DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, August 28. MACK Horton was once again the star swimmer on the third day of long course competition at the world junior swimming championships, with the 17-year-old Australian putting up a jaw-dropping time in the 800 freestyle.
Girls 200 backstroke
A major upset took place in this final, as the United States went 1-2 over a “senior” world championship finalist. Kylie Stewart, a USA Swimming nationals finalist, won in 2:09.74, just a few tenths off her best time of 2:09.04 from juniors. Kathleen Baker was second in 2:10.68, just .4 off her best. Daria Ustinova, who was fourth in the 200 back in Barcelona, placed third in 2:10.79.
Iryna Glavnyk of Ukraine (2:11.62), Sydney Pickrem of Canada (2:11.75), Sian Whittaker of Australia (2:12.33), Nathania Van Niekerk of South Africa (2:13.00) and Yuriko Saito of Japan (2:14.07) rounded out the field.
Boys 100 butterfly
The first gold medal for Japan came as a bit of a surprise, as Takaya Yasue used a strong surge in the final strokes to get to the wall first in 53.01. Pedro Vieiro of Brazil clinched silver with a 53.17, while the United States duo of Matthew Josa and Justin Lynch tied for bronze with equal times of 53.27.
Alexander Kudashev of Russia (53.56), Masato Sakai of Japan (53.61), Ryan Coetzee of South Africa (53.75) and Sascha Kubarsky of Austria (53.80) also raced in the final.
Girls 100 freestyle
Similar to the girls 200 backstroke, several swimmers were expected to win the gold medal, but Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey had different plans, leading after 25 meters to win the final with a meet record 54.47. The time beat 2012 Olympian Lia Neal’s meet standard of 54.90 from 2011. In her third race of the day, Ruta Meilutyte was second with a 54.94, while Shayna Jack of Australia collected bronze with a 55.23.
Also placing in the final were American Cierra Runge (55.31), Mariia Baklakova of Russia (55.48), Grace Vertigans of Great Britain (55.52), Mary Schneider of the United States (55.99) and Rozaliy Nasretdinova of Russia (56.27).
Boys 800 freestyle
Mack Horton was not in danger of picking up a fourth gold medal, taking the lead through the start and accelerating to the finish with a blazing time of 7:45.67. The time not only shatters Evan Pinion’s meet record of 7:55.92 from 2011, but the time is fifth-fastest in the world. The time would have placed fifth at the world championships a month ago at the world championships, and just two seconds away from the bronze medal won by Ryan Cochrane with a 7:43.70. Australia does not keep records of times in the 800 freestyle for the male gender regarding age-group records, but it is undoubtedly one of the fastest the country has seen in its sparking swimming history. The time is seven seconds off Grant Hackett’s national record of 7:38.65 set at the 2005 world championships.
Far back in second was Jan Micka of the Czech Republic with a 7:56.33, still fast in its own right. Pawel Furtek of Poland raced to third with a 7:58.33. Also breaking eight minutes was Joris Bouchat of France with a 7:59.53.
The rest of the top eight consisted of Egypt’s Ahmed Abbas (8:02.77), Great Britain’s Caleb Hughes (8:03.21), Teddy Kalp of Canada (8:04.20) and Wojciech Wojdak of Poland (8:05.78).
Mixed 400 freestyle relay
Australia is breathing a sigh of relief, as Georgia Miller was able to hold off a monster anchor leg by American Caeleb Dressel to win the first mixed freestyle relay event at junior world championships. Australia’s time of 3:28.74 was completed by Luke Percy (49.57), Regan Leong (49.59), Shayna Jack (54.37) and Miller (55.21). The United States team of Paul Powers (50.03), Cierra Runge (55.66), Mary Schneider (55.04) and Dressel (48.83) combined for a silver-medal time of 3:29.56. Russia’s Evgeny Sedov (49.68), Ivan Kuzmenko (50.20), Rozaliya Nasterdinova (55.35) and Mariia Baklakova (54.70) placed third with a 3:29.93.
Canada (3:33.21), Germany (3:36.12), Poland (3:36.63) and Turkey (3:37.64) all registered official times in the final. Brazil was disqualified for a false start on the leadoff leg.
Girls 50 butterfly
Svetlana Chimrova of Russia twice broke the meet record in the sprint butterfly today, starting off with a 26.62 in prelims, then topped semifinal qualifying with a 26.40. Her time erased Farida Osman’s record of 26.69 from the 2011 junior world championships. Stephanie Whan of Australian also cracked 27 seconds with a runner-up time of 26.80. In third place is Lucie Svecena with a 27.03 and Jemma Schlicht qualified fourth with a 27.27.
Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania, diversifying her racing schedule in Dubai, qualified fifth with a 27.29, while Rozaliya Nasretdinova of Russia (27.43), Chloe Hache of France (27.50) and Liliana Szilagyi of Hungary (27.51) rounded out the top eight.
Courtney Weaver of the United States just found herself on the outside of the finalists with a ninth-place time of 27.54. Katie McLaughlin, last night’s 200 fly winner, was 11th with a 27.59.
Boys 50 freestyle
Feeling the vibe from his new teammates at the University of Tennessee, Luke Percy of Australia blazed through the first semifinal heat with a blazing best time of 22.11. That is just .06 off the Australian age group record, held by Olympian James Roberts and is a new meet record, taking down Evgeny Sedov’s 22.13 from prelims. Behind him is a strong field of swimmers that includes Sedov with a 22.31 and Caeleb Dressel of the USA with a 22.41. Dressel’s time is .02 slower than his lifetime best and .09 slower than the 17-18 national age group record his teammate Santo Condorelli swam earlier this month at junior nationals.
American Paul Powers (22.57), Ukraine’s Bogdan Plavin (22.63), Poland’s Jan Holub (22.70) and Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Suriname (22.75) secured spots in the final. Guilherme Ocampo and Yuri Kisil of Canada will have to race in a swimoff for the eighth spot after both swam 22.81 in the semifinal. That swimoff will take place at the beginning of tomorrow’s prelims session.
Girls 100 breaststroke
Ruta Meilutyte decided to cruise through the semifinals of this race, as she was focusing most on the 100 freestyle final later in the session. It was Ukraine’s Viktoriya Solnceva who clocked the fastest time with a 1:07.72, just ahead of Sophie Taylor of Great Britain, who posted a 1:07.76. Meilutyte posted a 1:08.49 to put her in the third spot for finals.
Also racing in what will be an exciting race with the clock in the final — and a race for second — will be Anna Belousova of Russia (1:08.80), Julia Willers of Germany (1:09.11), Georgina Evans of Great Britain (1:09.13), Olivia Anderson of the United States (1:09.19) and Marlene Huther of Germany (1:09.29).
Boys 50 backstroke
Gustavo Louzada is looking to give Brazil its first gold medal of the championships, qualifying first with a 25.87. Lithuania’s Danys Rapsys, last night’s 100 back silver medalist, qualified second with a 25.96, while Italy’s Simone Sabbioni was right behind with a 25.98 to round out the times under 26 seconds.
Also making the final were: Australia’s Ryan Hore (26.04), Michail Kontizas of Greece (26.08), Grigory Tarasevich of Russia (26.10), Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago (26.14) and Carl Schwarz of Germany (26.17).
Just missing out on the final in ninth place was Greece’s Apostolos Christou, the 100 back winner, who clocked a 26.18. American Ryan Harty placed 10th with a 26.19.