The Russians continued to pick up more hardware on day 3 of the 2013 European Junior Championships in Poznan, Poland, but at least one new country got to a place that they haven’t been in quite some time: the top of a European Junior podium.
Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys won the boys’ 200 backstroke in 1:59.31, giving the Lithuanians a third medal overall at this meet. The youth revolution in that country’s swimming ranks continues; up until last year, they hadn’t won a single medal at this meet since 2007. Last year, they took a bronze, and this year they’ve already got one gold and two silvers (plus another likely one on the meet’s final day in the women’s 100 breaststroke semifinal).
Russia’s Grigory Tarasevich, who trains in the United States, was 2nd in 1:59.51, and Hungary’s David Foldhazi took bronze with a 1:59.89.
Tarasevich came back later in the session, his 3rd swim, with a 25.46 victory in the 50 backstroke. His countrymate Evgeny Sedov, the 100 free champion, was 2nd in 25.55, and Greece’s Apostolos Christou won the bronze in 25.76.
In the women’s 200 free, Russia’s Maria Baklakova took her second individual win of the meet, with a 1:58.21. That broke her own Meet Record set last year at 1:58.26, and moves Baklakova into position as the 2nd-fastest Russian in 2013.
Her countrymate Valeria Salamatina was 2nd in 2:01.11, and Hungary’s Melinda Novoszath was 3rd in 2:01.94.
Baklakova’s specialty, much like senior countrymate Veronika Popova, is the 100/200 freestyle double, which left her countrymate Rozaliya Nasretdinova to win the 50 free in 25.05. That broke her own Meet Record set earlier in the session in the semi-finals at 25.19, and before that the record belonged to Great Britain’s star Fran Halsall at 25.28.
Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, swimming her 3rd race of the session, was 2nd in 25.26, which was also under the old record and broke her own Lithuanian Record from the Olympics. Italy’s Giorgia Biondani took 3rd in 25.31.
For one of the few times in this meet, both the Germans and the Russians missed the medal stand altogether in the women’s 100 fly, with Italy’s Claudia Tarzia taking victory in 59.68. The Italians’ women’s junior have swum very well at this meet, and they could be looking at a very good medley relay by the time the 2020 Olympics roll around.
Czech Republic’s Lucie Svecena was 2nd just .01 seconds back, in an exciting finish that saw Svecena take a big 50-meter lead and give it back to Tarzia on the last stroke. France’s Marie Wattel was 3rd in 59.88.
And finally, closing the session, the Russians completed a sweep of the mixed relays by winning the mixed 400 medley. They had plenty of options on how to swim this race, but went Daria Ustinova, Vsevolod Zanko, Alexander Kudashev, and Maria Baklakova.
A majority of the top relays used very similar lineups in terms of which gender swam which leg, including silver medalists Germany and bronze medalists Poland.
- Daria K Ustinova took the top seed in the women’s 100 backstroke semi-final with a 1:01.64, followed by Great Britain’s Kathleen Dawson in 1:01.97.
- Denmark’s Daniel Andersen took the top seed in the men’s 100 fly in 53.50; through two rounds of this meet, he’s cut 6-tenths of a second off of his lifetime best already. Russia’s Alexander Kudashev was 2nd in 53.78, and Italy’s Mattia Mugnaini sits 3rd in 54.12. There’s three more swimmers at 54.2’s, so the battle for bronze should be a good one.
- Hungary’s Dalma Sebestyen led the women’s 200 IM semi in 2:15.28, well ahead of Britain’s Emma Day for the top seed. Sebestyen’s countrymate Farkas, who dominated the 400 IM earlier in the meet, was only 12th in this 200 IM semi-final in 2:20.0. After a 4:44 in the 400, a 2:20 in the 200 is a bit of a drag. Her best 50 of each stroke on that 400 IM adds up to a faster swim than this was.
- Great Britain’s James Guy, who had a very fast 800 free relay split, was the top seed in the 200 free semifinal in 1:49.84, followed by Russia’s Alexander Krasnykh (1:50.03) and the Netherlands’ Kyle Stolk was 3rd in 1:50.34.
- Ruta Meilutyte warmed things up with a 1:06.92 in the 100 breaststroke to cut half-a-second off of Ilaria Scarcella’s Meet Record. Given how good Meilutyte looked in her 50 free, she should break that record again in finals. A pair from the Ukraine, Viktoriya Solntseva and Anastasiya Malyavina, are 2nd and 3rd in 1:08.7 and 1:09.3.
- Sweden’s Johannes Skagius broke a Championship Record as well in the boys’ 100 breaststroke semifinals with a 1:00.93, and it was also a record held by an Italian (Andrea Toniato from 2009). Russia’s Ilya Khomenko was 2nd in 1:02.29 and Poland’s Krzysztof Tokarski was .01 behind him.