Pilato Begins European Juniors With 29.75 50 Breast, New Championships Record


  • Tuesday, July 6th – Sunday, July 11th
  • Foro Italico, Rome, Italy
  • Heats at 9:30am local (3:30am EST)/Finals at 6pm local (Noon EST)
  • LCM (50m)
  • Start Lists/Results
  • Live Stream

World record holder Benedetta Pilato started things off on day 1 of the 2021 European Junior Swimming Championships with a 29.75 50 breaststroke prelims. That swim for her was a little bit slower than the 29.30 world record that she established in the event at the recent European Swimming Championships in Budapest. Pilato set that world record during the semi-finals at European Champs, following 29.50 in the prelims and followed by a 29.35 to take gold in the final.

This swim for Pilato, while trailing her world record, was fast enough to set a new European Juniors Championship record. Her 29.75 was an improvement upon the 30.16 CR that she set back in 2019. Pilato was followed in the prelims of the 50 breaststroke by Russia’s Elena Bogomolova who was a 30.52 and Iuliia Beznosova and Eneli Jefimova who each hit a 31.13, tying for third.

Bogomolova’s swim was an improvement upon her 31.31 entry time in the event and moved her up from 4th seed to 2nd heading into the semi-finals. Beznosova was also a little faster than her entry time, having gone in with a 31.20, and retained her 3rd ranked position. 2nd seed Eneli Jefimova was entered with a 30.83 but wound up matching Beznosova’s time to drop to 3rd.

In the men’s 400 freestyle Turkey’s Batuhan Filiz nabbed the top spot during prelims with a 3:51.60 to improve slightly upon his entry time of 3:51.97 and move up from 5th seed to 1st heading into the final.

Filiz’s morning swim was only 0.03 seconds quicker than Jovan Lekic‘s 3:51.63 for second. That swim for Lekic is not only a new PB but also marks a new national record in the event for Bosnia and Herzegovinian. The time is an improvement upon the 3:54.24 national record that Lekic set at the Belgrade Trophy in Serbia on June 19, 2021.

Filiz’s Turkish teammate and top seed prior to the prelims Yiğit Aslan was a little bit slower than his entry time in the event of 3:50.59, hitting 3:52.20 for 3rd overall in the prelims. He was followed by Norway’s Jon Joentvedt (3:52.52) and Romania’s Vlad Stefan Stancu (3:53.21).

Polish swimmer Ksawery Masiuk made a statement in the men’s 100 backstroke prelims with the only sub-55 second swim. Masiuk delivered a 54.65 morning swim in the event which marks a new PB for him, improving upon his 54.94 from May 2021. Masiuk also raced the 100 backstroke recently at the 2021 European Swimming Championships and finished in 31st place overall with a 55.02.

Aleksei Tkachev was the second-fastest in the heats with a 55.25 for Russia, adding nearly half a second to his 54.74 entry time. Masiuk and Tkachev went in as second and first seeds, respectively, and have now swapped positions heading into semis.

Poland’s Filip Kosinski and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zheltyakov both got under 56 seconds with a 55.51 and 55.60 for 3rd and 4th, respectively, while Turkey’s Berke Saka touched in a 56.03 for 5th.

The Turkish women had a powerful top 3 finish in the 800 freestyle prelims as Merve Tuncel, Beril Boecekler, and Deniz Ertan went 1-2-3, respectively. Tuncel was the quickest, hitting an 8:28.03 to get within 2 seconds of the 8:26.06 Turkish record from earlier this year. Boecekler followed with an 8:38.77 for 2nd and Ertan was an 8:39.46, both a little slower than their 8:32.65 and 8:32.31 entry times. All 3 of them have been under 8:33.36 FINA A cut in the event and it’s not yet clear who will be racing the event for Turkey in Tokyo this summer.

Germany’s Leonie Maertens followed the leading 3 with an 8:39.50 which represented the only other sub-8:40 time as Italy’s Giulia Vetrano came in with an 8:41.48 for 5th.

In the first set of relay prelims of the meet, Romania led the pack in the men’s 4×100 freestyle. David Popovici opened it up for the team with a 48.32, slightly trailing his 48.08 Romanian record in the event from the 2021 European Championships. Popovici gave his team a solid lead in the event, allowing Mihai Gergely (50.80), Stefan Cozma (51.43), and Patrick Dinu (50.63) to hold off the field and touch with a 3:21.18 to advance first into the final.

