cseh swam the final 50 in 29.18 seconds, 0.16 seconds faster than Rogan and the smallest difference between the two swimmers on any of the four laps.
Meanwhile, Sebastien Rouault of France earned his first major title by winning the 1,500-meter freestyle event. Rouault overtook Pal Joensen of the Faroe Islands with less than three laps to go and held on to win in 14 minutes, 55.17 seconds.
“I had to build up my race. For this reason, I stayed a little behind, but at some point I was a bit afraid that Pal Joensen was too far ahead,” Rouault said. “However, as expected, my last 300 meters were excellent.”
Joensen had led for most of the race but finished 1.73 seconds behind to take silver, while Samuel Pizzetti of Italy was 4.59 seconds back in third.
“I think that’s the first international medal in any sport for my country, but in swimming that’s a fact,” Joensen said.
“I don’t yet know whether I’ll stay long term in the Faroes because the conditions are not very good – I can only train on short-course (pools).”
Germany’s Paul Biedermann defended his title in the men’s 200 freestyle, clocking 1:46.06. Nikita Lobinstsev of Russia was second and Sebastiaan Verschuren of the Netherlands was third.
“The time wasn’t good, but the title is what counts,” said Biedermann, who set world records in the 200 and 400 freestyle at last year’s world championships in Rome while wearing the sincebanned bodysuits.
The 30th edition of European championships is the first major international meet where competitors can no longer wear the neck-to-ankle outfits that helped set dozens of world records in recent years.
Francesca Halsall of Britain won the women’s 100 freestyle in 53.58 seconds, beating Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus and Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands.
“I knew that I had to get out very fast because this is my strength,” Halsall said.
“We came here unrested because we are also preparing for the Commonwealth Games.”