2019 European Junior Championships Finals Day Two: Thomas Ceccon Strikes Again, Seizes Men’s 100 Back With Ease

Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / deepbluemedia

The 2019 European Junior Swimming Championships entered its second day of competition this evening, showing no signs of slowing down. Hosting the continent’s best young talent, the meet continued to showcase its strengths in Gen Z, as the rising athletes took Kazan by storm. With an eclectic slate of events ranging from the 1500 free to sprint stroke, spectators were privy to some of this season’s most climactic races– with a small taste of what is in store for the World Championships in just a few short weeks.

One of the most notable names was Italy’s Thomas Ceccon, who has made the summer season of 2019 his own. Seizing the men’s 100 back victory with ease, Ceccon has quickly established his presence on the international stage, becoming the face of Italian swimming in recent years.

Men’s 100 Back

Italy’s Thomas Ceccon furthered his already impressive individual schedule by tallying another win in the men’s 100 back, crashing the pads with a 54.13. Russia’s Nikolai Zuev pushed him, clocking in at 54.40 to edge out the Czech Republic’s Jan Cejka (54.47). France’s Tomac Mewen conceded the bronze by a tenth, posting a 54.57 for fourth ahead of Russia’s Pavel Samusenko (54.77).

Charlie Brown of Great Britain was the last man under 55, sliding in at 54.96, while Hungary’s Gabor Zombori (55.43) and Portugal’s Coast Joao (55.92) rounded out the heat.

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Women’s 400 Free

Germany showcased its strength in distance with Isabel Marie Gose’s performance in the women’s 400 free, as she surged to a 4:07.96 finish for the championship. Italy’s Giulia Salin headed the second wave, narrowly seizing second with a time of 4:10.13 ahead of Russia’s Yana Kurtseva (4:10.26). Turkey’s Beril Boecekler rounded out the battle for the bronze, clocking in with a 4:10.41 and conceding third by less than two tenths.

Spain’s Paula Juste Sanchez was not to be ignored, as she surged down the center of the lane to throw up a 4:12.75 with Poland’s Aleksandra Knop (4:14.46) riding her hip. Slovenia’s Sara Racnik (4:15.98) managed to get her hand on the wall before Spain’s Alba Herrero Lazaro (4:16.46) for seventh.

Spain’s Pauls Juste Sanchez

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Women’s 200 Fly

Hungary went for a 1-2 sweep in the women’s 200 fly, with Blanka Berecz barely edging out her compatriot Fanni Fabian (2:09.97) with a time of 2:09.80. The two left the rest of the field, as Finland’s Laura Lahtinen was their closest competitor with a time of 2:11.14.

Turkey’s Zehra-Duru Bilgin took over from there, as she crashed the pads with a 2:12.02, just ahead of her teammate Defne Tacyildiz (2:12.09). Poland’s Daria Zielinska followed close behind, closing in a 34.03 to post a time of 2:12.59. The Netherlands’ Lotte Hosper put forth an impressive performance of her own, turning in a 2:13.58 to better Sophie Freeman’s (2:14.29) mark by over seven tenths.

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Women’s 100 Free

Germany continued its monopoly on the evening’s freestyle events, as Isabel Marie Gose sprinted to a 54.86 finish for the championship, followed by her compatriot Maya Tobehn (55.21). Russia’s Aleksandra Sabitova slid her way into third, dropping a 55.38 to box Spain’s Carmen Weiler Sastre (55.60) out of the top three.

Latvia tallied some points with Ieva Maluka’s top five performance, as she surged to a 55.63 finish ahead of France’s Oceane Carnez (55.73). Despite her impressive preliminary swim, Russia’s Ekaterina Nikonova fell in the rankings in the championship final, as her time of 55.88 was good enough for seventh. Tamryn Van Selm of Britain rounded out the heat from lane eight, sending the meet into its next event with a 56.22.

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Men’s 200 Breast

Russia’s Aleksandr Zhigalov (2:11.25) and the Netherlands’ Caspar Corbeau (2:11.41) went stroke for stroke in the final lap of the men’s 200 breast, with Zhigalov emerging the victor. Leon Marchand of France secured his spot on the medal stand with a 2:12.17, taking down Turkey’s Demirkan Demir (2:12.26) at the finish.

Britain’s Kyle Booth barely conceded a spot in the top three with his time of 2:12.48, putting distance between himself and Ireland’s Eoin Corby (2:13.35). Greece’s Savvas Thomoglou dropped a 2:14.79 for seventh, as Dawid Wiekiera of Poland topped off the heat with a time of 2:16.69.

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Women’s 200 Back

Italy’s Erika Francesca Gaetani (2:10.28) struck again in the women’s 200 back, as she and Britain’s Honey Osrin (2:10.30) surged down the center of the lanes in nearly identical fashion. It was Gaetani who got her hand on the wall first, with Belarus’ Anastasiya Shkurdai claiming third soon after with a time of 2:11.84. Austria’s Lena Grabowski contributed to the tightly packed heat, turning in a 2:11.99 ahead of Israel’s first A-finalist, Aviv Barzelay (2:12.01).

Hungary’s Eszter Szabo Feltothy found herself just outside the top five with a time of 2:12.54, as Poland’s Zuzanna Herasimowicz (2:14.01) and Croatia’s Ana Herceg (2:16.58) topped off the final.

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Men’s 1500 Free

Russia manhandled the competition in the men’s 1500 free, as compatriots Kirill Martynychev and Ilia Sibirtsev went 1-2 for their country with times of 15:01.59 and 15:08.57, respectively. Germany’s Sven Schwartz posed a slight threat throughout, pushing Sibirtsev the last 100 before conceding the coveted silver with a time of 15:09.41.

France’s Thomas Fargeot headed the second wave, clocking in at 15:27.62 ahead of his teammate Tomy-Lee Camblong (15.33.15). Spain’s Alejandr Puebla Martinez finished up his 30 laps with an impressive 15:39.44, as Greece claimed more points with Dimitrios Markos’ (15:40.18) seventh place performance. Lleyton Plattel of the Netherlands wrapped up the individual events with a 16:30.31.

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Mixed 400 Free Relay

Germany refused to end the evening without another freestyle victory, as its lethal combination of Rafael Miroslaw, Artem Selin, Maya Tobehn, and Isabel Marie Gose stole the mixed 400 free relay with relative ease, clocking in at 3:28.43. Russia tried to hang on, as Andrei Minakov, Aleksandr Shchegolev, Aleksandra Sabitova, and Ekaterina Nikonova sprinted to a 3:29.12 for silver. They managed to fend off Italy, whose quartet of Stefano Nicetto, Thomas Ceccon, Maria Ginevr Masciopinto, and Emma Virginia Menicucci clocked in at 3:30.12, good enough for the bronze.

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