Swimmers impress on opening night of Luxembourg Euro Meet

LAURA STEPHENS, Ben Proud and Frederico Burdisso all won gold medals on the opening night of the Luxembourg Euro Meet.

Plymouth Leander’s Stephens showed that 2019 could be a big year for her by finishing joint first in the women’s 200m butterfly final.

She and Hungarian Lilana Szilasyi both touched in 2:09.73 in a thrilling race that also featured former world champion at the distance, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who is known as the ‘Iron Lady’ after winning  57 major gold medals.

Hosszu was fourth just in front of Leander teenager Sophie Freeman, who, despite being the youngest in the final, produced an impressive swim to clock 2:15.91 and finish fifth. Fellow Leander swimmer Oriana Noel reached the B final, where she clocked 2:26.09.

Stephens then went and swam in the final of the 50m butterfly, where she finished sixth in 27.18 seconds in a race won by world champion Sarah Sjoestrom.

Mount Kelly College’s Italian star Burdisso continued his eye-catching early season form.

After starring at last weekend’s Geneva Challenge Meet, Burdisso went even faster in Luxembourg, clocking 1:56.87 to win the men’s 200m butterfly by more than a second.

Last week he had broke the legendary Laszlo Cseh’s Geneva meet record, but he just missed out on doing the same on Friday with Cseh’s Luxembourg record standing at 1:56.58.

In the same final, former Plymouth College pupil Kregor Zirk came sixth in 2:02.92, with Leander’s Tom Beeley seventh in 2:03.43.

World champion Ben Proud then finished the first evening off by winning the men’s 50m butterfly final. He clocked 23.52 seconds which was off his meet record of 23.03 but enough to beat a strong field. Burdisso also swam in that final, finishing sixth in 24.24.

Leander’s Franka Wilke finished seventh in the women’s 800m with 9:14.36, while Honey Osrin reached the 100m B backstroke final, where she clocked 1:05.05.

The Luxembourg Euro Meet will continue until Sunday.

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