Eliana Alves, FINA Press Commission Member

The 3rd FINA World Junior Swimming Championships came to an end on August 21 in Lima (PER), with 42 new championships records and 19 countries with medals among the 58 nations that participated in the event with 528 swimmers (246 women and 282 men). Lima’s edition was a success with the best set of results since the creation of this World Championships, in 2006.United States dominated on the medal count (11 gold, eight silver and three bronze) and on the scores (964 points), followed by Canada (620) and Japan (516.50). The Japanese team won 19 medals (seven gold, nine silver and three bronze) and the Canadian earned 14 (four gold, five silver and five bronze).

In the last day of finals, Australian Cameron McEvoy (1994, 50.16) was the fastest in the men’s 100m freestyle. McEvoy also was the champion in the 50m on Day 3, becoming the “king of the sprint” in Lima. The silver medal was shared by Dmitry Ermakov (RUS, 1994, 50.46) and Pawel Werener (POL, 1993).

Kanako Watanabe (JPN, 1996, 2:25.52) dominated the operations in the women’s 200m breaststroke. Lisa Fissinaider (ITA, 1994, 2:26.01) was silver medallist, after getting the gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke. The third place went to Irina Navikova (RUS, 1995, 2:26.04).

United States established the first championships record of the last session of finals, with the triumph of Pebley Jacob (1993, 1:58.73) in the men’s 200m backstroke. Jacob entered the competition with the fourth best time and was naturally thrilled with the gold medal. He was followed by Kosuke Hagino (JPN, 1994, 1:58.94) and Ryan Murphy (1995, 1:59.62). The three first finished under the previous record, 1:59.67, established in 2008.

In one of the most balanced events of the night, Rachel Kelly (GBR, 1994, 59.37) won the women’s 100m freestyle, in a new championships record. Japanese Rino Hosoda (1995, 59.39) and Alexandra Wenk (GER, 1994, 59.64) were respectively the silver and the bronze medallists.

Evan Pinion (USA, 1994, 15:11.03) left no chance for the opponents and for the championships record (15:25.01) in the men’s 1500m free. He had won the 800m free three days before, also with a new championships record.

Sprinters Bronte Campbell (AUS, 1995, 25.22), Lia Neal (USA, 1995, 25.30) and Chantal Van Landeghem (CAN, 1994, 25.35) raced already in the same event several times in Lima. In the latest of them, the women’s 50m free, Bronte won, beating her own record (25.28) from the semifinals. With silver in this race, Lia can return home satisfied, after getting the gold in the 100m free, 4x100m free and 4x200m free.

Kenta Hirai (JPN, 1994, 1:57.16) comfortably won the men’s 200m backstroke and, as in many events during this 3rd FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, overcoming the record of the competition (1:58.81). The real fight was for the silver medal since only four hundredths of a second separated Andreas Vazaios (GRE, 1994, 1:59.27) from Mackenzie Darragh (1:59.31).

Panagiotis Samilidis (GRE, 1993, 28.21) was the best in the men’s 50m breaststroke in another balanced duel that ended up the third shared medal of the Championships: the silver went to Akihiro Yamaguchi (JPN, 1994, 28.44) and Harry Benson (GBR, 1994).

Brittany MacLean (CAN, 1994, 1:58.93), Chelsea Chenault (USA, 1994, 1:59.69) and Yuanhui Fu (JPN, 1996, 1:59.70) composed the podium of the women’s 200m freestyle. All of them with a better time than the previous record of 1:59.78 made in the 2008 Monterrey edition.

The medley relays were the most animated events of the day and made the public stand up. In the men’s event, United States (3:39.62) and Japan (3:39.65) disputed each centimetre in the swimming pool. The Italians won the bronze (3:42.44). In the women’s relay, another “fight” between Japan and USA, but this time the Asian quartet was faster (4:05.65), with United States getting silver (4:07.79) in front of Russia (4:07.99).

FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione opened the final session by thanking all the participants and members of the Organising Committee. He emphasized the great effort to achieve such a high level competition. Then, the president of the Peruvian Federation, Johnny Bello, passed the FINA flag to next organisers of the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, on August 2013: Morocco.

Final Medal Table

USA 11 8 3 22
JPN 7 9 3 19
CAN 4 5 5 14
AUS 4 1 3 8
UKR 4 1 2 7
ITA 2 6 5 13
GBR 2 2 3 7
ESP 2 1 3 6
GRE 1 2 2 5
GER 1 0 1 2
SLO 1 0 0 1
EGY 1 0 0 1
CHN 0 3 1 4
POL 0 2 1 3
RUS 0 1 4 5
CRO 0 1 0 1
FRA 0 0 1 1
RSA 0 0 1 1
BRA 0 0 1 1