Sjöström claims European gold medal

Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjöström lived up to domestic expectations on Friday as she claimed the gold medal in the 100 metre butterfly event at the European Championships in Budapest.

Sjöström claims European gold medal

Sjöström, timing 57.32sec, edged her way to victory ahead of British rival Francesca Halsall (57.40), with veteran compatriot Therese Alshammar taking bronze for Sweden.

“My whole season before the European Championships was really bad, and I’m very surprised I am about my results here in Budapest,” admitted Sjöström.

Halsall had to be content with passing Alshammar on the second lap.

“Maybe I could have done better if I would have been more rested,” she said. “I knew that Therese Alshammar would go out very fast, and my strength is the second lap.

“I’m happy that I managed to catch her on the very last metres of the race.”

Russia’s Anastasia Chaun took gold in the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2min 23.50sec ahead of Norwegian Sara Nordenstam with Rikke Moeller Pedersen of Denmark taking bronze.

“I had never reckoned with a medal before the European Championships,” said Chaun.

“I certainly benefited from the absence of my team-mate Yulia Efimova in this event. She was ruled out of the 200 metres because of a shoulder injury.”

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Danish beaches hit ‘swimming temperature’ earliest in a decade

Denmark on Monday registered its earliest official 'swimming day' in a decade with water temperatures at 88 different beaches in the country averaging over 19C.

Danish beaches hit 'swimming temperature' earliest in a decade
A lifeguard surveys swimmers at Blokhus beach in Jutland. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix
“The water is record warm, or at least we haven't registered a swimming day so earlier in the last decade, and the water is only going to get hotter over the coming days,” said Peter Tanev, a meteorologist with the TV2 broadcaster. 
Denmark is set to see temperatures of as much as 30C in the south of Jutland on Saturday as the whole of Europe is hit by a heatwave. 
With water temperatures tending to rise by half a degree a day during sunny periods, water temperatures could rise beyond 22C over the weekend. 
“It has been an extremely sunny spring,” Tanev explained. “The sun's rays are the most important factor when it comes to warming up the water.” 
He said that the generally mild winter had also helped push temperatures at the country's bathing stops towards the near record. 
In 2017, the water at Denmark's beaches never averaged above 19C, and in 2018, swimmers had to wait until the end of June. But 2019 was another record year, with the first swimming day registered on June 23rd.