The final night of the 2021 European Junior Swimming Championships ended in Rome, Italy on Sunday with Turkey Merve Tuncel and the 15-year-old Bosnian Lana pudar showcasing the future of swimming in Europe with their stellar swims in the Italian capital.
Tuncel and Pudar will both represent their home countries in two weeks time at the Olympics, as they will likely head straight to the Games in Japan after this week of racing in Rome. Tuncel, 16, and Pudar, 15, showed great promise for Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina respectively with their races this summer.
Lana Pudar started the night with a 57.56 in the 100 butterfly, which was below her 57.37 at the start of the season, which places her tied for eighth in the world rankings among swimmers heading to the Olympic Games. She narrowly missed the competition record of 57.39 from Anastasia shkurdai two years ago, but the 15-year-old won ahead of Russia Daria klepikova (58.07) and Anastasia markova (58.73), and that supports his two silver medals earlier in the week in the 50 and 200 butterfly.
Merve Tuncel of Turkey, 16, won her third gold of the week, finishing the hat trick in the distance freestyle with a time of 4: 06.25 in the 400 freestyle, which improves her season record of 4: 07.78 and 12th in the world this year among Games qualifiers. Tuncel, who won the 800 and 1500 freestyle this week in Rome in 1-2 with his Turkish teammates, won ahead of Hungary Bettina Fabien (4: 10.16) and Italy Giulia Vetrano (4: 12.23).
Tuncel was right next to the competition record of 4: 05.89 set by the Hungarians Ajna Kesely in 2018.
Turkey Beril Boecekler, who won silver behind Tuncel in the 800, was fourth and came off the podium in 4: 14.38.
Turkey also swept away all three men’s distance freestyle events with Yigit Aslan winning the men’s 800 on the final night of the European Junior Swimming Championships with a new meet record of 7: 51.20 in a brace with Mert Kilavuz (7: 52.19). Aslan broke previous match record set by Russia in 2019 Ilia Sibirtsev, which is now at the University of Louisville, at 7: 52.83.
Interestingly, Turkey won all three distance free races with three different guys as Kilavuz won the 1500 and Batuhan Filiz won the 400. Aslan finished bronze in the 1500 and improved to win the 800 with a new season record, improving her 7: 51.6 from the start of this year. Aslan will represent Turkey at the Olympics in two weeks.
David Popovici concludes stellar week with 22.2 50 free gold coins
16 year old Romanian David Popovici, who won’t be 17 until September 15, warned the world with his freestyle prowess this week in Rome, scoring a 47.30 in the 100 freestyle earlier in the week before continuing with a 1:45 , 2 to 200 free. With less than two weeks to go before the Olympics, Popovici has made his name known to the swimming world and will have the chance to prove himself on the biggest sports scene in Japan.
Sunday night in Rome, Popovici won his third gold with a 22.22 in the 50 freestyle. The time does not match the FINA A standard, and this shows he has more room to improve his raw speed, while his reverse speed in the 100 placed him as a gold medal spoiler for Tokyo when ” he lines up alongside the reigning world champion Caeleb Dressel of the United States and reigning Olympic champion Kyle chalmers from Australia.
Poland win four gold medals on final night
Poland had yet to win a gold medal at the European Junior Swimming Championships until Sunday evening, when the nation won three gold medals – starting with twins Krzysztof and Michal Chmielewski take the first two places in the final of the 200 butterfly. Krzysztof led the race from start to finish, hitting the wall at 1: 56.29, which is a little short of his season record of 1: 55.46, but enough to take him gold before to leave for Tokyo. His twin brother Michal, who celebrated the pair’s 17th birthday in June, finished silver in 1: 57.09, edging out the Russian top seed Vadim Klimenichchev (1: 57.49).
Another swimmer on his way to Tokyo, 15 Laura Bernat won the 200 backstroke last night in Rome with a time of 2: 10.14 after being as fast as 2: 09.8 already this year. Bernat won the final ahead of Great Britain Katie shanahan, who swept the IM events this week as well as a silver in the 100 backstroke, and swam 2: 11.27 to win silver ahead of Italy Erika Gaetani (2: 11.46), who won the 100 earlier in the week. Bernat is the youngest Polish swimmer on her Olympic team this year, as she will make her debut in two weeks in Tokyo.
Ksawery Masiuk won the men’s 200 backstroke for Poland since he won’t be in Tokyo, but swam a beautifully paced race to win gold in 1: 58.41. Finishing fourth in the 150, Masiuk was almost a full second behind the leader Kaloyan Levterov of Bulgaria at the halfway point, while the 200 IM champion Berke Saka also lingered. At turn 150, Masiuk fell back to fourth, about 1.3 seconds behind Levterov, and split 28.95 out of the last 50 to go through the field, with Saka winning silver (1: 59.02) and Levterov ( 1: 59.13) with bronze.
Masiuk returned to end the session with another gold, leading the Polish 4×100 medley relay team to a gold with a time of 3: 37.46 over Russia (3: 39.30) and the ‘Ukraine (3: 39.43). Masiuk (54.41), Bartosz Skora (1: 01.34), Pawel Uryniuk (52.92) and Mateusz Chowaniec (48.79) won gold after Ukraine led over 300 meters, thanks to the gold medalist Volodymyr Lisovets (1: 00.55) move forward in breaststroke and Andriy Kovalenko (53.06) holding it on the fly, but they didn’t have enough with it Vadym Ivchenko (51.31) unable to resist Vladislav Reznichenko (49.33) from Russia on the free stage.
Russia finishes with women’s medley gold at European Junior Swimming Championships
The Russian Federation finished the meeting with gold in the women’s 4 Ã 100 medley relay with the team from Aleksandra kurilkina (1: 03.26), Elena Bogomolova (1: 06.79), Anastasia Markova (58.12) and Daria klepikova (54.55) affecting 4: 02.72. Time missed its own competition record of 4: 01.83 as of 2019, but the team also had to swim behind the majority of the race with France in the lead over 300 meters.
The French team of Marie-Amber Moluh (1: 01.41), Justine Delmas (1: 07.54), Lucie Delmas (59.08) and Lucie Vasquez (55.66) won silver at 4: 03.69 with Great Britain in the bronze position at 4: 07.49 thanks to a stellar anchor leg of Tamryn Van Selm (54.69).
that of Russia Daria Tatarinova won the gold in the 50 freestyle with a 24.87 when she was the only one under 25 seconds in the final and lowered the competition record of 25.02 from Maria kameneva in 2016 because Kameneva is going to be a podium favorite for Tokyo in three weeks for this event. Tatarinova won against Croatia Jana Pavalic (25.35) and Great Britain Eva okaro (25.45).
Russia’s Elena Bogomolova nearly celebrated two gold medals on the evening, but was passed in the 100 breaststroke final by a 14-year-old. Eneli Jefimova of Estonia, who won with a time of 1: 07.24 over Bogomolova in 1: 07.25. Jefimova had been as quick as 1: 06.4 this year as she was ranked 14th in the world in Tokyo qualifiers two weeks before her Olympic debut in Tokyo. Poland Karolina Piechowicz (1: 08.93) celebrated the bronze medal at a big party for Polish swimming.
germany Cedric Buess also won the 400 IM with a time of 4: 17.40 ahead of Jakub Bursa (4: 19.20) from the Czech Republic and Artem Vorobev (4: 20.21) from Russia