2022 European Junior Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


  • Tuesday, July 5th – Sunday, July 10th
  • Otopeni Olympic Swimming Complex, Bucharest, Romania
  • LCM (50m)
  • Start Times
    • Prelims: 10 a.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
    • Finals: 5 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
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All eyes are on Romania’s David Popovici heading into the 200 freestyle semifinal on day one of the 2022 European Junior Championships. He recently set the world junior record in this event to win gold at the 2022 World Championships, becoming the youngest 200 freestyle world champion in history. Popovici swept the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free at this meet in 2021.

Defending champions also earned the top semifinals spots in the girls’ 200 freestyle led by Hungary’s Nikoletta Padar and the boys’ 200 butterfly led by Krzysztof Chmielewski of Poland. Chmielewski placed 9th in this event at the World Championships less than two weeks ago in the semifinal, narrowly missing the final.

The majority of the session will be a stroke splash and dash, featuring the 50 back and 50 breast. We will also see the girls’ 400 IM, boys’ 200 free, and the girls and boys’ 4×100 freestyle relay.

Girls’ 400 IM – Final

  • World Junior Record: 4:32.04 – Summer McIntosh, CAN (2022)
  • European Junior Record: 4:38.53 – Alba Vasquez Ruiz, ESP (2019)
  • European Junior Championship Record: 4:40.64 – Alba Vasquez Ruiz, ESP (2019)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Katie Shanahan (GBR) – 4:42.59
  1. Emma Carrasco Cadens (ESP) – 4:46.39
  2. Belis Sakar (TUR) – 4:47.11
  3. Vivien Jackl (HUN) – 4:47.51

Turkey’s Belis Sakar had the early lead, turning at 1:04.42 after the butterfly. But, Spain’s Emma Carrasco Cadens devoured Sakar’s 2.5-second lead during the breaststroke leg, turning at 3:40.33 compared to Sakar’s 3:42.10 when they were headed into the final 100 meters.

Hungary’s Vivien Jackl dominated the backstroke segment of the race, flipping at 2:16.24 at the 200-meter mark with a one-second lead over Sakar who was in second place. While Jackl slipped behind on the breaststroke, she blasted a sub 33-second final 50 split to out touch 4th place finisher Lisa Nystrand of Sweden by .14.

Carrasco Cadens came within .16 of her lifetime best time from the 2021 Mare Nostrum. Sakar crushed her previous best time by more than 2.5 seconds while Jackl swam a 4:45.82 at the recent Hungarian Youth Championships in June.

Girls’ 200 Freestyle – Semifinal

  • World Junior Record: 1:54.79 – Summer McIntosh, CAN (2022)
  • European Junior Record: 1:56.78
  • European Junior Championship Record: 1:57.51 – Isabel Gose, GER (2019)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Nikoletta Padar (HUN) – 1:59.38
  1. Nikoletta Padar (HUN) – 1:58.86
  2. Giulia Vetrano (ITA) – 1:59.94
  3. Merve Tuncel (TUR) – 2:00.52
  4. Daria Golovati (ISR) – 2:01.43
  5. Giulia Rossi-Bene (FRA) – 2:01.69
  6. Lili Gyurinovics (HUN) – 2:01.76
  7. Maya Werner (GER) – 2:02.13
  8. Cristina Ciobanu Spataru (ESP) – 2:02.37

Hungary’s Padar claimed the top finals spot with a one-second lead over the field. She had the fastest opening speed, splitting a 28.18 on the first 50 meters, and the fastest closing speed, splitting a 30.20 on the last 50. Only one other swimmer split sub 31.00 on the last 50 and it was Italy’s Giulia Vetrano who finished the race in 30.71 to claim 2nd place. Padar beat the time it took for her to win this event at the 2021 European Junior Championships by half a second.

This was a big swim for Daria Golovati who missed the final last year after finishing 12th in the semifinal. Her lifetime-best time still stands at 1:59.67 from May. Merve Tuncel was also slightly off her lifetime best time which she set at 1:59.70 in 2021.

