Swimming World Juniors, Day 5: Number of Championship Records nears 40

FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Svetlana Chimrova (RUS) - credit: Giorgio Scala/DeepbluemediaDUBAI (United Arab Emirates), 30 August – One more record to go and the number of Championship Record will break a magic barrier: it now stands at 39, and watching the quality of the races and the fantastic performances of the globe’s best teen swimmers there is no risk to say it will be well over 40. Day 5 saw 7 more records, a fine day for the US team with 6 medals, two of them gold.

Svetlana Chimrova (RUS) is the most prolific record-breaker of the field: five swims, five new Championship Records – this day she bettered the mark of the 100m fly, first in the heats then in the semis, also breaking the 59sec barrier in the afternoon. (She clocked three CRs in the 50m fly in the previous days.)

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Swimming World Juniors, Day 4: Ruta Meilutyte: two gold medals in 40 minutes

FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) - credit: Giorgio Scala/DeepbluemediaDUBAI (United Arab Emirates), 29 August – Two titles in 40 minutes to Ruta Meilutyte, both in Championships Record time – the Lithuanian star proved her outstanding class again by winning the 100m breaststroke and the 200m individual medley (and also taking part in the 50m back semis). Six more Championship Records fell on Day 4 which also saw a hat-trick for Russia in the first three finals.

You can’t start breaking records too early: Gabrielle Fa’Amausili (NZL) bettered the Championship Record in the girls 50m back just a few minutes past 10am. Add that she is only 14 years old, so far the youngest who managed to crack a CR in Dubai. Later a flood of records followed in the desert (the Hamdan Sports Complex is surrounded by dunes of sands): another one in the morning by the British boys in the 4x200m free relay heats, and the series went on in the afternoon.

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Swimming World Juniors, Day 3: A must-see performance: the Mackenzie Horton Show

FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Mackenzie Horton (AUS) - credit: Giorgio Scala/DeepbluemediaDUBAI (United Arab Emirates), 28 August – Three days, three individual gold medals, plus two in the relays: Mackenzie Horton got something back from faith after the 17 year-old Australian missed the cut for the FINA World Championships by a fingernail earlier this year. In Dubai, he won the 200m, 400m and 800m crowns so far, all in Championship Record time. Besides his shining, Day 3 saw 7 more CRs bettered.

Two Championship Records were already broken in the morning heats: credits went to two Russians, Evgeny Sedov (50m free) and Svetlana Chimrova (50m back). Chimrova further bettered her record in the semis, while Sedov’s CR fell to Luke Percy (AUS) in the afternoon.

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Swimming World Juniors, Day 2: Great day for Russia: 8 medals, 3 of them gold

FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Ilya Khomenko (RUS), 100m breast gold medallist - credit: Giorgio Scala/DeepbluemediaDUBAI (United Arab Emirates), 27 August – Russia enjoyed a brilliant day in the magnificent Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex: they earned eight medals including three golds. In the boys’ field all four finals brought a new Championship Record, one more was clocked in the women’s events and another one in the mixed medley relay final.

Apostolos Christou (GRE) swept through the pool with a fine sub-55sec effort in the men’s 100m back, ensuring a great start of the second day’s afternoon session. The Greek’s win was never in doubt, he clocked a new Championship Record. The battle for the silver was a tight one, Danas Rapsys (LTU) had the better touch-in ahead of Grigory Tarasevich (RUS), by 0.09sec.

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Swimming World Juniors, Day 1: USA vs. Australia: two gold medals apiece

FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

4x100m free girls final - credit: Rita PannunziDUBAI (United Arab Emirates), 26 August – The opening day quickly proved that the field gathered in Dubai features more quality swimmers than in any other previous editions. All four finals brought new Championship Records – and two more were set by the meet’s star Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – while the US and Australia dominated the medal-haunt, winning two apiece of the four held.

In the 400m free Mackenzie Horton (AUS) bettered the Championship Record right in the morning heats (3:50.25 – the old one was 3:50.97) and he clocked a superb time in the final where he beat James Guy (GBR) in a magnificent race. Guy went ahead right from the beginning and led by half-body length until the halfway mark. Horton switched gears and after the 250m turn he passed his British rivals. Horton was well in the lead after 300m, though Guy had a last attempt in the last 50m but the Aussie had the necessary reserves and touched the wall first, gaining a full second on Guy. His time of 3:47.12 would have been good for the 5th place at the FINA World Championships, which in fact Guy managed to take in Barcelona, recording 3:47.96 that time. Now he was a bit slower (3:48.15).

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