After three days of competition, Hungary leads the gold medal count thanks to Nikolett Padar. The fastest in the 100m Freestyle final, dove back in moments later to lead the Hungarians to a remarkable comeback victory in the 4x100m Mixed Relay event.
Japan also claims a second gold medal with Japan’s Yuzuki Mizuno, while Spain (Carlos Garach Benito) and Portugal (Diogo Matos Ribeiro) can celebrate their first golds at the 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
In the 50m Backstroke semi-finals South Africa’s Pieter Coetze, silver medallist in the 100m backstroke, chiselled his name into the record books again tonight by swimming a new championship record of 24.58 as the top seed in the event.
DAY 3 FINALS
WOMEN’S 200m BACKSTROKE
Japan’s Yuzuki Mizuno swam 2:09.79 to claim her first gold medal. She led from start to finish to narrowly defeat Hungary’s Dora Molnar by only 1/100ths of a second. Molnar earned her second individual medal having won the 100m backstroke earlier in the meet. Poland’s Laura Bernat of Poland added another medal, bronze, for her country's war chest, finishing 1.30 seconds behind the new junior champion from Japan.
"Before the race I was a bit nervous. Earlier today, my body condition was not perfect, but I had my best time.," Mizuno said in the postrace mix zone. "I enjoyed the race and I am very happy with the result. I started swimming at age five and by age eight I chose backstroke as my preferred stroke"
MEN’S 100m BUTTERFLY
Diogo Matos Ribeiro won Portugal’s first medal in Lima, and a shiny gold one at that, in a time of 52.03. Ribeiro swam the semi-finals of the 50m freestyle earlier in the session, advancing to tomorrow’s finals with the second-seeded time. Ribeiro split 24.12 on the first lap and came back in 27.91 to outlast Daniel Gracik of Czech Republic and Denmark's Casper Puggaard who finished .48 and .91, respectively, behind the new junior champion. The three medallists were the only men in the field to go under 53 seconds.
"It was a tough race for me as I had just swam in the 50m freestyle semi finals just a few minutes ago. The first 50m felt a bit strange but I settled into my pace in the second half of the race," Ribeiro said. "I am thankful to my family who is here watching and to my teammates, my coach and my physio.
"Growing up I swam almost entirely freestyle but I am doing well swimming butterfly and I think I like them both"
WOMEN’S 100m FREESTYLE
Nikolett Padar of Hungary won her first individual gold medal beating two Italian swimmers racing in lanes on either side of her who would finish in second and third place. Padar’s 55.11 swim was .45 faster than Matilde Biagiotti's silver-medal performance, and .81 faster than bronze medallist Marina Cacciapuoti. The Hungarian swimmer also won the third individual gold medal for her nation.
I’m happy that my time was fast enough for a gold medal and I am going to enjoy this victory.
MEN’S 800m FREESTYLE
Spain’s Carlos Garach Benito strategy was to allow Turkey’s Batuhan Filiz enough lead to get comfortable before releasing his reserve energy to overpower him. The Turkish swimmer led for 700m before Benito tapped into his reserve tanks and split 29.05 and 27.99 in his last 100m.
The champion from Spain won the race in a time of 7:52.73. The victory was 2.88 seconds faster than the silver medallist from Turkey, and 3.41 seconds ahead of Romania’s Vlad Stefan Stancu who claimed the bronze medal to pair with his silver from the 400m freestyle he earned during first competition day in Lima.
"I don't have the words to explain this as I am very excited as well as very tired," Benito said. "I want to say thank you to my family, to my coaches and to my teammates. They are all great people.
"My coach and I decided that I would need to go with whoever the swimmer was in the lead," Benito added. "We know that all these guys had strong finishes. I prefer swimming long distance events and also open water swimming. This is where I feel most comfortable"
MIXED 4x100m FREESTYLE RELAY
David Popovici’s blazing lead off split, 47.23 (22.79 at the 50m) put Romania in the lead, a position they held until Hungary’s Dara Molnar split 55.37 to clinch the second relay victory for Hungary. The swimming-mad nation finished in 3:30.03, leaving Romania to settle for a silver medal, just .36 away from the golden crown. Italy claimed a bronze medal swimming 2.51 seconds behind Hungary.
Daniel Meszaros admitted afterwards that leading off for Hungary against Popovici brought a fresh mental and physical challenge, saying: "It’s hard for me to swim because David is so talented. This is my second medal in my first junior world championships so I’m very pleased."
DAY 3 SEMI-FINALS
MEN’S 50m BACKSTROKE
South Africa’s Pieter Coetze, silver medalist in the 100m backstroke, chiselled his name into the record books again tonight, swimming a new championship record, 24.58 as the top seed in the event. Coetze set two championship records, both identical times of 52.95 in the meet only to have them cancelled by Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk who swam faster to win the 100m event.
The South African's time erases the previous mark by Michael Andrew of the USA. Masiuk swam .33 seconds behind Coetze going into tomorrow’s finals as the second seed, the same position he came in to the 100m backstroke final where he went on to set a Championship Record en route to the gold. Third fastest and .54 behind Coetze was Miroslav Knedla of Czech Republic, who earned a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke.
WOMEN’S 50m BUTTERFLY
MEN’s 50m FREESTYLE