Australia continues to show its competitive spirit at the 2019 World Junior Swimming Championships in Hungary, winning back-to-back bronze medals on the third night of the competition.
The first of the podium finishes came in the Women’s 100m Freestyle final, when Meg Harris – in a nail-biting finish – touched the wall in 54.58 to secure the bronze. Only 0.84 separated the top three, with USA’s Gretchen Walsh (53.74) and Torri Huske (54.54) claiming first and second spot, respectively. Fellow Aussie and St Peters Western teammate Mollie O’Callaghan followed closely behind Harris to finish fourth in a new personal best time of 54.84. The duo will hopefully continue the rich history of Australian female sprint freestyle and lead the next wave of young talent.
After securing a silver medal in the Men’s 400m Freestyle on night one, Thomas Neill added another medal to his collection, this time in the Men’s 800m Freestyle. Showing he has a bright future, the 17-year-old displayed sheer determination at the end of the gruelling race to nab bronze in a personal best time of 7:48.65. Croatian Franko Grgic took gold in 7:45.92.
Showing racing maturity beyond her years in her first international final, Brisbane Grammar’s Tahlia Thornton clocked a personal best time of 2:12.01 to place fifth in the Women’s 200m Backstroke. Canada’s Jade Hannah was out fast and held on to claim gold in 2.09.28.
Concluding the third night of the program was the 4x100m Mixed Freestyle Relay. Australia placed a commendable fifth, hitting the wall in 3:30.32. Both Meg Harris (55.59) and Mollie O’Callaghan (54.11) backed up after a tight turn around between their individual 100m freestyle final. Kalani Ireland (50.64) led the team off, followed by Alex Quach (49.98), with the girls charging home all the way to the finish. The USA took the title in a new World Junior Record time of 3:25.92.
Other Aussie Results:
Women’s 50m Butterfly – Michaela Ryan finished 11th overall in the semi-final in 27.08, while Gabriella Peiniger finished 15th overall in 27.57.
Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Georgia Powell finished 13th overall in the semi-final in 1:09.64, while Tara Kinder finished 23rd overall in the heats in 1:11.16.
Men’s 50m Freestyle – Kalani Ireland finished 16th overall in the semi-final in 23.26, while Angus McDonald finished 38th overall after heats with a time of 23.75.
Men’s 50m Backstroke – Ty Hartwell finished 18th overall in the heats (after takig part in a swim-off) in 26.19, while Joshua Edwards-Smith placed 26th in 26.35.
Women’s 200m Backstroke – Alyssa Burgess, in a time of 2:15.86, finished 14th overall in the heats.
Men’s 800m Freestyle – Mitchell Tinsley finished 16th overall in the timed finals after posting 8:07.52.
4x100 Mixed Freestyle Relay – Noah Millard (50.82), Rebecca Jacobson (55.45) and Jenna Forrester (56.56) were heat team contributors.