2017 World Junior Championships: Day 6 Finals Live Recap


The final session of the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships goes off from Indianapolis tonight, and it’s jam packed with eleven finals on the docket.

For men, we’ll have finals in the 100 free, 200 back, 200 fly, 50 breast, 400 medley relay, and the top seeded heat in the 1500. Notably, the 200 fly features junior world record holder Kristof Milak of Hungary, and the 50 breast will pit WJR holder Nicolo Martinenghi against American Michael Andrew, who will be searching for a sweep of the 50s after winning the 50 free, back and fly over the last few days (breaking the WJR in each).

On the women’s side we’ll have the 200 breast, 100 fly, 50 free, 200 free, and 400 medley relay. The Canadian women will look to go 3-for-3 on relays at the meet tonight, and including the mixed events, 5-for-5. Rikako Ikee of Japan will do double duty in the 100 fly and 50 free coming off two championship records in the semi-finals, and stacked fields in the 200 breast and 200 free should be very exciting.

Men’s 100 Free Final

  1. Ivan Girev, RUS, 48.33
  2. Nandor Nemeth, HUN, 48.95
  3. Matthew Willenbring, USA, 49.17

Hungary’s Nandor Nemeth held the slight lead at the 50, but Russian Ivan Girev charged home in 24.75 to win 100 freestyle gold in 48.33. His swim breaks the championship record, previously held by 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Chalmers (48.47).

Nemeth still came home faster than everyone else in the field, joining Girev under-49 in 48.95 for silver. USA’s Matthew Willenbring overtook teammate Daniel Krueger down the stretch to snag bronze in 49.17, with Krueger 4th in 49.35.

Australia’s Jordan Brunt was 5th in 49.42, and Brazil’s Breno Correia was 6th in 49.44.


  • WJR: 2:19.64, Viktoria Zeynep Gunes (TUR), 2015
  • CR: 2:19.64, Viktoria Zeynep Gunes (TUR), 2015
  • Start List
  1. Zoe Bartel, USA, 2:25.68
  2. Ella Nelson, USA, 2:27.04
  3. Annabel Guye-Johnson, GBR, 2:27.42

Zoe Bartel of the United States caught early leader Mona McSharry of Ireland on the third 50 of the women’s 200 breaststroke final and took over from there. Bartel out-split the field on the last two 50s to run away with the win in 2:25.68, just off her best of 2:25.46 from the 2016 Junior Pan Pacs.

Her teammate Ella Nelson moved up one spot on every 50, advancing from 5th at the first wall to ultimately 2nd at the finish, posting a new best of 2:27.04.

Great Britain’s Annabel Guye-Johnson out-split McSharry by nearly two seconds on the last 50 to run her down and earn the bronze in 2:27.42, with McSharry 4th in 2:27.67. Guye-Johnson’s British teammate Amy Bell (2:28.40) took 5th.

MEN’S 200 BACK Final

  1. Hugo Gonzalez, ESP, 1:56.69
  2. Carson Foster, USA, 1:57.87
  3. Nikita Tretyakov, RUS, 1:58.72

Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez swam a very tactical race in the men’s 200 back final, sitting in 3rd at the halfway mark before taking the lead on the third length and blasting home in 29.09, winning by well over a second in 1:56.69. That swim eclipses his previous best of 1:57.00, and breaks the meet record established in 2013 by Italian Luca Mencarini (1:57.92).

That is the third gold medal of the week for Gonzalez, as he won both the 100 back and 400 IM earlier.

American Carson Foster was the only swimmer to keep all four of his 50s under 30 seconds, as he closed well to overtake Nikita Tretyakov and Daniel Martin on the final 50 and win silver in 1:57.87.

Tretyakov, who was out first at the 100 wall, held strong down the stretch for bronze in 1:58.72, with Martin just behind in 4th at 1:59.02.

Czech Tomas Ludvik (1:59.43) took 5th, as seven of the eight finalists broke 2:00 after only Foster did this morning.

WOMEN’S 100 FLY Final

  1. Rikako Ikee, JPN, 57.25
  2. Rebecca Smith, CAN, 58.07
  3. Suzuka Hasegawa, JPN, 58.60

In her first of three swims on the night, Japan’s Rikako Ikee won gold in the 100 fly in 57.25, lowering her meet record of 58.11 set in the semis.

