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Agnel and Lippok Fancied In Finland

Jul 13, 2010  - Craig Lord

The 37th European Junior Swimming Championships get underway in Helsinki for five days tomorrow (boys born in 1992-1993 and girls born in 1994-1995 are eligible) - and all eyes are on two growing talents among many, Yannick Agnel (FRA) and Silke Lippok (GER).

Twelve 2009 title holders are back to defend, Agnel and Lippok among them. Agnel ranks second in the world behind Paul Biedermann (GER) over 200m free so far this year, his 1:46.30 a French record, while Lippok shot through the ranks over 200m free with a 1:57.51 win at German nationals in Berlin last week.

Agnel will race 200m free, seek to defend his 400m free crown and sprint for Gaul in both freestyle relays; Lippok will defend four crowns won a year ago in Prague, namely the 50m and 100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay, while seeking to step up from silver in the 200m free and 4x200m free. She will also take on the 50m sprint on free and 'fly.

Among others who will defend their year-old honour at the Maekelaenrinne Swimming Pool are Christian vom Lehn (GER) in 200m breaststroke, Andriy Govorov (UKR) in 50m butterfly, Marcin Cieslak (POL) in 100m and 200m butterfly, Raphael Stacchiotti (LUX) in 200m medley, Tjasa Oder (SLO) in 1500m freestyle, and Daryna Zevia (UKR) in 100m and 200m backstroke.

Many of those will also race three weeks from now at senior European titles in Budapest as they make the transition from little to big pond in time for London 2012 campaigns. A new generation is peering over the level deck.