Corfu 2023 – European Junior Open Water Swimming Championships preview
The long series of European Junior Championships – across the five aquatic disciplines – culminates in Corfu with the most talented age-group open water swimmers set to compete for continental glory from 29 September – 2 October.
The three-day event will feature individual races for three categories – 5km (14–15-year-olds), 7.5km (16-17-year-olds) and 10km (18-19-year-olds).
The final day of competition will also see athletes return to the seas surrounding the beautiful Greek island for two relays events, one specifically for those aged 14-16; with the second an ‘open category’.
Last year’s event, which took place in Setubal, Portugal, in May, saw France top the medal table and Italy claim the Team Trophy.
Turkish swimmers made a huge splash, especially among the younger age-groups, with Germany and French athletes also excelling.
The Hungarians meanwhile used the event as a crucial part of their build up for stunning performances at the World Junior Championships, where won half of the gold medals on offer and claimed the Team Trophy.
Predicting champions at this year’s edition of the LEN European Junior Open Water Championships is far from straight forward, but there are a few established medal-winners on the start-lists.
Hungary’s Bettina Fabian is perhaps the highest ranked in the field, having claimed the overall LEN Open Water Cup title after securing a podium finish in each of the last four legs.
The teenager is the reigning junior world champion and was member of Hungary’s world silver medal winning relay at the senior World Champs in Fukuoka. She is therefore a clear favourite for the women’s 10km title.
Italy’s Pasquale Giordano was the surprise winner of Leg 5 in the LEN OW Cup in Veles, and he claimed the silver last season both at the junior Europeans and Worlds.
With 2022 World junior gold medallist David Betlehem is no longer eligible for junior competitions, it could well be Giordano’s year.
2022 5km champion Julia Ackermann (GER), as well as fellow medallists Sevim Supurgeci (TUR) and Talya Erdogan (TUR), will this year line-up for the start of the 7.5km event.
Corfu 2023 promises three thrilling days of racing, as the traditional powerhouses, Hungary, Italy and Germany all fielding strong line-ups.
Courtesy of the Hellenic Swimming Federation and the local organisers, European Aquatics is able to offer free live streaming from all competitions and live scoring will also be available. For the schedule, the start lists and the results, click here.