At the kick-off of the 3rd FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in the Dutch city of Hoorn Spain earned a complete medal set.
Danill Orlov from Russia and Xiaohan Liu from China took the first gold medals of the championships in the 5km event for 14/15 year-old boys and girls. In the following 7.5km event for 16/17 year-old competitors Logan Fontaine (FRA) and Paula Riuz (ESP) made a clear victory.
When the 29 competitors went in the 5km event for the boys in the water with a temperature of 19 degree, very soon a leading group of 17 swimmers were on the 2.5km lap. Ivan Puskovitch brought the pack back to the old harbour of Hoorn. On the second lap Danill Orlov made the speed and took over the leading position. After 59:29.9 minutes he was as the first at the finish and smiled.
“It was a very good race and not too cold for me”, the 15 year old Russian from the city of Rybinsk (located round about 280km in the north of Moscow) stated and who had start number one. The silver medal went to Eric Vilaregut (ESP) in 59:54.5 minutes and bronze grabbed Hector Pardoe (GBR) in 59:55.0 minutes.
Much closer was the final in the girls event with 30 starters. After the first lap more then 20 competitors were in the leading group. When they came to the finishing line still 18 swimmers have been together. Two days after her 14th birthday at the 14the July Xiaohan Liu have been the strongest and took the title in 1:03:48.0 hours.
She followed her countrymate Siyu Yan who was the winner in the 5 km event two years ago in Balatonfüred in Hungary. The runner-up this year in Hoorn was Giulia Berton (ITA) in 1:03:50.9 hours. Maria Romero took with bronze in 1:03:53.6 hours a second medal for Spain in the kick-off event.
“Now I'm very tiered and the water was very cold”, a lucky Xiaohan Liu said. She started to train and compete with open water swimming only six months ago. Also the the Spanish medallist (which are both from the famous swimming club CN Sabadell) are in their first season of open water swimming. “We expected top eight place, but now we have two medals, that is very great”, Eric Vilaregut said.
A set of three medals with one in each colour have been completed by Paula Ruiz in the 7.5 km event. The 17 year old Andalucian from Malaga made a start-finish-victory in 1:29:56.7 hours and 2:34.7 minutes in front of the second Oceane Cassignol (FRA). The bronze medal went in 1:32:34.8 hours to Fuwei Dong from China.
“I knew, I', very strong and it was my tactic, not to swim in the pack”, was Paula Ruiz surprised that nobody was following her, when she took the initiative very shortly after the start. Kilometre by kilometre she increased the gap to the rest of altogether 36 competitors. “A looked a few times behind me, but there was nobody”, so swam a lone same race at the top.
Also in boys event the new world championship Logan Fontaine was at the end in 1:25:06.8 hours respectable 47.4 seconds in front Michael Brinegar and Simon Lomar (both USA) in 1:26:56.1 hours. “I preferred to swim alone and so I speeded on in the second lap”, the French winner, who is from Rouen in the Normandie explained his tactic to keep the other 41 competitors in distance.
For bronze medallist Simon Lomar, it was already his second medal at the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships. Two years ago he was a member of the US-Team in the team event and which finished third.
“Today the water was a little bit cold and there have been some rough waves, but at the end it was a good race on an excellent course”, he said.