Russia, Kliment Kolesnikov and Andrei Minakov concluded in a brilliant way the swimming competition at the third Youth Olympic Games, being held in Buenos Aires (ARG), until October 18. In the final session at the Natatorium, the Europeans earned three more gold, leading the medal chart with 13 victories in the Argentinean capital. From this amount, Kliment Kolesnikov and Andrei Minakov were the athletes to beat, both with six wins in the competition. Their last two successes were obtained in the men’s 200m back and 100m free, respectively.
Kolesnikov, the only World Record holder present in Buenos Aires had an amazing week, and will certainly be one of the athletes to follow in the future within the Russian delegation. At only 18, he amassed gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m back, plus three relays – 4x100m free and medley, and mixed 4x100m free. In his last two events, he was first in the 200m back in a time of 1:56.14, beating Romania’s Daniel Cristian Martin (1:58.20) and Spain’s Manuel Martos Bacarizo (1:59.37). In the mixed 4x100m medley race, he swam a very fast (47.85) freestyle leg and helped his team taking silver in 3:51.46. The gold went to China in 3:49.79, while bronze was earned by Japan in 3:51.74.
The Russian saga continued with the triumph of Polina Egorova in the women’s 100m fly, in a time of 59.22. The silver went to Angelina Koehler (GER, 59.44), while Anastasiya Shkurdai, from Belarus was bronze medallist in 59.76. Egorova was third in the 50m fly, and won another four medals in relay races. Koehler had been also third in the 50m, while the Belarus star was silver medallist in the shorter event.
Then, came the men’s 100m free, with Andrei Minakov controlling operations until the final touch in 49.23. As with Kolesnikov, it was the sixth gold of the competition for the 16-year-old, after successes in the 50m and 100m fly and three relays. The minor medals went to Jakub Kraska (POL, 49.26) and to Robin Hanson (SWE, 49.52).
In the first final of the day, Barbora Seemanova, from Czech Republic, added another success to her bright performance in Buenos Aires. After winning the 100m free and getting the bronze in the 200m free, Seemanova was the best in the 50m free, touching in 25.14. Mayuka Yamamoto (JPN) was the silver medallist in 25.39, while the bronze was shared between Yang Junxuan (CHN) and Neza Klancar (SLO), both in 25.47.
Still among women, Shiori Asaba, from Japan, was the best in the 200m breaststroke, getting the gold in 2:26.80. She was followed by Kotryna Teterevkova (LTU) in 2:28.18, and by Heesong Wang (KOR) in 2:28.83. The Korean medal represented the 31stnation on the podium of these Games in the swimming events. Asaba had been third in the 4x100m free relay, while Teterevkova had been also bronze medallist in the 100m breast.
In the men’s 200m fly, Kristof Milak completed also a very successful participation in these Games, earning gold in 1:54.89. The Hungarian star was also the winner of the 200m and 400m free, and got silver in the 100m fly. He is definitively a raising star in the Magyar team. Ukraine’s Denys Kesil got his first podium at these Games, collecting silver (1:55.89), while Federico Burdisso, from Italy, was the third best in 1:57.16. It was the third bronze for the Italian 17-year-old, after identical results in the 100m fly and 4x100m free relay.
The second gold of the day for the Hungarians came in the noisiest race of the day, the women’s 400m free. With the presence of two Argentinean swimmers – Delfina Pignatiello and Delfina Dini – the full-packed Natatorium made everything possible to witness the first swimming gold for the host country, but as with the 800m free, Pignatiello had to content with silver, in 4:10.40. The victory went to Ajna Kesely (4:07.14), who completed a successful golden treble – 200m, 400m and 800m free. The bronze (as with the 800m) was earned by Austria’s Marlene Kahler, in a time of 4:12.48.
In the men’s 50m breaststroke, Michael Houlie, from South Africa, gave the first gold to his country, touching home in 27.51. He was clearly better that China’s Sun Jiajun (silver medallist in 27.85) and Canada’s Alexander Milanovich (bronze in 27.87).