Overcoming resistance

Yevgeny Tsurkin is European swimming champion while the duo of Vadim Kaptur and Yevgeny Korolev claim silver in the synchronised platform

By Igor Leshin

Yevgeny Tsurkin is European swimming champion while the duo of Vadim Kaptur and Yevgeny Korolev claim silver in the synchronised platform

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Yevgeny Tsurkin is European swimming champion while the duo of Vadim Kaptur and Yevgeny Korolev claim silver in the synchronised platform



At the European Swimming Championship, held in Berlin, Yevgeny Tsurkin covered the 50m butterfly distance within 23 seconds, sharing the highest step of the medals podium with London Olympics champion Florent Manaudou of France. This achievement is even more precious since, before Tsurkin, only one other Belarusian athlete, Alexander Gukov, has managed to earn such a title back in 1997.

Tsurkin’s current result is interesting, and not only for Belarus’ acquisition of its third European Championships gold medal. In swimming, times are calculated to one-hundredth of a second, and it’s the electronic system that determines the final rankings. However, the situation when even contemporary computers fail to determine the winner does not happen very often.

Over the last decade, there have only been eight cases at European and World Championships when organisers had to use reserve sets of medals. Nevertheless, two medals had to be shared in Berlin in the 50m butterfly. Equal results in the finals were shown by the winners — Yevgeny Tsurkin of Belarus and Florent Manaudou of France — as well as Ukrainian Andrey Govorov and British Benjamin Proud, who finished second, who yielded to the champions only 23 hundredths.
Vadim Kaptur and Yevgeny Korolev claimed silver in the men’s synchronised platform. At the current European Championship, Vadim Kaptur also performed with Yelena Khamulkina in team competitions, where they came 6th.

Swimmer Pavel Sankovich earns bronze for Belarusian squad in 100m butterfly. With a time of 51.92 seconds Pavel claimed his bronze, and set a new national record in the 50m backstroke (25.11 seconds) in his final swim, giving him 6th place.

Unfortunately, the leader of the Belarusian national team, Alexandra Gerasimenya, who took two silver medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, was left without a single medal. Her best result was in the 50m backstroke, which brought her 6th place in the final. Over one of her favourite distances — the 50m freestyle — she failed even to qualify for the final. She finished 5th in her semi-final swim and was ranked 11th overall. In total, the Belarusian team claimed three medals: one gold, one silver and one bronze. They were left 15th overall.
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