2019 BULGARIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- July 11th-14th, 2019
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- LCM (50m)
Over 300 swimmers gathered to compete at the 2019 Bulgarian National Championships over the weekend, including some of the nation’s most elite athletes.
A few of Bulgaria’s age group men have recently risen the international ranks and have taken down a couple of national records in the process. Kaloyan Levterov, a 16-year-old backstroke specialist, just recently broke the national record in the 200 back at the European Junior Championships, and looked fresh even for being recently off of an ostensibly serious taper.
Levterov nearly matched his record-breaking 200 back time on Day 2, posting a 2:00.72 to secure the individual event victory. He also earned a runner-up finish in the 50 back – clocking a 26.79 to finish narrowly behind Vladislav Terziev’s 26.63 – lowering his own 15-17 national age group record by two one-hundredths.
17-year-old Yordan Yanchev has also rose to prominence within the global junior international landscape. He broke national records in both the 200 free and 400 free earlier this year, and also swam solidly through the weekend to pick up two individual titles. He first emerged victorious in the 400 free in a time of 3:51.54, and then won the 200 with a 1:49.63 to barely miss his recent national mark by less than a tenth.
Antani Ivanov, the national record holder in the 200 fly, not only doubled up on wins but in fact ended the meet with a clean sweep of all three butterfly events.
Ivanov’s first event, the 100 fly, was won in a time of 53.41 by almost two seconds over the rest of the field. Next, he dominated his signature event – the 200 fly – stopping the clock at 1:59.56 to easily clear the field by six seconds. He set the Bulgarian national record at the 2017 Worlds edition with his 1:55.55. Finally, Ivanov was the only competitor to dip below 25 with his 24.58 winning time in the 50 fly.
Mehlika Yalcin, a young Turkish national, also swept all three fly events over the weekend – and earned personal bests across all distances. The 14-year-old won the 50 fly with a 28.89 and was the only swimmer to break 29 seconds; then, she took the top spot in the 200 fly by almost five seconds with her time of 2:17.85; and on the last day won a close 100 fly over 15-year-old Azra Yanak, with the two recording times of 1:03.28 and 1:03.60.
Bulgaria’s resident sprinter Diana Petkova was the final triple event winner of the meet. She won the 50 free by nearly a full second over Boyana Kircheva, touching at 25.98 to Kircheva’s 26.90.
The two later went 1-2 in the 100 free and were also roughly a second apart, finishing with times of 56.78 and 57.60. Petkova also opted for the 200 IM on night one, which she ended up dominating – swimming to a 2:17.80 final time ahead of Venelina Minheva’s runner-up time of 2:24.69.