Alba Vazquez Ruiz Breaks World Junior Record in 400 IM in Thrilling Final

Alba Vazquez Ruiz broke the world junior record in a thrilling 400 IM final. Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepblue Media

Spain’s Alba Vazquez Ruiz won a thrilling 400 IM final on Tuesday night in Budapest at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships with a new world junior record at 4:38.53. Vazquez used a strong breaststroke leg to take the lead at the 300 over USA’s Isabel Gormley and Hungary’s Eszter Szabo-Feltothy as the Hungarian had the lead at the 200.

It looked for about 250 meters that Hungary was going to win the first two gold medals of the Championships with Szabo-Feltothy leading, but she was quickly chased down by Vazquez and Gormley, who put on a duel over the last 100 meters on the freestyle. Vazquez held off a late charge from Gormley, based out of New York City, as the Spaniard got under the world junior and championships record set by Great Britain’s Rosie Rudin in 2015 at 4:39.01. Gormley was almost under the old record as well with a 4:39.15 for the silver medal.

FINA did not start recognizing world junior records until April 1, 2014, so only swims after that date count as records, despite the fact many 18 and under athletes from years prior were faster.

Age eligibility:

  • Girls – 14, 15, 16 and 17 years of age by 31st December of any given year (this year, 1997 born, oldest age group)
  • Boys – 15, 16, 17, and 18 years of age by 31st December of any given year (this year, 1996 born, oldest age group)

Vazquez is now ranked 17th in the world and is the second fastest Spaniard behind Mireia Belmonte. Gormley is now ranked 23rd in the world for 2019, moving ahead of fellow American Katie Ledecky.

Great Britain’s Michaella Glenister used a stellar final 100 to win the bronze medal with a 4:39.35 as she chased down the Hungarian, who wound up fourth at 4:40.48. Glenister is now ranked 24th in the world this year and is the third fastest British swimmer.

Spain’s Paula Juste Sanchez (4:41.79) finished in fifth while Hungary’s Viktoria Mihalyvari-Farkas (4:44.25), USA’s Grace Sheble (4:45.41) and Japan’s Mei Ishihara (4:47.94) also swam in the final.

  • World Junior Record: 4:39.01, Rosie Rudin, GBR (2015)
  • Championships Record: 4:39.01, Rosie Rudin, GBR (2015)
1 VAZQUEZ RUIZ Alba Spain ESP 4:38.53 WJ, CR
2 GORMLEY Isabel United States of America USA 4:39.15
3 GLENISTER Michaella Great Britain GBR 4:39.35
4 SZABO-FELTOTHY Eszter Hungary HUN 4:40.48
5 JUSTE SANCHEZ Paula Spain ESP 4:41.79
6 MIHALYVARI-FARKAS Viktoria Hungary HUN 4:44.25
7 SHEBLE Grace United States of America USA 4:45.41
8 ISHIHARA Mei Japan JPN 4:47.94
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