2019 European Junior Championships Day 4 Prelims Recap

Retta Race
by Retta Race 0

July 06th, 2019 News


We’re onto day 4 of these European Junior Swimming Championships and the intensity is far from letting up in Kazan. The young, emerging stars of Europe continue to step up across both men’s and women’s events, throwing down personal bests, age records, championships records and even some senior records on this elite international stage.

This morning it was the women’s 50m free event that kicked off the morning, with Romania’s 14-year-old Bianca Costea establishing herself as the top swimmer heading into tonight’s semi-final.

Costea dipped under the 26-second threshold for the first time in her young career with a field-leading 25.69, ripping her previous PB of 26.09 from just this past May to shreds. Costea entered these Championships as the 16th seeded swimmer, but already staked her claim on a potential medal with her performance this morning.

For perspective, her time would rank as the 7th fastest American 14-year-old 50m freestyle of all-time.

But Costea is not alone in sub-26 second territory, with Belgium’s Indra Vandenbussche hungry in the 2nd slot in 25.74, while Constanza Cocconcelli of Italy, the bronze medalist in the 50m back last night, sits 3rd in 25.82.

British 17-year-old Sophie Yendell is in the mix as the 10th seed in 26.15, just .15 away from the 26.00 PB she threw down at British Chamiospis. Germany’s Katharina Wrede is also lurking as the 7th seeded swimmer in 25.91.

Italy’s 100m back champion here, Thomas Ceccon, logged a solid swim of 25.55 to take the men’s 50m back top seed this morning, holding a .10 advantage over Russia’s Nikolai Zuev. Zuev took silver behind Ceccon in that 100m back, so the 17-year-old is looking for an upgrade in this furious sprit event.

The women’s 50m back champion from last night, Daria Vaskina of Russia, will seek to defend her European Junior Championships title in this event as well, but the 16-year-old is biding her time. She put down a casual 1:02.65 to slide into the 9th spot among the morning heats, although even at the 9th seed, she’s only about a half a second off the leader in this tightly-packed field.

Lena Grabowski, Austria’s National Record holder in the women’s 200m back event, started her 100m back medal pursuit here with a morning swim of 1:02.14. That mark is already within .11 of her own 1:02.03 PB produced at the Graz Trophy this past April.

Versatile Belarusian ace Anastasiya Shkurdai is positioned right behind in 1:02.21, with the 200m back gold medalist here, Erika Francesca Gaetani of Italy posting a 1:02.23 for the 3rd slot.

Portugal’s Rafaela Gomes Azevedo already logged a new National Record in the 50m back and is positioned 4th here in 1:02.36, while the 200m back silver medalist Honey Osrin of GBR is into the semi-finals in 5th (1:02.47).

The bronze medalist from 2018 in this event, Giulia D’Innocenzo, did what it took to continue on, holding fast at the 10th seed in a smooth 1:02.93. She logged 1:01.08 for bronze in Helsinki.

3 men dipped under the 1:50 threshold thus far in the 200m free, led the 400m free gold medalist here, Antonio Djakovic. The Swiss freestyler put up a morning time of 1:49.11. He owned a PB of 1:48.57 from just this past March, but laid waste to that with his 1:47.90 Swiss Age Record as lead-off on his squad’s 4x200m free relay last night.

The 100m freestyle mega-weapon of Matt Richards is ready to pounce in this longer event as well, establishing himself as the 2nd seeded swimmer in 1:49.72. The man already knocked down a massive 48.88 PB en route to gold in the aforementioned 100m last night, and his morning swim in this 200m is already within striking distance of his fastest mark ever of 1:49.36 punched at British Championships.

The men’s 100m fly field got to work early, with Andrei Minakov busting out a time of 52.30 to lead the field. He earned silver behind Hungary’s Kristof Milak at the 2018 edition of these championships in a time of 52.38, so the American-trained swimmer is already faster than he was in Helsinki.

Although Minakov owns the Russian National Record in the 51.12 he threw down for gold at last year’s Youth Olympic Games, so the man is just getting started.

The other sub-53 second swimmer was Bulgaria’s Josif Miladinov, the 15-year-old who just put up the 2nd fastest time of his career. His time of 52.38 this morning falls just .06 outside of the 52.32 lifetime best he produced at the Graz Trophy. That LTB, by the way, also represents the Bulgarian National Record.

Swiss 50m fly champion Noe Ponti, 200m fly champion Igor Troyanovs’kyy of Ukraine and Germany’s 50 fly silver medalist here, Luca Armbruster, all continue on to tonight’s 100 fly semi-final.

The top 4 women in the 200m breast are separated by just .06, led by Lithuania’s 50m breast silver medalist here in Kazan, Kotryna Teterevkova. The 17-year-old stopped the clock at 1:08.69, with British bronze medalist in the 200m here, Kayla Van Der Merwe just .01 behind in 1:08.70.

Closely in the mix is Russian Anastasia Makarova in 1:08.72, the woman who took 100m breast silver and 50m breast bronze earlier this meet,  while Czech swimmer Lydie Stepankova is under 1:09 as well in 1:08.75.

Additional Top Seeds:

  • Israeli standout Anastasya Gorbenko leads the women’s 200m IM field in a time of 2:15.31. She owns her nation’s senior record in the 2:11.98 she produced this past May.
  • The men’s 100m breast saw Russia’s Vladislav Gerasimenko surge to the lead in 1:01.49, just .03 ahead of Turkish 18-year-old Demirkan Demir‘s time of 1:01.52. Dutch medalist here Caspar Corbeau dropped his personal best and Dutch Age Record to 1:01.60 to claim the 3rd seed.


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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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