POZNAN, Poland, July 11. THE Russian contingent turned up the heat at the European Junior Championships as Russians earned nearly all of the gold medals on offer. Maria Balkakova, meanwhile, chipped in with a meet-record time in the 100-meter free to lead the way.
Germany's Leonie Beck raced to the win in the women's 400-meter freestyle finale with a time of 4:12.87. She was neck-and-neck with Hungary's Nikoletta Kiss through the 300-meter mark, as the two turned at the same time of 3:09.93. However, Beck powered away down the stretch with a 31.89 and 31.05 to close out the gold-medal performance. Kiss, meanwhile, checked in with a second-place time of 4:13.43. Italy's Linda Caponi rounded out the podium in the middle-distance event with a bronze-winning effort of 4:13.86.
In the always entertaining mixed 400-meter free relay, Russia's Evgeny Sedov (49.50), Rozaliya Nasretdinova (55.38), Ivan Kuzmenko (50.03) and Maria Baklakova (54.19) won in 3:29.10. Great Britain's Jack Smith (51.49), Harriet Cooper (55.29), Mark Szaranek (50.55) and Katie Latham (55.92) turned in a second-place 3:33.25, while Germany's Damian Wierling (51.15), Alexander Kunert (50.93), Nele Klein (56.35) and Helen Scholtissek (55.80) placed third in 3:34.23.
Czech's Jan Micka threw down a sizzling 56.49 final 100 to walk away with the win in the men's 1500-meter free by way of a 15:13.51 for the gold medal. Trailing Poland's Pawel Furtek at the 1400, 14:16.56 to 14:17.02, Micka raced right past Furtek for the win. Furtek took second in 15:13.85 after clocking a 57.29 down the stretch. Great Britain's Caleb Hughes wound up third in 15:19.63.
Russian Olympian Maria Baklakova took down the meet record in the women's 100-meter free finale with a time of 54.78. That swim surpassed the 55.02 set by Silke Lippok back in 2009 in Prague, and gave Baklakova a near one-second victory in the championship heat. Spain's Fatima Gallardo Carapeto finished second in 55.76, while Luxembourg's Julie-Marie Meynen placed third in 55.92.
Russia's Anastasia Guzhenkova picked up the women's 200-meter fly title in 2:11.24, while Great Britain's Emma Day finished second in 2:12.14. Hungary's Delma Sebestyen completed the top three in the distance fly event with a time of 2:12.75.
Russia earned yet another gold medal tonight with a 55.08 from Grigory Tarasevich in the men's 100-meter backstroke. He'd already broken Laszlo Cseh's 2003 meet record of 55.06 last night with a 54.64 during semis. Lithuania's Danas Rapsys finished second in 55.44, while Italy's Simone Sabbioni pocketed third in 55.73.
Russia went 1-2 in the men's 200-meter breaststroke with Mikhail Dorinov (2:12.27) and Alexander Palatov (2:12.69) posting the top two times in finals. Germany's Yannick Lindenberg snared third-place honors in 2:13.92.
Germany's Sonnele Oeztuerk put up a 2:13.90 to win the women's 200-meter backstroke, while Lithuania's Ugne Mazutaityte touched second in 2:14.28. Germany's Laura Riedemann claimed third in 2:14.61.
The Netherlands' Kyle Stolk clipped Denmark's Magnus Westerman, 50.18 to 50.19, for the men's 100-meter free top seed out of semifinals. Russia's Alexander Kudashev followed with a 1:58.71 in the men's 200-meter fly to lead the way into the finale. Spain's Pedro Terres Illescas took second in 1:59.54.
A day after scorching the women's 50-meter breaststroke event, Ukraine's Viktoriya Solntseva paced the women's 200-meter breaststroke semifinal heats with a 2:27.33 to lead the pack by more than two seconds. Russia's Semen Makovich became the first man under 2:00 in this meet in the men's 200-meter IM with a 1:59.91 in semis. That swim eclipsed the meet record of 2:00.73 set by Xavier Mohammed back in 2008.
Results: European Junior Championships: Day Two Finals
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