Boys’ 200 Freestyle – Semifinal

  1. Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) – 1:47.73
  2. David Popovici (ROU) – 1:47.93
  3. Daniil Pancerevas (LTU) – 1:49.26
  4. Evan Jones (GBR) – 1:49.80
  5. Daniel Meszaros (HUN) – 1:49.82
  6. Jacob Whittle (GBR) – 1:49.91
  7. Jakub Walter (POL) – 1:50.00
  8. Attila Kovacs (HUN) – 1:50.27

Italian 16-year-old Lorenzo Galossi blasted a lifetime best time to earn the top finals spot, crushing his previous best by almost half a second. Popovici actually had the fastest first 50 split of 24.57, as the only swimmer to crack 25.00 on the first length, but he eased up on the third 50 with a 29.13, the slowest third 50 split in the field. He may have been conserving energy for the 4×100 freestyle later in the session. Galossi’s 27.13 on the third 50 earned him the win in the semifinal, but who knows what we’ll see from Popovici in the final as he swam a 1:43 in Budapest.

Four other boys cracked the 1:50.00 mark with 1:49’s as well, setting up a tight race in the finals. This was a lifetime best time for Lithuania’s Daniil Pancerevas as well; he shaved .14 off his previous best from 2020.

Girls’ 50 Backstroke – Semifinal

  • World Junior Record: 27.49 – Minna Atherton, AUS (2016)
  • European Junior Record: 27.51 – Daria Vaskina, RUS (2019)
  • European Junior Championship Record: 27.82 – Daria Vaskina, RUS (2019)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Carmen Weiler Sastre (ESP) – 28.42
  1. Mary-Ambre Moluh (FRA) – 27.75
  2. Lora Komoroczy (HUN) – 28.41
  3. Roos Vanotterdijk (BEL) – 28.50
  4. Anna Maria Boerstler (GER) – 28.69
  5. Sara Curtis (ITA) – 28.98
  6. Nika Sharafutdinova (UKR) – 29.00
  7. Laura Bernat (POL) – 29.08
  8. Rebecca-Aimee Diaconescu (ROU) – 29.34

France’s Mary-Ambre Moluh shaved .07 off the championship record set by Russia’s Daria Vaskina in 2019 to earn the top finals spot. Moluh has had an incredible summer season already, becoming the youngest French woman under the 1-minute mark in the 100 back in April. Her best 50 back time still stands at 27.00 so watch out for what she may do in the final tomorrow night.

Roos Vanotterdijk cracked the Belgian National record to claim the third spot in the semifinal. She took .48 off her lifetime best time from April. Lora Komoroczy nearly tied her best time from the Hungarian Championships in April where she swam a 28.40.

Boys’ 50 Backstroke – Semifinal

  • World Junior Record: 24.00 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
  • European Junior Record: 24.00 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
  • European Junior Championship Record: 24.52 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Aleksei Tkachev (RUS) – 25.14
  1. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 24.74
  2. Jonathon Marshall (GBR) – 25.30
  3. Inbar Danziger (ISR) – 25.32 / Aron Szekely (HUN) – 25.32
  4. Miroslav Knedla (CZE) – 25.42
  5. Matthew Ward (GBR) – 25.50
  6. Yohan Airaud (FRA) – 25.55
  7. Robert Falborg Pedersen (DEN) – 25.57

Only one swimmer cracked the 25.00 mark in this race and it was Polish national record holder Ksawery Masiuk. He claimed the top finals spot with a solid .56 lead over the field but he was still about one-third of a second off his best time from the 2022 World Championships. He is coming off a bronze medal win in this event in Budapest two weeks ago.

This was a great swim for Great Britain’s Jonny Marshall who took .28 off his lifetime best time from prelims. He trains with Firestone Akron Swim Team in the United States and is committed to the University of Florida for the fall of 2023. Israel’s Inbar Danziger and Hungary’s Aron Szekely tied for the third finals spot. They also swam faster than their prelims times to post lifetime best times.

Girls’ 50 Breaststroke – Semifinal

  • World Junior Record: 29.30 – Benedetta Pilato, ITA (2021)
  • European Junior Record: 29.30 – Benedetta Pilato, ITA (2021)
  • European Junior Championship Record: 29.75 – Benedetta Pilato, ITA (2021)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Benedetta Pilato (ITA) – 30.13
  1. Eneli Jefimova (EST) – 30.59
  2. Karolina Piechowicz (POL) – 31.44
  3. Chiara Della Corte (ITA) – 31.48
  4. Olivia Klint Ipsa (SWE) / Schastine Skifter Tabor (DEN) – 31.49
  5. Maria Ramos Najji (ESP) – 31.65
  6. Justine Delmas (FRA) – 31.71
  7. Kamila Isayeva (UKR) – 31.73

Eneli Jefimova claimed the top finals spot with a comfortable .8 lead over the field. She set the Estonian national record in this event at the World Championships with a 30.08 and ended up placing 6th.

