2017 World Junior Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first finals session of the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships gets underway tonight from Indianapolis, with four finals and four rounds of semi-finals set to go off.

The finals will come in the men’s 400 free, women’s 400 IM, men’s 4×100 free relay and the women’s 4×200 free relay. We’ll also see semi-finals in the women’s 50 breast, men’s 100 back, men’s 100 breast and women’s 100 back.


  • WJR: 3:44.60, Mack Horton (AUS), 2014
  • CR: 3:47.12, Mack Horton (AUS), 2013
  • Start List
  1. Andrew Abruzzo, USA, 3:49.19
  2. Balasz Hollo, HUN, 3:49.97
  3. Trey Freeman, USA, 3:50.14

In an exciting 400 free final, South African Jarryd Baxter got out to the early lead from lane 1 and clung to it for over 300 metres. On the penultimate 50 he was passed by hard charging Americans Andrew Abruzzo and Trey Freeman, and it looked as though they were going to go 1-2.

Abruzzo got the job done for the win, blazing home in 27.46 to take gold in a new best of 3:49.19. Sitting just 6th at the 300 and 4th with 50 left, Hungary’s Balasz Hollo came home even faster in 26.99 to pass Freeman and Baxter and earn the silver in 3:49.97, also his first time under 3:50.

Freeman also edged his best time for bronze in 3:50.14, and Poland’s Antoni Kaluzynski also passed Baxter on the way home to grab 4th in 3:51.08. A gallant effort earns Baxter 5th in 3:51.28, holding off Australia’s Jacob Vincent (3:51.39) and Spain’s Francisco Arevalo (3:51.57).


  • WJR: 29.86 (World Best Time)
  • CR: 29.86, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2013
  • Start List
  1. Mona McSharry, IRL, 31.09
  2. Faith Knelson, CAN, 31.15
  3. Emily Weiss, USA, 31.32
  4. Zoe Bartel, USA, 31.34
  5. Weronika Hallmann, POL, 31.44
  6. Agne Seleikaite, LTU, 31.76
  7. Gulsen Samanci, TUR, 31.87
  8. Chelsea Hodges, AUS, 31.90

Canada’s Faith Knelson lowered her best time to win the first semi-final in the women’s 50 breast in 31.15, out pacing American Zoe Bartel (31.34) and Poland’s Weronika Hallmann (31.44).

The next semi saw Ireland’s Mona McSharry take over the top time in 31.09, besting the fastest swimmer from the heats Emily Weiss (31.32). McSharry advances 1st into the final, followed by Knelson, Weiss, Bartel and Hallmann.

Lithuania’s Agne Seleikaite, Turkey’s Gulsen Beste Samanci and Australia’s Chelsea Hodges round out the championship finalists.


  1. Hugo Gonzalez, ESP, 54.43
  2. Conor Ferguson, IRL, 54.53
  3. Daniel Martin, ROU, 54.62
  4. Nicolas Albiero, USA, 55.04
  5. Drew Kibler, USA, 55.37
  6. Kacper Stokowski, POL, 55.44
  7. Nikita Tretyakov, RUS, 55.45
  8. Nicholas Pyle, GBR, 55.48

Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez stormed home in 27.92 to win semi-final 1 of the men’s 100 back in 54.43 over Romania’s Daniel Martin (54.62) and the U.S.’ Nicolas Albiero (55.04). Gonzalez came within 0.13 of the championship record set by Martin’s Romanian countryman Robert Glinta in 2015.

Ireland’s Conor Ferguson then won the second semi by over eight tenths in 54.53, putting him 2nd overall to Gonzalez. Martin and Albiero advance to the final in 3rd and 4th, and Drew Kibler of the United States moves on in 5th in a time of 55.37.

European junior gold medalist Kacper Stokowski of Poland and Nikita Tretyakov of Russia qualified 7th and 8th from the second semi, and Great Britain’s Nicholas Pyle rounds out the finalists in 55.48.


  1. Miku Kojima, JPN, 4:39.14
  2. Anna Sasaki, JPN, 4:40.99
  3. Anja Crevar, SRB, 4:42.24

Madison Homovich of the United States led Japan’s Miku Kojima by nearly two seconds at the halfway mark of the women’s 400 IM, but a decisive sub-1:20 breaststroke leg moved Kojima way out ahead of the pack, turning into the freestyle with an advantage of nearly three seconds. She sailed to the win, touching the wall in 4:39.14 to lower her best time by five seconds and narrowly miss the meet record of 4:39.01 set by Rosie Rudin of Great Britain in 2015.

Her teammate Anna Sasaki moved up from 6th to 2nd on the breast, and sealed the silver medal over Serbian Anja Crevar with a 31.17 final 50. She touched in 4:40.99, with Crevar back in 4:42.24 for the bronze.

France’s Cyrielle Duhamel had moved past Homovich on the breaststroke leg as well and ended up 4th in 4:43.56. Homovich took 5th in 4:45.68, with her teammate Christin Rockway 6th in 4:47.09.


