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MALE INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR OF THE YEAR: KLIMENT KOLESNIKOV
The battle for male International Junior Swimmer of the Year was a toss-up coming into December. Both Russian Kliment Kolesnikov and American Michael Andrew had close to double-digit World Junior Record swims. Andrew had 3 individual World Junior titles (50 free, 50 back, 50 fly) plus two more bronze medals from the summer’s championship. Kolesnikov, meanwhile, missed a medal at the senior World Championships by just .08 seconds.
And then December happened. While both swimmers performed well in the month, Kolesnikov had an other-worldly finish to 2017. In the last 6 weeks of the year, he broke at least 12 World Junior Records. He was the top male swimmer at the European Championships with 5 golds and 1 silver medal, and the single-best swim. Then he wrapped it all up nicely with a senior World Record at the year-ending Vladimir Salnikov Swim Cup to put a bow on his award.
- Michael Andrew (USA)- Andrew was the World Junior Champion in 3 of the 4 stroke 50s this summer, breaking the World Junior Record in the 50 fly, 50 back, and 50 free. He also earned bronze in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes, as well as an 8th place finish in the 200 IM at the World Junior Championships.
- Kristof Milak (HUN)- Milak, a butterfly specialist, took down the World Junior Record in the long course 100 fly and 200 fly this year, becoming faster than the legendary Michael Phelps was at his age. At the 2017 World Championships, Milak earned a silver in the 100 fly. At the World Junior Championships, he was the gold medalist in both the 100 and 200 fly and the bronze medalist in the 50 fly.
- Tan Haiyang (CHN)- Haiyang set World Junior Records in the 200 IM and 200 breast this year. At the 2017 FINA World Championships, he set a new World Junior Record to place 6th in the 200 IM. He demolished the World Junior and Chinese Record in the 200 breast in September, going a 2:07.35 to win China’s National Games and become the 9th fastest swimmer of all time in the event.