One national record did fall here in Romania though, and it was broken by Serbia’s Martina Bukvic who placed 9th with a time of 31.83. The previous record was set at 32.08 by Nada Higl in 2009 and then tied by Nina Stanisavljevic at the 2019 World Junior Championships.

Poland’s Karolina Piechowicz won heat one to claim the second finals spot just .04 ahead of Italy’s Chiara Della Corte in heat two. Piechowicz came within about.15 of her best time while Della Corte took .19 off her lifetime best time from prelims.

Boys’ 50 Breaststroke – Semifinal

  • World Junior Record: 26.97 – Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA (2017)
  • European Junior Record: 26.97 – Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA (2017)
  • European Junior Championship Record: 27.23 – Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA (2017)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Simone Cerasuolo (ITA) – 27.29
  1. Koen de Groot (NED) – 27.61
  2. Uros Zivanovic (SRB) – 27.64
  3. Volodymyr Lisovets (UKR) – 27.72
  4. Alex Sabattani (ITA) – 27.76
  5. Davin Lindholm (FIN) / Elliot Woodburn (GBR) – 27.94
  6. Federico Rizzardi (ITA) – 28.11
  7. Ralf Roose (EST) – 28.12

The Netherlands’ Koen de Groot shaved .23 off his prelims time to snag the top finals spot narrowly ahead of Serbia’s Uros Zivanovic. Ukraine’s Volodymyr Lisovets won bronze in this event at the 2021 European Junior Championships with a time of 27.94, so this swim sets him up nicely to medal again. But he will likely have to keep swimming faster than he did at last year’s championships.

Boys’ 200 Butterfly – Semifinal

  • World Junior Record: 1:53.79 – Kristof Milak, HUN (2017)
  • European Junior Record: 1:52.71 – Kristof Milak, HUN (2018)
  • European Junior Championship Record: 1:53.79 – Kristof Milak, HUN (2018)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Krzysztof Chmielewski (POL) – 1:56.29
  1. Krzysztof Chmielewski (POL) -1:56.36
  2. Michal Chmielewski (POL) – 1:57.85
  3. Ramil Valizada (AZE) – 1:58.98
  4. Petar Mitsin (BUL) – 1:59.17
  5. Louis Schubert (GER) – 1:59.76
  6. Andrea Camozzi (ITA) – 2:00.32
  7. Olaf Cserfalvi (HUN) – 2:00.33
  8. Mark Horvath (AUT) – 2:00.44

Don’t worry, you’re not seeing double. Twin brothers Krzysztof and Michal Chmielewski topped the 200 fly semifinal, winning heats two and one, respectively. Krzysztof is the defending champion in this event with a seed time of 1:55.01. Michal won silver behind his brother at the 2021 European Junior Championships and they might just do it again this year.

What really set Krzysztof apart was his opening 50 meter split of 25.74 and closing speed of 30.29 on the final 50. No one else cracked 26.00 on the first 50.

Azerbaijan’s Ramil Valizada took more than half a second off his prelims time to snag the third finals spot.

Girls’ 4×100 Freestyle Relay – Final

  • World Junior Record: 3:36.19 – Canada (2017)
  • European Junior Record: 3:39.91
  • European Junior Championship Record: 3:40.10 – Russia (2021)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Russia – 3:10.10
  1. Italy (Quaggio/Cacciapuoti/Curtis/Biagiotti) – 3:42.98
  2. France (Moluh/Preiter/Trompette/Rossi-Bene) – 3:43.49
  3. Germany (Finger/Springer/Werner/Jazy) – 3:45.63

Less than an hour after setting the 50 back championship record, Moluh led off France’s relay with the second-fastest first 100 split in the field of 55.62.

France had the lead through the third leg where Melora Trompette hit the wall at 2:48.10 compared to Sara Curtis‘ 2:48.18. But it was Italy’s Matilde Biagiotti who took the lead on the final 100 after splitting a blistering 54.80. She had the second-fastest anchor leg split after Nina Sandrine Jazy who swam a 54.65 to help Germany out touch 4th place finisher Great Britain by .02.

Croatia cracked their national record to place 6th with a time of 3:49.56.

While Hungary’s relay finished 8th (3:54.60), they had the fastest first and last legs in the entire field. Padar led off the race with a time of 55.37 while Dora Molnar anchored in 54.13. Their middle splits of 1:07.73 by Ratkai and 57.37 by Gyurinovics set them behind, though. This was an especially odd swim from Ratkai who split a 56.81 in prelims to help the team secure the 2nd spot going into the final. Reportedly, she inhaled water during the race and had to stop briefly at the 60-meter mark before continuing.

