2018 Youth Olympic Games Night Three Recap: Andrei Minakov Climbs World Ranks

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The third finals session of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina featured a night of close races between five medal events.

Women’s 800 Freestyle Final

Hungarian rising distance ace Anja Kesely posted a dominant win the women’s 800 Freestyle. The 17-year old raced to the wall in 8:27.60, nearly five seconds ahead of her closest competitor Delfina Pignatiello of Argentina. The swim was about two seconds off her World top-ten time in this event this year from the European Championships. This is Kesely’s first medal of the Games before competing in the 200 and 400 distances later on in the week.

Pignatiello’s 8:32.42 puts her just outside the top thirty in this event. She held an early advantage over Kesely but fell off the leader’s pace around the 500-meter mark. She was followed by Austria’s Marlene Kahler in 8:36.57.

Women’s 200 Backstroke Final

The distance race was followed by a tight battle for the podium in the women’s 200 Backstroke. Just half of a second separated first through third while an additional two tenths off missed the podium. Moldova’s Tatiana Salcutan earned her first medal of the week by claiming the win in 2:10.13.

Canada’s Madison Broad earned runner-up honors in 2:10.32 and was followed by Australia’s Kaylee McKeown with a 2:10.67. The United States’ Rhyan White was also in the mix for fourth at 2:10.95.

Fifth at the halfway point, Salcutan blasted a 32.25 final fifty to take over the lead from Broad who held command of the race through the 150. Notably, McKeown had an even faster closing fifty coming home in 32.06.

Men’s 100 Butterfly Final

Similar results arose in the men’s 100 Butterfly as Russia’s Andrei Minakov and Hungary’s Kristof Milak went 51.12 and 51.50. This was Minakov’s first individual medal of the meet while Milak was victorious in both the 200 and 400 Freestyles.

The swims are season bests for both swimmers- Minakov’s swim moves him from twenty-fourth to sixth in this year’s world rankings while Milak’s ties his eleventh-ranked time from the Hungarian Championships.

Out in nearly identical splits (24.21 to 24.22), both were able to pass Japan’s Shinnosuke Ishikawa for the win. Ishikawa ultimately placed fourth with a 52.52 as Italy’s Federico Burdisso was third in 52.42.

Women’s 100 Freestyle Final

Czech Republic’s Barbora Seemanova claimed the gold medal in the women’s 100 Freestyle after a tight battle with China’s Junxuan Yang (54.43) and Slovenia’s Neza Klancar (54.55).

Seemanova had control over the race from start to finish en route to winning her first medal of the meet. She will also compete in the 50 and 200 Freestyles.

Men’s 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay Final

Minakov was back in action to close the night, helping his teammates to the title in the 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay. He joined Kliment Kolesnikov, Daniil Markov and Vladislav Gerasimenko to the top time of 3:18.11. They were followed by Brazil (3:20.99) and Italy (3:22.01).

While Minakov anchored with a quick 48.93, Kolesnikov led off with a 48.04 which bumps him into the top ten in the world 100 freestyle rankings. His previous best of 48.45 from the European Championships was twenty-sixth.