The final day of the 2016 European Junior Championships belonged to Italy, as the nation’s youth claimed six titles on the night. Russia would wind up on top of the medal table with a total of 11 golds and 22 medals overall, but Italy’s last-day surge boosted them to runner-up in the tally with 9 of its 22 total medals being gold.
Final Medal Table (Top 5 Nations)
Russia – 11-5-6-22
Italy – 9-8-5-22
Great Britain – 5-4-10-19
Hungary – 5-4-3-12
Spain – 2-3-1-6
The Italian gold medal siege bgan with Tania Quaglieri‘s win in the women’s 100m backstroke, where she took the European Junior title in a time of 1:01.38. That mark now sits as Quaglieri’s 2nd-fastest of her young career and quite a step up from the 1:03.62 the teenager clocked at this same meet last year (European Games), which resulted in a 7th place finish.
Countrymate Nicolo Martinenghi kept the Italian winning streak going, registering a shiny new Championship Record in the men’s 100m breaststroke event. His time of 1:00.30 marked the only sub 1:01-second time of the field tonight and comfortably overtook the previous meet record of 1:00.65 held by Russian breaststroking phenom Anton Chupkov. Martinenghi led an Italian 1-2 finish in the event, with Federico Poggio raking in the silver in a time of 1:01.13.
Giulia Verona of Italy maintained the top spot in the women’s version of the sprint breaststroke event after having claimed the number one seed during last night’s semi’s. Improving on her 1:08.51 from last night, Verona rocked a 1:08.32 to take the gold in the final and add to Italy’s overall medal count.
A 1-2 finish for Italy also characterized the women’s 200m IM event, capped off with a Championship Record to boot. Ilaria Cusinato earned gold in a time of 2:13.03, while her teammate Sara Franceschi raced to silver in a time of 2:13.98. Although Cusinato’s performance was off her personal best of 2:12.71 from Riccione this past April, it was enough to surpass the previous meet record of 2:13.37 held by Germany’s Maxine Wolters from last year’s meet.
Giovanni Izzo got the job done for Italy on the sprint front, taking the men’s 50m splash n’ dash in a time of 22.09. That outing was followed by an Italian victory in the men’s 400m medley relay, where the combination of Jacopo Bletti, Martinenghi, Giessi Lorenzo and Miressi Alessandro scored a mark of 3:37.06 to end the night on top of the podium.
Additional Winners on the Night:
- Hugo Gonzalez De Oliveira of Spain notched another individual win, taking the men’s 400m IM in a time of 4:17.27. He was last night’s victor in the 200m backstroke event.
- Poland’s Kacper Stokowski earned the men’s 200m freestyle win, earning gold in a mark of 1:48.51. He beat out Moldova’s Alexei Sancov who finished just .03 of a second behind for silver.
- Russia went 1-2 in the men’s 100m butterfly, capturing gold via Egor Kuimov‘s time of 52.39. Teammate Roman Shevliakov was close behind, registering a time of 52.70 for silver.
- Mariia Kameneva followed up on her 50m freestyle victory from last night with another sprint win tonight. She topped the field in the women’s 50m butterfly, stopping the clock at a smooth 26.22 for a new Championship Record. Incredibly, tonight’s win gave Kameneva her 8th gold of the meet.
- Hungary got itself a gold tonight, as the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay earned gold in a time of 8:02.67.