Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Taylor Ruck got the most out of Day 3, Canada’s shining swimming talent earned three medals, including two golds and was part of a World Junior Record-beating relay. China, Russia and Australia also had a fine evening with a title apiece, the Russian swimmers added four bronze medals to their tally this evening.Taylor Ruck had a busy session. She started with the 200m back at 18.21 where she came up with a great finish but was 0.05sec shy of the silver medal – however, a bronze already was bagged. At 19.06 she returned to the blocks and won the 100m free with ease, in a Championship Record time of 53.92. In fact it was a 1-2 for Canada as Penny Oleksiak came second, trailing by 0.73sec. Just 15 minutes later they stood on the podium with their well-deserved medals, but as soon as the anthem was finished they simply ran all the way along the pooldeck, together with Russia’s bronze medallist Arina Openysheva, as they were all involved to the day-ending 4x100m mixed free relay. In fact, it was a heavy involvement, as the boys handed over the relay placed 4th after 200m so the girls had to produce two more missile-like swim. And they did just that: Oleksiak passed everyone and Ruck never looked back on the home-coming leg. She had another sub-54sec effort (the only one in the field), and that was enough to beat the World Junior Record as well, by more than a full second (3:27.71).


After two gold and a bronze, Taylor Ruck still seemed a little bit shy while talking to the press. “I’m really happy for medalling in all events, it’s amazing. (In the 100m free) it felt really good, during the first 50 I just had a hold-on for the last 25 metres. I didn’t look for beating any record here, I just hoped for a good time. However, beating the World Junior Record in the relay was awesome, just as the opportunity to race with all those fast people and finally came on top.”


Taylor Ruck (CAN) ©Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia

On Day 3 we could see a couple of young stars who were just walking, or rather swimming in the footsteps of their respective nation’s greats. One is Australia’s Minna Atherton who copied Emily Seebohm’s Kazan feat, doubling down the 100m and 200m crowns in the women’s backstroke (today she clocked 2:09.11 over the 200m).


Minna Atherton (AUS) ©Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia

“I wasn’t really expecting that, it was a big surprise as the morning swim wasn’t felt how usually does” Minna said. “Now I was just excited to clock 2:09, I didn’t expect that either, however, I felt really comfortable during this race.”

After all, it wasn’t too surprising as Minna admitted that Emily had given her a couple of tips how to become an even better backstroker.

The other hopeful came from China and with his name – Jitong Yang – it wasn’t surprising at all that he ruled the field over the 800m, just as Sun Yang did in Kazan (and in the previous years). Jitong had also received a couple of advices from China’s giant when they met recently and he proved to be a good student. After passing the 500m mark it was inevitable that this title cannot land in other hands, however, he had to take care of the excellent result from the morning, posted by Cesar Castro of Spain, but Yang could beat it by 2.02sec (7:55.19), keeping the Spaniard at bay. Russia’s Ernest Maksumov was just 0.03sec faster in the evening session than Australia’s Joshua Parrish, who also swam in the morning, so the bronze went to the Russian.

“I’m really happy with my performance” Yang said. “To speed up in the second part of the race is in my strategy, a bit of depending how I feel during the race but today I felt really strong. Though I was tiring towards the end but the excitement helped me to overcome it. When I met Sun this year, he encouraged us, young swimmers, to fight and never give up and gave advices on techniques as well.”

Older traditions came alive in the men’s 100m fly: the event, once ruled by Denis Pankratov, saw the two Daniils from Russia making the podium. Pakhomov’s win was never in danger, he broke the Championship Record (52.28) and gained 0.6sec on Brazil’s Vicinius Lanza who managed to finish between the two Russians as the other Daniil, Antipov came third.


Daniil Pakhomov (RUS) ©Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia

Medal table after Day 3

AUS    5    3    0
USA    3    5    3
RUS    3    0    6
CAN    2    2    1
CHN    2    2    1
GBR    1    1    3
ROU    1    0    0
TUR    1    0    0
ESP    0    1    1
ITA    0    1    1
BRA    0    1    0
HUN    0    1    0
SWE    0    1    0
LTU    0    0    1
NZL    0    0    1


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