LEN European Junior Swimming Championships, Bucharest (ROU) – Day 5

Two titles for Galossi in 15min, gold No. 4 for Padar

Lorenzo Galossi was the hero of the day: the Italian bagged two gold medals on the penultimate day of the European Junior Swimming Championships. First, he won the 800m, then 15 minutes later he anchored the Italian 4x200m free relay to another title. Nikolett Padar made the 100-200m double in the women’s free – this was gold No. 4 for the Hungarian –, while Turkey’s Merve Tunced achieved the same in the 800-1500m; Sunday these two young greats will stage the ultimate showdown in the 400m final.

In the first final of the penultimate racing day, Bosnia’s Lana Pudar consoled herself for her bitter loss in the 100m fly. She had been out-touched by 0.03sec two days ago, now she left everyone behind in the 200m to win it by a mile (3.14sec). Forty minutes later she was back to book her lane in the 50m final, she qualified in the 4th place, so after clinching gold and two silvers in Rome in the fly events a year ago, she is set to leave Bucharest with three medals once more.

Nikoletta Padar bagged her fourth gold here after a convincing win in the 100m free. She produced the only sub-55sec swim, team-mate Dora Molnar came second to give Hungary a 1-2 finish, something the country had last seen some 70 years ago at the senior Europeans in Torino 1954 – ever since the Magyars barely made the finals in the blue-ribband event.

After a flood of semis, the 800m free finals offered more excitement for the spectators who showed up in big numbers once more. The men’s race was somewhat similar to the 1500m free, though this time Italy’s Lorenzo Galossi staged a duel with Poland’s Krzysztof Chmielewski and left him behind over the last 300m. What’s more, the champion of the 1500m, Romania’s Vlad-Stefan Stancu also passed Chmielewski to clinch the silver, much to the joy of the ensemble.

The women’s final offered less excitement as Turkey’s Merve Tuncel continued her winning streak. She had been unbeatable in the 400-800-1500m a year ago in Rome, now she added the 800m crown with ease after winning the 1500m. Tuncel can insert the last piece to the golden puzzle on Sunday in the 400m free final – though she will have a showdown there with Padar.

The session-ending men’s 4x200m free showcased Galossi once more who had a seemingly comfortable task, to put the icing on the cake as his team-mates built a massive lead in the first three legs. Galossi, just 15 minutes after his 800m triumph, did his job and secured the Italians’ victory without any struggle.

Well, there was more to watch beyond the original schedule: in an extremely rare scenario, two swim-offs were needed in the women’s 50m fly between France’s Emmy Preiter and Britain’s Hollie Widdows for the reserve position for the final. Their first clash also ended in a dead heat, so they were called back for another round and finally, Preiter prevailed, by 0.08sec.

For detailed results, visit: http://ejcotopeni2022.microplustiming.com

Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of LEN/Simone Castrovillari


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