UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17): Terrific Tamas grabs Hungary’s first gold in Alexandria
- Botond Tamas (HUN) takes U17 Men’s crown in pulsating finish
- Mohamed Mohamed (EGY) claims silver medal for host nation
- Lithuania’s first medal of Championships as Lukas Gaudiesius wins bronze
The UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17) passed the halfway mark with a spectacular sprint for U17 Men’s glory which saw Botond Tamas claim a first gold medal of the Championships for Hungary in Alexandria (EGY).
Tamas (HUN) dug deepest on day four in a breathless Laser Run to see off home favourite Mohamed Mohamed, who secured another medal for Egypt with silver, ahead of Lukas Gaudiesius of Lithuania by the narrowest of margins. Bronze for Gaudiesius (LTU) marks Lithuania’s first medal of the championships and fitting reward for his consistency.
Germany’s Mika Adam was desperately unlucky to miss out on the podium in fourth place while Russia’s strength at Youth level was exemplified by the country occupying the next three spots on the leaderboard with Egor Zorkin the head of that pack in fifth.
The world title marks a big comeback for Tamas (HUN) who was disappointed to finish outside the medals at the recent UIPM Youth European Championships in Portugal, where Zorkin (RUS) had taken gold.
The U17 Men’s final saw 36 competitors from 15 countries vying for glory at the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport. The bronze medal for Gaudiesius (LTU) means that six countries have now climbed on to the medal table with three hectic days of competition still to come. Egypt and Belarus are vying for medal table supremacy but Tamas’s win keeps Hungary in the hunt too.
The UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17) continues Friday with a much-anticipated U17 Women’s Relay.
U17 Men’s world champion Tamas (HUN) said: "I feel very good about the race. Yes, it was difficult today but now I am happy. It’s an amazing feeling. I did hope that I could win today. After the European Championships did not go very well, I wanted to push for better here. It’s a very good place, Alexandria. I’m very happy to be here.”
While the Laser Run takes on even more significance in the Triathle format for U17 competitors, getting off to a good start in the pool can still be huge for momentum.
So it proved for Gaudiesius (LTU) who recorded an impressive time of 1:57.22 in the Swimming round, good enough for second-fastest but still six seconds behind the runaway pool leader, Matteo Bovenzi of Italy. In fact, the stunning swim by Bovenzi (ITA) of 1:51:41 set a new world record!
Artyom Belchik of Russia was third-fastest in 1:58.26 with two competitors from Thailand, Vipas Hepnak and Phurithut Yohuang not far behind and rounding out the top five.
Bovenzi (ITA) had finished in the top five at the UIPM Youth European Championships in August and set off as leader in the Laser Run. However, in a sign of just how ferocious the competition was to become, he was quickly reeled in.
Having seen his Egyptian teammates enjoy some sparkling Laser Run performances over the first three days, Mohamed (EGY) raced into the lead and looked to be creating daylight between him and the rest of the field.
Europe’s prowess has also been on display in Alexandria however and both Gaudiesius (LTU) and Tamas (HUN) soon joined Mohamed (EGY) at the front of the field. Tamas (HUN) dug deep and raced to his first World Championship recording the fastest time in 8:04.20. Adam (GER) was second-fastest in 8:07.00 while Mohamed’s (EGY) third-fastest time of 8:08.20 was enough to see him jump ahead of Gaudiesius (LTU) to silver after they finished level on points.
UIPM Treasurer John Helmick (USA) said: "This has been an excellent competition since the beginning and today. I want to congratulate the Academy, it is absolutely amazing what has been done here. Thank you again for the outstanding venue, the excellent competition and most of all the excellent hospitality."
Watch and follow
The UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17) in Alexandria (EGY) runs from September 13 to September 19.
Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to keep track of live results throughout the UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17).
UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17)
September 17: U17 Women’s Relay
September 18: U17 Men’s Relay; U19 Women’s Final
September 19: U17 Mixed Relay; U19 Men’s Final