Olympic champ Britta Steffen rebounds with 50 free gold on last night of Euros
By Andrew Dampf ,APDEBRECEN, Hungary -- After losing to Sweden's Sarah Sjoestroem in the 100, Olympic champion Britta Steffen bounced back to claim gold in the 50-meter freestyle on the final night of the European swimming championships on Sunday, then swam the anchor leg when Germany won the 4x100 medley relay.
May 29, 2012, 12:13 am TWN
There was also redemption for Fred Bousquet, who defended his 50 free title after failing to qualify in any event at the French Olympic trials in March.
And with Prime Minister Viktor Orban in attendance, Laszlo Cseh (400 individual medley) and Katinka Hosszu (200 butterfly) each won their third gold of the meet as host Hungary topped the medals table with 9 golds, 10 silvers, 7 bronzes — for 26 medals overall.
Also, Coralie Balmy of France won the 400 free after world record holder Federica Pellegrini failed to advance from morning heats; Pellegrini's boyfriend Filippo Magni anchored Italy to gold in the men's medley relay; and Petra Chocova of the Czech Republic won the 50 breaststroke — a non-Olympic event.
Steffen swept both the 50 and 100 at the 2008 Beijing Games but then dropped out of last year's worlds after one poor heat. Now she appears back in form, and her 50 time of 24.37 seconds was the fourth fastest in the world this year.
Only Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands (24.10), Fran Halsall of Britain (24.12) and Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands (24.32) have recorded faster times this year. All three skipped this meet to prepare for the London Games, which start in two months.