For the third consecutive time, Germany and the German Swimming Federation (DSV) will welcome Europe’s diving elite to the Arena European Championships. After Rostock in 2013 and Berlin last year, the Hanseatic city on the Baltic coast will once again be host to this year’s championships. A total of nine winners from Berlin 2014 will be trying to retain their titles.

Germany’s Patrick Hausding will not defend his 1m springboard title, even though he will compete in the other diving events. Sarah Barrow of Great Britain is the second title-holder (10m platform) who will not defend her 2014 title in Rostock. Great Britain, by the way, is the only leading European diving nation not to send their stars to the Hanseatic city but to rely on young and promising talents.

Especially Ukraine has good memories of the ”Neptun Schwimmhalle“ in Rostock – after all they collected four gold medals two years ago. Oleksandr Bondar and Iuliia Prokopchuk both claimed two titles in 2013 (both in the platform and the team event). Equally successful with two titles to their credit were Russia’s Ilya Zakharov (3m springboard and 3m synchronised diving) and “diving queen” Tania Cagnotto of Italy (1m springboard and 3m synchronised diving). Germany’s Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding claimed the title in the 10m synchro and Tina Punzel surprisingly took the podium’s top spot in the 3m springboard event.

Stars from Rostock in 2013 and Berlin in 2014 will compete

Last year it was Patrick Hausding who claimed four medals in his hometown Berlin and thus became the most successful competitor. He earned a gold medal in the 1m and 3m springboard events as well as in the 10m synchronised diving event together with Sascha Klein. Additionally, Hausding also won a silver medal in the 3m event together with Stephan Feck. Double champions in Berlin were Tania Cagnotto (1m springboard and, together with Francesca Dallapè, in the 3m synchro) and Nadezhda Bazhina of Russia (3m springboard and in the team event together with Victor Minibaev). Hausding and Cagnotto consequently were voted the LEN Award winners of the year 2014 in diving.

Thus, all the diving stars of the 2013 and 2014 championships in Rostock and Berlin, respectively, will be competing again this year. Sascha Klein-Patrick Hausding (10m platform) and Tania Cagnotto-Francesca Dallapè (3m springboard) will surely be in the limelight as they hope to continue their unique winning streak in Rostock. While Germany’s World champions collected a total of seven consecutive European Championship titles since 2008, Cagnotto-Dallapè won the European title six times in a row since 2009.

Additionally, the first tickets for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be at stake in Rostock as the winners in the individual disciplines (women’s and men’s 3m springboard and 10m platform events) will secure their country a quota place. A total of 19 LEN Member Federations – similar to 2013 – have entered for Rostock.

Team Event

After two test events the Team Event became part of the official programme in 2012. Winners of the première in Eindhoven were Audrey Labeau and Matthieu Rosset of France. Rosset will compete in Rostock with his new partner Laura Marino. Germany and Ukraine will present new teams in Rostock, too. European runner-up Ukraine will compete with Iuliia Prokopchuk and Illya Kvasha instead of Oleksandr Bondar. Germany’s Tina Punzel will now start together with Martin Wolfram (replacing Sascha Klein). Russia, however, puts confidence in defending champions Victor Minibaev and Nadezhda Bazhina.

Men’s 1m springboard

A new European champion will be crowned in the 1m springboard event since Patrick Hausding, who claimed the title in Berlin, has not entered this event. Hot title favorite is now Illya Kvasha (Ukraine), who claimed five gold medals since 2008, for the last time in Rostock in 2013. Russia’s Evgeny Kuznetsov will not start in this non-Olympic event while European bronze medallist Matthieu Rosset will compete.

Men’s 3m springboard

All medal winners in the 3m springboard event of the 2014 Europeans in Berlin have entered for Rostock: winner Patrick Hausding, runner-up Ilya Zakharov of Russia and Ukraine’s bronze medallist Illya Kvasha. While Hausding claimed the title three times since 2010, Matthieu Rosset earned the podium’s top spot in 2012 and Ilya Zakharov in 2013. Thus, all winners of the past five European Championships have entered the 3m springboard event in Rostock.

Men’s synchronised 3m springboard

All Berlin medal winners will be competing in this event: Russia’s defending champions Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov, European runners-up Patrick Hausding and Stephan Feck of Germany as well as European bronze medallists Illya Kvasha and Oleksandr Gorshkovozov (Ukraine). Russia’s Zakharov-Kuznetsov will be aiming for their fourth consecutive victory. Hausding-Feck even claimed five consecutive silver medals.

