FINA has released psych sheets for the 2011 World Junior Championships (thanks to the UBC Dolphins) that will begin next week in Lima, Peru. This will be the third incarnation of this championship (all taking place in Latin America), and will feature over 600 athletes from over 60 countries participating.
To be eligible for the World Junior Championships, girls must have been born in 1994, 1995, and 1996 (15-17). The boys range is a year older, with birthds in 1993, 1994, and 1995 (16-18)
Besides the Americans, who led the medal count in 2008, the Russians, Italians, and Japanese have historically been incredibly strong in this meet. The Chinese, who have probably the best youth team in the world, don’t usually send all that strong of a squad to this meet, which will continue this year. In 2008, they didn’t earn a single medal, and their roster seems to indicate that they’ll only earn one or two again this year.
Some of the stars from the United States will include distance freestyler Evan Pinion, a 16-year old, and Lia Neal, a 15-year old sprinter who is seeded 2nd behind Australia’s Bronte Campbell.
The majority of the young swimmers who we saw at the FINA World Championships won’t be participating here, though there are a few exceptions. One is the Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina, who placed 4th in the women’s 200 backstroke and crushed her national record in that race.
Some of the times in the psych sheets must be viewed with an eye for skepticism. For example, China’s Siqi Zhang is entered with a seed time of 1:04.12 in the women’s 100 breaststroke, which would be a World Record.
This year, it looks like the Australians, led by the aforementioned Campbell, the Canadians, led by Brittany MacLean and Chantal van Landeghem, and especially the Spaniards, who come into the meet with four top seeds and a slew of top-5 rankings, will all have strong contingents.
We will run a full preview before the meet starts on August 16th, but for now, enjoy the psych sheets!