In 51.44 seconds he missed his OSV record by 0.26 seconds, a medal by 0.22 seconds and Austria’s very first European Dolphin Championships medal. In June, the 22-year-old finished sixth in the World Championship on this route. About 15 minutes later, Felix Auböck entered the final on Monday (6:06 p.m.) in the Foro Italico over 200 m freestyle in 1:46.60 minutes as semi-final sixth.
Bucher had sought his salvation on the offensive and turned around a little earlier than in his Budapest record run or as third in the run, only 0.06 seconds behind the eventual Hungarian winner Kristof Milak (50.33). However, the ASV Linz athlete could not keep up this pace. “At some point the hammer comes and then it hurts brutally,” said Bucher. “We’ll work on that.” He had already finished fifth in the 50 m dolphin, just 0.05 seconds behind bronze. However, he was not completely satisfied with this performance: “Two medals would have been even nicer.”
Aubock in the crawl final
Auböck had to tackle the semifinals a lot faster to ensure promotion. From the start he also went along with the German 800 m Vice European Champion Lukas Märtens and Milak. While the latter had to pay tribute to his gold run that had just been contested and was eliminated, Auböck got his fix ticket as second in the run. He had improved by 1.37 seconds compared to the lead time. The fastest was new 100m world record holder David Popovici, the 17-year-old Romanian clocked a time of 1:44.91.
“It was controlled, the target was met,” summed up Auböck after completing stage two on the way to the EM medal. Of course, the final step promises to be a very difficult one. “It’s going to be a very, very fast run. My time is okay for how it felt though.” The Lower Austrian has almost 1.5 seconds left on his OSV record from the World Cup final (1:45.11). In order to have a say in the awarding of medals, a further strong increase will probably be unavoidable.
In the other four finals of the day, Marrit Steenbergen primarily stood out. The Dutchwoman won the 200 m freestyle in 1:56.36 minutes, with which the 22-year-old won her fourth gold on the fourth day of the competition. She had also won the 100 m crawl and the relays over 4 x 200 m crawl and 4 x 100 m individual medley. France’s Analia Pigree won the 50m backstroke in 27.27 seconds, Briton James Wilby won the 200m breaststroke in 2:08.96 minutes and the home fans cheered the triumph of the Italian men’s relay over 4 x 100m Crawl in 3:10.50 min.
In the morning, Anastasia Tichy, who made her debut at the Salzburg European Championships, beat her personal best of April by 0.13 seconds in the 100m dolphin. This put the 18-year-old from SU Salzburg in 28th place. Lena Kreundl completed the 200m breaststroke in 2:36.26 minutes (30′). Of course, her focus is on the 200m individual medley on Monday.