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Championship records continue to fall in Day 2 World Junior Swimming Heats

posted on 28/08/2013: 2089 views

The second heats session of the 4th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships saw another championship record fall this morning in the first event on the program, the boys 200m Individual Medley.

Nearly 800 swimmers from 91 nations have gathered in Dubai to contest the Championships which is for the top juniors in the world, girls aged 14-17 and boys aged 15-18, making this the largest World Junior Swimming Championships since its inception in 2006.

USA's Andrew Seliskar continued his team's dominant performance in the pool, posting a 1:59.91 opening swim to take the record easily and in the process qualifying first for tonight's final. Canada's Evan White and USA Teammate Joseph Bentz qualified second and third. Russia's Semen Makovich, who took gold in this event in the European Junior Championships in July, qualified in seventh and while swimming from an outside lane will definitely be one to watch tonight.

In the girl's 100m freestyle, Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong posted a surprise fastest qualifying time of 55.20, ahead of USA's Cierra Runge, who took gold last night in the 4x200m freestyle relay. European Junior Championship multiple gold medallist Maria Baklakova of Russia, and Lithuanian sensation Ruta Meilutyte, qualified in second and third respectively for tonight's semi-finals. 14 year old Australian Shayna Jack was well outside her personal best, so will be looking for a better time tonight to take her through to tomorrow night's finals and to add to her silver from the 4x200m relay.

The boy's 100m butterfly saw Matthew Josa of USA qualify fastest for tonight's semi-final in 52.92, ahead of Takaya Yasue and Ryan Coetzee of South Africa. Justin Lynch of the USA had the fastest seed time entering the race but only qualified in ninth, so will be certain to be pulling out all the stops tonight to ensure he makes tomorrow's final.

Relay gold medallist Kathryn McLaughlin of USA will be looking to add to her tally tonight in the 200m butterfly final, after qualifying third fastest behind Liliana Szilagyi of Hungary and Misuzu Yabu of Japan, but on recent form, Szilagyi will be hard to beat.

The star of last night's finals, dual gold medallist in the 400m and 4x100m relay, Australian Mack Horton, recovered well from his efforts to qualify fastest with 1:48.70 in the boys 200m freestyle, ahead of silver medallist in the 400m James Guy of Great Britain. Guy and Horton look set for an exciting showdown tonight as Horton chases his third gold and Guy his first.

The mixed medley relays were next on the programme and provided great entertainment with their unpredictable results. Each country must enter two boys and two girls but they can swim in any order so the lead can change often. As this is the first time this event has been included in the World Junior Swimming Championships, the winner of the first heat, Lithuania, set the new Championship record. However this only stood for a matter of minutes as Russia won the next heat and with the fastest qualifying time now holds the Championship record. The USA qualified second, with Lithuania in third, in what promises to be a highlight of this evening's finals program.

While the event has attracted many who have already had success at international senior level, it is also an opportunity for developing swimming nations to get a taste of international competition. For many of the swimmers competing this morning, this would have been their first experience at such a major event, and the crowd was very supportive, cheering the efforts of the slower finishers.

The Championships run until 31st August, with heats each day from 10am - 1.00pm, and semi-finals and finals each night from 6-8.30pm. Tickets are 20dhs per day and are available at the door during the event. The Hamdan Sports Complex is on Emirates Road and a free bus service operates each day from the Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall for the morning and evening sessions. All details can be found on the event's Facebook page. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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