Russians and Hungarians continue gold medal streak in swimming finale
On the final night of action at the Natatorium, Russian duo Kliment Kolesnikov and Andrei Minakov won the 200m breastroke and 100m freestyle respectively to take their personal hauls to six golds apiece.
In a packed programme, Hungary’s Ajna Kesely took her gold medal tally to three in the 400m freestsyle, while her male compatriot Kristof Milak did the same in the men’s 200m butterfly. Barbora Seemanova (CZE) won the women’s 50m freestyle for her second gold and third medal of the competition. Polina Egorova (RUS) won her third gold medal and sixth overall with victory in the women’s 100m butterfly.
Shiori Asaba (JPN) won the women’s 200m breaststroke, while Michael James Houlie (RSA) took the men’s 50m breaststroke.
In a dramatic finish to the evening, China won gold in the mixed 4x100m medley relay ahead of a Russian team that had lagged in sixth place after two legs.
Home cheer for Pignatiello
Local heroine Pignatiello was blown away by the size and volume of the Natatorium crowd as she won a second silver medal at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games on Friday, the final night of the swimming competition.
The 18-year-old enjoyed the backing of a vocal support, who noisily chanted her name at the end of the competition after her second-place finish in the women’s 400m freestyle, three days after she won a medal of the same colour in the 800m freestyle.
“The experience of being here, the people cheering me on - it was five times more than during (the) nationals (championships),” Pignatiello said.
I could feel all the support from all the people.Delfina Narella Pignatiello Argentina
Those people included Pignatiello’s family and friends, who had made a special effort to be with her during the Youth Olympic Games in the wake of her grandmother’s death last week.
“They went out of their way to try to find time to be with me and moments to enjoy. They really brought up my spirit," she said.
“It was really worth all those mornings of waking up early to train before school, but now I still get up at 6am to train even though I’m not in school. It took a lot of effort, and now the reward is these medals.”
Russians impress in men’s events
In the men’s events, Russia’s swimmers continued their gold-medal streak in Buenos Aires. Kliment Kolesnikov and Andrei Minakov each won their sixth gold medal of the competition. Kolesnikov, 18, beat Daniel Cristian Martin (ROU) to win the 200m backstroke, while Minakov edged Jakub Kraska (POL) by three hundredths of a second to win the 100m freestyle.
“I don’t like to expect before the races how many gold medals (I will win), how many times I will stand on the podium...I did it,” Kolesnikov said.
Minakov laughed when asked if he expected to achieve such success in Buenos Aires.
“Nobody expected this,” he said. “Not me, not my coach, no one. The (result) that surprised me most was (my) 100m butterfly (win), beating (Kristof) Milak (HUN). I couldn’t have (imagined) these results.”