2017 World Junior Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Competition at the 2017 World Junior Championships continues tonight with day 5 finals in Indianapolis. Tonight, we’ll see finals action in the women’s 1500 free, men’s 50 fly, women’s 50 back, men’s 400 IM, and women’s 4×100 free relay. We’ll see semifinals of the men’s 100 free, women’s 100 fly, women’s 50 free, and men’s 50 breast.


  • WJR: 15:28.36, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2014
  • CR: 16:05.61, Simona Quadarella (ITA), 2015
  • Start list
  1. GOLD: Delfina Pignatiello, ARG, 15:59.61
  2. SILVER: Ajna Kesely, HUN, 16:15.68
  3. BRONZE: Beatriz Cons Gestido Agueda, ESP, 16:17.84

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello ran away with this one, adding a 2nd gold from this meet to her list of accomplishments. She finished over 15 seconds ahead of the field, charging to a new Meet Record and Argentine Record in a blistering 15:59.61. Hungary’s 400 free champ Ajna Kesely (16:15.68) and Spain’s Beatriz Cons Gestido Agueda (16:17.84) each broke 16:20 to take silver and bronze respectively. Just off the podium was the USA’s Erica Sullivan, who took 4th in 16:20.12.


  • WJR: 47.58, Kyle Chalmers (AUS), 2016
  • CR: 48.47, Kyle Chalmers (AUS), 2015
  • Start list

Top 8:

  1. Ivan Girev, RUS, 48.83
  2. Nandor Nemeth, HUN, 49.14
  3. Breno Correia, BRA, 49.33
  4. Matthew Willenbring, USA, 49.36
  5. Daniel Krueger, USA, 49.44
  6. Maxime Grousset, FRA, 49.77
  7. Lucas Peixoto, BRA, 49.79
  8. Jordan Brunt, AUS, 49.85

Russia’s Ivan Girev had a big swim in semifinal 1, posting the only sub-49 of the night in 48.83. That’s a full second faster than his 49.84 from the European Juniors earlier this year and just shy of his personal best 48.64 from the mixed 4×100 free relay leadoff. In tomorrow night’s final, he’ll be challenged by Hungary’s Nandor Nemeth, who cruised to the 2nd seed with a 49.14 to win semifinal 2. The Americans got 2 in with Matthew Willenbring (49.36) and Daniel Krueger (49.44), as did Brazil with Breno Correia (49.33) and Lucas Peixoto (49.79).


Top 8:

  1. Rikako Ikee, JPN, 58.11
  2. Rebecca Smith, CAN, 58.79
  3. Suzaka Hasegawa, JPN, 59.19
  4. Emily Large, GBR, 59.25
  5. (T-5) Polina Egorova, RUS, 59.26
  6. (T-5) Sara Junevik, SWE, 59.26
  7. Regan Smith, USA, 59.30
  8. Mabel Zavaros, CAN, 59.36

Japan’s Rikako Ikee clipped her own Meet Record to lead the semifinals, turning in a quick 58.11. The only other woman to break 59 tonight was Canada’s Rebecca Smith. Ikee’s teammate Suzaka Hasegawa (59.19) and Smith’s teammate Mabel Zavaros (59.36) will swim alongside them tomorrow after qualifying 3rd and 8th respectively.

The USA’s Regan Smith got off to a rocky start, but she turned on the gas through the back half to qualify 7th overall in 59.30.


  1. GOLD: Michael Andrew, USA, 23.22
  2. SILVER: Andrei Minakov, RUS, 23.53
  3. BRONZE: Kristof Milak, HUN, 23.72

Team USA’s Michael Andrew did it again, winning his 3rd stroke 50 of the meet in Junior World Record time. Andrew’s 23.22 clipped .05 off his own record from last night’s semis. He’s now the 5th fastest American performer ever in this event.

Fastest Americans Ever: Men’s 50 Fly

1 Caeleb Dressel 22.76
2 Bryan Lundquist 22.91
3 Eugene Godsoe 23.05
4 Ian Crocker 23.12
5 Michael Andrew 23.22
6 Tim Phillips 23.25
7 Cullen Jones 23.26
8 Matt Grevers 23.29
9 Giles Smith 23.30
10 Chris Brady 23.38

Russia’s Andrei Minakov and Hungary’s 100 fly champ Kristof Milak battled it out for the silver. Minakov had the better finish, touching in 23.53 for the silver while Milak hit the wall in 23.72 for bronze.Also breaking 24 tonight were Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Mussin (23.83) and  Turkey’s Umitcan Gures (23.90).


