She was dead last after the opening butterfly leg in the women's 400m individual medley final, but Briton Rosie Rudin was not about to panic last night at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
The 17-year-old turned on the afterburners in the backstroke leg and roared into the lead at the 150m mark, and Rosie never looked back, storming home to win in a world junior record time of 4min 39.01sec on the opening day of the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships here.
Teammate Georgia Coates took silver with a time of 4:39.94, while Spain's Africa Zamorano was third (4:40.15).
With her swim, Rosie became the first female swimmer to go under 4min 40sec at the prestigious junior world meet.
Speaking moments after her magnificent effort last night, the teenager said: "I am absolutely over the moon. I wasn't expecting to go that fast... I tried to go out fast at the start and hold on for the rest of the race.
"I wasn't expecting any particular time. I just went in to try to get a personal best, and see what I can do."
Rosie's record-breaking feat was just one of four on the opening night of the six-day meet in Singapore.
Australia's Minna Atherton rewrote the women's 100m backstroke world junior record of 1:00.25 with a 59.83 effort in the morning heats, and clocked 59.86 in the evening semi-finals, which she won, to take her place in tonight's final.
"I felt I swam a good race in the heats. I felt really comfortable doing it. I was trying to go under a minute, but I didn't know what to expect," she said.
Her time may not stand for long in the record books, though, as American Claire Adams' 59.58 effort at the US Nationals this year has yet to be ratified by Fina.
Minna, 15, said: "I don't really know about that, so, yeah. My biggest opponent in the final will probably be Claire from the US."
Australia also featured in a second new world junior world mark when their quartet won the women's 4x200m freestyle title last night (see story below).
One athlete who will always have a special affinity with Singapore is Russia's Anton Chupkov.
The 18-year-old became the first swimmer to set a world record in any age group at the one-year-old OCBC Aquatic Centre at the Sports Hub, when he rewrote his own world junior mark in the men's 100m breaststroke of 1:00.84 by clocking 1:00.12 in the morning heats.
"It felt great, I wanted to break the record and it was absolutely a perfect swim," said Anton, who clocked 1:00.34 in the semi-finals last night.
"Tonight, it was not my aim to beat the record again. I am keeping some of my power for the final. I am going to beat it again in the final.
This article was first published on August 26, 2015.
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