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Today was the last day of the 32. LEN European Championships in swimming, open water swimming, diving and synchronized swimming. After twelve exciting days in the SSE and Velodrom here in Berlin, it is time to say goodbye for the athletes and trainers, as well as for the officials. “The atmosphere was extraordinary!” said Christa Thiel, president of the German Swim Federation, at today’s closing press conference. “The Velodrom proved that it can be the home of big swimming events.” Here in Berlin for the first time a portable swimming pool was built inside a biking arena. The impressive atmosphere of the competition proved this effort to be well worth it. Rikke Möller Pedersen (DEN), twice gold medal winner of Berlin, showed satisfaction with the Velodrom. “It all looks very nice. It’s a venue for plenty of audience members.” Her teammate Jeanette Ottesen Gray agreed with this: “The Velodrom is a great place to host events. I really like the swimming pool.” That she’s a good match for the Berlin water isn’t doubtful at all, proven by her victory over Sarah Sjöström (SWE) in the 100m butterfly race. “I didn’t expect to win. I don’t understand how it was possible for me to beat Sarah.” Today, the Danish women also set a new European Record with the 4x100m Medley relay in 3:55,62 minutes. Also the LEN president Paolo Barelli said: “The event has contributed a lot to the global promotion of swimming”. The media interest was very large, as well as the size of the audience. On several days the Velodrom was completely sold out during the swimming finals, and the atmosphere was terrific – especially thanks to the DSV youth. After the last event, Christa Thiel handed over the LEN flag to David Sparks, British swimming Chief Executive. So see you in London in two years!!

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