DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, August 29. RUTA Meilutyte had the spotlight squarely on her on the fourth day of long course competition at the FINA junior world swimming championships, winning two gold medals in the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex.
Boys 200 breaststroke
Alksander Palatov of Russia bided his time in this race, holding back until the final 50 meters to make his move and win with a meet record time of 2:10.75. He split 32.67 in his final 50 meters, the only one under 33 in the race to beat Akihiro Yamaguchi’s record of 2:11.70 from 2011. Yamaguchi is the current world record holder in the event with a 2:07.01 from last year. David Horvath of Hungary settled for silver with a 2:11.95, while Russian Mikhail Dorinov took the bronze with a 2:12.11.
Rounding out the championship final field were: Ippei Watanabe of Japan (2:12.58), Gunnar Bentz of the United States (2:13.37), Dimitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan (2:13.54), Carlos Claverie of Venezuela (2:14.07) and Andrew Schuehler of the USA (2:16.04).
Girls 50 butterfly
Ruta Meilutyte scratched from the event to focus on the 100 breast later in the session, allowing Katie McLaughlin of the United States to move into the final. McLaughlin made the most of the situation, moving up from eighth to sixth in the final with a 27.21.
Svetlana Chimrova of Russia captured gold with a meet record 26.32, beating the 26.40 she posted in yesterday’s semifinals, as well as her national record of 26.33 from this past April. Stephanie Whan of Australia placed second with a 26.71 and Lucie Svecena of the Czech Republic took third with a 26.97. Australian Jemma Schlicht was fourth in 27.04, while Frederique Cigna of Canada placed fifth with a 27.19.
Placing behind McLaughlin in the final were Liliana Szilagyi of Hungary with a 27.26 and Cloe Hache of France with a 27.83.
Boys 50 backstroke
Grigoriy Tarasevich made it three in a row for Russia with a winning time of 25.44 that broke Christian Diener’s meet record of 25.58 from 2011, and would have placed just outside the top 16 at the world championships in Barcelona. Carl Schwarz of Germany was second with a 25.76 and Michail Kontizas of Greece took third with a 25.90.
Gustavo Louzada of Brazil took fourth with a 25.93 while Simone Sabbioni of Italy and Ryan Hore of Australia tied for fifth with times of 26.10. Rounding out the field were Danas Rapsys of Lithuania (26.11) and Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago (26.13).
Girls 100 breaststroke
It wasn’t the world record that many had hoped to see, but Ruta Meilutyte posted a time of 1:06.61 that was good enough for a meet record but a full two seconds off her world record of 1:04.35 from the world championships a month ago. Meilutyte was likely saving up for what would be a more intense final in the 200 IM.
Sophie Taylor of Great Britain won silver with a 1:07.36 that broke her British age-group record for the 17-year-old division as well as Katie Haywood’s national record of 1:07.56 from 2008, while Viktoriya Solnceva of Ukraine placed third with a 1:07.53. Also in the final were Anna Belousova of Russia (1:08.82), Marlene Juther of Germany (1:08.95), Olivia Anderson of the United States (1:09.01), Georgina Evans of Great Britain (1:09.09) and Julia Willers of Germany (1:09.33).
Girls 400 freestyle
Australia will celebrate the 1-2 finish as Remy Fairweather managed to outswim 800 free winner Alanna Bowles with a decisive winning time of 4:07.77. Bowles was unable to put up a challenge in the final 100 meters, settling for silver with a 4:10.32. Quinn Carrozza of the United States managed to hold off fast-charging teammate Becca Mann for the bronze with a time of 4:11.14. Carrozza sliced one hundredth of a second off her lifetime best of 4:11.15, which she swam at the U.S. Open last month.
While Mann made a strong push in the final 100, she could only get fourth with a 4:11.27. Rounding out the field of eight were: Italy’s Diletta Carla (4:12.80), Mexico’s Natalia Jaspeado (4:15.90), Canada’s Alexandra Aitchison (4:17.06) and Linda Caponi of Italy (4:19.11).
