World Junior Championships: Leah Hayes Claims Two Golds & A CR On The First Night Of Finals

Leah Hayes: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

World Junior Championships: Leah Hayes Claims Two Golds And A CR On First Night Of Finals

Leah Hayes claimed two golds and a 400IM championship record on the first night of finals at the World Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel.

The USA swimmer went 4:36.84 in the long medley before swimming the second leg of the women’s 4×200 free relay in the final event of the evening.

The USA set a WJR of 3:15.49 in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay – read more about that here.

Miroslav Knedla set a Czech record of 53.28 in the men’s 100m backstroke.

Men’s 400m Freestyle

Petar Mitsin added the world junior title to his European gold, leading from start to finish to win in 3:46.69.

Alessandro Ragaini was fifth at 100 but moved through the field and come the 300m mark, the Italian was 1.31secs adrift.

Although he ate into the deficit on the final 100 – including a 28.16 last 50 – it wasn’t enough to haul the Bulgarian WJR holder as the pair repeated their finishing positions from the European juniors.

He led home an Italian two-three in 3:46.66 with Fillippo Bertoni taking third in 3:48.73.

2023-09-04 (8)Women’s 50m Breaststroke Semifinals

Eneli Jefimova booked lane four for Tuesday’s final as she looks to add world gold to the European junior title she claimed in Belgrade in July.

The Estonian clocked 30.48 ahead of Monique Wieruszowski of New Zealand (30.81), the duo the only women inside 31secs.

2023-09-04 (9)

Men’s 100m Backstroke Semifinals

Miroslav Knedla set a Czech record of 53.28, splitting 25.73/27.55 en-route to booking lane four for Tuesday’s final.

The 2022 bronze medallist will be alongside Ulises Saravia of Argentina who also went inside 54 in 53.95 with European junior champion Oleksandr Zheltyakov third through in 54.16.

2023-09-04 (11)

Women’s 400m Individual Medley

Hayes produced a superb second half to the race to claim gold in a championship record of 4:36.84.

Splits: 1:02.56/2:13.49/3:32.44/4:36.84

Second at halfway to Ella Jansen, the USA athlete moved ahead with a 38.93/40.02 breaststroke leg to go into the freestyle 1.55secs ahead.

The Canadian clawed back a sizeable chunk of the deficit but Hayes held out for gold with Jansen getting silver in 4:37.35 and fellow Canadian Julie Brousseau third in 4:38.45.

Her time took 0.94 off Mio Narita’s CR of 4:37.78 en-route to gold in Lima last year, Jansen also within the old standard.

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Men’s 100m Breaststroke Semifinals

There’ll be a USA duel in the centre lanes on Tuesday with Nguyen Watson and Joshua Chen booking the quickest times in 1:01.34 and 1:01.49 respectively.

Gideon Burnes of Australia was next through in 1:01.59.

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Women’s 100m Backstroke Semifinals

Teagan O’Dell lived up to her top billing to post the fastest semi time of 59.83 while alongside her in lane five will be USA teammate Erika Pelaez (59.94).

Jaclyn Barclay heads two Australians in 1:00.28 with Iona Anderson next in 1:00.52.

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Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay

Hayes picked up her second gold of the evening, guiding the USA into first with a 1:57.86 second leg, a position they never relinquished despite the close attention of Australia who were only 0.02 on the final changeover.

USA won in 7:52.48, Australia were second in 7:52.68 with Canada third as Jansen and Brousseau claimed their second medals of the evening.

USA splits:

1:58.17: Addison Sauickie

1:57.86: Leah Hayes

1:59.00: Lynsey Bowen

1:57.45: Madi Mintendo  

2023-09-04 (16)



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