2018 Youth Olympic Games
- October 6th- 18th, 2018
- Swimming Events: October 7th- 12th, 2018
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will feature many talented teenagers and rising stars in the world of sports. In swimming, the competition has risen to an intense level with many of these teenagers beating elite Olympians. Five athletes in particular at these games could make a big impact in this meet and set themselves up for more potential at bigger meets, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Here are the 5 athletes to watch out for at the 2018 Youth Olympics:
The 17-year-old Aussie has emerged as a rising star in Australia. Mckeown made her breakout at the 2017 Australian National Championships, where she not only qualified for the World Championships but also placed second in the 200 back behind Emily Seebohm. At the World Championships in Budapest, McKeown placed fourth in the 200 back.
Her potential is still rising as she was former world junior record holder in the 200 back. McKeown is entered in the 50 back, 100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM.
2. Ajna Késely, Hungary
Késely comes to these games after breaking out at junior and senior international meets this past year. The Hungarian snagged a gold medal in the 400 free at the 2017 World Junior Championships as well as taking silver in the 200 free, 800 free, and the 1500 free.
At the 2018 European Championships, Késely one-upped her World Juniors performance by taking silvers in the 400 and 800 free and bronze in the 1500 free. She is currently entered to swim the 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, and the 200 IM.
The Argentinian distance queen, along with Késely, is expected to make a huge impact in the women’s distance free events. Pignatiello is the current Argentinian national record holder in the 400 and 800 free, and comes in as reigning world junior champion in the 800 and 1500 free.
At the 2017 World Juniors, also won silver in the 400 free, with Ajna Késely winning that event. Pignatiello is only entered in the 400 free and 800 free, sticking to her main disciplines. Her and Késely could both battle it out for distance queen at these Youth Olympics.
4. Kilment Kolesnikov, Russia
Kolesnikov is coming off a breakout year by making statements at the 2017 World Championships and 2018 European Championships. The 18-year-old Russian took fourth place at the senior Worlds in the 200 back, where he also broke the world junior record.
Kolesnikov made an even bigger statement at the 2018 European Championships, where he swept the sprint backstroke events, breaking those world junior records as well. The Russian is entered in all 3 backstroke events at the Youth Games.
What makes Milak one of the athletes to watch at these games is not just by his international breakout performances, but the number of events he is scheduled to compete in. Milak is entered in a whopping 9 events: the 50/100/200/400 free, 50/100 back, and the 50/100/200 fly.
His 100 and 200 fly events will most definitely be the events to watch out for the Hungarian in. At the 2017 World Junior Championships, Milak took golds in the 100 and 200 fly events. Just before that at the senior Worlds meet, Milak took silver just behind Caeleb Dressel in the 100 fly.