Russia Tops EYOF Medal Table As Action Concludes In Baku


The 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival wrapped up in Baku, Azerbaijan tonight, with the nation of Russia winding up on top of the overall swimming medal table. The nation took home a total of 19 medals in all, just 1 ahead of runner-up Great Britain. However, Russia claimed 14 golds across the 5-day competition, whereas Britain accumulated just 6.

Turkey beat out the likes of Italy, Romania and Ukraine to take 3rd in the medal standings, partly due to teen freestyle ace Beril Boecekler. The 15-year-old ended her impressive EYOF campaign with a new personal best in the women’s 800m freestyle. The Turk produced a winning effort of 8:32.65 to beat the field by over 11 seconds, as well as overtake the previous meet record of 8:42.70 held by Sara Racnik.

Boecekler already clocked new 200m and 400m Turkish National Records here in Baku, and her gold medal-worthy performance in this 800m also lowered her own NR of 8:34.56 she just put up at the European Junior Championships weeks ago.

14-year-old Evgenia Chikunova completed her 100m/200m breast double, topping the podium in the former this evening in a time of 1:08.03. That handily beat Justine Delmas of France who finished in 1:09.55 for silver, while Irish 13-year-old Molly Mayne held her own to register an outing of 1:09.59 for bronze.

A Dane got on the board tonight in the form of Rasmus Nickelsen, with the swimmer notched a wining 100m fly time of 52.95. That checked in as the only sub-53 second time of the field, with Hubert Kos of Hungary taking silver in 53.54 and Pawel Uryniuk wrangling up bronze in 54.73.

Of note, the EYOF 100m fly record is held by Russia’s Andrei Minakov, with the World Championships finalist in Gwangju having become the nation’s first-ever sub-51 second 10m flyer now in 50.95.

The 200m fly silver medalist here in Baku, Edward Mildred of Great Britain, upgraded his hardware to gold in the men’s 200m free tonight. Entering this meet, the Briton held a personal best of 1:51.30, but his performance tonight torched that previous career-quickest, with Mildred touching the wall in 1:49.33.

That represented the only sub-1:50 outing of the night with Romanian David Popovici clinching silver in 1:50.93 to Bora Gulsen of Turkey’s 1:51.33 that rendered him the bronze medals.

Popovici was runner-up in the 50m free last night and gold medalist in the 100m free the previous night, so the Romanian is one to watch.

As for Mildred, the Northampton swimmer is primed to carry on the great 200m free tradition of Great Britain, the nation who just saw Duncan Scott produce its first-ever sub-1:45 outing in 1:44.91 as lead-off in the 4x200m free relay in Gwangju, also tonight.

Italy’s backstroking ace Erika Francesca Gaetani reaped gold in the 100m sprint tonight in 1:01.17, while Ukrainian Rostyslav Kryzhanivsky took the top prize in the men’s 100m breast in 1:02.36.

The record-breaking machine Katie Shanahan topped off her Baku campaign with another EYOF mark, hitting the wall in 2:14.10 for the 200m IM gold medal. Shanahan already collected gold in the 200m back and 400m IM and tripled up tonight to take over the previous meet record of 2:14.80.

Russia’s Ilya Borodin snagged a meet record of his own in the 400m IM, hitting a mark of 4:20.05, while Blanca Costa of Romania hit a new personal best and EYOF Record in the 50m free in 25.34.

Russia earned gold in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m medley relays, with the women clocking a new EYOF Record of 4:07.55. The men touched in 3:43.63.

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2 years ago

Turkey are having a breakout year at the junior level. Their success goes way deeper than Boeckler too – All that money they’ve been spending is starting to pay dividends.

Great meet for GB – I feel we have a really special crop of kids here. We’ve had hammer blows taken to countless national age group records this year, and I’m talking seconds not tenths. The next Olympic cycle could be a good one for Britain.

Reply to  Dee
2 years ago

What about David Popovici? Same age of Whittle, the Roumanian thin kid is an amazing talent: 49.82 in the 100 free, 23.03 in the 50 free, 1.50.93 in the 200 free.
Surprised that there hasn’t been more emphasis on his great swims and his even greater prospects.

Reply to  nuotofan
2 years ago

I think Romania also had a girl born in 2005 who won the 50 free in a very impressive time. Let’s see how they develop. Romania already has two good athletes in men’s 100 back, i am sure they wouldn’t mind having a bit more variety. In the end only very few of the medallists will ever medal on a global stage at senior level. I am already looking forward to seeing how they will do at next years junior european championships against older competitors.

2 years ago

We saw some decent talents this past week, but no real standouts (like Kesely, Milak, Kolesnikov). I think Gaetani, Chikunova and Grgic have the best chance to do something at senior level, not sure about the rest of the medallists.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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