2019 European Junior Swimming Championships Finals Day Four: Anastasiya Shkurdai Moves to Fifth in World in 100 Fly

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Anastasiya Shkurdai posted a 57.39 in the 100 fly; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2019 European Junior Swimming Championships entered its penultimate day of competition with excess momentum from its first three days, as Europe’s best young talent reconvened in Kazan to gain attention on the world stage. Having been quite the World Championships precursor, this junior meet is anything but amateur, as the sport’s rising generation is quickly making its mark.

Men’s 200 Back

The Czech Republic’s Jan Cejka stole the show in the men’s 200 back, as he surged to a 1:57.51 for the gold. His runner up, France’s Mewen Tomac, put up and impressive performance of his own, crashing the pads with a 1:58.31. Russia’s Egor Dolomanov stroked in at third with a time of 1:59.21, pulling ahead of Lithuania’s Arijus Pavlidi (1:59.82) at the finish.

Gabor Zombori of Hungary broke into the top five with a 2:00.06, eclipsing the sub-2:00 mark but managing to get his hand on the wall before Germany’s Lukas Maertens (2:00.16). Bulgaria’s Kaloyan Levterov and Maksim Fofanov of Russia rounded out the heat with times of 2:00.39 and 2:00.72, respectively.

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Women’s 200 Free

In true form, Germany’s Isabel Marie Gose (1:57.51) pulled out the win in the women’s 200 free. Putting healthy distance between herself and Russia’s Polina Nevmovenko (1:58.94), Gose bettered her closest opponent’s time by nearly a second and a half. Her compatriot, Maya Tobehn, reserved her spot on the podium with a stellar 1:59.72, as she turned in an impressive final lap to take down Aleksanda Bykova (2:00.51) of Russia.

Hungary’s Fanni Fabian led a packed second wave, clocking in at 2:00.70 for fifth ahead of Ainho Campabadal Amezcua (2:00.95) of Spain. Poland’s Marta Klimek (2:01.88) and Turkey’s Gizem Guvenec (2:02.19) brought up the rear, rounding out a closely packed final.

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Women’s 100 Fly

Bulgaria nabbed their first gold of the meet after an unbelievable performance from Anastasiya Shkurdai (57.39). Making the race all her own, Shkurdai jumped to an early lead and failed to lose momentum, as Russia’s Aleksandra Sabitova (59.27) and Italy’s Helena Biasibetti (59.69) battled for the silver. Sweden’s Edith Jernstedt (1:00.09) just conceded a spot on the podium, but managed to edge out Turkey’s Aleyna Ozkan (1:00.44) and Russia’s Iana Sattarova (1:00.62). Hungary’s Dora Hathazi stroked in a hundredth after Sattarova, leaving Greece’s Georgia Damasioti (1:00.80) to top off the final.

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Men’s 800 Free

Russia continues to monopolize freestyle events, as Ilia Sibirtsev crashed the pads with a blazing 7:52.83 for a decisive win. His compatriot, Aleksander Egorov, stayed at his hip, turning in a 7:53.34 of his own to fend off Germany’s Sven Schwarz (7:53.74).

Teammates Tomy-Lee Camblong and Guillaume Roux of France took the next two spots with times of 8:01.07 and 8:06.07, respectively, while Greece’s Konstantinos Englezakis (8:07.36) tried to hold on for a spot in the top five. Lleyton Plattel from the Netherlands was not to be ignored, as he threw up an 8:11.29 for seventh. Bulgaria’s Yordan Yanchev clocked in at 8:29.33 for eighth.

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Women’s 50 Free

Costanza Cocconcelli remains one of the top female sprinters in Europe, defending her honor with a 25.25 50 free for the win. Germany’s Isabel Marie Gose conceded first with a time of 25.30, out-touching Russia’s Ekaterina Nikonova (25.33) for runner-up. Austria’s Nina Gangl was just outside medal-range, clocking in at 25.53 ahead of Daria Klepikova (25.56) of Russia. Bianca Cosea represented Romania for the country’s first appearance in a championship final, turning in a noteworthy 25.62. Indra Vandenbussche (25.68) of Belgium and Denmark’s Elizabeth Sabro Ebbesen (25.76) topped off the loaded heat with impressive performances of their own.

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Men’s 50 Back

Furthering an already stellar individual schedule, Thomas Ceccon of Italy struck again, clocking in at 25.24 to seize a narrow victory in the men’s 50 back. Russia filled out the final two spots on the podium, with Nikolai Zuev and Pavel Samusenko going 25.29 and 25.59, respectively.

The Netherlands’ Kenzo Simons continues to be the face of swimming for his country, managing to squeeze in at fourth over Marvin Dahler (25.80) from Germany and Marvin Miglbauer (25.80) of Austria. Compatriots Ioannis Christou and Stergios-Marios Bilas from Greece completed the evening’s individual event schedule with times of 25.94 and 26.08, respectively.

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Mixed 400 Medley Relay

Russia’s lethal quartet of Daria Vaskina, Aleksandr Zhigalov, Andrei Minakov, and Aleksandra Sabitova came out victorious in the mixed 400 medley relay, crashing the pads with a time of 3:49.13. Germany’s Lukas Maertens, Magdalena Heimrath, Luca Nik Armbruster, and Maya Tobehn combined efforts to cinch silver with a time of 3:52.22, as they traded leads with Turkey’s Mert Ali Satir, Demirkan Demir, Aleyna Ozkan, and Gizem Guvenc (3:52.35) in a climactic sprint to the finish.

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