By Sharon Robb
August 20, 2014—In one of the meet’s biggest showdowns between three top sprinters, China’s Yu Hexin broke his own junior world record to win the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle on Day Four of the 2014 IOC Youth Olympic Games Wednesday night at the Olympic Sports Centre Natatorium in Nanjing, China.
Yu won in 22.00 outsprinting Brazil’s Matheus Santana, second in 22.43 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter, third in 22.53. Yu broke his record of 22.01 set in the semifinals.
The sprint titans will clash again in the 100-meter freestyle.
Carter, a Plantation American Heritage alum who trains frequently in South Florida and is a sophomore at USC, was also fastest qualifier in his 50-meter butterfly heat in 24.01 and second fastest qualifier in the semifinals in 24.04 behind Yu.
As expected, world record holder Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.39, more than two seconds ahead of silver medalist Yun He of China in 1:07.49. Anastasiya Malyavino of the Ukraine was third in 1:08.16. It was the Lithuanian’s second gold medal. She is the first swimmer in the sport’s history to win a gold medal in the same event at the Olympics and Youth Olympics.
Jordan’s Lydia Musleh of Pine Crest Swimming was sixth in her 200-meter freestyle heat in 2:07.96 and will compete Thursday in the 50-meter freestyle heats with a seed time of 27.56.
Swimming in the same 50-meter backstroke heat, AquaKids Sharks’ Clara Smiddy of Team USA was second in 29.15. St. Augustine’s Nguyen Thi Anh Vien of Vietnam was fifth in 29.54. Both advanced into the semifinals where Smiddy, finished third in 29.11 and qualified for finals and will go after her second gold medal. Vien placed eighth in29.57.
In the men’s 50-meter butterfly, Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams of St. Andrew’s Swimming was seventh in his heat in 26.29; Suriname’s Zuhayr Pigot of Doral Aquatics and Metro Aquatics was sixth in25.08.
In other finals:
Japan’s Ippei Watanabe took the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:11.31, out-touching University of Louisville-bound Carlos Claverie of Venezuela took silver in 2:11.74 and Anton Chupkov of Russia took bronze in 2:11.87.
Russia’s Rozaliya Nasretdinova won the 50-meter butterfly in a junior world record in 26.26. Svenja Stoffel of Switzerland was second in 26.62. Nastja Govejsek of Slovakia was third in 26.70.
Evgeny Rylov of Russia won the 50-meter backstroke in 25.09. Apostolos Christou of Greece was second in 25.44. Simone Sabbioni of Italy was third in 25.47.
Duo Shen and Yuhan Qiu of China finished one-two in the women’s 200-meter freestyle in 1:56.12 and 1:56.82. Brianna Throssell of Australia was third in 1:58.57.
With China not in the field after being disqualified, Russia won the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:38.02. Germany was second in 3:39.30 and Australia was third in 3:40.68. Despite a protest, Brazil was not allowed to compete because its coaches’ staff failed to confirm the relay’s participation an hour before the race. Team USA, the slowest qualifier in prelims, scratched the final.
For swimming, prelims begin 10 p.m. and finals 6 a.m. East Coast time. The swimming competition ends Friday.
The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.
The Youth Olympic Games are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also could provide a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.
China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics. During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.
NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports are combining for 54.5 hours of coverage through the Closing Ceremony on August 28.
NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.
Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.
For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com