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Kayla van der Merwe sets new personal best on way to world junior bronze medal

Kayla van der Merwe set a new personal best as she won a bronze medal in a thrilling 100m Breaststroke final at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

The Winchester City Penguins swimmer knocked 0.06 off her previous quickest time as she clocked 1:07.06 to touch home third in Budapest.

There was only 0.13 seconds separating the top three with Russia’s Evgeniia Chikunova taking the title in 1:06.93.

America’s Kaitlyn Dobler was the silver medallist after recording 1:06.97.

Sixteen-year-old van der Merwe had qualified fastest for the final but Chikunova was only 0.01 seconds behind, leading to the prospect of an exciting encounter.

And it didn’t disappoint as Chikunova overturned a deficit of more than half a second at the turn to snatch the gold medal.

It was too close to call as they approached the wall with Dobler and van der Merwe battling it out for top spot as well but Chikunova was adjudged to have got home first.

It was a reversal of the European Junior Championships 100m Breaststroke final where van der Merwe topped the podium and Chikunova was the bronze medallist.

While van der Merwe will no doubt have been disappointed not to have made it a golden double, it has been an impressive World Junior Championships for her so far after also winning a silver in the 50m Breaststroke.

She will be looking to add to her medal haul on Sunday 25 August when she takes part in the 200m Breaststroke.

Booth takes seventh in 200m Breaststroke

Meanwhile, Britain’s Kyle Booth finished seventh in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke final.

The City of Cardiff swimmer clocked 2:13.56 to touch home 4.16 seconds behind America’s Josh Matheny, who won gold in a championship record time of 2:09.40.

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