Men’s 10m platform

Top favorite in the 10m platform event is Victor Minibaev. In Berlin, the Russian diver defeated Thomas Daley (Great Britain) – the youngest ever European diving champion at the age of 13 in 2008 – and Sascha Klein to second and third place, respectively. Contrary to Klein, Daley will not be competing in Rostock. The 2010 and 2011 European champion, however, is suffering from back problems – this is why a full training was impossible for Klein. Oleksandr Bondar, winner in Rostock in 2013, will not compete either.

Men’s synchronised 10m platform

Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding hope to write another chapter in the history of synchronised diving. A victory for the German pair would translate into the eighth consecutive gold medal – this winning series would be a unique feat so far at European Championships. However, the two will have to face strong competition – such as, for instance, European runner-up Vadim Kaptur and Yauheni Karaliou (Belarus), European bronze medallists Oleksandr Goroshkovozov and Maksym Dolgov (Ukraine). Additional medal contenders are Victor Minibaev and Roman Izmailov (Russia). By the way, Sascha Klein claimed his first European medal (silver) together with Heiko Meyer in 2006.

Women’s 1m springboard

Last year in Berlin, “diving queen” Tania Cagnotto claimed her fifth title in the 1m springboard event since 2009. Only in 2012 she had to defer to Anna Lindberg of Sweden who has ended her active career in the meantime. For more than a decade Cagnotto has been one of the worldwide leading divers. Already in 2004 she claimed a bronze medal at the European Championships in Madrid. This time in Rostock, she could well make it half a dozen. Kristina Iliniykh and Nadezhda Bazhina of Russia, 2014 European runner-up (Iliniykh) and 2011/2013 (Bazhina) will be competing in Rostock. Germany’s European bronze medallist Tina Punzel, however, has not entered this event.

Women’s 3m springboard

Two years ago in Rostock, Tina Punzel’s victory in the 3m springboard event caused quite a surprise. Last year, it was Nadezhda Bazhina who claimed the podium’s top spot while 2009 European champion Tania Cagnotto earned the silver medal. Among the favorites in this event is Germany’s Nora Subschinski who took the bronze medal last year.

Women’s synchronised 3m springboard

Since 2009 Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallapè are the dominating athletes in the European synchronized 3m springboard events. With six consecutive titles so far to their name, this is a truly unique winning series. Germany’s Tina Punzel and Nora Subschinski as well as Anna Pysmenska and Olena Fedorova of the Ukraine – both medal winners of Berlin – will be competing in Rostock. Additionally, Nadezhda Bazhina and Kristina Ilinykh hope for a spot on the rostrum.

Women’s 10m platform

Last year’s runner-up Noemi Batki of Italy and Ukraine’s Iulia Prokopchuk, bronze medallist of Berlin who won the event in 2012 and 2013, are the most serious title candidates to succeed European champion Sarah Barrow of Great Britain. Barrow will not compete in Rostock. Germany’s Maria Kurjo, bronze medallist two years ago, hopes to make the podium again in the platform event. Further medal contenders are Russia’s Yulia Timoshinina and Daria Govor.

Women’s synchronised 10m platform

Russia’s Ekaterina Petukhova and Yulia Timoshinina were last year’s winners in the synchronised 10m platform event in Berlin – ahead of Maria Kurjo-May Phan of Germany. Villö Kormos and Zsofia Reisinger claimed the bronze medal, the first medal since 2010 (bronze by Nora Barta 3m springboard) for Hungary. Kormos-Reisinger will compete again in Rostock while Germany presents a new team with Tina Punzel and European “newcomer” Christina Wassen. Ukraine’s Vlada Tatsenko and Ganna Krasnoshlyk, who will celebrate their European Championship première, hope to claim a podium result.

The participating 19 Federations in Rostock:

ARM - Armenia, AUT - Austria, BLR - Belarus, ESP - Spain, FIN - Finland, FRA - France, GBR - Great Britain, GER - Germany, GRE - Greece, HUN - Hungary, ITA - Italy, NED - Netherlands, NOR - Norway, POL - Poland, ROU - Romania, RUS - Russia, SUI - Switzerland, SWE - Sweden, UKR - Ukraine.

8 June 2015