Double gold for Kolesnikov (RUS), 5th title for Kesely (HUN)
Russians took home all three men’s titles on offer on Saturday at the European Junior Swimming Championships. Kliment Kolesnikov was the hero of the day as he captured two backstroke wins in 53 minutes, first in the 200m, then in the 50m. Hungary’s Ajna Kesely stroke gold once more, this time in the 200m free, this was her 5th triumph in Netanya.
Kliment Kolesnikov had a busy afternoon, the Russian backstroker showed up first in the semis of the 50m back at 17.40, qualified in the first place. He was back at 18.31 for the 200m final which he won with ease, then, in 53 minutes he took his marks in the dash final and managed to earn another victory. It was an exciting race where the first three hit the wall in a span of 0.18sec, Kolesnikov was 0.12 faster than Ireland’s Conor Ferguson.
The third men’s gold also went to Russia and that final was even more thrilling despite lasting much longer. Iaroslav Potapov (RUS), winner of the 1500m and Akos Kalmas (HUN), the 400m champion staged a neck-to-neck battle. Though the Russian led almost all the way, Kalmar turned first at 600m but later Potapov regained the first place and held it throughout an amazing finish – at the end only 0.16sec separated the two.
Among the women two young ladies expanded their respective treasuries. Hungary’s Ajna Kesely completed the “Ledecky-sweep”, adding the 200m free crown to her titles already earned over 400m, 800m and 1500m. All but the 400m came with the new Championship Record! With a relay win, her golden count stands at 5 in Netanya, altogether she possesses 9 junior European titles and she still has two more years to compete among the juniors…
Denmark’s Katrina Bukh Villesen added the 100m gold after having come first in the 200m two days ago. She edged out Russia’s Polina Egorova by 0.16sec. The Czechs could celebrate their first gold of the meet, thanks to Barbora Semanova who won the 50m free by the same margin as Villesen, but here a Danish, Julie Kepp Jensen missed the gold by 0.16 sec.
The session’s end was highlighted by the Italians’ usual enthusiastic celebrations as they came first in the mixed medley relay, ahead of the Russians. Thus Hungary and Russia is tied on the medal table with 9 golds each, the last day promises further thrills but not only for the top nations.
Champions, Day 4
800m free: Iaroslav Potapov (RUS) 7:55.95
50m back: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 25.15
200m back: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 1:57.73
50m free: Barbora Semanova (CZE) 25.06
200m free: Ajna Kesely (HUN) 1:57.85 CR
100m fly: Katrine Bukh Villesen (DEN) 59.43
4x100m medley: Italy 3:50.99
(Tania Quaglieri, Nicolo Martinenghi, Alberto Razzetti, Maria G. Masciopinto)
Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of Deepbluemedia / Andrea Masini