Daniel Gyurta Tops 100 Breast Championship Record at European Juniors

By Oene Rusticus

ANTWERP, Belgium, July 21. ON Belgium's national holiday the European Junior Swimming Championships resumed for its fourth day. Only Daniel Gyurta managed to better a Championship record in the 100 breaststroke, but the many interesting races made it a spectacular evening full of interesting duals.

Damiano Lestingi ruled the pool in the 200 backstroke, leading from the start. He set the only sub two-minute time to successfully defend his gold medal in this event. Marco Loughran followed the Italian's 1.59.35 at a length. The British winner of the 100 finished second in 2.00.50 and was followed by Gabor Balog who set 2.01.23 for Hungary.

The 50 backstroke is scheduled the same day as the 200, so Lestingi decided to scratch this event. Marco Loughran did swim this event, but in his third swim this session, he was out-touched by Adam Maczewski from Poland (26.30 to 26.46). Russia's Rustam Rybin won bronze in 26.55.

The 800 freestyle saw the same one-two-three as the 1500, with Poland's Maciej Hreniak winning gold (8.01.89) and Italy's Luca Baggio getting silver (8.04.54). His teammate Davide Sitti finished third in 8.05.90 to complete the first men's 800 at European Junior level.

In the semifinals of the 100 breaststroke, Daniel Gyurta set his third Championship record. He bettered the time set by Dmitri Komornikov in 1999 to 1.02.00.

The women's 200 freestyle saw a close field in the first half, when all swimmers turned in 60 seconds. Margaux Fabre, silver winner of the 400 and 800 freestyle, moved forward in the second half and took the gold for France in 2.02.21. Britain's Lauren Collins finished just .09 seconds faster than Fiona Duclos from France to collect silver (2.03.26 to 2.03.35).

The 100 butterfly had a surprising winner when Orsolya Tompa just out-touched her teammate from Hungary Emese Kovacs in 1.00.22 to 1.00.30. The winner of the 200 butterfly was the fastest qualifier in the semis of the 100, but Tompa was just a little quicker at the wall. Britain's Ellen Gandy collected bronze in 1.00.59.

Kateryna Dikidzhy sprinted to gold in the 50 freestyle, for Ukraine she swam 25.95. France's Elodie Schmitt (26.23) and Kristel Vourna from Greece (26.33) lead the rest of the field.

The women's 800 freestyle relay had 8 competing teams, so in the morning only the seeding was the important. Italy decided to use a training pace to end up in lane 8. Great Britain has the best quartet of 200 freestylers (Sasha Matthews, Ellen Gandy, Rebecca Turner and Lauren Collins) and won the relay in 8.11.46. France followed second in 8.15.30. Italy's strategy worked to earn bronze, just a little faster than Russia (8.19.00 to 8.19.11).

Margaux Fabre at European Junior Championships in 2007.