Top 8:

  1. Rikako Ikee, JPN, 24.77
  2. Grace Ariola, USA, 24.87
  3. Sayuki Ouchi, JPN, 25.14
  4. Julie Jensen, DEN, 25.31
  5. Barbora Seemanova, CZE, 25.34
  6. Kayla Sanchez, CAN, 25.35
  7. Angelina Kohler, GER, 25.45
  8. Freya Anderson, GBR, 25.51

Shortly after topping the 100 fly semis, Japan’s Rikako Ikee led a 1-2 charge for the Japanese in semifinal 1. Ikee touched in a new Meet Record time of 24.77 to take the top spot for finals, while teammate Sayuki Ouchi came in behind her in 25.14. Ouchi will be the 3rd seed for finals, however, as the USA’s Grace Ariola broke 25 for the first time in semifinal 2, taking the 2nd seed for finals in a quick 24.87.


  • WJR: 26.97, Nicolò Martinenghi (ITA), 2017
  • CR: 27.21, Nicolò Martinenghi (ITA), 2017
  • Start list

Top 8:

  1. Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA, 27.02
  2. Michael Andrew, USA, 27.51
  3. Alessandro Pinzuti, ITA, 27.65
  4. Vladislav Gerasimenko, RUS, 27.87
  5. Reece Whitley, USA, 28.02
  6. Michael Houlie, RSA, 28.11
  7. Philipp Brandt, GER, 28.15
  8. Gabe Mastromatteo, CAN, 28.30

Nicolo Martinenghi was a half second ahead of Michael Andrew as they went head-to-head in semifinal 2. Martinenghi hit the wall in a new Meet Record time of 27.02, just missing his own World Junior Record by .05. Andrew followed with a 27.51 to take 2nd seed for finals, once again showing off his consistency in the 50s by tying his time from prelims. That’s the 3rd time Andrew has tied his time from an earlier round at this meet. Teammate Reece Whitley hit the wall 3rd in the heat to take 5th seed overall with a personal best 28.02.

In semifinal 1, Italy’s Alessandro Pinzuti was 2 tenths faster than the field despite jamming his finish. Pinzuti nearly hit his head on the wall at the touch, taking an extra short stroke into the wall, but still managed a quick 27.65 to pick up 3rd seed for the final.


  • WJR: 27.49, Minna Atherton (AUS), 2016
  • CR: 27.81, Gabrielle Fa’amausili (NZL), 2015
  • Start list
  1. T-GOLD: Jade Hannah, CAN, 27.93
  2. T-GOLD: Natsumi Sakai, JPN, 27.93
  3. BRONZE: Grace Ariola, USA, 28.11

Canada’s Jade Hannah and Japan’s Natsumi Sakai bolted to the wall, swimming neck-and-neck into the finish. They touched simultaneously in 27.93 to share the gold and the title. The Americans, Grace Ariola and Regan Smith, were separated by just a hundredth in the race for bronze, but Ariola got her hand to the wall first in 28.11 to Smith’s 28.12. Great Britain teammates Anna Maine and Cassie Wild also battled closely for the 5th spot, with Maine rounding out the top 5 in 28.40 to Wild’s 28.42.


  • WJR: 4:14.00, Sean Grieshop (USA), 2016
  • CR: 4:14.97, Gunnar Bentz (USA), 2013
  • Start list
  1. GOLD: Hugo Gonzalez, ESP, 4:14.65
  2. SILVER: Marton Barta, HUN, 4:15.65
  3. BRONZE: Balazs Hollo, HUN, 4:16.78

Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez established a huge lead early on and swam ahead of Junior World Record pace through the first 300 meters. He wasn’t able to keep up with the pace on the freestyle leg, as the field closed on him, but he was still within a second of the Junior World Record to win it in 4:14.65, setting a new Meet Record in the process. That was a big swim for Gonzalez, taking almost 3 seconds off his former lifetime best 4:17.27 from 2016 European Juniors.

Great Britain’s Brodie Williams (4:20.64) and the USA’s Kieran Smith (4:17.63) were in position to battle for podium spots through the halfway mark, but the Hungarians came home strong. Marton Barta went by them on the breaststroke leg, holding onto 2nd down the stretch in 4:15.65. Smith had a slight advantage over Balazs Hollo until the freestyle leg, with Hollo overtaking him for the bronze in 4:16.78.


