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Croatia's Draganja, Britain's Goddard Impress as Euro Juniors Come to a Close -- July 9, 2001

VALETTA, Malta, July 8. IF Anthony Ervin is he "next Alex Popov," who's the next Anthony Ervin?

How about Croatia's Duje Draganja.

The 18-year-old Croat, playfully dubbed the "swimming Goran Ivansevic" by teammates in honor of the latter's victory at Wimbledon, won his second and third gold medals today and set a pair of meet records as the 2001 European Junior Championships came to a conclusion here.

Draganja, who won the 50 free opening day in an easy 23.05 after having won last year in a meet and national record 22.68, won the 100 free (49.95) and
then edged Yugoslavia's Michael Cavic to win the 50 fly, 24.58-24.66.

His 100 free swim tied the meet record of Holland's Johan Kenkhuis from 1998 and his 50 fly set the meet record. Kenkhuis has dropped his 100 pr to 49.46 from the Speedo Grand Prix in Sheffield a year ago in May, the same meet where compatriot Inge deBruijn set world records in the 50-100 flys.

Draganja's 100 pr-NR is 49.67 from the semis at Sydney last September. Just how good a time is that? Well, it's faster than Bart Kizierowski's pr of 49.70, faster than Roland Schoeman's pr of 49.74, quite a bit faster than Jim Montgomery's gold-medal winning time at Montreal a quarter-century ago (49.99), and faster than Tom Jager's pr (49.79). Jager is former 50 free
wr-holder.

True, Ervin was 48.8 last year as an 18-year-old but presuming Draganja swims at Fukuoka in a couple of weeks, he may well go a 48+ and make the big final.

In any event, the kid's the real thing and while he'll likely never win Wimbledon, he may well win World Championship and/or Olympic gold before his career's through.

Another promising 18-year-old winner tonight was Britain's James Goddard, who splashed to a meet-record in the 200 IM (2:02.66). The British national record is James Hickman's gold medal-winning 2:01.87 at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. No other British swimmer has ever been under 2:03 and Goddard's time ranks him 13th globally. He too is a "comer."

France's Guy-Noel Schmitt, who won the mile last year in 15:25.47, still his pr, made it two-for-two in '01 with a 15:30.40-15:39.75 triumph over Spain's Javier Nunez. Bronze went to Andreas Zisimos of Greece (15:41.90).

Hungary's Viktor Bodrogi won his third gold via a 56.03-57.23 100 back victory. Runner-up was Ukraine's Andriy Oleknyk (57.23. The win earned the rising Hungarian star a sweep of the 50-100-200 back races.

Bodrogi picked up a fourth gold - most of any swimmer -leading off Hungary's 400 medley relay in a meet record-setting (and pr) 55.77. The Hungarian record was just broken in April by Olympian Peter Horvath (55.05), and certainly that's next on Bodrogi's agenda, especially since he now has the 50 and 200 standards.

In the 200 breast, Holland's Thijs Van Valkengoed won his second gold with his second pr of the meet, a 2:16.01 swim. He had previously won the 100 breast in a 1:03.67, down from 1:04.17 last season. Second in the double-century was Russia's Alexei Tiourine (pr 2:17.44) while third in an Estonian record 2:17.72 was Vladimir Labzin.

In women's competition, Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia set a meet- and national-record with her 25.53 50 free victory, ranking her 13th globally. The 16-year-old Belarusian was not among the Top 150 in the world last year with the cut for No. 150 a 26.55.

She also won the 100 free opening night (pr-NR 56.92) and this evening powered to her third gold with a 29.55-29.71 50 back win over France's Laure Manaudou. The latter was also runner-up in the 100 back to Denmark's Louise Ornstedt.

Not a bad few days' work for Herasimenia, a swimmer who had never before competed internationally but for whom -- as George Allen was always wont to say -- the future is now.

Greece's Zoi Dimoschaki, who earlier had set a pr-NR in the 400 free (4:11.59), proved she's adept in the 200 too, stroking to a pr-NR 2:01.94-2:03.27 over Holland's Celina Lemmen. Third was Russia's Ekaterina
Nasyrova (2:03.76).

