2015 FINA Junior World Champs: Shoults crushes 400 free at day 1 finals

2015 World Junior Swimming Championships


  • WR: 3:40.07 Paul Biedermann (GER) 26 JUL 2009 Rome (ITA)
  • CR: 3:47.12 Mack Horton (AUS) 26 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)
  • WJ: 3:44.60 Mack Horton (AUS) 1 APR 2014 Brisbane (AUS)

China held the top two seeds heading into the final of the men’s 400 free, but American Grant Shoults knocked off both Chinese swimmers for the Junior World title.

Shoults, the top high school prospect in the United States, who recently committed to the Stanford Cardinal, went 3:48.91 to pick up that win. That’s a huge drop of almost four seconds for the Mission Viejo high school senior.

China’s Yang Jintong and Qui Ziao came in just behind, going 3:50.05 and 3:50.99 respectively. With Sun Yang winning the world title, Chian almost swept both world and junior world gold in this event, but couldn’t quite get past Shoults.

Australia’s Joshua Parrish finished just .01 out of the medals, going 3:51.00 for fourth. Great Britain’s Cameron Kurle was also in the hunt at 3:51.02.

Mexico’s Ricardo Vargas was 3:53.39 before American Matthew Hirschberger (3:54.09) and Venezuela’s Rafael Davila (3:54.67) rounded out the heat.


  • WR: 29.48 Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 3 AUG 2013 Barcelona (ESP)
  • CR: 29.86 Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 27 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)
  • WJ: 29.86 Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 27 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)

Turkey’s Viktoria Zeynep Gunes won the second semifinal in 30.55, maintaining her chokehold on the girls 50 breast so far in Singapore. Gunes is the only swimmer to break 31 so far, and sits eight tenths up on second-place Sophie Hansson out of Sweden (31.32).

Gunes and Hansson swam in the same semifinal, and both lead the winner of semifinal 1, Great Britain’s Katie Matts (31.60). Also in that heat was American Nikol Popov, who sits fourth in 31.72 with a great shot at medaling in tomorrow’s final.

Fellow American Kennedy Lohman is also in the hunt, going 31.87, and Australia’s Ella Bond (31.92) was the last summer under 32. Also into the final are Japan’s Yukino Miyasaka (32.04) and Russia’s Mariia Astashkina (32.26).

MEN’S 100M BACKSTROKE – Semifinals

  • WR: 51.94 Aaron Peirsol (USA) 8 JUL 2009 Indianapolis (USA)
  • CR: 54.87 Apostolos Christou (GRE) 27 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)
  • WJ: 54.03 Apostolos Christou (GRE) 10 JUL 2014 Dordrecht (NED)

After a sleepy heats run, Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank jumped back under 55 in semifinals to win the first heat. But heat two really showed up to swim, with four guys topping or matching Greenbank’s time.

Romania’s Robert Glinta won that one, smashing the Junior World Championship record with a 54.56. That’s a big drop for Glinta from his seed, and he beat the American duo of Michael Taylor and Michael Andrew, who were swimming side-by-side in that second semi. Taylor went 54.62 and Andrew 54.74.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Youssef Abdalla tied Greenbank’s time, and the two will share the fourth seed into finals. Both were 54.93.

Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez also got into the final at 55.01, and both Canadian entrants will join him: Markus Thormeyer at 55.02 and Javier Acevedo at 55.24.


  • WR: 4:28.43 Ye Shiwen CHN 28 JUL 2012 London (GBR)
  • CR: 4:40.02 Ella Eastin (USA) 26 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)
  • WJ: 4:35.69 Zhou Min (CHN) 14 MAY 2014 Qindao (CHN)* (does not appear in FINA’s books)

A pair of British girls got under what was technically the official junior world record in the 400 IM, with Rosie Rudin picking up the win.

