Michael Andrew of the USA is the first athlete in the history of the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships to achieve three world junior records performances in a single session. Andrew equalled his own mark set yesterday in the 50m backstroke in his first race of the evening. In the 50m butterfly semifinal, he bettered the world junior time that he set during the preliminaries of this morning's session and was the fastest qualifier for tomorrow evening's championship finals. In winning the 50m freestyle he also equalled his own world junior performance from yesterday.
The final event of the evening included a vastly improved world junior record in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay.
Three teams swam faster than the two-year-old record set by the USA in Singapore.
Mens 200m Breaststroke
Daniel Roy and Reece Whitley delivered the second one-two finish for the USA. Roy was fourth at the 100m midpoint but his 33.27 third 50 put him in second place behind Italy's Nicolo Martinenghi at the 150m turn. The Italian winner of the 100m breaststroke faded in his final lap allowing the two Americans and a third challenger to pass him and deny him a spot on the medals podium. Roy's final split of 33.94 was enough to clinch another gold medal for the US team.
Whitley finished only .05 of a second behind his American teammate for the silver medal.
Zac Stubblety-Cook of Australia was only .13 of a second behind the champion to clinch the bronze medal. Whitley finished second in the 100m distance and was a member of the USA's silver medal winning mixed 4x100m medley relay.
Daniel Roy (USA)
“If I stayed with them that first 100, and I came back on them hard I knew I was going to win. It’s been a long year … and just to see how everything just pans out it’s been great.”
Women's 50m Butterfly
Rikako Ikee of Japan swam away from her competitors and into the records books achieving a new world junior mark of 25.46. Her time would have placed fourth at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest and her time was also the fourth fastest in the world this year.
The gold medal won by the Japanese swimmer gives her one of each colour. The Japanese national record holder in this event previously collected a silver medal in the 100m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 4x200m free relay.
Sara Junevik of Sweden finished .72 behind the new junior world champion for a silver medal finish. Rebecca Smith of the USA earned the bronze medal.
Rikako Ikee (JPN)
"I got my best record and I am so relieved. Honestly I am happy with the outcome. My swim was a personal best, a new Japanese record, a World Junior Record, and a gold medal. I am feeling great today! I was not happy with some of my performances yesterday. Today, I did not focus on making a new personal record; I just wanted to have a gold. It was great for me to be very calm and I had a good race. I was so confident and I was able to swim my best. If I was nervous, my body would not move well. I was so relaxed today."
Men's 50m Backstroke
USA's Michael Andrew swam 24.63 to equal the time he swam in yesterday's prelims which was a new world junior and championship meet record. Andrew handily defeated Spain's Hugo Gonzalez and the American was the only swimmer faster than 25 seconds.
The Spanish swimmer was the winner of the 100m backstroke event previously but finished .67 of a second behind the champion from the USA to find a silver lining. Kacper Stokowski of Poland finished in third place to earn the bronze medal.
Michael Andrew (USA)
“I think what was huge was really the excitement from the crowd. That’s what really fuelled me through it all … To have them with me that last 10 meters where I needed it most was everything.”
Women's 100m Breaststroke
Ireland's Mona McSharry defeated Faith Knelson of Canada by .37 of a second to collect her second medal in a breaststroke event. The Irish champion finished third in the 50m breaststroke event, just .06 of a second behind silver medallist Knelson.
Knelson now owns silver in both the 50m and 100m events. Zoe Bartel of the USA swam .53 of a second behind the Irish winner to earn her first medal, a bronze.
Mona McSharry (IRL)
"You don’t really have words for it I guess. It’s just amazing. When I touched the wall and I turned around and I saw first. I was speechless really I couldn’t even talk."
Women's 400m Freestyle
Anja Kesley of Hungary's gold medal winning performance is the first gold medal for a female from Hungary. Her winning time of 4:06.72 was 1.61 seconds faster than Delfina Pignatiello of Argentina, the 800m freestyle champion. Kesely finished second to the Argentinian champion in the longer event.
In July Kesley swam in the finals of two events at the FINA World Championships in her native country. The Hungarian swimmer finished 6th in the 400m and 8th in the 1500m freestyle events. Anastasiia Kirpichnikova swam 2.01 seconds behind the Hungarian champion to achieve her bronze medal.
