Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Fei Maohua/Youth Olympic Games
NANJING, China, August 18. Although the spotlight shined brightest on Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte, Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi had the top individual swim of the night with a ridiculously fast time in the 200-meter fly at the Youth Olympic Games.
- Men’s 100 back final
- Women’s 200 fly final
- Men’s 200 free final
- Women’s 50 breast final
- Men’s 100 fly semis
- Women’s 100 free semis
- Men’s 100 breast final
- Women’s 100 back final
- Men’s 200 IM final
- Women’s 400 medley relay
Men’s 100 back
100 meters wasn’t enough to decide who won the men’s 100-meter backstroke, so Russia’s Evgeny Rylov and Italy’s Simone Sabbioni had to share the top prize with matching 54.24s to kick off tonight’s festivities. Rylov went out fast in 26.24, but Sabbioni had enough in the tank to catch him with a 27.89 down the stretch.
China’s Li Guangyuan, meanwhile, snared bronze tonight in 54.56.
Greece’s Apostolos Christou, the World Junior Record holder with a 54.03 from the European Junior Championships this summer, fell to fourth in 55.06.
Romania’s Robert Glinta (55.21), Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank (55.38), Germany’s Marek Ulrich (55.42) and USA’s Patrick Mulcare (58.08) also competed in the finale.
Women’s 200 fly
Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi, who already ranked 16th in the world this year with a 2:08.37 from Hungarian Nationals, scorched the finale with a 2:06.59 this evening. That swim vaulted her to third in the world behind only Natsumi Hoshi’s 2:05.98 and Mireia Belmonte’s 2:06.33. With that swim, Szilagyi became more than just a top-flight junior swimmer, she’s now world class in the event.
Szilagyi had one of the most exuberant celebrations seen in recent times following the impressive performance. Not only did she still have enough energy to thrash around in the pool with some more common celebrating, she rocketed herself out of the pool and went ballistic standing next to her starting block staring at the scoreboard. She could still be seen next to her block gesticulating even after the rest of the field had cleared. That’s an epic celebration.
China’s Zhang Yufei still managed a strong swim for silver, taking second in 2:08.22 to capture 16th in the world rankings, while Australia’s Brianna Throssell touched third in 2:09.65. While Szilagyi is no longer eligible to set the World Junior Record of 2:08.10 currently held by Natsuki Akiyama with a time from 2008, Zhang certainly has a chance in the next year.
Korea’s Park Jinyoung (2:10.30), Hungary’s Dalma Sebestyen (2:10.34), Japan’s Jurina Shiga (2:13.54), Indonesia’s Monalisa Areiswaty Lorenza (2:13.68) and Spain’s Jimena Perez Blanco (2:15.36) also swam in the historic finale.
Men’s 200 free
In an incredibly close finish, Italy’s Nicolangelo di Fabio touched out The Netherlands’ Kyle Stolk, 1:48.45 to 1:48.59, for the title. Stolk led through 150 meters, but could not withstand a withering 26.95 final 50 meters from di Fabio.
Di Fabbio’s Splits:
Germany’s Damian Wierling popped a 1:48.91 to take bronze and round out the podium this evening.
Great Britain’s Duncan Scott (1:49.73), South Africa’s Joshua Steyn (1:50.06), Israel’s Ido Haber (1:50.41), Brazil’s Luiz Altamir Lopes Melo (1:50.51) and USA’s Patrick Mulcare (1:50.57) also vied for the international title.
Women’s 50 breast
She couldn’t quite find the same magic that led her to a sizzling 29.90 world-leader at the Sette Colli Trophy meet earlier this summer, but Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte still had an easy win in the sprint breaststroke finale. The Olympic gold medalist, who decided to have some fun and compete against swimmers her own age here at the Youth Olympics, smoked a 30.14 for the victory.
The most interesting battle of the race was behind her as Germany’s Julia Willers just edged Hungary’s Anna Sztankovics, 31.78 to 31.84. Ukraine’s Anastasiya Malyavina finished fourth in 31.89.
Sweden’s Sophie Hansson (32.01), Great Britain’s Georgina Evans (32.03), Korea’s Yang Jiwon (32.14) and Hungary’s Dalma Sebestyen (32.42) comprised the rest of the finale competitors.
Men’s 100 breast
During semis, Russia’s Anton Chupkov set a World Junior Record with a 1:00.86, and had the makings to put up an even faster time tonight. Chupkov, however, focused on racing and securing the ever-important gold medal. Tonight, after turning third at the wall, Chupkov had enough in the tank to win the finale in 1:01.29.
Germany’s Maximillian Pilger had an even more impressive back half with a 32.28 coming home after turning sixth at the wall as he took silver in 1:01.51. Venezuela’s Carlos Claverie snatched the other medal with a bronze-winning time of 1:01.56.
