Lima 2011, Day 1: Eleven Championships records to open the Junior Worlds
Adrenaline and excitement highlighted the first day of the 3rd FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, taking place at the “Campo de Marte” complex in Lima (PER). Eleven new championships records were set and the American team leads the medal table with two gold medals and one bronze, followed by Japan with two gold medals and Canada, with three silver medals.
The men’s 400m freestyle was the first race of the night and set the tone for the rest of the thrilling session. The top four times were all under the previous Championship record (3:51.81): the winner, Fumiya Hidaka (JPN, 1994), arrived in 3.50.97, with Canadian Bobrosky Chad (1993 - 3:51.46) and American Evan Pinion (1994 - 3:51:47) completing the podium.
The Japanese delegation had previously opened the championships records’ counter in the heats of the women’s 400m individual medley, in which Miyu Otsuka (1994) clocked 4:43.29. She also won the final and improved her performance with a 4:40.98 effort. Alessia Polieri (ITA, 1994 - 4:43.41) and Claudia Dasca (ESP, 1994 – 4:43.53) earned silver and bronze respectively.
To conclude this inaugural day the men’s 4x100 freestyle relay and the women’s 4x200m free animated the public.
Among men, the United States and Canada confirmed their preliminaries’ hierarchy. The US quartet, formed by Matt Ellis (1993), Allen Browning (1993), Kyle Darmody (1994) and Seth Stublledfield (1993) touched home in 3:21.10, while Canadians Luke Peddie (1993), Alec Page (1993), Omar Arafa (1994) and Chad Bobrosky (1993) got the silver in 3:21.68. The bronze medal was disputed between Russia and Brazil, with the Russians Kiatev Nikita (1993), Dmitri Kuleshov (1993), Aleksandr Klyukin (1993) and Dmitry Ermakov (1993) winning the duel in a time of 3:22.73.
In the women’s field, Americans Julia Anderson (1994), Lia Neal (1995), Gillian Ryan (1995) and Chelsea Chenault (1994) won the 4x200m free relay (8:00.33), beating their own record established in the heats (8:03.83). They comfortably won the race against Canadians Lauren Earp (1994), Victoria Chan (1995), Tabitha Baumann (1995) and Brittany MacLean (1994) – who finished in 8:04.92. The bronze (8:06.68) went to Australians Bonnie Macdonald (1995), Brianna Throssell (1996), Taylor McKeown (1995) and Mikkayla Sheridan (1995).
Akihiro Yamaguchi (JPN)
The head of the U.S. team in Lima, Frank Busch said the athletes have just left the national championship, and for most of the 41 swimmers entered in Lima this is their first experience at a FINA world championship: "They are very excited and our expectation is to see how they perform at their first world meet. Some of these kids will certainly be on the Olympic team. Historically we have athletes moving from the junior team to the national team. This is the first opportunity before the 2012 Games and certainly a serious indicator for our 2016 Olympic team."
Before the start of the finals’ session, a beautiful Opening Ceremony took place in the aquatic complex. Besides the traditional flags’ parade, some local dancing performances welcomed all the delegations present in Lima. In his opening speech, FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione said: “After 2006 and 2008, these championships are gaining importance in our calendar and the presence of the best junior swimmers indicates the involvement and continuous support of our National Member Federations to FINA events”. And before wishing all the luck to the participating athletes, he added: “The last FINA World Championships, held some weeks ago in Shanghai (CHN), demonstrated once more that Swimming is one of the most prestigious sports around the world. I am sure that these FINA World Junior Swimming Championships here in Lima will reinforce this status”.
Girls 400m Individual Medley - Miyu Otsuka (JPN): 4:43.29
Boys 100m Breaststroke – Akihiro Yamaguchi (JPN): 1:02.00
Girls 4x200m Free Relay – USA: 8:03.83
400 IM Female Podium: Claudia Dasca (ESP), Miyu Otsuka (JPN) and Alessia Polieri (ITA)
Semifinals and Finals
Boys 400m Free - Fumiya Hidaka (JPN): 3:50.97
Boys 400m Free - Bobrosky Chad (CAN): 3:51.46
Boys 400m Free - Evan Pinion (USA): 3:51.47
Boys 400m Free – Gabrielle Detti (ITA): 3:51.53
Girls 400m Individual Medley - Miyu Otsuka (JPN): 4:40.98
Boys 100m Breaststroke – Akihiro Yamaguchi (JPN): 1:01.98
Girls 100m Backstroke – Daryna Zevina (UKR): 1:00.92
Girls 4x200m Free Relay – USA: 8:00.33