Hope were raised…and exceeded at the first FINA World Junior Open Water Championships in Welland, Canada last week.

130 swimmers from 31 countries gathered near Niagara Falls to make their own splashes as they debuted on the international open water stage.

Following in the footsteps of Olympians Thomas Lurz and Angela Maurer, Germany’s young talent won 4 of the 6 available world titles.

3 races in 2 age groups (14-16 and 17-18 years old) for both men and women showcased the next generation of international open water swimming stars. In the 14-16 5km women’s race, Michelle Weber from South Africa won in 1:00:05.6 with Lena-Sophie Bermel (1:00:08) and Patricia-Lucia WartenBerg (1:00:27), both from Germany, in second and third. Felix Bartels from Germany won 14-16 5km race in 57:10 with Venezuela’s Diego Vera (57:30) and China’s Yao Han (57:38) in second and third.

In the 17-18 7.5km event, Shi Yu from China won in 1:31:41 with Russia’s Anastasia Krapivina (1:31:42) and Mexico’s Lizeth Rueda Santos (1:31:45) in second and third. Germany’s Rob Muffles (shown above) won the men’s race in 1:24:59 over USA’s Jordan Wilimovsky ( 1:25:19) and Czech Republic’s Jan Micka (1:25:48).

In the 3km Team event, Germany won both age group races with Russia in second in both events. Italy won bronze in the 14-16 age group and USA claimed bronze in the 17-18 age group.

We are certain to see some of these swimmers at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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