- Nicolo’ Martinenghi – ניקולו מרטינלי – איטליה – חזה 50, 100, 200
- Polina Egorova – פולינה אגורובה – רוסיה – גב 50, 100, 200
- Marrit Steenbergen – מריט סטינברגן – הולנד – חפשי 100, 200
- Kliment Kolesnikov – קלימט קולסניקוב – רוסיה – גב 50, 100, 200, חפשי 50, מ.א. 200
- Ajna Kesely – איינה קסלי – הונגריה – חפשי 200, 400, 800, 1500 ו 200 פרפר
Young talents are set to dive into action next week at the 2017 European Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel. The meet runs from June 28 – July 2, 2017 and will feature many of Europe’s young greats, including Italy’s Nicolo’ Martinenghi, the Netherlands’ Marrit Steenbergen, Russia’s Polina Egorova, and more!
While the Americans vie for positions in Indianapolis, here are five people to keep an eye on at European Juniors:
1. Nicolo’ Martinenghi – Italy
The young Italian enters the meet with the top time in all three breaststroke events, setting himself up for a nice sweep.
Last year at this meet, Martinenghi earned silvers in each of his events, but has since dropped each of those times by a second or more. His current best times are a 26.97, 59.31, and 2:11.63. His 59.31, set yesterday at the 2017 Sette Colli International, secured the Italian National Record in the 100 breast and sets him up as a solid contender to be the first Italian man under 59 seconds.
Martinenghi also holds the Italian National Record in the 50 breast and is the World Junior Record holder in both events.
2. Polina Egorova – Russia
Similar to Martinenghi, Egorova will arrive in Netanya ready to sweep the women’s backstroke events.
The 17-year-old is entered as the top seed in all three events with times of 28.25, 59.95, and 2:10.45. As the event distance grows, so does Egorova’s dominance over the line-up. Her closest race will be the 50 back, where Italian Tania Quaglieri sits a shy .21 seconds back.
The distance widens as Egorova enters with the only sub-one minute seed in the 100 by more than a second, and sits 1.24 seconds ahead in the 200.
3. Marrit Steenbergen – The Netherlands
Steenbergen holds the top seed in both the women’s 100 and 200 freestyles and sits poised to take charge, but not without some challengers.
In the 100 free, she claims the only 53-second seed with a 53.98, sitting close to a second ahead of second-place seed Barbora Seemanova of the Czech Republic. Her 53.98 was set just this spring in Eindhoven, meaning she may not have been fully tapered at the time.
The 200 free will be a tight race between Steenbergen and Hungary’s Anja Kesely. Steenbergen holds the top seed at a 1:57.28, but distance ace Kesely sits close behind with a 1:57.86.
4. Kliment Kolesnikov – Russia
Kolesnikov enters the meet with a very versatile schedule, holding first or second place seeds in a total of five events. The 16-year-old from Russia is currently entered in all three of the men’s backstroke events, plus the 50 free and 200 IM.
.01 seconds is all that separates Kolesnikov from top seed Dutchman Nyls Korstanje in the 50 free, leaving the splash-and-dash as a wild car win for Kolesnikov.
Kolesnikov has a strong chance to sweep the backstroke events with top seeds of 24.94, 53.65, and 1:55.49 respectively. His closest race will be the 50 back where a slim .30 seconds separates him from second place seed Conor Ferguson of Ireland.
Additionally, he has a strong hold over the 200 IM with a top time of 2:00.27, setting him up for a potential collection of five individual golds.
5. Ajna Kesely – Hungary
Kesely will juggle a full schedule in Natanya as she is entered in five individual races. The 16-year-old is entered in the 200 – 1500 freestyle races, plus the women’s 200 fly.
As mentioned earlier, Kesely will have to battle the Netherlands’ Steenbergen for the gold in the 200 free, but her chances at gold in the 400 – 1500 are basically rock solid. She enters with top seeds times of 4:06.42, 8:31.05, and 16:14.35 for the distance races.
Kesely could have a shot at the gold in the women’s 200 fly entering with a second place seed time of 2:10.76. She is buoyed on either side by fellow Hungarians Boglarka Bonecz (2:10.45) and Blanka Berecz (2:10.95).