Chase Travis Produces Dominant Win On Day 1 Of FINA OW Junior Worlds


16-year-old American Chase Travis won gold on day 1 of the 2018 FINA Open Water World Junior Championships in Eliat, Israel in dominant fashion, breaking away from the field midway through the race to win the girls’ 16-17 7.5k in a time of 1:32:02.8.

Travis led from the start, but really made her move on laps 3 and 4 (out of 5), going from a lead of just over a second at the 3000m mark to a gap of 1:10.4 at 6000. She lost a bit of time on the final lap, but still easily came away with the win by nearly a minute. Italians Giulia Berton (1:32:59.7) and Giulia Salin (1:33:00.8) grabbed the silver and bronze medals, with Great Britain’s Maisie Macartney (1:33:01.4) narrowly missing out in 4th.

The boys’ 7.5k race was a much closer battle. Like Travis, France’s Jean-Baptiste Clusman sat at the front the entire race, but it wasn’t until the very end that he solidifed the victory. Clusman, along with Russian Danil Nemolochnov and Hungarian Zoltan Tabi, began to break away from the pack on lap 4, and then they took off on the final lap to ultimately all finish nearly a minute clear of everyone else. Clusman got the victory in 1:24:22.8, followed by Nemolochnov (1:24:28.7) and Tabi (1:24:31.1).

In addition to the 16-17 7.5k, the 14-15 5k was also contested on day 1.

The boys race yielded a tight battle, with Russian Aleksandr Stepanov prevailing with the win in 58:53.8 over teammate Ivan Morgun (58:55.5) and Hungarian David Betlehem (58:56.5). Israeli Orr Horev was 4th in 59:01.4, and Alexander Axon (59:04.9) was 5th to give Canada their best ever result at this competition.

The girls race wasn’t as close, as Italian Iris Menchini led from the get-go to put up a time of 1:00:44.6, 16 seconds clear of runner-up Mira Szimcsak (1:01:01.02) of Hungary. American Mariah Denigan (1:01:06.6) clipped Spain’s Janna Blaya Corrons by 0.1 at the finish to win the bronze.

After day 1 the Russians lead the medal table with 1 gold and 2 silvers, followed by Italy (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and the U.S. (1 gold, 1 bronze). Hungary also has three medals, but no golds.

The competition will resume on Friday with the 10k for 18-19s. The team relays will follow on Saturday.

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5 years ago

Eilat is such a great venue for open water competitions. Great city for tourists with beautiful beaches along the red sea.

5 years ago

Great swim by Chase!

5 years ago

Love that juniors are getting this experience in Open Water!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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