Russia wins three golds to edge China in battle for pool dominance
Russia’s swimmers powered their way to another medal bonanza at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, collecting three golds and a bronze on 20 August.
Rozaliya Nasretdinova won her country’s first medal of the night – gold in the women’s 50m butterfly. Up next in the men’s 50m backstroke, Evgeny Rylov snatched another first place, edging past Apostolos Christou (GRE) and Simone Sabbioni (ITA), who took silver and bronze, respectively.
China also enjoyed a successful evening in the pool, collecting two gold and two bronze medals to dull the disappointment of being disqualified from a relay event for the second day in a row.
Swimmers from the host country took gold and silver in the women’s 200m freestyle, with Shen Duo finishing first and Qiu Yuhan coming in 0.7 seconds behind. Australia’s Brianna Throssell picked up bronze. Yu Hexin won China’s other gold, in the men’s 50m freestyle.
Meilutyte had collected gold in the same event at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the age of 15. “I’m really happy with a 1:05,” she said. “I would have wanted a 1:04, but it’s a very good result.”
Japan’s Ippei Watanabe staged an impressive comeback in the men’s 200m breaststroke final to snatch gold, overtaking Carlos Claverie (VEN) on the final length. Russia’s Anton Chupkov took bronze.
Having received his medal, Watanabe was ushered up to the stands of the natatorium to meet Youth Olympic Games ambassador and London 2012 gold medallist Chad Le Clos (RSA) and IOC President Thomas Bach.
Reflecting on his race and his future, 17-year-old Watanabe said: “I’m very happy with my performance at] the Youth Olympic Games. That race was actually very difficult. I’m now looking to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”