Lana Pudar Completes Fly Clean Sweep With 26.10 CR In 50; Italy Tops Medal Table As European Juniors Conclude In Belgrade

Women 200m Butterfly
Lana Pudar: Photo Courtesy: Istvan Derencsenyi/LEN

Lana Pudar Completes Fly Clean Sweep With 26.10 CR In 50; Italy Tops Medal Table As European Juniors Conclude

Lana Pudar set a 26.10 CR in the 50 for a fly clean sweep as Italy finished on top of the medal table at the European Juniors in Belgrade.

Petar Mitsin set a 400 free WJR of 3:44.31 in the final individual race in the Serbian capital – read more here.

Italy led the table with nine golds, eight silvers and four bronze medals for a total of 21.

Hungary also won nine titles plus two silvers and as many bronzse with Denmark third with five golds, three silvers and one bronze medal.

Pudar defended her 50 fly title to win a third straight medal in the event in a championship record of 26.10, with the 17-year-old also lowering her Bosnian standard from 26.19 from the 2021 European Juniors.

She sliced 0.04 from the previous standard of 26.14 set at the 2021 European Juniors by Russian Daria Klepikova.

Martine Damborg replicated her 1oo fly silver in 26.40 with Anna Maria Boerstler of Germany taking bronze in 26.55.

Pudar has had a fantastic meet, sweeping the butterfly events and continuing the trajectory that saw her crowned 200 fly champion at the European Championships in Rome last year.

She set a European 200 junior record of 2:06.26 to add to her championship marks in the 100 where she went inside 57 for the first time in 56.95 as well as today’s one-length title.

Next stop is Fukuoka and the World Championships with Pudar already decorated in senior international waters.

She said:

“I’m really happy with these results and so excited for the World Championships because I think I can swim even better.

“I really wanted to complete the three gold medals (in the butterfly events) and after three years I finally did it and I’m so happy that in all three events I broke a championship record, that’s amazing.”

Merve Tuncel

Merve Tuncel: Photo Courtesy: Istvan Derencsenyi/LEN

While Pudar was celebrating her 2023 triple, Merve Tuncel fell one place short of completing the treble treble.

The Turkish swimmer swept the 400-800-1500 at the 2021 European Juniors in Rome and a year later in Otopeni.

She won the 800 and 1500 in the Serbian capital and with 100m to go of the 400 free was on course for another clean sweep, 0.28 ahead of Nikolett Padar.

However, a penultimate 50 of 31.08 by the Hungarian to Tuncel’s 31.73 guided her into a 0.37 lead followed by a last-lap blast of 30.07 to take the title in 4:08.06.

Tuncel’s 32.08 final 50 was the third-slowest in the field as she came in 2.38secs adrift in 4:10.44 with Germany’s Maya Werner completing the podium in 4:12.32.

It means Tuncel finishes her European juniors career with eight golds and one silver medal.

Schlossan Heads British One-Two With CR; Third Straight Title For Jefimova

Leah Schlossan also set a championship record of 2:12.41 en-route to defending her 200IM title in the first final of the session.

Schlossan led at the first turn before being overhauled on the backstroke to turn third.

A 37.13 breaststroke leg propelled her back to first where she remained as she sliced 0.22 from the mark of 2:13. that had stood to Ilaria Cusinato since 2017.

Splits: 28.81/1:03.32/1:40.45/2:12.41

Phoebe Cooper made it a Britain one-two in 2:13.28 with Ellie McCartney claiming Ireland’s first medal of the meet with 2:14.31 for bronze.

Eneli Jefimova

Eneli Jefimova: Photo Courtesy: Istvan Derencsenyi/LEN

Britain have now won the short medley for the last three editions with Schlossan’s double following Katie Shanahan‘s victory in 2021.

Eneli Jefimova claimed a third straight title in the 100 breaststroke after making up a deficit of 0.25 on Olivia Klint Ipsa at halfway.

A second 50 of 34.71 guided the Estonian into the wall in 1:06.81 ahead of the Swede (1:07.26) with 200 champion Justine Delmas third in 1:08.57.

Jefimova leaves Belgrade with 50 and 100 gold plus 200 silver.

Magda Wins 100 Free; Golden Medley Relay Double For Italy

Boldizsar Magda of Hungary overhauled Davide Passafaro on the second 50 to win the boys’ 100 free in 49.52 with the Italian clocking 49.63.

It was a fourth medal of the European Juniors for Passafaro to add to his 4×100 free gold, mixed free silver and 50 free bronze.

Rafael Fente Damers of France took bronze in 49.72, 0.03 ahead of 50 gold medallist Lorenzo Ballarati (49.75).

Italy Boys' 4x100 Medley Relay

Italy Boys’ 4×100 Medley Relay: Photo Courtesy: Istvan Derencsenyi/LEN

Ballarati returned for the boys’ 4×100 medley relay with Italy second behind Denmark at the final changeover.

A 48.51 anchor leg by Ballarati guided the quartet into the wall 0.04secs ahead in 3:39.80 to 3:39.84 with the latter scoring a national record.

France won bronze in 3:42.16.

Sara Curtis anchored the Italian women to victory in 4:04.26 ahead of France (4:05.63) and Denmark (4:06.13).

Zheltyakov Completes European Juniors 100/200 Double

Oleksandr Zheltyakov completed the 100/200 back double after coming from 0.05 down at halfway to take the two-length title in 54.18.

It concluded a fine meet in the Serbian capital where he set a championship record of 1:55.79 in the 200 which he dedicated to the Ukrainian soldiers and propelled him into the world top five.

He started the competition with second in the 50 and now has two golds, five silvers and a bronze across three editions of the European Juniors.

Oleksandr Zheltyakov

Oleksandr Zheltyakov: Photo Courtesy: Istvan Derencsenyi/LEN

Italy’s Christian Bacico took bronze in 54.36 with Britain’s Matthew Ward replicating his bronzes in the 50 and 200IM in 54.61 to go with his mixed medley relay silver.

Denmark’s Jonas Gaur led throughout to add the boys’ 100 breaststroke title to his 50 gold in 1:01.78 with 200 champion Louter Steijn upgrading 2022 bronze to silver in 1:01.94.

Serbian Uros Zivanovic thrilled the home crowd with bronze in 1:02.09.

Fellow Dane Casper Puggaard added the boys’ 50 fly to his 100 title in 23.67 with Ethan Dumesnil (23.90) and Ivan Harbarchuk (24.19) completing the podium.

Lora Komoroczy completed the 50/100 back double with victory over two lengths in 1:01.10 ahead of Daria-Mariuca Silisteanu as the Romanian added to her bronze in the short race in 1:01.24.

Giada Gorlier won bronze in 1:01.36.


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