Belgrade 2024: Five things to know about the history of artistic swimming at the European Aquatics Championships

Published On: May 30, 2024

Credit to:  European Aquatics

With the European Aquatics Championships Belgrade 2024 set to get underway on 10 June, we take a look at the history of artistic swimming at the European Championships.

1.) Artistic swimming was introduced to the European Championships programme for the first time at Vienna 1974, exactly 50 years ago. With only women competing, Great Britain took all three gold medals across the Solo, Duet and Team events as Jane Holland left the Austrian capital with three titles. All the medals were shared between Great BritainGermany and the Netherlands with the former claiming two silvers and a bronze and the Dutch clinching two bronze and one silver.

2.) France took the first clean sweep on home soil at a European Championships, with Muriel Hermine winning three golds at Strasbourg 1987. As well as the Solo, Hermine won the Duet with Karine Schuler with the pair joining Odile PetitAnne Caroline MathieuAnne CapronGaelie QuelinMarianne Aeschbacher and Catherine Hameon as France defended the Team event they won at Sofia 1985.

3.) The combination event first featured at Madrid 2004, with Spain winning the inaugural gold in front of a home crowd. That team was comprised of a host of generational talents, with much of the team who took silver in the Team event, returning for the memorable showing. Raquel CorralAndrea and Tina FuentesGemma MengualAna MonteroGisela MoronIrina RodriguezAlicia SanzIone Serrano and Paola Tirados all took to the top step of the podium that day. It was the first of Mengual’s five European titles with the other four coming in a clean sweep at Eindhoven 2008.

Credit to: Aquatics GB

4.) Men were first allowed to compete at London 2016 where Aleksandr Maltsev and Mikhaela Kalancha took both the Mixed Free and Technical titles. Maltsev continued his dominance in the event for the next two competitions taking his tally of gold medals at the Championships to six, with Mayya Gurbanberdieva and Olesya Platonova his teammates across the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Championships in Glasgow and Budapest respectively.

5.) Giorgio Minisini of Italy became the first male artistic swimmer to win an individual European title with gold in the men’s Solo Technical at Roma 2022. Spain’s Fernando Diaz and Ivan Martinovic claimed silver and bronze, respectively with the Serbian set to compete in Belgrade. The competition in Rome saw Ukraine claim the remaining titles to secure eight of the 12 medals on offer.

The 2024 European Aquatics Championships Belgrade 2024 will run from 10-23 June.

It will serve as a final chance for swimmers to qualify for Paris 2024, with the qualification period for swimming ending on 23 June, the final day of competition in Belgrade.

The meet will be followed by the European Aquatics Masters Championships Belgrade 2024, which will take place from 26 June to 6 July, featuring the same disciplines plus water polo.