Gkolomeev wins historic silver in Gwangju
Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev captured a historic silver medal in the men’s 50 m freestyle event at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships.
After placing sixth in the heats with a time of 21.80 seconds, and fourth in the semi-finals with a time of 21.60 seconds, the 26-year-old finished with a time of 21.45 seconds in the final. This was enough to share the silver medal with Brazil’s Bruno Fratus. It was also just short of Gkolomeev’s personal best of 21.44 seconds in the event. Gold went to American Caeleb Dressel with a time of 21.04 seconds, which was both a championship record and national record.
Although Greece has won a plethora of medals in open water swimming at the World Aquatics Championships in recent years, this was Greece’s first swimming medal in a pool since 2005. Back then, Aristeidis Grigoriadis took gold in Montreal in the men’s 50 m backstroke, a non-Olympic event. That was also Greece’s only other swimming (not including open water swimming) medal at the World Championships in history. Therefore, Gkolomeev’s medal in the men’s 50 m freestyle was Greece’s first ever in an Olympic event.
Gkolomeev also competed in two other events in Gwangju. He placed ninth in the 50 m butterfly, and tenth as part of the Greek team in the 4 x 100 m freestyle relay.