FINA Communications Department

The anthems of Hungary, Israel and Russia were the first ones to resound in the Natatorium, the pool hosting the Swimming competition at the 3rd Youth Olympic Games, taking place in Buenos Aires (ARG). The protagonists of this first day, where three finals were contested, were Kristof Milak, Anastasia Gorbenko and the Russian quartet in the mixed 4x100m free relay.

Milak, silver world medallist at home, when he finished second in the 100m butterfly in Budapest in 2017, and more recently European champion in the 200m butterfly, was clearly the best in the 400m free in the Argentinean capital. The Magyar ace completed the race in 3:48.08, and was followed by Italy’s Marco De Tullio (silver in 3:48.55) and Japan’s Keisuke Yoshida (bronze in 3:48.68). Milak, certainly one of the Hungarian swimmers to watch in the next years, also shone at the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, amassing five medals (including four titles).

Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR)

In the women’s 200m IM, Anja Crevar, from Serbia, started strong, touching first after the butterfly leg, but this initial effort didn’t pay off. In the end, Anastasia Gorbenko, from Israel, touched the wall in 2:12.88, while Crevar had to content with the silver, in a time of 2:13.98. France’s Cyrielle Duhamel got the bronze in 2:14.15. At only 15, this is the first major international success for Gorbenko.

“I really can’t describe this feeling. It’s amazing”, Gorbenko confessed after her successful performance. Some minutes later, she was again on the pool deck, with her teammates, for the mixed 4x100m free relay: “(Competing again so soon) was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. It was really difficult. I just breathed really deep and was back in another race”.

In the third final of Day 1, Russia totally dominated operations in the mixed 4x100m free relay. Starting the race with talented Kliment Kolesnikov, the race was successively led by Andrei Minakov, and then, on the women’s side by Polina Egorova and Eizaveta Klevanovich. The Russian team stopped the watch in 3:28.50, while Brazil followed in 3:30.13, and China in 3:30.45.

“We are very excited to win the first gold for Russia, and for all of Russia, not just swimming”, Minakov said. “I hope the country is proud of us. We swam in lane eight, so it was a little bit dangerous. But we did very well”.

Shortly before, Kolesnikov, was the fastest qualifier for the final of the 100m back, clocking 53.80 in the semis of the event. Kolesnikov was one of the stars at the recent European Championships, where he established a new World Record in the 50m back. Born in July 2000, the Russian champion is surely one of the most successful young athletes present in Buenos Aires.