World Junior Championships – Day Four Prelims: Merve Tuncel Seeking Another Distance Title; David Popovici On the Sideline

TUNCEL Merve

World Junior Championships: Merve Tuncel Seeking Another Distance Title; David Popovici On the Sideline

The second half of the six-day World Junior Championships began in Lima, Peru on Friday, with preliminaries in six events. Notably absent from the session was Romanian David Popovici, the teenage phenom who has dazzled the sport over the past few months. Popovici had the day off, but will return to competition on Saturday morning for the heats of the 100-meter freestyle.

Here is what transpired during the Day Four prelims:

Women’s 50 Backstroke

Hungary’s Lora Fanni Komoroczy was the lone athlete to go under the 29-second barrier, as she advanced into the semifinals on the strength of a 28.78 performance. That time was more than a half-second clear of Japan’s Aimi Nagaoka, who checked in at 29.34. Poland’s Laura Bernat posted the third-fastest time, going 29.48.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

Coming off a victory in the 100 butterfly, Portugal’s Diogo Ribeiro made a statement in the opening round of the 50 butterfly. The surging 17-year-old popped a swim of 23.12, which was well ahead of the second-fastest time, a 23.83 by the Czech Republic’s Daniel Gracik. Denmark’s Casper Puggaard was also sub-24 during the morning, thanks to a swim of 23.87.

Women’s 400 Freestyle

The title in the 800 freestyle already secured, Turkey’s Merve Tuncel has embarked on her chase for the crown in the 400 freestyle. Tuncel eased through the morning in 4:14.06, which was more than two seconds faster than No. 2 seed Maria Victoria Yegres Cottin (4:16.18) of Venezuela. Japan’s Ruka Takezawa moved on in the third position after a time of 4:16.28.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

Japan’s Asahi Kawashima covered his four laps in the 200 breaststroke in 2:14.80, good for the top seed for the evening final. He will be joined in the race for the medals by Sai Ting Mak of Hong Kong, who went 2:15.62. In 2:15.67, Austrian Luka Mladenovic grabbed the third seed.

Women’s 200 Individual Medley

Japan’s Mio Narita, the winner of the 400 medley earlier in the meet, will be the top seed for the final. Narita turned in a time of 2:14.74 during the prelims session, which was ahead of the 2:15.19 of Spain’s Emma Carrasco Cadens. Japan’s Ayami Suzuki was third, touching in 2:17.56.

Men’s 800 Freestyle Relay

A balanced lineup helped Italy to the top seed for the nigh session, as the foursome of Simone Spediacci, Massimo Chiarioni, Francesco Lazzari and Alessandro Ragaini went 7:25.82. Lithuani was next in 7:26.18 and Poland advanced in third in 7:26.57.

Meet Results