Japan’s Ippei Watanabe (1:01.66), Croatia’s Nikola Obrovac (1:01.94), South Africa’s Chad Crous (1:02.17), Hungary’s David Horvath (1:02.38) and Brazil’s Andreas de Queiroz Mickosz (1:02.82) also vied for the gold this evening.
Women’s 100 back
The women’s 100-meter backstroke proved to be ridiculously close at the finish with USA’s Clara Smiddy reeling in the field with a sizzling 31.48 final 50 meters. Smiddy touched out Great Britain’s Jessica Fullalove by the slimmest of margins, 1:01.22 to 1:01.23, while New Zealand’s Bobbi Gichard also nearly had her hand on the wall first with a smoking 1:01.25.
Nearly every swimmer in the heat had a shot with the top seven times separated by just .59 seconds. Brazil’s Natalia de Luccas (1:01.39), The Netherlands’ Maaike de Waard (1:01.56), Russia’s Irina Prikhodko (1:01.77) and Canada’s Danielle Hanus (1:01.81) all finished in the 1:01s. Italy’s Ambra Esposito brought up the bottom of the finale with an eighth-place 1:02.55.
Men’s 200 IM
Once Hungary’s Ben Gratz got it going, no one was going to stop him from gold tonight as he won the finale by more than a second with a 2:01.08.
Lithuania’s Povilas Strazdas finished second in 2:02.32 with Hungary’s Norbert Szabo earning third overall in 2:02.47.
USA’s Patrick Mulcare, on the back end of a difficult triple, took fourth in 2:02.88. Spain’s Guillermo Sanchez Gutierrez (2:03.37), Vietnam’s Khoi Tran Duy (2:03.69), South Africa’s Christopher Reid (2:04.43) and Austria’s Sebastian Steffan (2:04.61) also put up times in the finale.
Women’s 400 medley relay
China’s Qiu Yuhan, He Yun, Zhang Yufei and Shen Duo turned in a special swim in the women’s 400 medley relay to close out the night. The foursome raced their way to a 4:03.58 for the win. If not for He Yun being born in 1996, and thus excluded from a chance at a World Junior Record, China would have broken the mark of 4:04.48 set by Russia at the 2013 World Junior Championships. Regardless, Shen had yet another smoking anchor as she is proving to be one of the top relay swimmers here in Nanjing.
QIU Yuhan 0.75 30.25 1:02.26 (3) 1:02.26
HE Yun 0.18 31.65 1:08.73 (2) 2:10.99
ZHANG Yufei 0.19 27.39 58.56 (1) 3:09.55
SHEN Duo 0.42 26.25 54.03 (1) 4:03.58
Great Britain’s Jessica Fullalove (1:01.74), Georgina Evans (1:08.96), Charlotte Atkinson (1:00.13) and Amelia Maughan (54.92) had a chance, but could not hold off China as GBR settled for silver with a 4:05.75. Australia’s Amy Forrester (1:02.83), Ella Bond (1:10.16), Brianna Throssell (59.22) and Ami Matsuo (54.17) took third in 4:06.38.
Germany (4:10.54), Canada (4:10.73), Russia (4:13.77), South Africa (4:15.44) and Japan (4:16.71) made up the rest of the finale field.
Men’s 100 fly
China’s Li Zhuhao, who already impressed with a 52.97 during heats, did what he had to do to make finals tonight as he put up an easy-speed swim of 53.26 this evening to lead semis. Li will look to challenge Daniel Bell’s World Junior Record of 52.52 during finals.
Russia’s Aleksandr Sadovnikov hit the wall second in semis with a 53.42, while Switzerland’s Nils Liess placed third in 53.52.
Australia’s Nicholas Brown (53.57), The Netherlands’ Mathys Goosen (53.84), Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi (53.94), Austria’s Sascha Subarsky (54.00) and South Africa’s Joshua Steyn (54.25) all made it back to the finale.
USA’s Justin Wright wound up 12th overall in 54.88.
Women’s 100 free
The women’s 100 free semifinals nearly witnessed the gold-medal favorite Shen Duo missing the finale altogether. Shen, who threw down an epic 53.43 freestyle anchor for China’s World Junior Record in the mixed 400 medley relay, and clocked a 54.44 this morning, barely made eighth with a 55.62 tonight.
Her compatriot Qiu Yuhan, however, took care of business tonight with a 54.78 to lead qualifying. She will still have her hands full with Shen during the finale.
Australia’s Ami Matsuo raced her way to a second semifinal win with a 54.98 for second in the overall rankings, while Luxembourg’s Julie Meynen placed third in 55.33.
Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, shortly after coasting to a huge win in the 50-meter breast, put up a 55.46 for fourth overall.
Russia’s Daria Mullakaeva (55.53), Russia’s Daria Ustinova (55.54) and Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (55.56) also picked up spots in the championship heat.
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Special thanks to Luigi Lo Conte for contributing to this report.