Finnish Nationals Kicks Off With Day One Action in Turku

TURKU, Finland, April 23. THE initial night of swimming took place in Turku, Finland as the Finnish Long Course Nationals came to a close on the first of five days of competition.

Veera Kivirinta posted a 31.89 to win the women’s 50-meter breaststroke, a time that hovers outside the top 20 in the SwimVortex world rankings. Anna Makinen touched second in 32.29 with Jenna Laukkanen winding up third overall in 32.70.

Noora Laukkanen pushed her way past the field in the women’s 400-meter IM to win the title in 4:56.19 with Hilla Kortetjarvi taking second overall in 4:59.49. Janna Ovaska wound up third in 5:01.41.

Simmis Grani’s Eetu Piiroinen crushed the field in the men’s 400-meter free in 3:55.99, while Cetus Espoo teammates Sami Juopperi (4:02.36) and Jere Laukkanen (4:06.36) touched second and third behind him to round out the top three.

Riku Poytakivi claimed the men’s 50-meter fly crown in 24.41 with Tuomas Pokkinen taking second in 25.08. Ossi Oksa earned third-place honors in 25.18 with breaststroke specialist Eetu Karvonen managing a fourth-place 25.23 in the sprint fly.

Laura Lajunen hit the wall in 8:59.72 to win the women’s 800-meter freestyle, while Mira Palovuori (9:07.46) and Benita Haikola (9:10.56) pocketed second and third in the distance event.

The Cetus Espoo foursome of Aleksi Eskelinen (1:54.75), Sami Juopperi (1:52.70), Jere Laukkanen (1:53.49) and Riku Poytakivi (1:56.02) smashed the field in the men’s 800-meter free relay with a time of 7:36.96. That performance set the senior meet record, breaking the previous mark of 7:37.16 from a year ago by Cetus. The squad still has some time to drop to challenge the hallowed 1992 Finnish record of 7:28.71 set at the Barcelona Olympic Games.

In semifinal action, Finnish legend Hanna-Maria Seppala cruised to the top seed in the women’s 100-meter free with a 56.03, while Mimosa Jallow took second in 57.46. Laura Kurki claimed third in 58.05. Aleksi Schmid grabbed the men’s 100-meter back top seed with a 58.50. Sergei Haukka (58.69) and Miro Vasko (58.75) placed second and third out of semis.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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