Ikee used a dominated 30.11 back half to run down Canadian Rebecca Smith, who got out to the early lead in 26.81. Smith did end up earning silver in 58.07, lowering her personal best by four one-hundredths.

Suzuka Hasegawa put two Japanese swimmers on the podium with a 58.60 for bronze, moving up from 5th at the 50 with the second fastest back half in the field (31.08).

200 fly gold medalist Emily Large of Great Britain was 4th just .02 back in 58.62, and Sweden’s Sara Junevik took 5th in 58.89. American Regan Smith finished 6th in 59.03.

Men’s 1500 Free (Timed Final)

  • WJR: 14:48.76, Mack Horton (AUS), 2014
  • CR: 14:56.60, Mack Horton (AUS), 2013
  • Start List
  1. Andrew Abruzzo, USA, 15:06.48
  2. Michael Brinegar, USA, 15:09.00
  3. Iaroslav Potapov, RUS, 15:09.18

It was a very exciting battle in the fastest heat of the men’s 1500, as American Andrew Abruzzo and Russian Iaroslav Potapov broke away from the pack and looked to be on their way to a battle for gold. However, at about the 950m mark the other American Michael Brinegar pulled even with them, and the three went head-to-head the rest of the way.

Abruzzo made his move on the third last 50, splitting 29.21 to pull ahead by a second before closing in 56.30 on the final 100 to win gold in 15:06.48. Brinegar and Potapov had an all-out sprint to the wall for silver, with the American getting his hand on the wall first, 15:09.00 to 15:09.18. Both American men register new personal best times.

David Lakatos from Hungary had a nice swim to get 4th in 15:18.07, narrowly getting by the mark set by Australian Jacob Vincent (15:18.84) in one of the early heats this morning. Vincent, as well as Japan’s Tatsuki Shoike (15:26.01) in 7th, were fast enough in the morning to finish in the top-8.


  1. Rikako Ikee, JPN, 24.59
  2. Grace Ariola, USA, 24.82
  3. Sayuki Ouchi, JPN, 25.07

For the second straight time tonight it was a 1-3 finish for the Japanese women with Rikako Ikee at the top, as Ikee lowered her championship record again in the 50 freestyle in 24.59. Ikee earns her second gold of the night and third of the meet.

American Grace Ariola challenged Ikee the whole way, touching for silver in 24.82, lowering her PB of 24.87 set in the semis. Ikee’s teammate Sayuki Ouchi snuck in for bronze in 25.07, just one one-hundredth ahead of Barbora Seemanova from the Czech Republic.

Angelina Köhler of Germany and Julie Jensen of Denmark tied for 5th in 25.19, and Canadian Kayla Sanchez was back in 7th in 25.33.

MEN’S 200 Fly Final

  1. Kristof Milak, HUN, 1:53.87
  2. Yuya Sakamoto, JPN, 1:57.05
  3. Antani Ivanov, BUL, 1:57.54

Just like in his junior world record-breaking swim, Kristof Milak was out like lightning in the men’s 200 fly final. Out in a scorching 53.29 at the 100, he came home with splits of 29.86/31.01 to touch in 1:53.87, just .08 off his record set in June at the European Juniors.

He bulldozes over the championship record time of 1:56.42, set in 2013 by American Andrew Seliskar. Milak affirms himself as the best junior 200 butterflyer in the world, as he gets past the 1:53.90 done by Nao Horomura of Japan at the World University Games last week.

It was another Japanese man taking 2nd, as Yuya Sakamoto moved past Bulgaria’s Antani Ivanov on the final 50 to touch in 1:57.05, lowering his best of 1:57.90 set at the Junior Pan Pacs in Maui last summer (where he won silver to Noromura).

Ivanov took bronze in 1:57.54, followed by Ukrainian Denys Kesyl in 1:57.93. Americans Andrew Koustik (1:58.15) and Nicolas Albiero (1:58.17) took 5th and 6th.


  • WJR: 26.97, Nicolò Martinenghi (ITA), 2017
  • CR: 27.02, Nicolò Martinenghi (ITA), 2017
  • Start List
  1. Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA, 27.10
  2. Alessandro Pinzuti, ITA, 27.19
  3. Michael Andrew, USA, 27.39

Like the 100 breaststroke, Nicolo Martinenghi wasn’t quite as fast as he was in the semis, but it was enough for gold as he won the men’s 50 breast in 27.10.

