Day 3 of the 2013 European Junior Championships in Poznan, Poland saw more big successes from the Russian contingent as they extended their lead in the medal standings.
The biggest swim came from Russian 17-year old Evgeny Sedov, who won the boys’ 100 freestyle in 49.23. Through his first few swims, his meet was fairly lackluster overall, but this was a personal best for him.
That number, 49.2, is really impressive for a 17-year old, but it’s still far from Danila Izotov’s Russian Junior and European Junior Championship Records in the race (48.4). Keep in mind though that Sedov has one more year qualifying under both of those categories.
Kyle Stolk from the Netherlands, who himself just turned 17, was 2nd in 49.93. That makes him the first 17-year old in Dutch history under the 50 second mark, and breaks his own age record of 50.10 (which he once stole from the legendary Pieter van den Hoogenband). His next target will be the great one’s 49.13 record for 18-year olds.
Poland’s Sebastian Szvzepanski rounded out the top 3 with a 50.22.
Aside from the Russians, the Brits had their best day of the meet, picking up their first two gold medals thus far. First came Matthew Johnson in the 200 fly with a 1:58.84. He was well behind the field going into the last 50 meters (a second-and-a-half behind eventual runner-up Alexander Kudashev of Russia), but a 30.7 split on the last 50 meters roared his way to the win.
Kudashev very nearly hung on, but had the second-slowest last split of the final, and wound up 2nd in 1:59.09. Spain’s Pedro Terres Illescas was 3rd in 1:59.73.
Then, two hours later, the British boys (even without Johnson) took an easy win in the 800 free relay, going 7:19.84. That just missed Italy’s 2012 Meet Record by three-tenths.
The swim of the race goes to anchor James Guy, who split a 1:47.84. He was joined by Max Litchfield (1:50.25), Alex Dunk (1:52.55), and Caleb Hughes (1:49.20). Hughes and Guy had the two fastest splits of the final, and Guy will swim on Britain’s senior national 800 free relay this summer in Barcelona.
Spain took 2nd in 7:23.28, and Germany, anchored by Damian Wierling (1:49.37) was 3rd in 7:23.40.
Russia was fairly good in that relay, but they couldn’t muster a fourth solid leg, leaving them 4th in the relay in 7:24.44. That’s despite a 1:49.4 leadoff from Alexander Krasnykh.
The Brits and the Russians shared the glory in the men’s 200 IM. Semen Makovich won in 1:59.94, which missed (by just .03 seconds) his own Championship Record set in semi-finals, though it again blew away Xavier Mohammed’s old mark.
After him, Litchfield and Mark Szaranek from Great Britain were 2nd (2:02.13) and 3rd (2:02.49). The Russian boys squad more-than-doubled their medal count on this day alone.
In the semi-finals of the 50 backstroke, Russia’s Daria K Ustinova (the K is important, because there’s two of them on the team, and they were born in the same year) won in 28.63, beating out Great Britain’s Kathleen Dawson (28.69). That’s a nice recovery from Ustinova after DQ’ing the 200 backstroke final that she was heavily favored in on Thursday.
The best swim of the day still went to Germany’s Laura Riedemann, but with the semi’s and finals coming in the same session of these 50-meter sprints, she was unable to get her motor going for the 2nd swim. She ended up taking bronze officially in 29.05.
The men’s 50 breaststroke finally broke the two-nation blockade of the medal stand, as Sweden’s star young breaststroker Johannes Skagius won in 27.71. He was even better in the semi-finals with a 27.62, which broke his own National Record of 27.73. He continues to improve, and within a year will probably become the new face of men’s swimming in Sweden.
Peter Stevens from Slovenia and Vsevolod Zanko of Russia tied for 2nd in 28.06.
Spain’s Jimena Perez-Blanoc won the women’s 1500 free in 16:30.63, with silver going to Hungary’s Flora Sibalin and Italy’s Alisia Tettamanzi.
Finally, in the last final of the night, Russia tagged on one more gold medal with a 4:06.11 in the 400 medley relay. That quartet was Daria K Ustinova (1:01.69), Polina Kazina (1:10.80), Anastasia Guzhenkova (59.75), and Maria Baklakova (53.87). Baklakova is well on her way to being not only a Russian, but a global sprint star. Every time we see her in the water at this meet (she’s swum at least five 100 freestyles by now), she gets better.
Germany took 2nd in 4:07.48, and Poland was 3rd in 4:10.98.
- Russia went 1-2 in the semi-finals of the women’s 200 free, with the aforementioned Baklakova the only swimmer dipping under two minutes in a 1:59.10. That’s not even close to her best time from this meet last year, either. Her teammate Valeria Salamantina was 2nd in 2:00.92 (she’s on the younger end of the two-year eligibility), and Hungary’s Melinda Novoszath sits 3rd in 2:02.31.
- Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys took the top seed in the boys’ 200 backstroke in 1:59.65, followed by 100 meter champion Grigory Tarasevich in 2:00.57. Lithuania has been having a very good meet as well, though they didn’t medal on Friday.
- In the girls’ 100 fly semi-final, Czech Republic’s Lucie Svecena was the only swimmer under a minute, picking up the poll position in 59.54. Italy’s Claudia Tarzia was 2nd in 1:00.17, followed by France’s Marie Wattel in 1:00.25.
British Swimming moved all the way up to 3rd in the overall medals table with 5 on Friday. Germany and Russia continued to go toe-to-toe for the overall medal count, but it’s clear that nobody is going to catch up with the 11 gold won by the Russians.
See the medal tables below separate by men’s, women’s and overall.
|2. Great Britain||2||3||2||7|
|3. Czech Republic||2||0||0||2|
|6. Great Britain||0||3||1||4|
|3. Great Britain||2||6||3||11|
|5. Czech Republic||2||0||0||2|