16-Year-Old Franko Grgic Becomes First Croatian Under 15 in 1500 Free

2019 Croatian Team Championships

  • March 16th-17th, 2019
  • Pula, Croatia
  • LCM
  • Team Championship
  • Results

16-year-old Franko Grgic is the world’s new leader in the 1500 freestyle: a position that a swimmer of that age hasn’t held in years.

Swimming at the 2019 Croatian Team Championships this weekend, Grgic swam a 14:56.55 in the 1500 free. That time broke the old Croatian Record of 15:04.45, set at the 2018 European Championships, by Marin Mogic, and made Franko the country’s first-ever swimmer under 15 minutes in the event. Mogic was 2nd in the race in 15:18.51. The pair is reminiscent of the rise of Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri and Gabrielle Detti across the Adriatic in that both swimmers train together under coach Mate Ruzic in Split.

For comparison’s sake, the USA Swimming National Age Group Record in the 1500 free is Bobby Hackett’s 15:03.91 from 1976. Nobody has been better than 15:05 in over 15 years. And Grgic was born in 2003, so he has this entire year to lower his time. Grgic’s previous best time was a 15:21 that he set last season.

That time is also a FINA Olympic Qualifying standard.

The time surpasses British swimmer Daniel Jervis’ time, also done this weekend in Edinburgh, as the world leader.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 1500 FREE

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Other Highlight Swims from the Meet:

  • The aforementioned 20-year old Mogic broke the National Record in the men’s 400 free, swimming a 3:49.32. He set the old record in this event at Europeans last year in 3:50.48.
  • Anton Loncar won the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:58.55, which is his new personal best. He’s now about a second away from the National Record in that event, which is a 1:57.47 set in 2013 by Gordan Kozulj.

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Duje Žaja
3 years ago


3 years ago

Would love to see video of this. Sounds like he’s confident in his abilities, and obviously ridiculously talented. Looking forward to him leading the charge of men under 14:30 in the next five years.

3 years ago

Video? Any insight on his technique? Upside?

Reply to  Hank
3 years ago

His technique is perfect

that's fast
Reply to  Hank
3 years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Tqh61acL5g at 5:05, only footage I could find of him swimming

3 years ago

It’s always nice to hear of someone from a country not normally known for their swimming to accomplish something like this. And at only 16 too. Definitely someone to watch for distance swimming.

Reply to  Ben
3 years ago

Never heard of Sanja Jovanovic, Duje Draganja, Durdica Bjedov?

3 years ago

Wow… What’s the world age best? Can’t imagine many have been faster at 16. Not everyday you swim a 25s personal-best. How long has he been swimming the event? I have found swims in other events back in 2015, but as far as I can find he only started swimming the 1500 last year – Anybody know?

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

Sun Yang swam 14:48 at the prelim of Beijing Olympics, and he hadn’t turned 17 at that time. I don’t know the birthday of this boy. Maybe he is still 15 right now.

Reply to  bear drinks beer
3 years ago

Thanks. Reports in Croatian press indicate he is 16 years old and has been swimming since he was 10 years old. Seems a confident young man; Apparently unsurprised by his time, saying he expected it and even talking about breaking the world record.

Human Ambition
Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

All Croatians I know is pretty confident 🙂

Reply to  bear drinks beer
3 years ago
Easy E
3 years ago

Very good! Congrats on the awesome swim!

Also noteworthy is his last name has one vowel

3 years ago

What drugs is he using I want them lol just kidding.. but dang super impressive one to look out for

Vladimir Jović
Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

You are not normal!!!

He is my niece’s son, and the only thing that gets is the love of parents and other relatives.

Reply to  Vladimir Jović
3 years ago

Love is everything!

3 years ago

Um excuse me? That’s ridiculous!

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