Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

USA, Australia and Russia clinched two titles apiece on the second day of the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, but a Romanian and a Turkish swimmer also made the headlines after respective gold-medal winning performances. China entered the title-winners’ circle, too, on a day which also saw the fall of two more World Junior Records.A couple if historical firsts highlighted the second day of action in Singapore. Viktoria Gunes won the first ever medal for Turkey in the history of the world juniors – and in fact it was a gold in the women’s 50m breast. She had a clean victory: her winning margin (0.4sec) is substantial in the dash.“It’s a very good competition in a very nice pool and I’m really happy that I’m here and I came first” Gunes said. “Today I swam really well, I’m in the best age for this event so I had to show my best.”Romania had a couple of medals from the first edition in 2006 – still, Robert Glinta’s title was the first captured by a boy. He smashed the Championship Record again in the 100m back with a convincing performance.

“I’m so excited, I’m so happy” Glinta said. “I specially prepared for this competition, I tried to be faster at the Europeans in June but that time I had some health issues. Now I wanted to show what I’m capable of. My finish could have been better, but after all, this was a good race.”

 


Robert Glinta (ROM) ©Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia

China also earned its first title in Singapore, as Wang Siqi’s maintained her nation’s rich tradition in the 200m fly by clinching a clean win, gaining more than 0.6sec on runner-up Tamsin Cook (AUS) – interestingly, two US swimmers had a huge battle for the bronze, with Hannah Kukurgya edging out Cassidy Bayer by 0.04sec.

The US had a 1-2 finish to cheer for a bit later, when Maxime Rooney reached his maximum speed in the 200m free and rushed away to score an easy win (1:47.78). Compatriot and yesterday winner of the 400m, Grant Shoults came second, 0.66sec later.

“It’s always awesome to have two medals for Team USA” Rooney smiled. “I could have been better at the third wall, I’ll be looking after that in practice but all in all I’m pretty happy with my swim.”

Russia’s Anton Chupkov was a cut above the rest in the men’s 100m breast, even though he couldn’t beat his own World Junior Record set here on Tuesday, he was just 0.07sec shy of that time (clocked 1:00.19 now). Still, he didn’t leave the pool without a record as later he was part of Russia’s WJR-beating quartet in the 4x100m mixed medley relay (3:45.85).

 


Maxime Rooney (USA) – gold medal, Grant Shoults (USA) – silver, Ernest Maksumov (RUS) – bronze in the Men’s 200m free

©Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia

After two relay titles from yesterday, the Aussies had a double in individual events as well: first Minna Atherton sailed through the pool to bring down the World Junior Record one more time over the 100m back (59.58).

It’s a good pool, I like, I could progress really well” Atherton said. “After beating the record yesterday, I just wanted to relax and come back as fast as I could. It’s a really good experience to stand on the top of the podium – and I’d like to do it again.

Just minutes later Clyde Lewis produced an outstanding swim in the men’s 200m IM and won comfortably (2:00.15) – here Hungary’s Csaba Sos got the silver after Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez, touching in second, was disqualified.

The US also clinched a second title this day: following the path of the great Katie Ledecky, Sierra Schmidt won the 800m free by two body-lengths, ahead of Italy’s Simona Quadarella.

Going into the race I was a bit uncertain how I would do, because I didn’t feel that well at the nationals” Schmidt said. ”Now I’m so happy with my result, I’ve never expected to get close to the time I clocked at the PanAms. This field was fantastic, we hade some really good girls, it was a really tough race.

Still, the hero of the day distinction can go to someone who didn’t earn any gold: USA’s Michael Andrew competed in no less than 5 events this evening, with mixed fortunes though. He came 4th in the 100m back (just 0.07sec shy of the bronze), just missed the cut in the semis of the 100m fly (finished 9th by 0.09sec), came 4th in the 100m breast (trailed 0.26sec to the third placed), finished 7th in the 200m IM and finally earned a bronze as a consolation in the mixed medley.