Swimming: Three world junior marks tumble at Fina World Junior Championships

Chalmers clocked 22.19sec to take the 50m free.
Chalmers clocked 22.19sec to take the 50m free.PHOTO: SWIMMING AUSTRALIA LTD

SINGAPORE - Australia's Kyle Chalmers was crowned the fastest boy in the pool at the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships on Friday, on a day when three world junior swimming records fell at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

Chalmers clocked 22.19sec to take the 50m free, ahead of United States' Michael Andrew (22.36). Italy's Giovanni Izzo was third with 22.55.

There was reprieve for Andrew, who has struggled after entering in eight individual events. Touted as the next big thing from the US, the youngster got his first gold of the meet when he won the 50m back.

Chalmers' compatriot Minna Atherton stayed on course for a sweep of the women's backstroke events when she broke the 50m back mark in the heats, then lowered it again in the evening's semi-final.

The Brisbane teenager became the first youth swimmer to go under 28sec in the event, clocking 27.92 to top the semi-final. It was under her mark of 28.00 set in the morning heats.

She now holds two junior world records - the 50m and the 100m back, which she set on Wednesday. She also won the 200m back on Thursday. The 50m back final takes place on Saturday.

Turkey's Viktoria Gunes notched the evening's second world junior record. Gunes, who had earlier won the women's 100m breaststroke, clocked 2min 11.03sec in the women's 200m individual medley, lowering her previous record of 2:11.46 set at the senior world championships in Kazan.

The United States men's 4x200m freestyle relay made a late dash for the world junior record books when they clocked 7:13.76 in the evening's last race. It bettered the previous mark of 7:15.36 set by Britain in 2013.

After four days of racing, Australia lead the medal table with seven golds and five silvers. The US are second with five golds, seven silvers, and three bronzes, while Russia are third with four golds and eight bronzes.

In the morning's heats, Singapore's 4x200m freestyle relay team set a new national Under-17 mark when they clocked 7:48.24, demolishing the previous mark of 8:04.02 set in 2005.

siangyee@sph.com.sg