Gretchen Walsh Anchors United States’ Mixed 4×100 Free Relay World Junior Record in Budapest

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Gretchen Walsh (second from right) split a 53.8 to claim a new world junior record in the mixed 4x100 free relay. Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Budapest 2019

Day Three Finals (Mixed 4×100 Free Relay)

  • World Junior Record: 3:26.65, Canada (2017)
  • Championships Record: 3:26.65, Canada (2017)

The United States remained perfect in relays at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest as the team of Luca Urlando (49.66), Adam Chaney (48.25), Amy Tang (54.18) and Gretchen Walsh (53.83) swam a 3:25.92 to break the world junior record. This was a tough record to break since Canada’s 2017 team was anchored by Taylor Ruck and Penny Oleksiak, who both came home in under 53 to get that record two years ago to set the record at 3:26.65.

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Luca Urlando and Adam Chaney; Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

This is Urlando’s third medal of the competition after winning gold in the 200 free and men’s 4×100 free relay. Chaney also was on the gold medal winning 4×100 free relay team on the first night of the meet and Walsh also picked up her third gold of the meet after winning the 100 free and anchoring the mixed 4×100 medley relay team last night.

“It was definitely a hard double, but it was so worth it,” Walsh said. “I know winning a gold individually is incredible but getting a world junior record and winning a gold with other members on the USA team is just awesome and having that honor is amazing. It was a really great experience and I didn’t even know we were going to break the world junior record, but once I heard it, I was like ‘USA, we rule’, so it was a great experience.”

Russia and Italy were leading the pack at the halfway point, needing to have a big lead over the US since they were being anchored by 100 free gold medalist Walsh, who was almost a full second ahead of any of the other women in the individual 100 free. The Americans were so strong they elected not to use 100 free silver medalist Torri Huske on the third leg in favor of Washington state native Amy Tang.

“I saw [I was pulling ahead] a little bit, I was breathing to the left, so I saw that I was a little bit ahead of the other girl,” Tang said. “It’s been really new, but it was amazing. I feel like I’ve learned so much and just being with everyone is really cool.”

The Russians had the early lead with Aleksandr Shchegolev (49.03) leading the way and 100 fly gold medalist Andrei Minakov (48.21) swimming the second leg. The Italians were a close second with 100 fly silver medalist Federico Burdisso (49.17) and 100 back champion Thomas Ceccon (48.65) on the front end. But neither the Russians nor Italians had the women to compete with the Americans and they were left in their wake, with the Russians claiming silver at 3:27.72 while the Italians claimed bronze at 3:29.12.

Canada (3:30.23) and Australia (3:30.32) finished in fourth and fifth while China (3:32.11), Israel (3:32.62) and Turkey (3:33.07) also competed in the final.

1 United States of America USA 3:25.92, WJ, CR Urlando, 49.66, Chaney, 48.25, Tang, 54.18, Walsh, 53.83
2 Russian Federation RUS 3:27.72 Shchegolev, 49.03, Minakov, 48.21, Trofimova, 55.40, Nikonova, 55.08
3 Italy ITA 3:29.12 Burdisso, 49.17, Ceccon, 48.65, Tarantino, 55.43, Cocconcelli, 55.87
4 Canada CAN 3:30.23 Liendo, 50.20, Pratt, 50.11, Douthwright, 55.50, Henderson, 54.42
5 Australia AUS 3:30.32 Ireland, 50.64, Quach,  49.98, Harris, 55.59, O’Callaghan, 54.12
6 People's Republic of China CHN 3:32.11 Huang, 50.22, Hong, 50.05, Chang, 56.42, Qian, 55.42
7 Israel ISR 3:32.62 Cohen, 50.23, Polonsky, 50.78, Polonsky, 57.94 Gorbenko, 53.67
8 Turkey TUR 3:33.07 Unlu, 50.46, Gulsen, 50.99

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Ger

    That’s a very solid split from Walsh having only just got out of the pool.