2022 World Junior Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


Day 1 Finals Schedule:

  • Boys 400 Free – FINAL
  • Girls 50 Breast – SEMIFINALS
  • Boys 100 Back – SEMIFINALS
  • Girls 400 IM – FINALS
  • Boys 100 Breast – SEMIFINALS
  • Girls 100 Back – SEMIFINALS
  • Boys 4×100 Free Relay – FINAL
  • Girls 4×200 Free Relay – FINAL

The first finals sessions of the 2022 World Junior Championships will feature semis of the girls 50 breast, boys 100 back, boys 100 breast, and the girls 100 back, along with finals of the boys 400 free, girls 400 IM, the boys 4×100 free relay, and the girls 4×200 free relay.

We already saw some fireworks this morning, as David Popovici took nearly a second off of the meet record in the 100 free with a 47.37 leading off Romania’s free relay, and there should be more exciting swims in store this evening.


  • World Record – 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • World Junior Record – 3:44.60, Mack Horton (2014)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 3:46.06, Gabor Zombori (2019)

Top 3:

  1. Stephan Steverink (BRA) – 3:48.27
  2. Vlad Stefan Stancu (ROU) – 3:48.38
  3. Krzysztof Chmielewski (POL) – 3:49.34

400m came down to the final touch. Top-seed Stephan Steverink of Brazil jumped out to an early lead, but Krzysztof Chmielewski overtook him by halfway point. The two remained neck and and neck for most of the race, with Vlad Stefan Stancu within striking distance the whole time.

Down the final stretch, Steverink and Stancu pulled ahead, and Steverink just got his hand on the wall first, 3:48.27 to 3:48.34. Chmielewski took 3rd in 3:49.34, the only other swimmer under 3:51.


  • World Record – 29.30, Benedetta Pilato (2021)
  • World Junior Record – 29.30, Benedetta Pilato (2021)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 29.86, Ruta Meilutyte (2013)

Top 8:

  1. Karolina Piechowicz (POL) – 31.50
  2. Jana Pribylova (CZE) – 31.81
  3. Maria Ramos Najji (ESP) – 31.83
  4. Irene Mati (ITA) – 31.88
  5. Martina Bukvic (SRB) – 32.02
  6. Sieun Park (KOR) – 32.18
  7. Jimena Ruiz (ESP) – 32.43
  8. Julia Christen (ARG) – 32.47

Poland’s Karolina Piechowicz improved on her time from this morning, from 31.64 to 31.50, and defended her position as top seed heading into tomorrow’s finals.

There was a big gap between Piechowicz and the next-fastest swimmer, but it was tight after that, as Jana Pribylova, Maria Ramos Najji, and Irene Mati all touched between 31.81 and 31.88.

Serbia’s Martina Bukvic took nearly half a second off of her prelims to qualify 4th, followed by Sieun Park, Jimena Ruiz, and Julia Christen.

Tomorrow’s finals field wouldn’t have looked that different had it just consisted of the top 8 out of prelims, as Bukvic was the only swimmer to make finals who wasn’t also in the top 8 this morning.


  • World Record – 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (2022)
  • World Junior Record – 52.53, Kliment Kolesnikov (2018)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 53.37, Thomas Ceccon (2019)

Top 8:

  1. Pieter Coetze (RSA) – 52.95
  2. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 53.12
  3. Aron Szekely (HUN) – 55.42
  4. Miroslav Knedla (CZE) – 55.49
  5. Hidekazu Takehara (JPN) – 55.79
  6. Filip Kosinski (POL) – 55.93
  7. Apostolos Siskos (GRE) – 55.95
  8. Simon Clusman (FRA) – 56.19

Pieter Coetze stormed to a new meet record in the first heat. The South African got under the 53-second barrier with a 52.95, taking down the mark of 53.37 previously held by Thomas Ceccon. That also appears to be a new African continental record, with Coetze breaking the mark of 53.12 previously held by his countryman Christopher Reid.

Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk won heat 2 with a 53.12, also getting under the old meet record. It looks like it’ll be a battle between Coetze and Masiuk tomorrow night, as no one else got under 55 seconds.

Hungary’s Aron Szekely was the next-fastest finals qualifier with a 55.42 out of heat 2, and Apostolos Siskos and Simon Clusman will also join him from that heat.

