Team USA Claims Five Medals at FINA World Junior Championships
DUBAI – Kathryn McLaughlin (Dana Point, Calif.) won gold in the women’s 200m fly, Gunnar Bentz (Atlanta, Ga.) was victorious in the men’s 200m individual medley and the United States won five total medals Tuesday on day two of the 2013 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships at the Hamdan Sports Complex.
Through two days of swimming, Team USA has captured nine medals at World Juniors – four gold, four silver and one bronze. Competition runs through Saturday with evening sessions slated for 10 a.m. Eastern.
Also reaching the podium Tuesday were Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C.), who won silver in the women’s 100m back, and Becca Mann (Homer Glen, Ill.), who claimed silver in the women’s 800m free. In addition to their individual medals Tuesday, McLaughlin, Bentz and Baker teamed with Caeleb Dressel (Glen Cove Springs, Fla.) to earn bronze in the mixed 400m medley relay.
In the women’s 200m fly, McLaughlin claimed her second gold medal of the meet with a time of 2:08.72. Liliana Szilagyi of Hungary won silver in 2:09.46, while Misuzu Yabu of Japan took bronze in 2:10.76. In the first of her two swims of the session, Mann placed fifth in 2:13.51. McLaughlin also was a member of Monday’s gold-medal winning women’s 800m free relay.
Bentz struck gold in the men’s 200m IM with a championship record swim of 1:59.44. Silver went to Semen Makovich of Russia in 1:59.50, with Keita Sunama of Japan taking bronze in 1:59.74. After breaking the previous championship record in his prelim swim, Andrew Seliskar (McLean, Va.) finished fourth in the final in 1:59.84.
In the women’s 100m back, Baker earned silver in a tightly contested race with a time of 1:01.18. Russia’s Daria Ustinova won gold in 1:01.05, with Great Britain’s Jessica Fullalove taking bronze in 1:01.27. Clara Smiddy (Miami, Fla.) just missed the podium by finishing fourth in 1:01.33.
After taking fifth in the 200m fly earlier in the session, Mann won her second silver medal of the meet in the 800m free after closing strong over the final 200m of the race for a time of 8:37.85. Australia’s Alanna Bowles won gold in 8:32.68, and bronze went to Linda Caponi of Italy in 8:38.42. Isabella Rongione (McLean, Va.) placed fourth in 8:40.00. Mann also won silver Monday in the 400m IM.
Just as he did Monday in the men’s 400m free relay, Dressel anchored the U.S. onto the podium Tuesday in the mixed 400m medley relay. Dressel swam Team USA into a bronze-medal finish in 3:52.63 with a 48.70 freestyle leg to close. Baker swam backstroke, followed by Bentz on breaststroke and McLaughlin on butterfly. Russia overtook runner-up Lithuania to win gold in 3:48.89.
In other finals Tuesday, Connor Green (Milton, Mass.) finished seventh in the men’s 100m back in 55.54, and Dressel was sixth in the men’s 200m free in 1:49.29.
In addition to Tuesday’s finals, semifinal races were held in a number of events with the top eight qualifiers advancing to the finals. In the men’s 100m fly, Team USA’s Matthew Josa (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Justin Lynch (Vallejo, Calif.) qualified first and second for tomorrow’s final with times of 52.96 and 53.29, respectively. Two Americans also advanced to the final of the women’s 100m free, as Cierra Runge (Cochranville, Pa.) tied for the second-fastest qualifying time at 55.16, and Mimi Schneider (Western Springs, Ill.) qualified eighth in 56.05.
Complete event results are available online.
Men’s competitors must be between the ages of 15-18 as of Dec. 31, 2013, while women’s swimmers must be between 14-17 years old as of Dec. 31, 2013. For complete information on the 2013 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, please visit fina.org.