His teammate Alessandro Pinzuti pulled in for silver in 27.19, and Michael Andrew, who has won the other three 50s at the meet, won bronze in 27.39. Both Pinzuti and Andrew register personal bests.

American Reece Whitley (27.71) and Russian Vladislav Gerasimenko (27.82) also got under 28 for 4th and 5th, both putting up PBs as well.

WOMEN’S 200 Free Final

  1. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 1:57.08
  2. Ajna Kesely, HUN, 1:57.10
  3. Irina Krivonogova, RUS, 1:58.51

Taylor Ruck, sometimes known to go out with blinding speed and hang on, was out more conservative in the women’s 200 free final. She sat on Ajna Kesely of Hungary’s hip for the first 150m, trailing by six tenths heading into the last length.

Ruck dug deep and pulled even with Kesely, and it all came down to the last stroke. Ruck timed the finish perfectly, edging the Hungarian by two one-hundredths, 1:57.08 to 1:57.10.

Ruck defends her title, sets a new best and breaks her meet record of 1:57.87 from 2015. Kesely and Russian Irina Krivonogova, who won bronze in 1:58.51, also went new best times.

Isabel Gose of Germany won a close battle for 4th in 1:59.65, with Russian Anastasia Kirpichnikova (1:59.72) and Canadian Rebecca Smith (1:59.88) just behind in 5th and 6th. Both Smith and Barbora Seemanova (7th in 2:00.01) had solid swims in their second race of the night.

Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay Final

  • WJR: 3:35.24, Italy, 2017
  • CR: 3:36.44, Russia, 2015
  • Start List
  1. United States, 3:36.15
  2. Russia, 3:36.30
  3. Italy, 3:36.44

In an incredible three-way race for gold, it was the United States who prevailed in the men’s medley relay, winning the country’s first relay gold of the meet.

The Italians led early with a 55.06 lead-off from Thomas Ceccon and a 59.10 split from Nicolo Martinenghi, but the Americans stayed within reach with splits of 55.47 from Drew Kibler and 59.32 from Reece Whitley.

Egor Kuimov split a massive 51.17 to bring the Russians back into the mix, and it all came down to the freestyle. Matthew Willenbring anchored in 48.68 to move the Americans past the Italians and take gold in 3:36.15, a new championship record.

The Russians, armed with 100 free gold medalist from earlier tonight Ivan Girev, snuck by Italy as well for silver in 3:36.30, thanks to a 48.27 split from Girev. Italy touched 3rd in 3:36.44. The same four Italians set the junior world record earlier this summer at the European Junior Championships in 3:35.24.

Australia (3:38.39) and Poland (3:39.14) took 4th and 5th.

Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay Final

  • WJR: 4:01.05, Russia, 2015
  • CR: 4:01.05, Russia, 2015
  • Start List
  1. Canada, 3:58.38
  2. United States, 3:59.19
  3. Japan, 3:59.97

It was another come from behind win for the Canadians, as they go 3-for-3 on women’s relays with the gold and another junior world record in the 400 medley in a time of 3:58.38.

Regan Smith got the U.S. out to a big lead, equalling her 100 back junior world record of 59.11. Jade Hannah was about a second off her best time leading off the Canadians in 1:00.68, and Zoe Bartel (1:07.17) extended the lead over Faith Knelson (1:07.86).

Then came the vaunted Canadian back half with Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck. Oleksiak made up about 1.7 seconds on Lucie Nordmann with a sizzling 56.91 fly leg, and Ruck scorched home in 52.93 to solidify the Canadian gold.

The U.S. touched 2nd in 3:59.19, and Japan won bronze in 3:59.97 with quick splits from Natsumi Sakai (59.77) on back and Rikako Ikee (56.94) on fly. All three medalists went under the previous WJR, which Russia held at 4:01.05 from 2015.

Great Britain took 4th in 4:01.30, with 100 free gold medalist Freya Anderson anchoring them in 52.99. The rest of the field wasn’t close, with the Russians next up in 4:05.11.

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6 years ago

Maybe I underrated Abruzzo. I’m still not a big believer but after three wins he owns benefit of a doubt.

