Courtesy: LEN Media
After the French domination in the past two years, Hungary took over the reigns at the European Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, held in Racice. The Magyar team finished atop in the medal table and in the Championship Trophy as well. Still, the landscape was more balanced than in the previous editions: six more nations could clinch a title apiece.
France was overwhelming in 2017 and 2018 grabbing four golds both in Marseille and in Malta. Now the field became more balanced, seven nations shared the medals and each could have one title, only the Hungarians got two.
Similar to the scenes being witnessed at senior levels, the best young open water swimmers produced outstanding battles during the three days event in Racice, where the competitions were held in the regatta course, site of the 2017 flat-water kayak-canoe World Championships. In most of the races a couple of tenths of seconds separated the medalist, big margins were only recorded in the men’s 7.5km and the women’s 10km event.
In the latter one, Oceane Cassignol delivered another gold for France: the young talent had already been part of France’s World Championship winning mixed relay in 2017 among the seniors and claimed gold two years ago over the 7.5km distance among the juniors. She is one of the brightest talents in the sport who is set to enjoy a brilliant career in the years coming.
In the men’s field, Britain’s Nathan Hughes won an outstanding battle in the 10km ahead of his Hungarian rivals David Huszti and Peter Galicz (the latter one’s younger brother Laszlo also got a bronze medal among the 14-15 year-olds: a rather rare scenario in this tough sport to see siblings being equally successful).
Among the youngest ones, Hungary’s Mira Szimcsak seems to be a promising competitor as she managed to win the 5km event once again after 2018. She was part of the gold medallist relay on the closing day so finished the event as the only participant with two titles to her name.
1. Mira Szimcsak (HUN) 57:07.0
2. Ella Dyson (GBR) 57:08.2
3. Marlene Blanke (GER) 57:08.3
1. Linus Schwedler (GER) 54:05.5
2. Pasquale Giordano (ITA) 54:07.8
3. Laszlo Galicz (HUN) 54:11.0
1. Maria Claro (ESP) 1:25:19.7
2. Vivien Balogh (HUN) 1:26:19.2
3. Madelon Catteau (FRA) 1:26:23.8
1. Aleksandr Stephanov (RUS) 1:20:31.7
2. David Betlehem (HUN) 1:20:43.9
3. Pol Yagues (ESP) 1:20.48.6
1. Oceane Cassignol (FRA) 2:01.28.3
2. Lea Boy (GER) 2:01:32.3
3. Ekaterina Sorokina (RUS) 2:01:42.6
1. Nathan Hughes (GBR) 1:55:49.9
2. David Huszti (HUN) 1:55:51.1
3. Peter Galicz (HUN) 1:55:51.4
1. Hungary 57:01.1
2. Russia 57:05.9
3. Germany 57:38.2
1. Italy 56:24.9
2. Germany 56:33.0
3. France 56:44.8
HUN 2 3 2 7
GER 1 2 2 5
RUS 1 1 1 3
GBR 1 1 0 2
ITA 1 1 0 2
FRA 1 0 2 3
ESP 1 0 1 2
Championship Trophy (Top 10)
1. Hungary 212, 2. Germany 193, 3. Russia 163, 4. Italy 152, 5. Spain 128, 6. France 113, 7. Great Britain 70, 8. Poland 55, 9. Czech Republic 46, 10. Israel 39