At the final day of the 3rd FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands Italy and Germany grabbed the last two medals up for grabs. Both were winning in the inaugural 4x1.25 km relays for the 14/16 age group and U19 years old.

"A great event with a lot of tactics before the race in the order of the teams as well as during the race. It was really exciting”, Dennis Miller, FINA Vice-President and Bureau Liaison for Open Water Swimming said. All eight events were won by eight different countries of 33 participating. Nine of them got medals. “It was a very good organization and an excellent venue. We should come back”, was Dennis Miller satisfied with the championships.

The relay event was introduced in the competition programme for the for time ever in Hoorn with two relays by 4x1.25 km with two male and two female competitors aged between 14 to 16 years old and another category for U19 years old.

“It was beautiful”, Giulia Berton said after she led the “Squadra Azzurri” in the 14/16 age category. Her team got gold in 58:06.4. A total of nine teams took part in the relay. 

Italy with Emanuele Russo, Andrea Filadelli, Ludovica Lugli and Giulia Berton have always been in the leading group when the teams came to the exchange.

“I never swam a team event as we have in Italy already the relay in our national championships programme”, said  Giulia Berton as the event wasn't completely new for her and  her teammates. It was Giulia's second medal of the competition, after the 5km event godl medal that she clinched on Day 2.  

The silver medal went  to Akos Kalmar, Zoltan Tobi, Janka Juhasz, Fanni Kum-Szabo from Hungary in 58:09.1 minutes. Bronze went to Great Britain in 58:12.6 minutes with Hector Pardoe, Phoebe Griffiths, Nathan Hughes, Leah Crisp. Begininer swimmer Hector Pardoe earend a second bronze medal after his thrid place in the 5 km single event for 14/15 year old boys. The British team was leading at the last exchange with 17.9 seconds in front of Italy. Then Giulia Berton started a successful hunt for gold.

In the final event of the championships 20 teams had entered for the 4x1.25 km in the under 19 category. After the first lap Hungary was in front, the Italy take the elad and at the last exchange the Germans have been in front. But however Italy was still a strong opponent. When both teams came to the finishing line with a head-by-head fight. At least the German Jeanette Spiwoks had more power and toughed after 56:06.2 minutes the touching pad. 1.2 seconds before Sophie Cavagnola of Italy.

“I did not notice that the Italian squad came closer to me”, said Jeanette Spiwoks after the race as she had a gap aof 14.3 seconds, when she went on the course. “At the end I'm only thought, that nobody will pass me any more”, she added after her first open water relay. “I never competed in team event, so I cannot say, what is better”, she stated.

Together with Paul Hentschel, Lea Boy and Thore Bermel she took the title. Thore Bermel followed a family tradition as his older sister Lena-Sophie was in the golden team event of Germany 2012 in Welland (CAN). when for the first World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships have been held. Also father Peter was a well known former international medley swimmer.

For Italy it was the fourth medal in Hoorn – more than any other federation. And Andrea Manzi earned after bronze in the 10 km event of the 18/19 year old boys now together with Nicola Roberta, Alisia Tettamanzi and Sophia Cavagnola now a silver medal. Also in the French team as third in 56:19.8 minutes with Logan Fontaine as the 10 km world champion form Hoorn and Oceane Cassignol as the runner-up in 7.5 km event of the 16(17 year old girls have been two medallist. Fares Zitouni and Lisa Pou completed the “Equipe Tricolore”.

Medal Table

Italy 1 – 2 – 1
Hungary 1 – 2 – 0
China 1 – 1 – 1
France 1 – 1 – 1
Spain 1 – 1 – 1
Great Britain 1 – 0 – 2
Russia 1 – 0 – 1
Germany 1 – 0 – 0
USA 0 – 1 – 1