Hungary, France Cap Open Water Junior Worlds With Relay Golds


Hungary and France capped off successful showings at the 2018 FINA Open Water Junior World Championships with relay victories on the final day of competition in Eliat, Israel. The Hungarian foursome was dominant in winning the 14-16 team relay, while the French prevailed in the open relay. Both relays were 4x1250m.

In the 14-16 event, Hungary was only one of three teams to swim their two girls at the beginning, sitting back in 7th at the halfway mark despite solid performances from Viktoria Mihalyvari (14:16.4) and Mira Szimcsak (14:34.9). They shot past everyone on the third leg, as Zoltan Tabi put up the fastest split of the event in 13:27.3 to give them an eleven second lead over the Americans. Szilard Galyassy (14:29.4) brought them home and touched in a final time of 56:48.1, 43 seconds clear of anyone else.

The U.S., who had the fastest female lead-off from Chase Travis (13:55.4) and the fastest female running split from Mariah Denigan (14:33.4), were 2nd in 57:31.8, with Connor Hunt and Jackson Carlile also contributing to their efforts.

The Italians had quick legs from Giulia Salin (13:57.7), Iris Menchini (14:49.4) and Luigi Galdieri (13:57.8) through three-quarters of the race, and looked to be firmly in the bronze medal position. However, Russian Aleksandr Stepanov made a huge push on the final lap, making up nearly a minute on Italy’s anchor Federico Mazzeo. In the end Mazzeo prevailed by the skin of his teeth, clocking 58:10.0 to Russia’s 58:10.9. Mazzeo was 15:25.0 coming home, while Stepanov had the fastest anchor of anyone in 14:28.4.

In the open event, the French trailed early after Madelon Catteau‘s lead-off (14:15.7), but they quickly got back in the race with the fastest male and female splits coming from Jean-Baptiste Clusman (13:13.6) and Lisa Pou (14:06.9). They trailed Hungary slightly heading into the final leg, but unlike the Hungarians, they had a male still waiting in the wings. Enzo Roldan Munoz brought them home in 14:03.5 for a final time of 55:39.9.

The U.S. was back in 4th with one lap remaining, but Michael Brinegar (13:59.9) carried them past Italy and Hungary for the silver with a time of 56:06.7. They also got the fastest female lead-off from Erica Sullivan (13:51.7), and had strong splits from Brennan Gravley (13:36.2) and Kensey McMahon (14:38.6).

Italy won bronze in 56:11.3, and Russia was 4th in 56:21.1. After leading heading into the final lap, Hungary fell to 6th in 56:41.3.

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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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