World Junior Championships: Leah Hayes Sets Meet Record in 200 IM Romp
Leah Hayes finished off the fourth night of the World Junior Championships with an emphatic win in the women’s 200 individual medley. Her time of 2:10.24 opened up nearly three seconds over the field and set a meet record.
It was one of three gold and seven total medals for the Americans on the fourth night of six in Netanya, Israel. The U.S. is atop the medal table with 11 gold medals in 26 events, only it and Australia (five) with multiple golds among the 12 nations that have won gold. The U.S. leads with 22 total medals.
The full slate of action from Night 4:
(All finals unless noted)
Women’s 50 backstroke semifinals
The podium from the 100 back is represented in the top three seeds in the final. American Erika Pelaez, the bronze medalist in the 100, led the semifinal with a time of 28.24 seconds. She was .02 up on Iona Anderson of Australia with Jaclyn Barclay, the 100 back champ, third in 28.35.
Pelaez’s fellow American Teagan O’Dell got into the final in a tie for fifth with Japan’s Miri Sasaki. In between was fourth-place Delia Lloyd of Canada.
Men’s 200 breaststroke
Hong Kong is on the board with a gold medal thanks to Adam Mak Sai-Ting. Mak used a furious final 50 to seize the lead, coming home in 33.48 seconds after being third at the final wall. He edged out American Jordan Willis by .23 seconds, Mak clocking in at 2:11.84 and Willis 2:12.07.
Both supplied the only sub-34 final 50s of the race. That denied Japan’s Riku Yamaguchi, who led by nearly a quarter-second at the 150 mark. He slid to bronze in 2:12.13, three tenths behind Mak by nearly two seconds up on the non-medal chasers.
Women’s 50 butterfly
Leah Shackley got her hand to the wall to deny Lana Pudar a second gold medal, the American clocking in at 26.20 seconds. She was .06 up on Pudar, the Bosnian getting silver in 26.26 to go with her 200 fly gold. The difference was made on the start, Pudar off the block in 0.73, .07 slower than Shackley.
There was a tie for bronze with Australia’s Olivia Wunsch and Mizuki Hirai of Japan both going 26.53.
Men’s 50 backstroke
Miroslav Knedla turned the tables on Oleksandr Zheltiakov Thursday.
Zheltiakov had gotten the better of him in the 100 back, but Knedla got revenge in the 50, a time of 24.80 seconds getting him gold. Zheltiakov earned silver in 24.91. They comprised a most unusual podium for the international stage: Czechia, Ukraine and …. Argentina, with Ulises Saravia sprinting in for bronze in 25.02.
Czechia got both of its swimmers in the final, Jakub Krischke in seventh. The only American in the field, Daniel Diehl, settled for sixth.
Women’s 100 breaststroke
Canada’s Alexanne Lepage denied Eneli Jefimova’s bid for a second gold, edging out the Estonian in the 100 with a time of 1:06.58. Jefimova, ever the sprinter, was out fastest by nearly a second and looked set to run away with the race. But Lepage closed in 34.92, Jefimova delivered the second-slowest final 50 of the race in 36.24 and Lepage got her by .26 seconds at the wall. Jefimova, who set the meet record of 1:06.23 in prelims, was a half-second slower than that in 1:06.84.
Bronze went to Spain’s Jimena Ruiz, who back-halfed her way to a time of 1:07.25. She outtouched American Piper Enge by .04 seconds, denying Enge a second bronze of the meet.
Men’s 50 butterfly semifinals
Women’s 400 freestyle
Men’s 50 freestyle
Women’s 200 individual medley
Men’s 800 freestyle relay