Boys’ 4×100 Freestyle Relay – Final

  • World Junior Record: 3:15.80 – United States (2019)
  • European Junior Record: 3:16.26 – Russia (2019)
  • European Junior Championship Record: 3:16.58 – Italy (2009)
  • 2021 European Junior Champion: Russia – 3:19.66
  1. Romania (Popovici/Stancu/Cozma/Dinu) – 3:18.93
  2. Great Britain (Whittle/Painter/Jones/Rowbotham) – 3:19.01
  3. Italy (Galossi/Codardini/Passafaro/Lazzari) – 3:19.42

David Popovici blasted a 47.54 to lead-off this relay, outdoing the 47.76 he split to lead it off in prelims. This is his third-fastest swim ever, trailing only his performance at Worlds (47.13) and the 2021 European Junior Championships (2021). Great Britain’s Jacob Whittle had the second-fastest leadoff split today with a time of 48.69.

While Romania had the lead initially, Great Britain ran them down on the second leg where Alexander Painter split a 49.91 compared to Vlad-Stefan Stancu‘s 51.11. Evan Jones extended the Brits’ lead with another sub-50.00 split of 49.80 compared to Stefan Cozma’s 50.56 but Romania’s anchor Patrick-Sebastian Dinu devoured Great Britain’s lead with a final split of 49.72.

Italy’s relay was very consistent, starting with a 50.08 from Galossi and then splitting three 49’s to finish the race (including a blistering 49.49 from Lazzari). But it wasn’t enough to catch Great Britain. Notably, Poland’s Masiuk swam the fastest anchor split in the field with a time of 48.24. Poland finished 4th (3:20.38).

There was one disqualification, from Croatia.

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8 months ago

somebody know where can I wach again the race ? / recordin repeat /

8 months ago

What do we get today? 144? 143??

8 months ago

Masiuk looks like a real deal, nice freestyle in addition to backstroke

Reply to  Tomek
8 months ago

He is also a good ‘flyer – LCM 52mid last year.

8 months ago
Dear All
does anyone know where the competition can be watched live. All Aquatics used to broadcast these competitions, but as far as I can see, they are not broadcasting now. Thank you
Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

Thank you

8 months ago

Galossi, born in 2006, swam a 1:47 200 free and a 00:50 100 free (faster than Ceccon at his age).
And his main event is the 400 free.

I wrote elsewhere than one day Popovici and Galossi might re-enact the legendary VDH-Thorpe rivalry, dominating the 100 and the 400 free respectively and meeting halfway in the 200. It’s a very long shot, there are a lot of ifs and buts, and it’s not a perfect comparison either, but where’s the hurt in dreaming?

Andy Dwyer
Reply to  Luigi
8 months ago

I don’t think there’s enough room to dominate the 400 free. IMO 3:40 are extremely close to the human barrier. We’ve seen a once in a century swimmer with Thorpe and a guy in a crazy suit who swam a 1:42 in the 200 free, and even they were not able to dip below 3:40.
With Winnington 22 years old and Martens 20 years old both swimming 3:41, I can’t imagine you can dominate that event like Thorpe did.

And I also love PVDH, but did he really dominate the 100 free? He has never won Gold at the WC. He was clutch at the Olympics, but that can’t be compared to the dominance of Thorpe in the 400.

Reply to  Luigi
8 months ago

Very, very long shot, Luigi..Every swimming fan seeks comparisons between the youngsters and the greatest athletes of swimming history, but – for sure – Popovici is really something completely different. At 17 has already swum 1.43.2 in the 200 free and 47.1 in the 100 free, double World Champion after Montgomery almost 50 years ago (first edition of Worlds and a totally different swimming) and – what’s even more impressive – it’s pretty obvious that he has room for improvements in so many swaimming phases and in his raw speed and physical endurance. Moreover Popovici went 3.48.1 in the 400 free in-season at Romanian Champs when he swam 1.46 in the 200 free.., so who knows if – in a… Read more »

Reply to  Luigi
8 months ago

Well guys, let’s talk again after finals in the men’s 200 and 400 free and perhaps in the 4×200 free.

8 months ago

GG Rátkai

8 months ago

Popovici just hit the second fastest back half of all time. 24.19

Reply to  PFA
8 months ago

Didn’t Phelps had the fastest at 24.20?

Reply to  Mike
8 months ago

No, Minakov had a 24.11 from Russian trials in 2020

8 months ago

47.54, slightly faster than what he went in the worlds final

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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