Ajna Kesely (HUN)
“Yesterday I was devastated after the mixed relay (her false takeover cost Hungary the bronze medal). Never happened to me before and I felt really bad. Thanks to my coach and my teammates for helping me to bounce back. By this evening I was ready to deliver my best. I knew I had a strong chance but at the same time I felt a huge pressure as everyone expected me winning here. I can’t tell you how much relieved I am right now after winning this gold medal. After the World Championships in Budapest I had a pretty bad period when I hit rock bottom mentally and I even quarrelled with my coach. I felt an emptiness and I couldn’t imagine that I would be able to race at the expected level in Indianapolis. But everyone helped me to come over these bad feelings and after a while I started to believe in myself again. In fact, that was the key to win this race today.”
Men's 50m Freestyle
USA's Michael Andrew achieved his third world junior record tonight, a feat that was never previously accomplished by a swimmer in a single finals session.
Andrew's 21.75 splash-flash equalled the world mark set in yesterday's preliminaries. Andrew also sprinted between the racing pool, the warm-down pool and the medals podium on a very busy evening. The American received his gold medal for a world junior record performance in the 50m backstroke and he advanced to tomorrow's finals in the 50m butterfly with the top qualifying time that was also a new world junior record.
Maxime Grousset of France earned the silver medal and his nation's first in the championships finishing exactly a half-second behind the American champion. Only a fraction of a second behind was Leonardo Deplano of Italy who earned his first medal, a bronze.
Michael Andrew (USA)
“I just wanted to get under 22, so to do so was amazing. I’m kind of blown away by it; I didn’t really expect that of myself.”
Women's 200m Individual Medley
Miku Kojima of Japan, the winner of the 400m individual medley, captured her second gold medal in the shorter edition. The Japanese swimmer's winning time of 2:12.42 was only .22 of a second ahead of Canada's Kayla Sanchez who claimed tonight's silver medal. Finishing in third place Cyrielle Duhamel claimed France's first female medal, the second for the nation and the second medal of the evening.
Miku Kojima (Japan)
"I was very focused on winning the gold medal for this race. I am much happier winning this race than other medal I won. I was swimming in lane 7 and could not see my competitors during the freestyle. However, I saw several of my Japanese teammates running and cheering for me so I tried very hard. I was able to swim without any troubles compared to my race in the morning. I was thinking to speed up my pace in the breaststroke. My split was about 38 seconds today in the breaststroke, a time I did not swim recently. I swam 31 seconds in my freestyle. I rarely swim that fast."
Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay
The men of Hungary won their second gold medal in a freestyle relay, narrowly defeating the USA. The Hungarian relay anchored by Nemeth Nandor obliterated the previous world junior record established by the USA two summers ago in Singapore. Nandor's split of 1:46.52 powered his relay team to a .01 of a second margin of victory over the host nation. Richard Marton led off the Hungarian relay in 1:48.68. Kristof Milak swam this 200m leg in 1:47.52 before Balazas Hollo covered the third leg in 1:48.23. Only Hollo was different from the 4x100m relay that included Martin Barta.
The USA team of Patrick Callan, Jack Le Vant, Carson Foster and Trey Freeman III tried in vain to repeat as the event gold medallists and were ever so close to the new world junior record.
The silver medal winning USA squad and bronze medallists from Russian also swam faster than the previous world junior record.
Nandor Nemeth (HUN)
“I went out too fast but in that particular situation it was perhaps understandable. That hit back a bit later as I really felt the pain, especially in the last 25m. Only my heart pushed me forward until I reached the wall. It hurt pretty badly but you forgot about that as you had nothing in your thoughts, but to win it for the team. We came here to win this event even though we knew it was going to be a hell of a battle with the US guys. Luck was on our side this evening as we won by the tiniest margin. I’m really sorry for not having being able to stand on the podium with my teammates but as soon as I came out of the water I felt pain all over my body. I felt dizzy and had to lie down for a while. It’s an amazing feat to win here. We are very proud now and of course this win makes me feel much better.”
Women's 50m Backstroke
Hannah Jade of Canada achieved the fastest time of the evening, 28.04, narrowly beating Natsumi Sakai of Japan.
The Japanese swimmer was just .07 off the pace of the Canadian swimmer.
Regan Smith of the USA advanced to the finals with the third fastest time, 28.21.
Men's 50m Butterfly
In his second swim of the evening USA's Michael Andrew set a new world junior record of 23.27. Winning the 50m backstroke earlier, the American was the top qualifier. Andrei Minakov of Russia and Adilbek Mussin of Kazakhstan were the next fastest qualifiers, .49 and .55 of a second behind the speedy American.