Emerging Stars of Artistic Swimming Gather in Malta for European Junior Championships

Credit to: European Aquatics

By Christina Marmet

Following the excitement of the youth and senior European competitions over the last few weeks, it’s now time for the juniors to take the stage at the European Aquatics Junior Artistic Swimming Championships 2024.

From 28 June to 2 July, 175 artistic swimmers aged between 15 and 19 years old (20 for male athletes) from 24 Member Federations will compete in 11 events in the newly inaugurated Olympic-sized indoor pool within the Cottonera Sports Complex in Malta.

Many of these young athletes are fresh from competing in the European Aquatics Championships Belgrade 2024 and are ready to make waves over the coming days.

Among the standout competitors are Ranjuo Tomblin of Great Britain, who was crowned European champion in Solo Free and won four medals in total in Belgrade, and Marloes Steenbeek of the Netherlands, a two-time European bronze medallist in Solo.

Team Spain aims to repeat their success from the 2023 edition, having dominated the medal table with 10 medals, including five golds. The Spaniards already have a few competitions under their belts this year, as they showcased their routines in the Beijing and Markham World Cup legs over the last few weeks.

Jordi Caceres Iglesias, only in his first international season, is certainly a podium contender for the country as well, having already claimed six medals, including two golds, across his two World Cup appearances.

However, Italy, with eight medals last year, along with Greece and France, each with four medals, are all looking to challenge Spain’s dominance in this age group.

Credit to: European Aquatics

Reigning European Junior champion in Solo Free, Filippo Pelati of Italy adds to the fierce competition. The 17-year-old comes into the championships with confidence after winning two silvers in Belgrade in the mixed duet events. His partners and European silver medallists Sarah Maria Rizea and Flaminia Vernice will also compete in Malta.

Counting on six athletes recently crowned European champions in Team Free, Greece will look to repeat their success of Belgrade, where they claimed one gold and two silver medals in the team events. The nation also won the Duet Free title at last year’s European Junior Championships, and surely intends to repeat in Malta, albeit with a different pair.

France is strongly represented by Romane Temessek, reigning World and European Youth champion in Solo, and Oriane Jaillardon.

Reigning European junior bronze medallist in Solo Free, Jaillardon boasts extensive international experience as she has been competing at the World and European Championships in solo and team since 2022 alongside the senior national squad. Although she was not selected as part of the eight-member French Olympic team, she will undoubtedly be one of the strongest and most experienced athletes in Malta.

Team Germany, a nation on the rise, is led by three of its top junior athletes who were part of the history-making squad in Belgrade. Over the coming days, they will aim to challenge the European status quo in this competition as well, after winning gold in Team Acrobatic two weeks ago.

With a mix of returning champions and rising stars, these European Junior Championships promise an exhilarating display of talent and an intense competition, continuing an exciting summer of artistic swimming on the European continent.

Follow all the action live on European Aquatics TV, starting on Friday at 10:00 with the Women’s Solo Free Preliminaries, followed by the Team Technical Final at 17:00.