PEATY and SJOESTROEM the headline acts as swimming gets under way at Tollcross
GLASGOW - Olympic champions Adam PEATY (GBR) and Sarah SJOESTROEM (SWE) will take centre stage when the swimming gets under way at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships on Friday 3 August.
PEATY will go in the heats of the 100m breaststroke in which he holds every title available to him as well as the world record, and barring a shuddering shock, he will progress to the evening’s semi-finals.
The 23-year-old is the overwhelming favourite to retain the title he first won in Berlin in 2014 as he looks to add to his eight European golds, although it is his own ambition that is far greater than any pressure that can be heaped on him by others.
"My expectations are cloud nine really and sometimes I can achieve that and sometimes I am in shape to even over-achieve that and then I get disappointed when I don't - even though it’s not realistic. For me it's how much of a good show can I put on for the crowd in Glasgow and the people supporting us really."
SJOESTROEM has a busy first day, with heats and semis in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly, and she is set to be part of the 4x100m freestyle relay in the evening.
The 24-year-old faces a quality field in the sprint freestyle, in which she is world champion and world record holder. There she will face Olympic champion Pernille BLUME (DEN) and Ranomi KROMOWIDJOJO (NED), who won the sprint freestyle double at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
There will be a new champion in the women's 400m individual medley for the first time since 2010, with current title-holder Katinka HOSSZU (HUN) swimming a reduced programme. British pair Hannah MILEY and Aimee WILLMOTT could battle it out for gold, although 18-year-old Ilaria CUSINATO (ITA) may have something to say about that.
There be a new champion in the men’s 400m freestyle after Gabriele DETTI (ITA) lost his battle with a shoulder injury. Neither will 2015 world silver medallist James GUY (GBR) compete, having contested the event for the final time at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. World finalist Felix AUBOECK (AUT) tops the rankings entering competition.
The 800m freestyle features a possible star of the future in Ajna KESELY (HUN). Only 16, she claimed a clean sweep of all freestyle titles from 200m up at last year’s European Junior Championships.
Hungary, Russia and Italy will face off in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, with the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark meeting in the women's equivalent.
The men’s 50m backstroke heats and semis will also be contested.
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