Russia (4 titles), Hungary (3) roll on, shared gold in 100m back
Four more Russian and three more Hungarian titles, a shared gold, three new Championship Records and a historical first-ever podium for Moldova highlighted the second day of the LEN European Junior Swimming Championships in Helsinki.
The first final was a real stunner as Romania’s Daniel-Cristian Martin forced a tie with the absolute favourite of the event Kliment Kolesnikov to claim a shared gold. The Russian already made his name in senior waters, earned European s/c titles in Copenhagen, he holds the junior WR, still, he had to give all to catch up with his rival in the finish.
The next two events went according to the expectations. Ajna Kesely captured her third gold in Helsinki and title No. 13 in her career – the Hungarian supergirl repeated her 2016 and 2017 triumphs in the 400m free which was rather an easy cruising than a tough race (she had made the senior World Championships final in this event last July). The Hungarians delivered in the 200m fly as well, Blanka Berecz led all the way while teammate Dora Hathazi got the bronze.
Freya Anderson captured the second title for the Brits with a convincing swim in the 100m free, gaining 0.66sec on Russia’s runner-up Elizaveta Klevanovich. The winning margins were even bigger as Aleksandr Zhigalov claimed another gold for the Russians in the 200m breast (by 0.98) and Anastasia Avdeeva added their third one of the day (by 1.11) in the 200m back.
The Hungarians went to even once more in the daily (3-3) and the cumulative gold standings (6-6) in their special duel with the Russians as Akos Kalmar won the 1500m with a new CR, way ahead of the field. However, the Russians had the last laugh as they touched in first in the mixed free relay. After the double in the opening day’s free relays, an easy win had been foreseen but it was much closer at the end as only 0.23sec separated them and the Germans.
In the shadow of the RUS v HUN duel, history was in the making as Moldova could celebrate its first-ever swimming medal at the European Championships – Tatiana Salcutan captured a bronze in the 200m back, making his nations the 44th country to appear in the all-time medal standings.
Champions, Day 2
1500m free: Akos Kalmar 15:04.91 CR
100m back: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) & Daniel-Cristian Martin (ROU) 53.52 CR
200m breast: Aleksandr Zhigalov (RUS) 2:12.47
100m free: Freya Anderson (GBR) 54.65
400m free: Ajna Kesely (HUN) 4:05.89 CR
200m back: Anastasia Avdeeva (RUS) 2:09.56
200m fly: Blanka Berecz (HUN) 2:10.06
4x100m free: Russia 3:28.74
(Kliment Kolesnikov, Andrei Minakov, Polina Nevmovenko, Elizaveta Klevanovich)
For detailed results and free live streaming please visit www.len.eu
Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Andrea Masini