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Thursday, April 18, 2024

World Junior Swimming Championships 2023 to kick off in Israel

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The ninth edition of the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships is set to commence on Monday at Israel’s Wingate Institute Olympic swimming pool in the coastal city of Netanya.

The six-day event will feature over 600 young swimmers, aged 14 to 18, representing 95 countries and regions.

The standout competitor is 17-year-old Lana Pudar from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the current senior European champion in the women’s 200-meter butterfly. Pudar, ranked fourth globally in the 200m butterfly across all age groups, clocked two minutes and 6.26 seconds in July at the European Junior Championships in Belgrade. She also secured a fourth-place finish at the senior World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan later that month.

The top male contender, ranked sixth, is Ukrainian backstroker Oleksandr Zheltiakov, who posted a time of 1:55.79 in the 200m backstroke in Belgrade.

Bulgaria’s freestyle and butterfly swimmer, Petar Mitsin, the only junior world record holder participating, set a record of 3:44.31 in the boys’ 400m freestyle in Belgrade and is anticipated to clinch up to five medals in Netanya.

Other notable female participants include breaststroker Eneli Jefimova of Estonia, who clinched double gold in the 50m and 100m backstroke sprints at the European Juniors, Leah Hayes of the United States, the 2022 World seniors 200m individual medley bronze medalist, and Canadian all-rounder Ella Jansen.

For the boys, Flynn Southam from Australia, a member of the victorious team at the Fukuoka worlds in the 4x100m freestyle relay, and Japan’s Riku Yamaguchi, the only champion from last year’s juniors in Lima competing in 2023, will be in the spotlight after triumphing in the previous year’s 400m individual medley

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