Stars shine bright on first night at the pool
Gorbenko (ISR), Kolesnikov (RUS) and Milak (HUN) all impress as swimming gets under way.
Fifteen-year-old Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko, Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov, and Kristof Milak of Hungary were the stars of the show as the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games action got under way at the Natatorium on Sunday.
Within minutes of setting a national record for Israel of two minutes 12.88 seconds on her way to winning the gold medal in the women’s 200m individual medley, Gorbenko found herself back in the pool to contest the final of the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay.
“I really can’t describe this feeling. It’s amazing,” she said of her victory ahead of Serbia’s Anja Crevar and bronze medallist Cyrielle Duhamel (FRA).
“(Competing again so soon) was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. It was really difficult. I just breathed really deep and was back in another race.”
Despite Gorbenko’s efforts, Israel - second in the morning relay preliminaries - were disqualified in the final, while eighth-place qualifiers Russia captured gold from the outside lane.
Their winning team of Kolesnikov, Andrei Minakov, Polina Egorova and Elizaveta Klevanovich notched a time of 3:28.50 to beat silver medallists Brazil (3:30.13). China finished third in 3:30.45.
“We are very excited to win the first gold for Russia, and for all of Russia, not just swimming,” Minakov said. “I hope the country is proud of us.
“We swam in lane eight, so it was a little bit dangerous. But we did very well.”
Kolesnikov, who is the world record holder in the 50m backstroke and holds world junior records in the 50m, 100m and 200m distances for the same event, also finished quickest in the evening’s semifinals for the men’s 100m backstroke. The final will be contested on Monday (8 October) at 18:00.
Hungarian Milak, who is entered in nine events at the Youth Games, earned the first gold medal of the night in the men’s 400m freestyle. Italy’s Marco De Tullio took silver and Japan’s Keisuke Yoshida bronze.
In the men’s 100m breaststroke, South Africa’s Michael Houlie swam a Youth Olympics best of 1:00.23 to qualify first for Monday evening’s final.