Following 100 Fly Victory, Lana Pudar Puts Up 2:09 200 Fly at Euro Jr Day 4 Prelims


Day four of the 2023 European Junior Championships kicked off this morning with prelims. This morning’s heats included the girls 100 free, boys 400 medley, girls 200 fly, girls 800 free, boys 800 free, and the mixed 4×100 medley relay.

The morning kicked off with the girls 100 free, where Italy’s Marina Cacciapuoti led a very tight field with a 55.75. Cacciapuoti was one of four girls under 56 seconds this morning, with another being fellow Italian Sara Curtis, who swam a 55.88 for fourth this morning. Curtis is fresh off winning gold in the girls 50 free last night. After winning the 50 in 25.14 last night, it would seem Curtis has the capacity to take the 100 free out a little faster than the 27.07 she split on the first 50m this morning. For reference, Cacciapuoti took the race out in 26.78 this morning.

The other two swimmers to dip under 56 seconds this morning were Hungary’s Dora Molnar (55.82) and Lithuania’s Smilte Plytnykaite (55.87). Also of note, 200 free champion Nikolett Padar (Hungary) came in fifth this morning with a 56.07. Padar cut it very close this morning, as Hungary’s third swimmer, Lilla Minna Abraham, came in seventh with a 56.22. Each country can only advance a maximum of two swimmers out of the preliminary heats, so if Abraham had beaten Padar this morning, Padar would not have made the semifinals.

Ukraine’s Oleksii Hrabarov led the way in the boys 400 IM, swimming a 4:24.35. Italian Emanuele Potenza was very close behind, touching second in 4:24.40. There was a gap between the top two and third-place finisher Finn Wendland (4:27.08) this morning. Hrabarov was out fast, splitting 2:06.50 on the first 200m, which led Potenza by a little over two seconds.

Following her decisive victory in the girls 100 fly last night, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Lana Pudar led the charge this morning in the girls 200 fly, putting up a very solid prelims swim of 2:09.85. She led the field by nearly two seconds, establishing a big early lead this morning.

Having won the bronze medal in the girls 1500 free earlier in the week, Germany’s Marian Ploeger led prelims of the girls 800 free this morning with an 8:39.41. She touched just ahead of 1500 champion Merve Tuncel (Turkey), who clocked an 8:39.50. Tuncel is the European Junior Record holder in the event, having swum an 8:21.91 in the event previously. 1500 silver medalist Amelie Blocksidge, a 14-year-old out of Great Britain, is in the mix as well. She was fourth this morning in 8:41.14.

No rest for the wicked when it comes to the male distance swimmers at this meet. Having just competed in the 1500 free final last night, the boys were back in action with the 800 free this morning. The Turkish duo of Emir Batur Albayrak and Kuzey Tuncelli led the way, swimming 7:58.00 and 7:58.83 respectively this morning. Tuncelli won the 1500 last night in 14:58.89, setting a new Championship Record in the event, while Albayrak took the bronze with a 15:00.57, which was also under the previous CR.

This final ought to be an awesome one, as we not only have 1500 free silver medalist Vlad Stancu, who swam an 8:02.18 for fourth this morning, but 200 free champion Petar Mitsin of Bulgaria as well. Mitsin swam an 8:01.45 for third this morning.

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5 months ago

Merve Tuncel suffered a back injury. It is gratifying that he found herself in Belgrade. She has been working very strong and very hard for a long time. Go Merve.