Bosnia and Herzegovina Records Fall; Swimmers Earn 1st-Ever Medals at Euro Jrs

2021 European Junior Swimming Championships

Lana Pudar and Jovan Lekic are making history in Rome. Both have broken Bosnia and Herzegovina Senior National Records and both have graced the steps of the LEN European Junior Championships podium, becoming the first swimmers from the country ever to do so. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a young nation, established following a 1992 referendum that the majority of the population voted for after the disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Jovan Lekic

17-year-old Jovan Lekic kicked off the festivities on Day 1 in Rome. Earlier this spring, he had broken National Records in the 400/800/1500 freestyle and 200 butterfly and he had set the 200 freestyle record in December 2020.

On Tuesday, he established a new NR in the 400 free, lowering his previous mark of 3:54.24 to 3:50.79. He became the first BIH swimmer to medal at European Junior Swimming Championships with his second-place finish.

On Wednesday, he dropped 1.8 seconds in the 1500 free to lower his NR from 15:23.67 to 15:21.83. The next day he took another 4 seconds off his time to settle the record at 15:17.83. That performance was good enough for sixth place in Rome.

On Friday morning, Lekic broke 1:50 for the first time in the 200 free to finish second out of heats with 1:49.28, beating his own national standard by .76. That night he finished 3rd in the semis with 1:49.40. In Saturday’s final, he took a giant .8-second bite out of his newly-minted NR to earn the bronze medal with 1:48.46. Also on Saturday, in prelims, Lekic lowered his 800 free record from 8:06.82 to 8:05.14.

Jovan Lekic – Bosnia and Herzegovina National Records

  • 200m free – 1:48.46
  • 400m free – 3:50.79
  • 800m free – 8:05.14
  • 1500m free – 15:17.83
  • 200m fly – 2:01.23

Lana Pudar

15-year-old Pudar has, thus far in Rome, lowered her NR in the 50 fly and added a new record in the 200 fly. On Wednesday, she clocked a 2:14.94 in prelims of the 200 fly to qualify for the semi-final in 9th place. That evening, she obliterated her PB (2:14.25) to post the second-fastest time overall, 2:10.74. That time took a 2.7-second chunk out of the BIH National Record of 2:13.05, set in 2019 by Amina Kajtaz. In Thursday’s final, she lowered her new national mark to 2:09.59 while earning a silver medal for her country.

In the 50 fly, Pudar lowered her own NR (27.05, set earlier this spring) three times. First, she went 26.70 in prelims to placed 2nd overall. Next, she improved to 26.46 in the semi-finals. And finally, on Saturday she went 26.29 in the final to pick up her second silver medal of the Championships.

In the same Saturday evening session as the 50 fly final, Pudar contested the 100 fly semi-final and won the second heat with 59.17. That time is 1.8 seconds off her BIH record, but will put her in lane 5 as the second seed in Sunday’s final. Pudar first crashed onto the international scene in March when she clocked a 57.37 in the 100 fly at the Serbian Open in Belgrade and qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games. She vaulted to #2 in the world for the season at the time, behind only Sarah Sjostrom’s 57.34 from February 2021. Pudar’s swim broke Amina Kajtaz’s national record of 59.08 -set in 2019- by 1.7 seconds and made her the first BIH swimmer to achieve a FINA “A” cut in the event.

Pudar trains with the Orka Swim Team in a 25-meter pool in her hometown of Mostar. She’s been swimming with the club since she was five years old under coach Alena Cemalovic. Bosnia has only two Olympic-size swimming pools: in the capital Sarajevo and in the northern town of Banja Luka.

Lana Pudar – Bosnia and Herzegovina National Records

  • 50 meter butterfly – 26.46
  • 100 meter butterfly – 57.37
  • 200 meter butterfly – 2:09.59



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1 year ago

great job

Last edited 1 year ago by Nino
1 year ago

Amazing talents.

1 year ago

Congratulations to Lana and Jovan go ahead just strong

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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