Lithuanian Open Junior Swimming Championship
- May 20-21
- Vilnius, Lithuania
- Capital Sports Center
- LCM (50 meters)
Lithuania might have found its next young sprint star.
14-year-old Tajus Juska broke a pair of Lithuanian age group records at the Open Junior Swimming Championship two weekends ago in the capital of Vilnius.
The sprint specialist first clocked a 23.79 in the 50-meter freestyle, lowering his own 14-and-under mark in the event (23.95) from April. For context, Juska’s new personal best would be tied for 10th in the U.S. boys’ 13-14 national age group (NAG) rankings.
His 50 free progression over the past year has been remarkable, having dropped 2.6 seconds since last March (26.39). Juska went 24.14 in February before posting his first sub-24 time in April.
Juska then took down the 50 butterfly record for 14-and-under Lithuanians with a 24.98, lowering his previous mark of 25.05 from April. He sits just 1.4 seconds shy of the overall 50 fly national record of 23.58 set by Tadas Duskinas in 2019.
His new lifetime best would have qualified him for the semifinals at last year’s World Junior Championships despite being a few years younger than the rest of the field. At last year’s World Juniors, Lithuania’s top sprint butterflyer was Rokas Jazdauskas, who tallied a personal-best 24.78 in the 50 fly semifinals at 17 years old.
Juska also won the 50 back (27.57) and 100 back (59.96), shaving more than three seconds off his previous-best 30.65 from February in the 50. His new personal best of 27.57 would be tied for 55th in the U.S. boys’ 13-14 NAG rankings.
Juska hails from Kaunas and trains at the sports school “Startas.”