Hungarian Hunor Kovacs-Seres claimed Europe’s first gold medal of the Fina 2022 World Junior Open Water Championships with victory in the 7.5km event in Seychelles.
The 16-year-old, who won the European Junior Open Water 5km discipline last year, took a commanding lead after the second of three laps.
He finished the event, for 16–17-year-olds, in one hour 16 minutes and 2.01 seconds.
Mexico’s Paulo Delgado Strehlke came second (1:16:20.6) and Kovacs-Seres’ team-mate Mate Hartmann (1:16:21.6) was just behind in third.
The women’s 7.5km event, also for 16–17-year-olds, was won by American Katie Grimes (1:22:38.5). Narin Burcunaz of Turkey (1:24.57.9) outsprinted Hungarian Lia Csulak (1:24:58.9) in a tight finish for the other podium places.
American success would continue in the day’s male and female 5km events which were each for 14-15-year-old swimmers.
Nathan Szobota grabbed gold ahead of Italian Davide Grossi by just a tenth of a second, with the winning time 48 minutes and 50.9 seconds. Germany’s Diego Heinze was third.
Claire Weinstein, also of the USA, secured herself the top step on the podium with a sprint finish, beginning around 300m from the line, helping her power clear of her rivals and finish in 51:52.4.
Tuna Erdogan of Turkey (51:56.8) and Spain’s Noa Martin (52:05.9) secured silver and bronze respectively.
The second day of competition in Seychelles will see the world’s best junior open water swimmers contest the 10km – Olympic distance – marathon swimming events.