Artistic Swimming to Kick Off 2024 European Championships in Belgrade

The 2024 European Aquatics Championships in Belgrade will kick off with artistic swimming on June 10, featuring athletes from 22 Member Federations competing across 11 events.

The last two editions of the European Artistic Swimming Championships were held in Rome in 2022 and Oswiecim in 2023 as part of the European Games. This time around, most of the top artistic swimmers of the continent will showcase their routines over five days of competition in the Sports and Recreational Center Milan Gale Muškatirović, which was constructed half a century ago for the needs of the first-ever World Aquatic Championships in 1973.


A few countries will use this competition as an opportunity to fine-tune their choreographies before the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, the Paris-bound and reigning duet European Champions Anna-Maria and Eirini Alexandri of Austria, have had to withdraw from the event at the last minute due to illness.

The duets of Great Britain, Greece, Israel and the Netherlands, all four set to compete in Paris in just under 50 days, come in as heavy favorites for the medals in Belgrade. The Dutch Bregje and Noortje de Brouwer won a silver in free duet last February at the World Championships, while Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe of Great Britain had secured bronze in free duet and silver in technical duet there. The British pair also just won its first World Cup gold at the beginning of May in the newly-built Paris Olympic Aquatic Centre.

The Greek Sofia Malkogeorgou and Evangelia Platanioti were bronze medalists in the technical duet event last year, and will certainly be looking to secure a few more European medals before heading to the Games. The two had planned to compete in the Paris World Cup, but ultimately withdrew because of a clerical error. They should finally unveil their new technical routine here in Belgrade.

The team events offer a good opportunity for some nations to step onto the podium for the first time – especially at this 2024 edition. Ukraine, which had swept all golds in Rome, will not compete, and Spain, reigning European Champion in free team and technical team will only swim in the latter. France, reigning European Champion in the acrobatic team, will also not compete in Belgrade. This opens the door to Italy — who came to Belgrade with its ‘B’ team —, Greece, Great Britain, or Germany to fill the spots on the podium. 

The stage is set for the 2024 Belgrade European Aquatics. Photo courtesy of European Aquatics.

The competition across the non-Olympic events is bound to be exciting as well, especially in the solo events which haven’t been held since 2022. On the women’s side, Vasiliki Alexandri of Austria, who won two bronze medals in Rome, is the favorite for gold in Belgrade. Klara Bleyer (Germany), reigning two-time European junior champion, Zoi Karangelou (Greece), Marloes Steenbeek (the Netherlands) and Valentina Bisi (Italy) are also strong contenders for the podium in Belgrade.

On the men’s side, Giorgio Minisini of Italy, the first ever European Champion in the men’s solo event and reigning World Champion in free solo, headlines a competitive field. The 28-year-old will face a big challenge from 2023 World Champion Dennis Gonzalez Boneu of Spain, but 2022 European bronze medallist Quentin Rakotomalala of France, and European junior medalist Ranjuo Tomblin of Great Britain will certainly be in the hunt as well.

Overall, the men’s and mixed events are bound to be exciting. Athletes from seven nations have entered the solo events — the youngest is David Martinez of Sweden (17), the oldest is 36-year-old Renaud Barral for Belgium.

Germany brought two male athletes to Belgrade. Besides Frithjof Seidel, who in 2023 won a historical European silver medal as the first man being part of a team routine, 19-year-old Robin Wiehn will celebrate his senior debut in the mixed duet.

Ivan Martinovic, who claimed the first Serbian medal ever in artistic swimming in Rome, will compete in both mixed duets this time as well as in the technical team. In Belgrade, seven nations will contest the medals in the technical mixed duet and eight in the free event.

Spain’s Dennis Gonzalez Boneu, Emma Garcia Garcia and Mireia Hernandez Luna are coming in as the top favourites as the reigning champions in the free event and vice-European champions in the technical event. Daniel Ascenso and Filipa Faria will make history as Portugal‘s first mixed duet in a major international competition. The two will appear in the Mixed Duet Free event. It will a first time appearance at the senior European Championships for the pairs of Croatia and Sweden as well.

Follow all the action live on European Aquatics TV, starting on Monday at 10:30 with the Women’s Solo Free Preliminaries. More information on the competition is available here.


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