World Junior Championships: Kuzey Tuncelli Sets Turkish Record En-Route To 800 Free Crown

Boys 1500m Freestyle
Kuzey Tuncelli: Photo Courtesy: Istvan Derencsenyi/LEN

World Junior Championships: Kuzey Tuncelli Sets Turkish Record En-Route To 800 Free Crown

Kuzey Tuncelli – who only turned 16 on 30 August – set a Turkish record of 7:48.75 en-route to victory in the 800 free on a thrilling evening of finals on day three of the World Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel.

Eneli Jefimova lowered her Estonian mark in a 1:06.23 CR while Miroslav Knedla posted a Czech standard of 24.64 in the 50 back, both booking lane four for their respective finals.

Olivia Wunsch won the 100 free before joining the Australian mixed 4×100 free quartet who set a WJR of 3:24.29: read more here.

Maximus Williamson had been gunning for his fourth gold of the meet so far but took silver with the USA relay behind Australia.

Casper Puuggard added the world junior 100 fly crown to his European junior title.

All the action from the third day of competition at the World Junior Championships:

Women’s 50m Butterfly (Semifinals)

Mizuki Hirai continued the form she’d shown in the prelims to book lane four for Thursday’s final in 26.37.

Alongside her will be Leah Shackley of the USA who clocked 26.43 with 200 fly gold medallist Lana Pudar through in fourth in 26.64.

2023-09-06 (11)

Men’s 50m Freestyle (Semifinals)

Flynn Southam booked lane four as he seeks his second title following victory in the 200 free.

The Australian clocked 22.29 ahead of Nikoli Blackman of Trinidad and Tobago (22.33) with European junior champion Lorenzo Ballarati of Italy next through in 22.38.

2023-09-06 (12)

Women’s 200m Backstroke

Teagan O’Dell led from start to finish to post an emphatic victory and lead home a USA 1-2.

O’Dell finished fourth in the 100m but she split 30.11/1:02.81 (32.70)/1:35.17 (32.36) before coming home in 32.92 for victory in 2:08.09, 0.63 outside Regan Smith’s CR of 2:07.45 from Indianapolis 2017.

Teammate Jojo Ramey won silver in 2:10.18 – 2.09 adrift – with Bella Grant of Australia third in 2:11.24.

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Men’s 100m Butterfly

Casper Puggaard came from second at halfway to add the world junior title to the European equivalent.

The Dane was 0.10 adrift of Maro Maknic at the turn in 24.28 to 24.38 before a second 50 of 27.92 propelled him into the wall in 52.30.

Wang Xizhe was fifth at halfway but a 27.88 second length steered him through the field to second in 52.65, 0.03 ahead of Austria’s Lukas Edl (52.68).

2023-09-06 (14)

Women’s 100m Breaststroke (Semifinals)

Eneli Jefimova produced an outstanding performance when she lowered Ruta Meilutyte’s championship record in 1:06.23.

Out in 30.95 and back in 35.28, it sliced 0.38 from Meilutyte’s 1:06.61 that had stood since Dubai 2013.

It was also an Estonian record, 0.13 swifter than the previous standard of 1:06.36 the 16-year-old went at the Swim Open Stockholm in April.

Alexanne Lepage booked lane five in 1:07.60 but Jefimova is the clear favourite to add the world junior title to her European junior gold.

2023-09-06 (15)

Men’s 50m Backstroke (Semifinals)

Miroslav Knedla made it two national records for the crowd in Netanya in as many races when he set a Czech standard of 24.64.

That lowered his previous national mark of 24.75 set at the Monaco stop of the Mare Nostrum in May as he looks to add the world junior title to the European equivalent.

Ulises Saravia of Argentina was the only other man inside 25 in 24.95 followed by Jihwan Yoon of South Korea (25.10) and Oleksandr Zheltiakov of Ukraine (25.21).

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Women’s 100m Freestyle

A 27.62 second 50 guided Olivia Wunsch to victory as she headed an Australia 1-2 in 53.71.

The 17-year-old was second at the turn, 0.03 behind European junior silver medallist Sara Curtis, but she came past the Italian with the fastest second of the field.

Wunsch’s time was 0.08 outside Taylor Ruck’s CR of 53.63 from Indianapolis 2017.

Fellow Australian Milla Jansen was second, 0.37 adrift in 54.08, with Anna Moesch of the USA completing the podium in 54.69.

Curtis faded to fifth in 55.27.

2023-09-06 (17)

Men’s 800m Freestyle

Petar Mitsin headed the entry times with the 7:47.45 Bulgarian record he set en-route to gold at the European juniors in Belgrade in July.

Second in Serbia was Romanian Vlad Stancu and the pair lined up alongside each other in Netanya.

Mitsin – winner of the 400 free in Israel – was 0.76 ahead of Kuzey Tuncelli at halfway, a lead he maintained only for the Turk to take a 0.01 lead at 650.

Tuncelli extended his lead before coming home with a last 50 of 27.47 to stop the clock in 7:48.75, given as a CR but slower than Mack Horton‘s 7:45.67 from Dubai 2013.

It has been a highly-decorated year so far for Tuncelli who also claimed European junior gold in the 1500 and he now holds the Turkish 800 and 1500 free records.

Mitsin claimed his second medal of the meet in 7:49.36 with China’s Zhang Zhanshuo taking third in 7:50.03 despite trailing Stancu by 1.28 at 750 thanks to a 26.35 final 50.

2023-09-06 (18)

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