Two races, the 5km and the 7.5km, were on the programme of the first competition today, Thursday Septembre 6, in Eilat (ISR) at the FINA World Junior’s Open Water Championships 2018

In order to avoid the heat, the first races, the 5km boys and girls had a fresh and early departure at 8:00am, while the second race (7.5km) was scheduled for 10:00am.

The conditions for today’s competition were as follows: wind speed 21km/h, air temperature 31C and humidity 36%. The water was flat and its tempararure was 27.3°C.

BOYS 5km

A total of 32 boys took the departure and quickly the two Russians, Aleksandr Stepanov and Ivan Morgun, took the lead to ending up clinching the gold and silver medals at stake. Aleksandr Stepanov, 15 in December and wearing the lucky number 33 today, touched the finish line first in 58m53s8, while his teammate Ivan Morgun (5), also 15 next month, followed in 58m53s5.

David Bethlehem of Hungary, who turned 15 two days ago, completed the podium today in 58m56s5.

Israel’s Orr Horev Levy narrowly missed the podium and ranked fourth in 59m01s4.


29 girls aged between 14 and 15 years-old were brave enough this morning to race right after the boys start.

Number 63 from Italy Iris Menchini was the fastest though in just above one hour (1h00m44s6). Four months younger Mira Szimcsak of Hungary managed to touch home behind the Italian in 1h01m01s2.

Mariah Denigan of the USA clinched the bronze medal, clocking a time of 1h01m06s6.

BOYS 7.5km

28 male swimmers finished the medium distance race this morning.

France started well by leading the pack with 104’s Jean-Baptiste Clusman as well as with Aubin Coccordano (120). Next to them for most of the race was silver medallist Danil Nemolochnov (RUS).

Italy’s Andrea Filadelli was also in the leading pack for most of the race but unfortunately did not make the podium today and secured the sixth place.

The winner of the race Clusman, 17, clocked an amazing time of 1h24m22s8, while Nemolochnov, 17, touched home in 1h24m28s7 and Hungary’s Zoltan Tabi, 16, was the lucky third one in 1h24m31s1.

Ecuador’s number 116, Jose Vasconez Ochoa, had to be taken out of the water and taken to the hospital after not feeling well and struggling to breath. This was the first incident of the kind in 10 years of organising events in Eilat according to organising Commitee Chairman Noam Zwi.

Boys number 112 and 113 both got a yellow flag during the race for elbowing each other in the water.

GIRLS 7.5km

USA’s Chase Travis (162) stood out right from the start of the race and separated from the pack half way through the competiton. Teammate Leah Degeorge was on her side together with another four girls leading the pace, but Degeorge ended up ranking sixth.

The Italians did not give up and were always amongst the girls at the top of the pack. Guilia Berton secured the silver medal in 1h32m02s8, while her compatriot with the same first name, Giulia Salin took the bronze in 1h33m00s8. The Giulias are respectively 17 and 16 years old.

Medals table after DAY 1

1. RUS: 1 G, 2 S

2. ITA: 1 G, 1 S, 1 B

3. USA: 1 G, 1 B

4. FRA: 1 G

5. HUN: 1 S, 2 B

Results (complete results available here) 

5KM 14-15 years-old 

Boys: 1. Aleksandr Stepanov (RUS) 58m53s8; 2. Ivan MorGun (RUS) 58m53s5; 3. David Betlehem (HUN) 58m56s5

Girls: 1. Iris Menchini (ITA) 1h00m44s6; 2. Mira Szimcsak (HUN) 1h01m01s2; Mariah Denigan (USA) 1h01m06s6

7.5 KM 16-17 years-old

Boys: 1. Jean-Baptiste Clusman (FRA) 1h24m22s8; 2. Danil Nemolochnov (RUS) 1h24m28s7; 3. Zoltan Tabi (HUN) 1h24m31s1

Girls: 1. Chase Travis (USA) 1h32m02s8; 2. Giulia Berton (ITA) 1h32m59s7; 3. Giulia Salin (ITA) 1h33m00s8