Although China’s Zhou Min was faster than both at last year’s Chinese Nationals, FINA has yet to include that record in its official listing. So FINA is considering Rudin’s time as the new record, though it’s actually three and a half seconds slower than Zhou. Rudin was 4:39.01 for gold and a new meet record.

Top prelims qualifier Georgia Coates was also under the meet record of 4:40.02 set by Ella Eastin. Coates bettered her prelims time witha  3:39.94.

Spain’s  Africa Zamorano was just off the meet record in the bronze medal position, going 4:40.15.

The top American was Brooke Forde, who went 4:43.20 for fourth. Forde just touched out Serbia’s Anja Crevar (4:43.36) for that spot.

Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato (4:44.84) bridged the gap between that group and the final wave, which consisted of American Savanna Faulconer (4:47.82) and Japan’s Hiroko Makino (4:48.05).

MEN’S 100M BREASTSTROKE – Semifinals

  • WR: 57.92 Adam Peaty (GBR) 17 APR 2015 London (GBR)
  • CR: 1:00.12 Anton Chupkov (RUS) 25 AUG 2015 Singapore (SIN)
  • WJ: 1:00.12 Anton Chupkov (RUS) 25 AUG 2015 Singapore (SIN)

Russia’s Anton Chupkov continues to lead the field in the boys 100 breast, though he wasn’t able to better his junior world record in the semifinals.

Chupkov bested the USA’s Michael Andrew to win the second semifinal, and the two sit 1st and 2nd heading into tomorrow night’s medal final. Chupkov was 1:00.34 and Andrew 1:00.78, both just a touch off their own personal bests.

Lithuania’s Andrius Sidlauskas kicked it into gear in semifinal #1, blasting a 1:00.83 from lane 6 to take the third spot into finals. Behind him was the second USA threat, 15-year-old Reece Whitley at 1:01.52.

Australia’s Matthew Wilson was fifth, leading a huge pack of swimmers all within a few tenths down to the cut line. Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi continued his big swummer with a sixth-place finish in 1:01.95, Great Britain’s Charlie Attwood was 1:01.96 and Belgium’s Basten Caerts got the final championship heat spot in 1:01.99.

WOMEN’S 100M BACKSTROKE – Semifinals

  • WR: 58.12 Gemma Spofforth (GBR) 28 JUL 2009 Rome (ITA)
  • CR: 59.83 Minna Atherton (AUS) 25 AUG 2015 Singapore (SIN)
  • WJ: 59.58 Claire Adams (USA) 07 AUG 2015 San Antonio (USA)

A showdown continues to loom between Australia’s Minna Atherton and the U.S.’s Claire Adams. Adams set the junior world record at U.S. Nationals a few weeks ago, though that has yet to be reflected in FINA’s record books. Meanwhile Atherton broke the meet record in prelims, and the two battled from separate semifinals this evening.

Atherton won the second semi, just missing her meet record time of 59.83 with a 59.86. She’ll be the top seed into finals. Adams was 1:00.64 out of her semifinal and sits third.

Winning that first semifinal was the potential wildcard in the gold medal battle, Canada’s Taylor Ruck. Ruck is well-known to American audiences, given she trains in Arizona and is a staple at U.S. junior meets. Ruck was 1:00.61 and will claim lane 5 for the medal final.

Fellow Canadian Danielle Hanus is also right in the thick of things, going 1:00.75 out of semis. Also under 1:01 in a tightly-packed finish order were Russia’s Irina Prikhodko (1:00.80) and New Zealand’s Bobbi Gichard (1:00.88).

Two New Zealanders made the final, with Gabrielle Fa’Amausili going 1:01.15, and two Americans are also in, with Grace Ariola grabbing eighth by just .01 in 1:01.42.


