Four world records fall on opening day

Anton Chupkov of Russia (fourth from front) en route to winning the men's 100m breaststroke semi-final last night in 1min 00.34sec. "I will do my best to go under the one-minute mark," he said of today's final.
Anton Chupkov of Russia (fourth from front) en route to winning the men's 100m breaststroke semi-final last night in 1min 00.34sec. "I will do my best to go under the one-minute mark," he said of today's final.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Shayna Jack
Shayna JackPHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Russia's Anton Chupkov lowers his own time in 100m breaststroke heat, eyes final effort

It was the last race on the opening day of the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships, and spectators at the OCBC Aquatic Centre were starting to filter out of the venue to beat the rush.

But those who stayed were rewarded as the Australian women's 4x200m freestyle relay team produced a record-breaking swim to end the day on a high.

They clocked 7min 56.68sec, almost three seconds under the previous mark of 7:59.42.

Shayna Jack, who swam the third leg, said: "Actually, breaking the record was a last-minute goal. We were in the (call room) and we were like, 'Oh, we can get that'."

"We told each other before the race to give our all and to see how it goes. Hopefully, we can keep up this standard for the rest of the (meet)," she added.

MAKING THEIR MARK

Actually, breaking the record was a last-minute goal. We were in the (call room) and we were like, 'Oh, we can get that'.

SHAYNA JACK on her Australian team's world record in the women's 4x200m

The swim rounded up a blistering start to the championships, which saw a total of four world junior records fall.

Leading the way was double world record holder Anton Chupkov of Russia, who clocked 1min 0.12sec in the morning to top the 100m breaststroke heats. He lowered his previous mark of 1:00.84, set en route to winning the Youth Olympic Games gold last year.

He failed to better his record when he topped the evening's semi-final in 1:00.34 but said he is aiming to break the one-minute barrier in today's final.

The 18-year-old said: "I wanted to beat the record (in the heats) so it was great. The swim was absolutely perfect. The semi-final was good as well but I'm saving power for the final.

"I'm confident I can do better, and I will do my best to go under the one-minute mark."

Joining the Russian and the Australian relay squad in the record books were Britain's Rosie Rudin in the 400m individual medley and Australia's Minna Atherton in the 100m backstroke.

Rudin, 16, who races for the Nottingham Nova Centurion Swimming Club, won her race in 4:39.01.

She said: "I had a difficult year balancing school and swimming so it's nice to get the record. I wasn't expecting to go that fast... it's the best race I've produced."

Australian Atherton clocked her world-best time (59.83sec) in the heats and followed it up by winning the semi-final in 59.86.

It was a good first day out for Australia who won two of the evening's four finals. They also clinched the men's 4x100m free.

United States captain Grant Shoults won the night's other final, the men's 400m free.

Australian star Kyle Chalmers said: "I think tonight we've done a pretty good job... it's an awesome way to start the meet.

"Hopefully, we can keep that up and keep swimming fast."

The championships, which was declared open by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday, ends on Sunday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2015, with the headline 'Four world records fall on opening day'. Print Edition | Subscribe