Vivien Jackl Follows Golden Hungarian IM Tradition At European Juniors: Golden Relay Double For Italy
Vivien Jackl was the first swimmer to be crowned at the 2023 European Junior Championships as she followed a golden Hungarian tradition in the 400IM in Belgrade.
Italy made it a golden double in the 4×100 freestyle relays at the first night of finals at the continental event which runs from 4-9 July.
Hungary has produced a long line of fine 400IM women with Krisztina Egerszegi and Katinka Hosszu both standing atop the Olympic podium.
She led the way into the final a year after winning bronze as a 13-year-old at the European Juniors in Otopeni.
Jackl was third at 100 before a 67.73 backstroke leg propelled her to a 4.76sec lead over Louna Kasvio – daughter of 1992 Olympic 200 free bronze medallist Antti – at halfway with Lisa Nystrand six seconds adrift.
The Swede, however, made huge inroads on the breaststroke, going 1:18.87 to 1:23.63, to draw within 1.24secs of the Hungarian.
Jackl though pulled away once more on the free with a final 50 of 31.98 propelling her into the wall in 4:40.66, 0.02 outside Alba Vazquez Ruiz‘s championship record of 4:40.64 from Kazan 2019.
Nystrand was second in 4:45.06 with Kasvio taking third in 4:46.82.
The Italian girls’ squad won the 4×100 free title at the 2022 European Juniors with three of the quartet returning this year in the form of Sara Curtis, Marina Cacciapuoti and Matilde Biagotti.
Curtis led off in 55.35 followed by Cacciapuoti (55.01) as they reached halfway in pole in 1min 50.36secs, 1.22secs ahead of Britain who were second in 1min 51.58secs followed by Germany (1min 51.92secs) and Hungary (1min 51.93secs).
But a third 50 of 54.62 by Nikolett Padar propelled Hungary into second, 0.64 behind Italy, and she handed over to Dora Molnar who anchored the team in 54.84, eating into Italy’s lead but Biagotti’s 55.41 was sufficient to claim gold in 3:40.60.
Hungary claimed silver in 3:41.39 with Britain third in 3:43.37.
That was followed by their male counterparts in a final where each member of the quartet went sub-50 with Davide Passafaro anchoring them in 48.89, the only man inside 49 in the field.
Italy won in 3:17.87 ahead of France (3:19.39) and Lithuania (3:20.53).
European Juniors: Day One Semi-Finals
Nikolett Padar – who won the 100 and 200 free double at the 2022 European Juniors – booked lane four for the four-length final in 1:58.77 ahead of fellow Hungarian Lilla Minna Abraham (2:00.53) with Italy’s Matilde Biagotti next through in 2:00.54.
Alessandro Ragaini of Italy clocked 1:48.61 to lead the way in the boys’ semi ahead of Petar Mitsin – who lowered his national record to 1:47.41 in prelims – as the Bulgarian clocked 1:49.18 with Jarno Baeschnitt of Germany third through in 1:49.31.
Andrea Camozzi was the only man inside 1:58 in the 200 fly, the Italian clocking 1:57.95 ahead of Slovakia’s Samuel Kostal (1:58.84) and Tuncer Berk Erterk of Turkey (1:58.94).
Eneli Jefimova – who swept the breaststroke events at the 2022 European Juniors – was the only swimmer inside 31secs in the 50, going 30.69 with Jonas Gaur of Denmark leading the boys’ race in 28.06.
Miroslav Knedla was 0.16 outside his Czech 50 back record of 24.75 as he dominated the boys’ 50 back semis in 24.91 with Lora Fanni Komoróczy – silver medallist in 2022 – leading the girls’ in 28.32.