  • WR: 3:08.24 United States (USA) 11 AUG 2008 Beijing (CHN)
  • CR: 3:16.96 Australia (AUS) 26 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)
  • WJ: 3:16.96 Australia (AUS) 26 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)

Australia successfully defended their 2013 World Junior title in the boys 4×100 free relay, going 3:17.39. That came off a big Kyle Chalmers split of 48.41 that rocketed the team from 4th to 1st. The Aussies would never give up the lead from there on out, with Brayden McCarthy splitting 49.66 and Jack Cartwright 49.29. Vincent Dai led off in 50.02 for the Aussies.

Team USA took second, getting a big anchor leg of 48.44 from Maxime Rooney. He and Chalmers were almost identical on their splits, which should set up some great individual freestyle battles later this week. Ryan Hoffer led off in 49.97, and the relay also featured Daniel Krueger (49.50) and Michael Jensen (50.51) to go 3:18.42. Interestingly enough, the team swam without Michael Andrew, who has been 50.2 from a flat start, but was coming off of two events earlier in the night.

The final medal went to Italy, just a tenth back of the U.S. in 3:18.58. Alessandro Miressi was the big split for the Italians, going 49.06 on the anchor leg to keep the team in medal contention.

Brazil led early, with Felipe de Souza going 49.37 on a blazing leadoff leg. They fell to fifth at one point, but climbed back to fourth with a 48.85 anchor split from Pedro Spajari. The relay was 3:18.92 to beat Russia’s 3:19.28. Russia got a 49.36 on their anchor split, with Igor Shadrin holding down that leg.

Sixthe went to Canada, with Markus Thormeyer providing the only sub-50 split at 49.11.


  • WR: 7:42.08 China (CHN) 30 JUL 2009 Rome (ITA)
  • CR: 7:59.42 United States (USA) 26 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)
  • WJ: 7:59.42 United States (USA) 26 AUG 2013 Dubai (UAE)

The opening night ended with a bang, as Australia smashed the junior world record in the 4×200 free relay. The preview record was technically a “world best time,” a holdover for when FINA started tracking junior world records in 2013. The original “records” were set at the 2013 World Junior Championship winning time, and were considered a “world best time” until another swimmer or relay team bettered that time to officially set the mark.

Australia did so in the final event of Tuesday night, getting three 1:59s and a 1:58 leadoff split to go 7:56.68, almost three full seconds under what the U.S. went to win the 2013 World Junior title.

Tamsin Cook was that 1:58, going 1:58.16 on her leadoff leg to stake the team to a huge lead. Lucy McJannett (1:59.68), Shayna Jack (1:59.76) and Gemma Cooney (1:59.08) closed off a relay that led wire-to-wire.

Also under the preview world junior record were Canada, Russia and the United States in what was a very fast event, relative to 2013.

Canada had the field’s best overall split, a wicked 1:56.71 from Taylor Ruck, who was coming off of the 100 back just shortly before. Penny Oleksiak led off in 1:59.92, Rebecca Smith was 1:59.41, and Mary-Sophie Harvey 2:01.00 before Ruck took the team from fourth to second with a 7:57.04.

That beat Russia by about half a second. The Russian relay was 7:57.58, getting a 1:58.90 from young freestyle star Arina Openysheva on the leadoff, combined with three straight 1:59 legs.

The U.S. just missed the medals in a tight finish. Hannah Cox’s 1:58.00 split was tracking down the Russians, but she came up a few meters short at the team went 7:57.84. Lauren Case was the other sub-2:00 split, leading off in 1:59.67.

Italy was a ways back in fifth, going 8:03.38 with a 1:59.78 split from Sara Franceschi. Japan was in the hunt early on Rikako Ikee‘s 1:59.72 leadoff leg, but faded to sixth in 8:07.02.

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5 years ago

If I were Claire Adams, I’d conserve my energy wait until Day 2 to attempt to break the WJR. She should easily make it out of semis, but she’s going to have her hands full in the final.

5 years ago

The announcer is hilarious when introducing the swimmers– love it!!

5 years ago

Is the streaming video working for anybody in the US? I can’t get it to work. 🙁

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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