  1. Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA, 59.01
  2. Reece Whitley / Michael Andrew, USA, 1:00.33
  3. Zac Stubblety-Cook, AUS, 1:01.09
  4. Wassili Kuhn, GER, 1:01.24
  5. Alessandro Pinzuti, ITA, 1:01.26
  6. Evgenii Somov, RUS, 1:01.32
  7. Michael Houlie, RSA, 1:01.49

Italian Nicolo Martinenghi was out like a rocket in the second semi of the men’s 100 breast, turning in 27.48 before coming home in 31.53 to touchin 59.01 and break his junior world record and his meet record set this morning. His junior world record officially stood at 59.31, though the real record was his 59.23 from European Juniors that had yet to be ratified. His prelim time was 59.53, which lowered Anton Chupkov‘s 1:00.12 meet record.

The first semi-final was intriguing as American teammates Michael Andrew and Reece Whitley had a head-to-head battle. Andrew was out fast in 27.94, but Whitley stormed home in 31.45 after being out in just 28.88 to catch Andrew. They hit the wall at the exact same time in 1:00.33, tying for the heat win and advancing to the final deadlocked in 2nd.

Australian Zac Stubblety-Cook qualified 4th overall in Martinenghi’s heat in 1:01.09, just ahead of Germany’s Wassili Kuhn (1:01.24) and Russia’s Evgenii Somov (1:01.32). Alessandro Pinzuti of Italy and Michael Houlie of South Africa were 3rd and 4th in the first semi and qualify for the final as well.


  1. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 59.28
  2. Regan Smith, USA, 59.41
  3. Jade Hannah, CAN, 1:00.21
  4. Natsumi Sakai, JPN, 1:00.23
  5. Grace Ariola, USA, 1:00.39
  6. Polina Egorova, RUS, 1:00.48
  7. Cassie Wild, GBR, 1:00.58
  8. Anna Maine, GBR, 1:00.71

After they both sizzled in the prelims, Taylor Ruck and Regan Smith were at it again in the semis of the women’s 100 back. After Smith established a new meet record of 59.52 this morning, Ruck lowered it to 59.28 in the first semi-final, also breaking Minna Atherton‘s junior world record of 59.34 set last year. In the prelims Ruck had broken 1:00 for the first time in 59.64, and takes her best down even further by nearly four tenths.

Smith improved her morning swim in the second semi, but was a tick slower than Ruck in 59.41 for another PB and the 2nd spot heading to the final. The two are setting up to have a great battle tomorrow night.

Ruck’s Canadian teammate Jade Hannah leads the race for bronze after qualifying 3rd in 1:00.21, just ahead of Japan’s Natsumi Sakai (1:00.23) and the U.S.’ Grace Ariola (1:00.39). Russian Polina Egorova, who went 59.6 in July to win the European junior title, qualifies 6th in 1:00.48, and Brits Cassie Wild and Anna Maine round out the finalists.


  • WJR: 3:16.96 (World Best Time)
  • CR: 3:16.96, Australia, 2013
  • Start List
  1. Hungary, 3:17.99
  2. Poland, 3:18.53
  3. Australia, 3:18.55

The Hungarian men pulled off the gold medal in a very tight 400 free relay final, moving from 5th to 1st on the anchor leg. Kristof Milak got them out to the lead in 49.08, then they fell to 5th before Nandor Nemeth had a massive anchor leg of 48.24 to pass four teams and touch first in 3:17.99. Nemeth was on the team that won a surprise bronze in this event at the World Championships earlier in the summer.

The Polish men were near the front of the race the whole way, moving into 2nd on the second leg and staying there the rest of the way to win silver in 3:18.53. Their fastest split was that second leg, where Bartosz Piszczorowicz went 49.12.

The Aussies jumped from 6th to 3rd on the final, winning bronze thanks to a 48.63 anchor from Elijah Winnington. They were just .02 back of Poland in 3:18.55.

The Americans led heading into the anchor but couldn’t hang on, ending up 4th in 3:18.68 with Russia 5th and Brazil 6th. Matthew Willenbring was the top American in 49.16, Ivan Girev led off Russia in 49.38, and Breno Correia split 49.05 for Brazil.


  • WJR: 7:56.68, Australia, 2015
  • CR: 7:56.68, Australia, 2015
  • Start List
  1. Canada, 7:51.47
  2. Russia, 7:57.33
  3. Japan, 8:02.09

As expected, the Canadian women trounced their way to the gold medal and a new championship and junior world record in the women’s 4×200 free, hitting the wall in 7:51.47. Both records were previously held by Australia at 7:56.68, set at the 2015 Championships in Singapore.

Kayla Sanchez put them 2nd on the lead-off with a 1:59.01, and then Penny Oleksiak (1:56.86), Rebecca Smith (1:58.66) and Taylor Ruck (1:56.94) finished it off and ended up winning by nearly six seconds.

Japan had moved into 2nd with Rikako Ikee‘s 1:56.54 second leg, but Russia’s Anastasiia Kirpichinkova (1:57.85) passed them on the anchor leg to get Russia the silver in 7:57.33. Japan held on for bronze in 8:02.09, beating out the 4th place Americans (8:02.40). Their only sub 2:00 split came from Regan Smith (1:59.87), who, like Ruck, was fresh out of the 100 back semis.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

19 Comment threads
44 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
36 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Yaaaay Andrew!!!!

samuel huntington


Biana Simpo

Men 400 free YES American takes #1 and #3 – WOOO HOOO-


Balazs (Balázs in fact) not Balasz is Hollo’s (in fact Holló’s) given name.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »