Information courtesy of Gergely Csurka in Lake Balaton, Balatonfured, Hungary. Photo courtesy of Aniko Kovacs.

With Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban looking on as the official starter of the 7.5 km race at the 2014 FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, young Nikoletta Kiss made her Hungarian countrymen proud.

Kiss won the junior girls 7.5 km race in 1:32:42.27 over Anastasiia Azarova of Russia and Hungarian teammate Flóra Sibalin.

Kiss and Sibalin worked together as they were always in the hunt in the lead pack with Great Britain’s Alice Dearing and Azarova. The quartet left the secondary pack after the halfway mark and never backed down from the competition as the Hungarians and the Russian all received yellow flags as they chased Dearing.

Kiss recalls her victory, “It was a huge duel with the Russian girl but I didn’t want to give up the position I had fought for. I didn’t plan to go in front at the beginning, the British [girl] tried to win the race with leading all the way but it was only [2012 Olympic 10K marathon swim champion] Éva Risztov who could apply these tactics successfully. I thought, here, among the juniors no one was as strong as her and it turned out I was right. I recognised I had to switch gears sooner than I planned, but it worked.”

Teammate Sibalin knew what she was capable of, “At the European Championships in July, I tried what the British girl attempted today and I learned the lesson that I couldn’t do that, so I stayed back and waited for the occasion. I wished to finish in the top six so I’m really happy with this bronze medal now.”

Results of the Junior girls (17-18) 7.5 km:

1. Nikoletta Kiss (HUN) 1:32:42.27
2. Anastasiia Azarova (RUS) 1:32:43.73
3. Flóra Sibalin (HUN) 1:32:46.53
4. Alice Dearing (GBR) 1:32:47.32
5. Viviane Jungblut (BRA) 1:33:09.63
6. Valeriia Ermakova (RUS) 1:33:10.94
7. Xiaoxiao Niu (CHN) 1:33:14.09
8. Mailys Lesparre (FRA) 1:33:17.50
9. Astrid Iturbe (VEN) 1:33:19.11
10. Spela Perse (SLO) 1:33:20.90
11. Alisia Tettamanzi (ITA) 1:33:37.52
12. Mariana Serrano (BRA) 1:34:51.24
13. Shiyue Cao (CHN) 1:34:55.29
14. Laura Sossai (ITA) 1:34:56.95
15. Tali Lemcoff (ISR) 1:35:14.27
16. Jessica Arnold (USA) 1:36;00.46
17. Catalina Berraud (ARG) 1:36:36.00
18. Sasha-Lee Nordengen (RSA) 1:36:58.00
19. Erin Emery (USA) 1:37:04.70
20. Rotem Shimron (ISR) 1:37:22.47
21. Michelle Weber (RSA) 1:37:25.63
22. llena Jones (GBR) 1:37:31.87
23. Erika Garcia-Naranjo (PER) 1:40:21.94
24. Xeniya Romanchuk (KAZ) 1:40:56.40
25. Anastasia Kyrili (GRE) 1:42:24.75
26. Claudia Travieso (VEN) 1:42:36.69
27. Lucija Aralica (CRO) 1:45:41.25
28. Alexandra Popovich (KAZ) 1:46:20.00
29. Elif Sekerci (TUR) 1:47:13.20
30. Maria Elisa Bedoya Ortega (ECU) 1:47:21.79
31. Hagar Nabil (EGY) 1:47:21.79
32. Ilayda Ilayda Kaya (TUR) 1:49:46.91
33. Mariam Sakr (EGY) DNF
34. Vanessa-Ann Marie Keany (BAR) DNF
35. Nika Percic (CRO) DNF

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