Girev has such a smooth style but with that style it looks weird when you lose a close relay because seemingly he didn’t turn up the urgency when needed.

Ikee was my favorite from this meet. She was long on both walls yet still managed 57.25 butterfly.

Rowdy doesn’t crunch as dependably during juniors.

That lady sorority president received more air time than Michael Andrew. But if he throws in some 100s he’ll narrowly catch her.

Swim Swag
6 years ago

WOW- hater.

Abruzzo came back 1:25 on the last 150 of the 1500. That is legit on the big stage

Girev is a total stud.

MA is the man!!! 3 jr world records

6 years ago

Small sample size, but yeah…semifinals are pretty much a waste of time and energy. Only 4 of 48 total medalists in events that included semifinals finished outside the Top 8 in prelims. I’ll need to do more research on other meets, but I think it’s time to really re-consider semifinals. If you want “lesser” swimmers getting a 2nd swim (or to extend the overall program for tv/advertisement purposes), have B final.

Reply to  DrSwimPhil
6 years ago

It is all about TV and money for semis

6 years ago

After the drought created by Aya Terakawa’s retirement, it looks like Japan finally has a female sprint backstroker in Natsumi Sakai.

6 years ago

Kristof Milak is impressive. He is one of the strong contenders for Gold medals in 100 and 200 fly in Tokyo Olympics. Schooling needs to work very hard to defend his 100 fly title in next Olympics. All of a sudden, there is a fierce competition in 100 fly.

crooked donald
Reply to  Buona
6 years ago

Schooling can work all he wants —- he ain’t defending that title. There are bigger, stronger guys who have figured out that race.

Reply to  Buona
6 years ago

Schooling can work all he wants, the best possible results for him is a bronze medal behind Dressel and Milak.

Reply to  Buona
6 years ago

I think other swimmers are starting to analyse Schooling’s Olympics race. That’s why a few swimmers are challenging him this year.

6 years ago

Honestly just thankful to finally stop reading 100000000 comments about Michael Andrew every day. We get it, he is super fast at 50s, who knows what the future holds.

Reply to  Judga
6 years ago

Also well aware this is quite hypocritical of myself.

crooked donald
Reply to  Judga
6 years ago

The excitement, overexposure, is related to the two things you can’t teach, but are born with and can develop —– raw speed and mastery of 4 strokes. Only a couple of guys on the planet —- and one wants to play handball instead of swim — who can say that.

Reply to  crooked donald
6 years ago

Can’t teach mastery of four strokes? It’s rare, sure, but I’d disagree. It’s pretty much impossible to make that determination in MA’s case, anyway, since he’s been receiving one-on-one coaching with tons of feedback for the past 14 years or so. Hard to say how fast other swimmers would be if the coach:swimmer ratio was always 1:1

6 years ago

I’m interested to hear everyone’s opinions on the future of the USA women’s sprint free stylers.

Reply to  Swimfan718
6 years ago

I wouldn’t judge based on this, USA have big talents. Manuel/Comerford may have a 100fr strange hold for many years. Weitzeil is still young. Goeders & Ariola look like good 50 girls. Smoliga & Bilquist I still see as having big freestyle ability. USA have a lot of talent – Young girls, just not quite young enough to be swimmer here in many cases.

Reply to  Dee
6 years ago

Don’t forget they still have mega talent in Claire Tuggle.

6 years ago

Freya Anderson is impressive in splitting 52.99
She’ll be a girl to watch in an extremely stacked Tokyo 100 free

6 years ago

Despite the win, that was kinda underwhelming performance by the Canadian girls, after all the hype.

Reply to  SchoolingFTW
6 years ago

their backstroke should be 1 second faster.

Reply to  LVH11
6 years ago

It’s surprising that Jade went a second slower than night two, but it’s no real surprise that Penny and Taylor were the fastest in their respective splits. Maybe they would have went faster with Taylor on back and Kayla on free? They’re both fairly consistent.

Reply to  Ben
6 years ago

It’s surprising when you see what Jade has done this week, but not that surprising when you see that this leadoff was still faster than Jade’s PB coming into this week

Reply to  juddy96
6 years ago

She’s young though. Hopefully more consistency will come with experience.

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 …

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