  • WJR: 3:39.87, Australia, 2015
  • CR: 3:39.87, Australia, 2015
  • Start list
  1. GOLD: Canada- 3:36.19
  2. SILVER: United States- 3:39.69
  3. BRONZE: Japan- 3:40.59

The Canadians demolished the Junior World Record by over 3.5 seconds. Taylor Ruck led them off in 53.63, followed by teammates Penny Oleksiak (53.70), Rebecca Smith (54.65), and Kayla Sanchez (54.21). The USA and Japan battled closely for the silver. Japan led by hundredths after Rikako Ikee‘s 53.35 split on the 3rd leg, but Team USA’s Grace Ariola (54.28) outsplit Natsumi Sakai (55.26) by a second to help the USA to silver.

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Spotted Zebra
3 years ago

Maybe this is common knowledge, but it is new to me! The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has made the Day 5 Finals available via a live stream video on the CBC website. Here is the link: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/aquatics/canada-fina-aquatics-world-junior-live-stream-1.4258515 — enjoy! 🙂

Reply to  Spotted Zebra
3 years ago

They have done this since day 1. And no commercial breaks!

Reply to  ooo
3 years ago

The site also streamed the Short Course Worlds, the 2017 Canadian Trials, last month’s World Championships and last week’s World University Games. It streams pretty much every major Olympic Sport competition event except for the Olympics themselves.

Reply to  Ben
3 years ago

Tunnel bear!

Reply to  Ben
3 years ago

It did stream the Olympics. I watched CBC Rio 8 days uninterrupted swimming prelims and finals sans vomit inducing Rowdy Gaines commentary!!
It was the best!

Reply to  SchoolingFTW
3 years ago

I did specify at the end of my previous comment that they don’t stream the Olympics themselves on that site.

Reply to  SchoolingFTW
3 years ago

It’s actually a different site that streams the Olympics.

3 years ago

Great great great first name Delfina !

Reply to  ooo
3 years ago

Would be 4th on budapeste. Challengers to ledecky are appearing for Tokyo

Reply to  Rafael
3 years ago

I wouldn’t really say a 15:59 challenges a 15:25…

Reply to  swamr
3 years ago

3 years from now…

Reply to  swamr
3 years ago

Ledecky will have a quadruple against the lioness bingjie and others. On world it had it cost and people are appearing to use that. A rested ledecky is unbeatable a ledecky with 200 400 800 1500 is not.

E Gamble
Reply to  Rafael
3 years ago

Ledecky has 3 years to prepare for those 4 races. Trust me….she will be ready.

Reply to  E Gamble
3 years ago

Have little doubt that she will be ready and barring illness/injury extremely formidable; what is in question is whether she will race the full range 200 thru 1500. 400 though 1500 she is dominant and will probably remain so at 800/1500. At 400, the competition may be closing in and at 200, she has proven to be beatable. Maybe some decisions re her race program will need to be made.

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

I would put the 800 with bingjie as tougher than 400. It depends on the schedule

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

“Closing in” in the 400 is mighty relative, with no one within 4 seconds of her best. I dont doubt that her competitors will be closer than they’ve been but it hasn’t happened yet, even with a rough meet at Worlds.

Reply to  Caleb
3 years ago

totally right .

Reply to  Caleb
3 years ago

Has her record breaking run finally “run its course” ? That remains to be seen but such an occurrance is an inevitability.
Will others close the gap ,,, and in which events ?
Will she consider that she has made sufficient statement at the longer events and concentrate on improving her time at 200 OR will she look at being the first female 1500 Olympic champion (arguably the easier option in a competitive sense) ?

All questions that remain unknowable at this point

3 years ago

Girev looked by far the most impressive in the 100 free semis, while the Americans had very poor strokes which is surprising at this stage of their careers. Girev may be the real heir to Popov although he should be more of a 100-200 than a 50-100.

Reply to  Crawler
3 years ago

Very poor strokes? The kid is 6 foot 10 and skinny as a twig! Not bad to do a 49 with a “very poor stroke” at this stage of his career (very early). I’d give him a little time to let his muscles catch up to his bones before writing him off. He literally has all the potential in the world.

Reply to  aviatorfly
3 years ago

Ha! Krueger and Willenbring are beasts and If you find their strokes need improving… excellent news for Texas and Team USA. If they go 49 lows now with less than perfect form wait til Eddie Reese gets them for a year or two!

Reply to  Longhorn
3 years ago

Reese is great coach, so I hope he can rework their strokes.

Reply to  aviatorfly
3 years ago

It is not that early in his career, he is entering college, which means he must have gone through years of age group practice and competition. It is not a personal critique, it is one of a system which doesn’t seem very focused on strokes. Yes, a 49 handle is good, but if you watched, he spent a lot of energy to do it.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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