As a tribute to the ongoing UEFA European Football Championships in France, and as a bit of fun, here at SwimWords we wanted to do our very own Euro16 tournament in swimming. The idea being, as each of the group matches in the football are played, here on SwimWords we will mirror this in the pool by battling top swimmers from their respective nations head to head. These top international athletes will compete against each other in terms of past success and present form to find a victor.
The idea will be to represent the win in the form of a football score and see how close this prediction is to the actual footie match played in France. All these predictions are subjective, and the swimmers selected to represent their country will be the ‘in form’ international athletes this year, but if you disagree with the selectors or management we would love to hear from you…
First up sees the start of the second round matches in the group stage format…
Group B: RUSSIA vs SLOVAKIA, KO: 2:00pm GMT, Wednesday 15th June
Representing Russia in the pool…
- Athlete: Anton Chupkov
- Born: 1997
- Height: 1.88cm
- Best Senior Result: 7th 200 Breast, World Championships, Kazan, 2015
Representing Slovakia in the pool…
- Athlete: Richard Nagy
- Born: 1993
- Height: 1.85cm
- Best Senior Result: Silver 400 IM, European Championships, London, 2016
This could be a very tight affair between these two, as they are both showing very recent form in their respective best events. Chupkov has only last week come off the back of a very successful Mare Nostrum tour, where he picked up plenty of prize money from his main event the 200 metres Breaststroke. His fastest performance on tour came in Canet where he beat the World No.1, German Marco Koch, in a time of 2.08.53. Not only did this put him 4th in the European rankings, it was also a Russian National Record. This youngster holds the World Junior Record, when last year at the age of 18, he posted a time of 2.09.64 and placed him 7th in the final of the World Championships in Kazan. A good team always needs to have a selection of vibrant up and coming youth players to add energy and flair, and they don’t come any better or promising than Chupkov who is likely to do it on the big stage very soon.
Richard Nagy has also shown great form in 2016. He had the performance of his career as he took the silver in the 400 metres Individual Medley event in the London European Championships this May. Amongst strong opposition Nagy swam a lifetime best of 4.14.16 to come away with the silver medal. Although this only takes him 5th in Europe, Nagy has proven that he can perform in a championship event when it really matters. 400IM is one of the toughest events in the programme, but Nagy is also very adept at the distance events, boasting an impressive 15.04.03 personal best in the 1500m freestyle and represents his country in the open water marathon events. This versatile Slovakian National record holder (400IM, 400Free, 800Free, 1500 Free) will have no problem lasting the full 90 minutes!
Who takes the head to head here? It will be a very tight battle with both countries on great form and the score will need to reflect that.
On one hand we have Slovakia who have won prizes at the senior level, can perform at the main championships, and will always still be fighting fit in injury time. With Russia, we have the youthful and exuberant talent who has won everything at junior level, has recently beaten the World No.1, and is waiting for their breakthrough performance on the senior stage. The Russian’s better World standing has to give him the slight edge over the Slovakian.
SwimWords Euro16 Score:
RUSSIA 2 : 1 SLOVAKIA
Next up in Group A is Romania Vs Switzerland. Which two swimmers should the selectors pick…?