Boys 50 freestyle
Russia’s Evgeny Sedov and Australia’s Luke Percy traded the meet record in prelims and semifinals yesterday, with Percy going into tonight’s finals with the record of 22.11. When the waves had calmed in tonight’s final, it was Percy who claimed the gold medal with a 22.14 ahead of Sedov’s 22.19. Caeleb Dressel, just recently turned 17 years old, took the USA national age group record of 22.32 away from Bolles teammate Santo Condorelli with his 22.22 for the bronze medal.
Guilherme Ocampo of Brazil touched fourth with a 22.48, while American Paul Powers posted a lifetime best of 22.53 for fifth place. Jan Holub of Poland was sixth with a 22.69, Bogdan Plavin of Ukraine took seventh with a 22.74 and Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Suriname claimed eighth with a 23.00.
Girls 200 individual medley
With a 37.07 breaststroke split, Meilutyte had no problem with dominating in the final, taking down Dagny Knutson’s meet record of 2:12.97 with a 2:12.32. Americans Ella Eastin and Kathleen Baker challenged Meilutyte on the backstroke leg but fell off pace about 25 meters into the breaststroke leg. Eastin collected silver with a 2:13.76, just one tenth off her best time from junior nationals. Syndney Pickrem of Canada, who trains in Florida with Becca Mann under Randy Reese’s watch in Florida, picked up third with a 2:14.36 to beat Baker to the wall. Baker was fourth in 2:14.83.
Emu Higuchi of Japan (2:15.72), Hiroko Makino of Japan (2:16.06), Dalma Sebestyen of Hungary (2:16.16) and Marlies Ross of South Africa (2:16.74) also raced in the quick final.
Boys 800 freestyle relay
It took four days, but Great Britain finally got a gold medal in Dubai, beating out hot favorites Australia and United States with a meet record 7:15.36. Matthew Johnson (1:50.88) and Max Litchfield (1:49.11) had Team GB back in fourth place at the halfway point, but Caleb Hughes’ 1:48.98 pulled the team into medal contention, while James Guy’s 1:46.39 was the split that gave the team gold.
Australia also moved up steadily in placings throughout the race, with Isaac Jones (1:49.90), Regan Leong (1:48.96), Jack McLoughlin (1:51.12) and Mack Horton (1:45.84) taking silver with a 7:15.82. The United States’ foursome of Blake Pieroni (1:50.74), Gunnar Bentz (1:48.61), Caeleb Dressel (1:48.27) and Alex Katz (1:50.05) held on for bronze with a 7:17.67.
Canada (7:22.45), Russia (7:22.47), Brazil (7:25.78), Japan (7:26.07) and Germany (7:30.10) also raced in the final.
Girls 50 backstroke
Daria Ustinova of Russia is on a mission to avenge the bronze medal she won last night in the 200 backstroke, qualifying first with a 28.57. Right behind her in second qualifying position is Kathleen Baker of the United States with a 28.61, while meet record holder Gabrielle Fa’Amausili sits third with a 28.68 after posting a 28.14 in prelims.
Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, in the first of three events tonight, qualified fourth with a 28.78. Jessica Fullalove of Great Britain was fifth with a 28.78, while Clara Smiddy of the USA posted the sixth-fastest time with a 28.88. Germany’s Laura Riedemann (29.26) and Ukraine’s Iryna Glavnyk (29.35) rounded out the top eight finalists.
Boys 50 butterfly
Justin Lynch, a day after tying for bronze with teammate Matthew Josa in the 100 fly, goes into the 50 fly final as the top seed with a 24.04. Josa posted a 24.11 in the same heat as Lynch, the same time South African Ryan Coetzee put up in the second semifinal.
The rest of the top eight will be: Deividas Margevicius of Lithuania (24.15), Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter (24.16), Australia’s Cameron Jones (24.18), Jonas Bergmann of Germany (24.22) and 100 fly winner Tasaka Yasue of Japan (24.34).