European Long Course Junior Championships: Mihael Vukic Cracks Top 20

BELGRADE, Serbia, July 7. THE first day of the European Long Course Junior Championships produced a top-25 world ranked time as the young men and women of Europe competed in Belgrade, Serbia.

Croatia's Mihael Vukic clocked a 23.90 in the men's 50 fly for the win, and moved into a 20th-ranked tie with Belarus' Yauheni Tsurkin in the world rankings. Ukraine's Yevgen Koptyelov placed second in 24.50, while France's Matthias Bellance earned third in 24.56. Vukic demonstrated some consistency with a 23.91 during semis earlier in the evening.

Ireland's Sycerika McMahon topped the women's 50 breast in 32.00, while Hungary's Anna Sztankovics earned second in 32.02. Finland's Jenna Laukkanen placed third in 32.11. McMahon had clocked a 32.05 during semis to win the top seed. Poland's Donata Klijanska won the women's 800 free title in 8:40.48, while The Netherlands' Esmee Vermeulen took second in 8:43.56. Great Britain's Rachael Williamson claimed third in 8:44.10.

Great Britain's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor turned in a 4:46.61 to win the women's 400 IM. Hungary's Sara Joo (4:48.25) and Reka Gyorgy (4:49.80) rounded out the podium. Austria's Christian Scheruebl hit the wall in 3:51.75 to win the men's 400 free. Italy's Gabriele Detti touched second in 3:52.05, while Poland's Michal Szuba finished third in 3:52.77.

In semifinal action, Great Britain's Elena Sheridan led the way in the women's 200 fly with a 2:12.75, while Germany's Christian Diener qualified first in the men's 100 back with a 55.11. France's Charlotte Bonnet paced the women's 100 free in 55.56, while Finland's Matti Mattsson grabbed the top seed in the men's 200 breast with a 2:13.28. Iceland's Eyglo Osk Gustafsdottir (2:15.48) and Russia's Julia Larina (2:15.69) went 1-2 in the women's 200 back qualifying.

Italy's Maurizio Mottola, Francesco Bellacci, Giacomo Ferri and Damiano Corapi won the men's 400 free relay in 3:23.13, while Spain's Eduardo Solaeche Gomez, Jorge Martin Lozoya, Aitor Martinez Rodriguez and Albert Puig Garrich took a close second in 3:23.27. Germany (3:23.34), Denmark (3:23.43) and Russia (3:23.63) all finished in the 3:23s.