2022 FINA WORLD JUNIOR OPEN WATER SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The second day of the 2022 FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships featured the girls and boys 10k. The World Junior Championships are taking place in Mahé, Seychelles, where it was a very cloudy this morning this morning, as you’ll see in the race video, which is posted below:
Hungary performed exceptionally in the girls 10k this morning, seeing Bettina Fabian win gold in 2:03:11.40. She got her hand on the finish 2.1 seconds ahead of silver medalists Candela Lora (Spain). Hungary also picked up a bronze medal with Mira Szimcsak finishing third in 2:03:18.00.
Fabian, just 17 years old, has had a successful summer in the pool as well. She competed in the 400 free at the World Championships in her home country of Hungary in June. Fabian then went on to compete in the 400, 800, and 1500 free at the European Championships in August. Her gold medal in the 10k today marks her first individual major junior medal. She won gold on Hungary’s girls 4×200 free relay at the 2021 European Junior Championships as well.
Hungarian teammate Szimcsak, 18, has had a great year of open water racing. She won gold in the women’s 10k at the LEN Open Water Cup 2022 in Italy in May. We usually don’t compare times from open water race to race, since water conditions, weather conditions, and the course itself can have significant effects on how fast the competitors are able to swim, however, it’s still notable that Szimcsak was much faster in May. When she won the LEN Open Water Cup 10k, she swam a 1:58:36.10, nearly five minutes faster than she was this morning in Mahé.
Finishing in fourth this morning was Mariah Denigan of the USA, touching the finish 6.10 seconds behind Szimcsak. Madelon Catteau, who competed for France at the LEN Open Water Cup 2022 in May as well, finished fifth this morning in 2:03:32.30.
Hungary truly had a phenomenal day in the 10k, seeing David Betlehem win the boys race by a shocking margin of 4:32.50. He swam a 1:53:10.30 this morning, seeing the Italian duo of Pasquale Giordano and Giuseppe Ilario finish second and third in 1:57:42.80 and 1:57:44.20 respectively. There was another bug gap between Giordano and Ilario and the fourth place finisher, Yonatan Ahdut of Israel, who finished in 1:59:05.20, 1:19.00 behind Ilario.
Betlehem, 19, has begun racing for Hungary at the senior level, having competed in three stops of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series 2022 this summer, as well as the LEN Open Water Cup, and the World Championships in his home country of Hungary in June.
Betlehem has yet to win a major international medal in a senior race, however, he did win two medals in relays this year. At the Portugal stop of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series in May, Betlehem competed on Hungary’s mixed 4×1500 relay, which won bronze. He then competed on the mixed 4×1500 relay at the World Championships in June, helping it win the silver medal.
Betlehem has seen a lot of success in the pool as well, having won silver in the boys LCM 1500 free at the 2021 European Junior Championships with a time of 15:02.28.
Both Giordano and Ilario competed in the 10k at the LEN Open Water Cup 2022 as well.