Mitsin & Stancu Set For Final Freestyle Battle On Last Day Of European Juniors


By Retta Race on SwimSwam


We arrived on the final day of competition at the 2023 European Junior Swimming Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

This morning’s prelims session was short and sweet, with just the boys’ and girls’ 400m freestyle heats in the water, along with their medley relays.

As expected, Turkish swimmer Merve Tuncel powered her way to the top seed in the girls’ 400m free, producing a morning outing of 4:13.09.

18-year-old Tuncel is looking for a triple three-peat, having already claimed 800m and 1500m freestyle titles here just as she has done at the 2021 and 2022 editions of these championships.

Behind Tuncel was Germany’s Maya Werner who clocked 4:14.66 while 200m freestyle victor here, Nikolett Padar of Hungary, rounded out the top 3 seeds in 4:15.84.

The boys’ 400m free saw Vlad-Stefan Stancu land lane 4 for this evening’s final, with the 18-year-old earning an AM swim of 3:52.91.

Italy’s Filippo Bertoni was less than a second behind in 3:53.42 while Turkey has two contenders in Ahmet Burak Isik and Emir Batur Albayrak. The former notched 3:53.80 as the 3rd seed while the latter hit 3:55.12 for 4th out of the heats.

However, lurking as the 5th-seeded swimmer is 17-year-old Petar Mitsin of Bulgaria. Mitsin produced a heats outing of 3:55.19, looking smooth and in control after having smashed a lifetime best en route to taking the 800m free last night.

Look for Mitsin to surge to a potential dual once again with Stancu, the silver medalist behind the Bulgarian in last night’s action.

The nations of Spain, Denmark and Great Britain nabbed the top 3 spots in the girls’ 4x100m medley relay while Hungary surprisingly fell to 9th and out of the final. All of Hungary’s medals thus far have come from the girls’ side of the squad.

On the boys’ medley relay side, it was Denmark, Italy and France in the top tier heading into tonight’s final. The leader saw a spicy split from gold medalist Casper Puggaard, with the 18-year-old notching a fly leg of 52.60, the fastest of the field by over a second.

SwimSwam: Mitsin & Stancu Set For Final Freestyle Battle On Last Day Of European Juniors

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