FINA Communications Department

Kliment Kolesnikov, from Russia, definitively became one of the heroes of the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires (ARG), by earning his fourth and fifth gold of the competition, this time in the men’s 50m backstroke and 4x100m medley relay. After previous wins in the 100m back, 4x100m free and mixed 4x100m free relay, the 18-year-old clocked 24.46 in his pet event (he is the World Record holder in this distance, with a 24.00 effort at the last European Championships), keeping his most direct challengers at a safe distance. Thomas Ceccon, from Italy, was second in 25.27, while Tomoe Hvas (NOR) got the bronze in 25.28. Later in the evening, he helped his team to win the 4x100m medley relay, swimming the initial backstroke leg in 53.34 and contributing to a new World Junior Record of 3:35.17 in the relay. Kolesnikov has still the 200m back on his programme, for a possible sixth gold medal. 

The fourth day of competition in the Natatorium had started earlier with the men’s 50m free. Italy finally got its first gold in Argentina (after two silver and three bronze medals), thanks to Ceccon, who touched home in 22.33. It was the fourth medal for the 17-year-old, after earning silver in the 200m IM, bronze in the 100m back and in the men’s 4x100m free relay. Danill Markov, from Russia, got the silver in 22.37, after two previous gold medals in relay events: 4x100m free and mixed 4x100m free. The bronze medal went to Egypt’s Abdelrahman Sameh, in a time of 22.43 – first medal for the country at the swimming competition in Buenos Aires. 

Two more countries got their first podium presence in these Games after the men’s 200m breaststroke final. Japan’s Yu Hanaguruma (fifth in this race at the 2017 FINA World Juniors) had no difficulties in earning gold in 2:11.63, while Greece and Poland had their initial successes in the Natatorium, with the silver going to Savvas Thomoglou (2:13.62) and the bronze to Jan Kalusowski (2:13.72), respectively. 

Yu Hanaguruma (JPN)

In the women’s 50m butterfly, Sara Juvenik (SWE) was slightly better than the rest of the field, touching for gold in 26.40. The silver went to Anastasiya Shkurdai, from Belarus, in 26.62, while the bronze was shared between Polina Egorova (RUS) and Angelina Koehler (GER), both stopping the watch in 26.68 – the first “tied” podium position of these Games. Subenik’s most notorious result before the Argentinean rendezvous was a silver medal in the same event at the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.   

Sara Juvenik (SWE)

Also among women, Russia consolidated its first place in the medal chart, with another victory, this time in the 100m breaststroke. Anastasia Makarova completed the two laps in 1:07.88, also obtaining her third medal in the competition – she had a gold in 4x100m free and a bronze in 4x100m medley relay. Niamh Coyne gave Ireland its first award of the Games, with a silver performance of 1:08.90, while Lithuania’s Kotryna Teterevkova got the bronze in 1:08.95. Makarova’s result represents a huge improvement from her performance at the 2017 FINA World Juniors, where she was sixth in this event.

Ajna Kesely provided Hungary with its fifth gold medal in Argentina, thanks to her victory in the 200m free. The Magyar swimmer completed the race in 1:57.88, confirming her good shape in Buenos Aires, where she was also first in the 800m free. Kesely was also one of the swimmers to watch in Indianapolis last year, when she earned four medals at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships – gold in the 400m free, silver in the 200m, 800m and 1500m free. The second in Buenos Aires was China’s Yang Junxuan (1:58.05), while Barbora Seemanova (CZE), winner of the 100m free, was third in 1:58.25.

Ajna Kesely (HUN)