Roaring Rosie among record-setters in world juniors
Rosie roars to a world mark on thrilling opening day of world juniors
She was dead last after the opening butterfly leg in the women's 400m individual medley final, but Briton Rosie Rudin was not about to panic last night at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
The 17-year-old turned on the afterburners in the backstroke leg and roared into the lead at the 150m mark, and Rosie never looked back, storming home to win in a world junior record time of 4min 39.01sec on the opening day of the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships here.
Teammate Georgia Coates took silver with a time of 4:39.94, while Spain's Africa Zamorano was third (4:40.15).
With her swim, Rosie became the first female swimmer to go under 4min 40sec at the prestigious junior world meet.
Speaking moments after her magnificent effort last night, the teenager said: "I am absolutely over the moon. I wasn't expecting to go that fast... I tried to go out fast at the start and hold on for the rest of the race.
"I wasn't expecting any particular time. I just went in to try to get a personal best, and see what I can do."
Rosie's record-breaking feat was just one of four on the opening night of the six-day meet in Singapore.
Australia's Minna Atherton rewrote the women's 100m backstroke world junior record of 1:00.25 with a 59.83 effort in the morning heats, and clocked 59.86 in the evening semi-finals, which she won, to take her place in tonight's final.
"I felt I swam a good race in the heats. I felt really comfortable doing it. I was trying to go under a minute, but I didn't know what to expect," she said.
Her time may not stand for long in the record books, though, as American Claire Adams' 59.58 effort at the US Nationals this year has yet to be ratified by Fina.
Minna, 15, said: "I don't really know about that, so, yeah. My biggest opponent in the final will probably be Claire from the US."
Australia also featured in a second new world junior world mark when their quartet won the women's 4x200m freestyle title last night (see story below).
One athlete who will always have a special affinity with Singapore is Russia's Anton Chupkov.
The 18-year-old became the first swimmer to set a world record in any age group at the one-year-old OCBC Aquatic Centre at the Sports Hub, when he rewrote his own world junior mark in the men's 100m breaststroke of 1:00.84 by clocking 1:00.12 in the morning heats.
"It felt great, I wanted to break the record and it was absolutely a perfect swim," said Anton, who clocked 1:00.34 in the semi-finals last night.
"Tonight, it was not my aim to beat the record again. I am keeping some of my power for the final. I am going to beat it again in the final."
Relay joy for Aussies
It was an event the Americans have won in the past three world junior championships.
But, the Australians ensured that run ended when they won the women's 4x200m freestyle relay in style last night at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, setting a new world junior mark of 7min 56.68sec.
The time was almost three seconds better than the old mark of 7:59.42, set by an American quartet in 2013.
Canada took silver (7:57.04) and Russia the bronze (7:57.58), with this year's American foursome managing only fourth (7:57.84).
Australia's anchor swimmer Gemma Cooney said: "It was a big shock, to be honest. We just went out there trying to do our best.
"Being an anchor was great, I looked up in the stands and saw all the Australians cheering us on and it really got me going for the last leg home.
"When I touched the wall and looked at the clock, it was surreal."
The Australians also won the other relay last night, the men's 4x100m freestyle, despite placing fourth after the first leg.
Second swimmer and star man Kyle Chalmers grabbed the lead for the Australians from Brazil, and they never looked back, claiming gold in 3:17.39.
The United States finished second (3:18.42), while Italy claimed third (3:18.58).
Australia's anchor swimmer Jack Cartwright said: "At the 50m mark, I just went as hard as I could. I was definitely checking out the Americans on the way home.
"When I touched home, it was just the biggest load off my shoulders knowing we got that gold."
Australia lead the medal table after the first day with two golds, while the US and the UK have one win apiece.
Some cheer for host nation
Singapore's men's 4x100m freestyle quartet broke a six-year-old age-group record on the first day of the world junior championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Darren Lim, Darren Chua, Dylan Koo and Francis Fong clocked 3min 28.56sec in the morning heats to erase the old mark of 3:30.08, set by Clement Lim, Pang Sheng Jun, Jonathan Poh and Yeo Jia Chen at the Asian Youth Games here in 2009.
The Singaporeans finished 13th and did not qualify for the final last night.
TODAY'S EVENING SCHEDULE
Men: 100 back, 200 free, 100 fly, 100 breast, 200 IM
Women: 200 fly, 50 breast, 100 free, 100 back, 800 free
Mixed: 4x100 medley relay
- Morning heats start at 10am. Tickets can be purchased at www.sportshub.com.sg/sportshubtix/Pages/Home.aspx