Tonight sees England meet Slovakia in St Etienne on the field in a very important third group game in Euro2016. The result of which will qualify the teams for the knock out stages. So here at SwimWords we are excited to continue our version of the European Championships my matching up two swimmers from the respective countries in terms of past success and present form to pick a victor.
Already in the England squad is James Guy who faced Welsh starlet Jazz Carlin in the second round and took a minor win (2 – 1). In the Slovakian line up, medley maestro Richard Nagy conceded a tough loss to the Russian Anton Chupkov.
Who will join them in the starting line up…?
Group B: ENGLAND Vs. SLOVAKIA, KO: 8:00pm GMT, Monday 20th June
Representing SLOVAKIA in the pool…
- Athlete: Tomas Klobucnik
- Born: 1990
- Height: 1.85cm
- Best Senior Result: 5th 200 Breaststroke, World Short Course Championships, Doha, 2014
Representing ENGLAND in the pool…
- Athlete: Chris Walker-Hebborn
- Born: 1990
- Height: 1.84cm
- Best Senior Result: Gold 100 Backstroke, Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, 2014
Joining the Slovakian squad for today’s match up is Tomas Klobucnik. The Slovakian breaststroke expert has dominated his nation domestically for a number of years. Although struggling for form of late, in 2013 and 2014, Klobucnik was making waves on the World stage. In 2013 the Slovakian qualified for the semi-finals of the 200m breaststroke at the World Championships in Barcelona, breaking the National record in the process (2.11.00) and then finishing 14th overall in the evening semis (2.11.58). But it was at the end of 2014 where Tomas produced his best performance in the 200 Breaststroke at the World Short Course championships in Doha, Qatar. His impressive clocking of 2.04.29 placed the Slovakian 5th in the final and it remains his best career performance. In recent years Klobucnik has not hit the same heights, and has struggled to produce the same speed this year. His fastest 100 breaststroke swim in 2016, 1.03.44, ranks him a distant 193rd in Europe, a long way off previous years. Klobucnik has been working with world renowned breaststroke coach, Dirk Lange, who also coaches the likes of Olympic Champion Cameron Van De Burgh, so the Slovakian has every chance to get back to his optimum.
Joining James Guy and representing England, stands British backstroke ace Chris Walker-Hebborn. The smooth-flowing elegant backstroker, coming out of the Team Bath stable, has developed from strength to strength since he made the decision to concentrate on the shorter sprint events in 2013. Subsequently in 2014, the now more powerful Englishmen had his breakthrough summer when he found himself at the top of the podium against world class fields at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (53.12) and the European Championships in Berlin (53.32). The tattooed Brit, improved his personal best the following year to a swift 52.88 at World trials and then backed this up with a 5th place finish in the main event in Kazan. He too has struggled replicate this speed in 2016 thus far, ranking only 8th in Europe on the 100 back (53.73) when he qualified to represent GBR at the Olympic games in Rio. However, having already experienced the Games at London2012 and a number of major championships, expect CWH to be back at his best in Brazil.
Having explained the swimming credentials of these two 25-year-old athletes, it is now time to pick a winner of this head-to-head dual in the pool. Slovakia have a representative in their line-up who has proven his swimming skills in the short course format on the World stage, suggesting a Slovakian team who have great skill and technical ability. Starting on the timing pad next to him, England have a man who has developed his sprinting ability to be the very best in Europe and shown on his day he can compete with the very best in the world. The England team look like they have taken note, and moved towards a team with speed and pace to scare the opposition’s defence rather than a slower long ball tactic.
With everything considered from the above, it is clear that England have shown better form in recent years and because of this have to be the overwhelming favourites…
SwimWords Euro16 Score:
ENGLAND 2 : 0 SLOVAKIA
Let’s see if this score reflects the football match in St Etienne this evening, and the managers use the tactics mentioned above.