Whereas last last Dimoschaki was all of 136th globally in the 400 free (4:19.37), she was not among the Top 150 in the 200 with the cut a 2:03.44. She may not be quite ready for Fukuoka but if her improvement continues apace she could be a factor at next year's European Championships -- and a certain "minor" competition in Athens three years hence.

The 200 back went to Russia's Ekaterina Lopareva in a tight race with Romania's Valentina Brat (2:16.21-2:16.29).

Austria's Mina Jukic won her third gold with a 1:10.23-1:10.90 100 breast win at the expense of Germany's Lisa Schoellhammer. Jukic had previously set a meet record en route to the 200 title (2:28.41) and also won the 50 (32.83).

Italy's Cristina Maccagnola won her second gold via a 1:01.07-1:01.65 effort in the 100 fly. She previously won the 50 fly for Italy's sole wins of the meet.

Hungary's Eva Risztov was a triple gold medalist too with wins in the 800 free (8:43.37), 200 fly (2:13+) and 200 IM (2:17.82).

Germany set the meet's final record with a 4:14.29 effort in the 400 medley relay. Hungary (4:16.86) and Sweden (4:19.21) were second and third, respectively.

The German team was composed of Julia Baum (1:05.90), Lisa Schoellhammer (1:10.35), Catherine Friedrich (1:01.09) and Catrin Wandzik on the anchor
(57.14).

What's interesting about this competition is that the restrictions are based upon age, not success in the pool. Can one imagine Ervin competing at juniors after having won Sydney gold?

-- Bill Bell

2001 EUROPEAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPA
VALEYTA, Malta
July 8, 2001 - 50 M Pool

* National Record
+ Meet Record
** National-Meet Record

WOMEN'S EVENTS

50 METER FREESTYLE

FINAL

Aliaksandra Herasimenia, BLR 25.53**
Agata Korc, POL 25.84*
Cristina Tatar, ROM 26.18
Sonja Schoeber, GER 26.59
Inge Dekker, NED 26.64
Vicky Cook, GBR 26.69
Catrin Wandzik, GER 26.76
Claudia Calliari, ITA 26.94

200 METER FREESTYLE

FINAL

Zoi Dimoschaki, GRE 2:01.94+
Celina Lemmen, NED 2:03.27
Ekaterina Nastrova, RUS 2:03.76
Krisztina Lipcsei, HUN 2:04.11
Sylvia Salvador, ITA 2:05.22
Polina Chornikova, RUS 2:05.53
Natascha Kraus, GER 2:05.99
Pauline Leclercq, FRA DQ

800 METER FREESTYLE

TIMED FINAL

Eva Risztov, HUN 8:43.37
Olga Beresnyeva, UKR 8:43.78
Daria Beliakina, RUS 8:52.37
Christine Vendel, GER 8:53.95
Roberta Ioppi, ITA 8:54.04
Lioudmila Machkovseva, RUS 8:54.17
Anja Van Boxel, BEL 8:57.17
Theodora Margioukla, GRE 9:04.42

50 METER BACKSTROKE

FINAL

Aliaksandra Herasimenia, BLR 29.55**
Laure Manaudou, FRA 29.71
Louise Ornstedt, DEN 30.02
Anja Carman, SLO 30.55
Ekaterina Lopareva, RUS 30.58
Iryna Amshennikova, UKR 30.83
Stefanie Luiken, NED 31.13
Aleksandra Bas, BLR 31.78

200 METER BACKSTROKE

FINAL

Ekaterina Lopareva, RUS 2:16.21
Valentina Brat, ROM 2:16.29
Anja Carman, SLO 2:16.57
Andrea Palmai, HUN 2:16.65
Iryna Amshennikova, UKR 2:17.38
Roberta Ioppi, ITA 2:17.90
Louise Ornstedt, DEN 2:19.17
Julia Baum, GER 2:20.67

100 METER BREASTSTROKE

FINAL

Mirna Jukic, AUT 1:10.23
Lisa Schoellhammer, GER 1:10.90
Tamara Sambrailo, SLO 1:11.84
Chiara Boggiatto, ITA 1:11.86
Carolin Boehm, GER 1:11.92
Petra Chocova, CZE 1:12.08
Evguenia Alekhina, RUS 1:12.69
Svetlana Beliaeva, RUS 1:12.93