Miroslav Knedla took 2nd in heat 1 behind Coetze, finishing 4th overall in 55.49. Hidekazu Takehara and Masiuk’s teammate Filip Kosinski also qualified out of the first heat.


  • World Record – 4:26.36, Katinka Hosszu (2016)
  • World Junior Record – 4:29.01, Summer McIntosh (2022)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 4:38.53, Alba Vazquez Ruiz (2019)

Top 3:

  1. Mio Narita (JPN) – 4:37.78
  2. Lilla Minna Abraham (HUN) – 4:44.19
  3. Giulia Vetrano (ITA) – 4:44.20

Japan’s Mio Narita had another dominant showing tonight in this race. She came into the meet as the top seed, then went 4:45.29 this morning, posting the fastest time by over a second. But that was just a prelude, as tonight she left the field behind with a 4:37. Narita is only a few days removed from swimming at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii, where she swept the IMs, including a 4:36.79 meet record in the 400.

While Narita won by over six seconds, there was a great race behind for her 2nd, with four women touching in 4:44-point. Hungary’s Lilla Minna Abraham touched first from among that group, taking 2nd in 4:44.19. Italy’s Giulia Vetrano moved from 5th to 3rd on the last 50m, taking 3rd in 4:44.20.


  • World Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (2019)
  • World Junior Record – 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 59.01 Nicolo Martinenghi (2017)

Top 8:

  1. Luka Mladenovic (AUT) – 1:01.84
  2. Uros Zivanovic (SRB) – 1:02.46
  3. Sai Ting Adam Mak (HKG) – 1:02.65
  4. Santiago Jesus Zaragoza Reyes (MEX) – 1:02.75
  5. Filip Urbanski (POL) – 1:02.93
  6. Alex Sabattani (ITA) – 1:02.95
  7. Chanwook Park (KOR) – 1:03.21
  8. Nikola Koltin (SRB) – 1:03.26

Austria’s Luka Mladenovic backed up his top time from this morning by pacing the field tonight. He was the only man to get under 1:02, winning heat 2 in 1:01.84. Serbia’s Uros Zivanovic won heat 1 in 1:02.46, good for the 2nd-fastet time overall, and just ahead of Sai Ting Adam Mak in the heat.

Six of the eight finals qualifiers came from heat 2, with Santiago Jesus Zaragoza Reyes, Filip Urbanski, Alex Sabattani, Chanwook Park, and Nikola Koltin all joining Mladenovic in qualifying out of that heat. Koltin in particular had a nice semis swim, improving on his prelims time by well over a second, and moving up from 13th this morning to 8th tonight.


  • World Record – 57.45, Kaylee McKeown (2021)
  • World Junior Record – 57.57, Regan Smith (2019)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 59.11, Regan Smith (2017)

Top 8:

  1. Sara Curtis (ITA) – 1:02.09
  2. Dora Molnar (HUN) – 1:02.19
  3. Aimi Nagaoka (JPN) – 1:02.24
  4. Aissia Claudia Prisecariu (ROU) – 1:02.59
  5. Rebecca-Aimee Diaconescu (ROU) – 1:02.64
  6. Chiaki Yamamoto (JPN) – 1:02.76
  7. Jaeyun Song (KOR) – 1:02.90
  8. Alexia Sotomayer (PER) –1:02.94

Italy’s Sara Curtis came up big in the second heat, improving from 9th this morning (1:03.63) to the top seed heading into tomorrow with a 1:02.09 tonight.

The entire top finished in 1:02-something, and just like in the boys 100  breast, six of the top eight came from the second heat. Aimi Nagaoka, who had the fastest prelims time at 1:01.74, took 2nd in heat 2 behind Curtis, at 1:02.24. Aissia Claudia Prisecariu, Chiaki Yamamoto, Jaeyun Song, and home crowd favorite Alexia Sotomayor of Peru also qualified out of heat 2.

Hungary’s Dora Molnar won heat 1 in 1:02.19, the 2nd-fastest overall behind Curtis, and Rebecca-Aimee Diaconescu took 2nd in that heat to qualify for tomorrow as well.


