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Isabel Gose Mines Gold in 400 Freestyle

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European Championships: Isabel Gose Mines Gold in 400 Freestyle; Denies Simona Quadarella the Triple-Triple

Isabel Gose didn’t have any interest in history being made on the last night of the European Championships.

With Italy’s Simona Quadarella needing a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle to complete her third straight distance triple at the continental competition, Germany’s Gose adopted an all-or-nothing approach and denied Quadarella the title. Leading wire to wire, Gose touched the wall in 4:04.13 and withstood a furious charge by Quadarella, who was timed in 4:04.77. The bronze medal went to Hungary’s Ajna Kesely in 4:08.00.

Quadarella entered the 400 freestyle having already won the 800 freestyle over Gose and the 1500 freestyle in dominant fashion. At the 2018 and 2021 editions of the European Championships, Quadarella managed the 400-800-1500 triple and was hoping to make it 9-for-9 in front of a home crowd in Rome. Instead, Gose played a game of “come and get me,” challenging Quadarella to track her down in the final stages of the race. The Italian almost pulled off the comeback, .64 the difference between gold and silver.

Gose figured to be a major obstacle for Quadarella, who was met with deafening cheers when she was announced. Not only did she stay with her opponent in the 800 freestyle, which is more the Italian’s wheelhouse, Gose was the bronze medalist in the 200 freestyle. The middle point was the German’s best chance at gold, and she came through in style. Gose surged to a 1.61-second lead at the 200-meter mark and was 1.53 seconds clear of Quadarella at the 300-meter checkpoint. Creating that margin proved necessary, as Quadarella closed in 1:00.56, compared to the 1:01.45 of Gose.

The 20-year-old Gose has been faster this summer, thanks to a clocking of 4:03.47 at the World Championships in June. That performance handed Gose a fifth-place finish, an excellent effort given the podium featured Katie Ledecky, Summer McIntosh and Leah Smith. Gose was also sixth in the 800 freestyle and eighth in the 200 freestyle at Worlds, and is a rising presence on the road to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“I’m super happy,” Gose said. “I trained very hard and it was an extremely long season and being able to bring back home a gold is an amazing feeling. I couldn’t call it the perfect race. I know right now what I should improve so we will have a lot to work on when I return to the pool.”

 

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