100 METER BUTTERFLY

FINAL

Cristina Maccagnola, ITA 1:01.07
Catherine Friedrich, GER 1:01.65
Sara Oliveira, POR 1:02.66
Gabriella Fagundez, SWE 1:02.67
Malgorzata Gembicka, POL 1:02.69
Inge Dekker, NED 1:03.06
Thea Vanggaard Nielsen, DEN 1:03.41
Linda Knutsson, SWE 1:03.44

200 METER IND. MEDLEY

FINAL

Eva Ristov, HUN 2:17.82
Katalin Molnar, HUN 2:18.80
Sophie de Ronchi, FRA 2:19.33
Mirna Jukic, AUT 2:19.39
Julia Preston, GBR 2:21.18
Franziska Steinmetz, GER 2:23.66
Lioudmila Mackokovtseva, RUS 2:24.78
Judit Llace, ESP 2:24.82

400 M MEDLEY RELAY

FINAL

Germany 4:14.29+
Hungary 4:16.86
Sweden 4:19.21
Spain 4:21.33
Holland 4:21.65
Portugal 4:22.18
Great Britain DQ
Denmark DQ

MEN'S EVENTS

100 METER FREESTYLE

FINAL

Duje Draganja, CRO 49.95+
Maxim Skyrnnikov, RUS 51.11
Martin Skacha, CZE 51.52
Leif Marten Krueger, GER 51.62
Paul-Alain Kersale, FRA 51.73
Erik Dorch, SWE 51.77
Thomas Rueter, GER 51.86
Luis Monteiro, POR 52.09


1500 METER FREESTYLE

TIMED FINAL

Guy-Noel Schmitt, FRA 15:30.40
Javier Nunez, ESP 15:39.75
Andreas Zisimos, GRE 15:41.90
Iouri Priloukov, RUS 15:42.79
Petros Petropoulos, GRE 15:49.64
Ross Hughes, GBR 15:57.00
Tom Vangeneugden, BEL 15:58.61
Gard Kvale, NOR 16:00.41

100 METER BACKSTROKE

FINAL

Viktor Bodrogi, HUN 56.03
Andriy Oleynyk, UKR 57.23
Enrico Catalano, ITA 57.38
Arkadi Viattchanine, RUS 57.48
Dmitri Smirnov, RUS 57.53
Helge Meeuw, GER 57.56
David O'Brien, GBR 57.97
Robert Wanja, GER 58.32

200 METER BREASTSTROKE

FINAL

Thijs Van Valkengoed, NED 2:16.01+
Alexei Tiourine, RUS 2:17.44
Vladimir Labzin, EST 2:17.72*
Jacek Borkowski, POL 2:18.57
Loris Facci, ITA 2:18.77
Tomasz Pyk, POL 2:19.62
Francisco Garcia, ESP 2:20.33
Matiaz Pernat, SLO 2:22.13

50 METER BUTTERFLY

FINAL

Duje Draganja, CRO 24.58**
Milorad (Michael) Cavic, YUG 24.66*
Sergiy Advena, UKR 24.85
Evgueni Korotychkine, RUS 24.86
Nikolai Skvortsov, RUS 25.02
Flori Lang, SUI 25.43
Ales Volcansek, CRO 25.47
Hjortur Mar Reynisson, ISL 25.49*

200 METER IND. MEDLEY

FINAL

James Goddard, GBR 2:02.66+
Nick Van Der Zandt, NED 2:04.53
Igor Berezutskiy, RUS 2:05.44
Robin Van Aggele, NED 2:05.83
Vasilios Demetis, GRE 2:06.22
Andriy Lapshin, UKR 2:06.76
Leonardo Tumiotto, ITA 2:06.91
Ioannis Drymonakos, GRE 2:08.72


400 M MEDLEY RELAY

FINAL

Hungary 3:46.17+
(Leadoff: 55.77+, Viktor Bodrogi)
Russia 3:48.18
Germany 3:48.81
Italy 3:48.93
Ukraine 3:49.30
Sweden 3:49.43
Holland 3:50.43
Czech Republic 3:55.33