Poland wasn’t far behind with a 3:21.38 for second overall, courtesy of Krzysztof Matuszewski (51.10), Kacper Bidowaniec (50.69), Nazar Zurawel (50.35), and Mateusz Chowaniec‘s (49.35) combined time of 3:21.38. Russia was third with a 3:22.87, followed by Bulgaria (3:23.17), and Switzerland (3:24.20).

Other Day 1 Prelims Top Seeds

  • Rasmus Nickelsen of Denmark (23.85) and Josif Miladinov of Bulgaria (23.84) led the men’s 50 butterfly heats, each adding a fraction of a second to their respective 23.58 and 23.48 entry times.
  • Russia’s Daria Klepikova retained her #1 ranking in the women’s 100 freestyle with a 55.01 which was nearly a full second quicker than Nikoletta Padar‘s (HUN) 55.94 for 2nd and Evelyn Davis‘ (GBR) 55.99 for 3rd.
  • The British duo of Katie Shanahan and Freya Colbert finished 1-2 in the women’s 400 IM prelims with a 4:45.56 and 4:47.43, respectively.

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2 years ago

her 50 is great but it honestly doesn’t even matter. How good is she at a 100?

Casas 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  Bruh
2 years ago

I think 1:05.8 at 16 is pretty good.

2 years ago

Relay updates on fina site

Changes only on women relays

4×200 – Israel and Denmark out, Turkey and RSA in
4×100 medley – swiss and Finland out, Denmark and Spain in….

As HKG is still in on 4×200 we will see a relay with at least one non freestyler..

2 years ago

You have to feel for Deniz Ertan. She swam a brutal double with the 800 free heats being less than an hour after the 400 IM heats. She finished third in the 800, but will miss the final, because of the two per nation rule. At least she qualified for the IM final.

Reply to  iceman
2 years ago

I absolutely agree. What a performance.

Reply to  iceman
2 years ago

Does anybody know what’s up with turkish swimming anyway? They look to be a force in the coming years, especially in the distance events. Who is responsible for the upswing?

I know Bowman was a consultant for the Turkish Swimming Federation a couple of years ago.

Reply to  Clutch
2 years ago

It was really only a matter of time – Great weather, great facilities, big financial support from Turkcell (are they still in cahoots?), ever increasing Olympic ambitions, and some great coaches (mostly Italians I think) have moved there in recent years. I noticed many of their distance freestylers train at Enka Spor Kuluebue, so probably under the guidance of Gjon (Marin’s old coach)?

Reply to  Dee
2 years ago

They are all training at Turkish Olympic Center in Ankara. And they all been working with Gjon Shyti former coach of Luca Marin for 6 years. 400m free finalists Yigit Aslan and Batuhan Filiz are working with him as well.

Reply to  Clutch
2 years ago

I think some italian guy. I guess they are going the same way as Kenya/Ethiopia/Uganada in athletics. Just hope that they won’t be rewarded at the elite level.

Reply to  AnEn
2 years ago

Dear Sir,
Luca Marin ( the world record holder)
Nisa Eliz Üstündağ (200 buttrefly, 2006 Rio)
His 5 swimmers qualified to go to the TOKYO. One of them World Junior Record (1500 (SCM) holder. The other is Europen Junior Champion (400 free).There are many achievements that I could not write. I believe that they all will be rewarded.

Reply to  Clutch
2 years ago

In one word Gjon Shyti and his team. He made a plan for these days years ago. He trains his students at the Turkey Olympic Preparation Center in ANKARA. He has a strong team.He has also promising swimmers for next years.

2 years ago

Does anybody know how tall Jana Pavalic is? She looked very tall and rangey compared to the girls around her, despite only turning 14 five weeks ago. Either way, a sprinter to watch – She broke Jovanovic’s NR (25.66) recently and holds a lovely body position in the water.

Reply to  Dee
2 years ago

I was also impressed by her stroke: 26.50 at 50m apparently without too much effort.

2 years ago

Beyond Pilato’s swim in the 50 breaststroke, other two Champs records: 8.28.03 in the 800 free from Tuncel and 48.32 lead-off from Popovici.

Reply to  nuotofan
2 years ago

I think Popovici made a new CR in the first leg of 4 x 100m freesryle.