  • World Record – 3:08.24, USA (2008)
  • World Junior Record – 3:15.79, USA (2022)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 3:15.80, USA (2019)

Top 3

  1. Romania – 3:18.84
  2. France – 3:20.29
  3. Lithuania – 3:20.41

Phenom David Popovici propelled Romana to the win here after the world record holder led off in a meet record time of 47.07. Alexandru Constantinescu and Stefan Cozma each split 51.1s, then Patrick Dinu anchored in 49.50 as Romania won by well over a second in 3:18.84.

It was a tight race for 2nd, though, between France, Lithuania, and Italy. Nans Mazellier moved France from 6th to 2nd with his 49.48 split on the 2nd leg, and France was able to hold off a pair of 49s from Lithuania’s Tomas Lukimas and Rokas Jazdauskas to take silver, 3:20.29 to 3:20.41. Italy had incredibly close splits, with all four swimmers recording times between 50.36 and 49.87 (and descending, to boot), but they ended up just out of the medals at 3:20.49.


  • World Record – 7:39.29, Australia (2022)
  • World Junior Record – 7:51.47, Canada (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 7:51.47, Canada (2017)

Top 3:

  1. Hungary – 8:04.70
  2. Italy – 8:08.59
  3. Turkey – 8:20.76

Hungary got off to a great start when Nikolett Padar led off in 1:58.37. Not only she did put up the fastest leadoff time, but she had the fastest time overall, as none of the other 31 swimmers in the race got under 2:00. Dora Molnar and Lilla Minna Abraham recorded nearly-identical 2:02.4 splits, while Lili Gyurinovics went 2:01.51 while sandwiched between them. All told, Hungary won in 8:04.70, touching nearly four seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

The 2nd-fastest split of the night belonged to Matilde Biagotti, who led off Italy in 2:00.24 en route to a 8:08.59 silver medal for the Italians. Turkey earned bronze in 8:20,75, led by a 2:01.98 first leg by Merve Tuncel.

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5 months ago

Mio Narita is a badass. 4:36 in Honolulu, 4:37 in Lima just a few days later.

Pacific Whirl
5 months ago

The swimmer’s name is Lilla, not “Lilly”.

5 months ago

I just realised there’s another WJCs next year so Southam (if he wants it) and the Aussie trio of girl sprinters will still get this opportunity before they age out.

Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

When is WJC and when is WC next year? I assume Flynn would probably want to go to both if he can and the schedule is good?

Reply to  Sub13
5 months ago

No host has been chosen but it’s almost always in late August and WCs will be in late July.

Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Hmmm I assume if he only wanted to do one he would go to WCs but would be good to see where he is at for juniors a year from now

Reply to  Sub13
5 months ago

Southam is now a very real candidate for an individual spot in the senior team for 100free and, at minimum, is a near certain 4X100 pick and potentially 4X200 so, other than collecting some personal silverware; its debatable as to whether WJC would serve any great purpose.

The female sprint trio, Staples & Coleman; whilst potentially making senior finals at Trials; are all less likely senior selections at this point so WJC may be the way to go unless any of them do make some major jumps in times.

Reply to  commonwombat
5 months ago

Yeah definitely in the conversation for individual 100. He’s our second fastest flat start this year, although Cartwright and Temple have both been faster and Yang and Incerti aren’t far off. Don’t want to put too much pressure on him but the difference between a just 17 year old and a just 18 year old can be pretty massive. He only needs to drop 0.3 to be our second fastest active PB behind Kyle.

He’s 7th fastest in the last two years for the 200, but with Kyle out he’s 6th and has some time to drop. Definitely would like to see him at senior WCs next year.

5 months ago

This WJC really is his last opportunity to truly cement his legacy as the greatest 100-200 junior fresstyler of all time. If I’m not wrong the CR record for the 200 is a 1:46 by Girev?

Reply to  Pillow
5 months ago

1:46,40 from 2017.

Reply to  Pillow
5 months ago

Does he need to cement it? A WR and a textile record and both WJR. Like… what else does he need to do?

Reply to  Sub13
5 months ago

It’ll be fun when a kid swims 47.2 in the future WJCs and they don’t even have the CR? :))

5 months ago

How the hell are the commentator or the sideline reporter??
Both are terrible in lot of different way.

Last edited 5 months ago by NathenDrake
5 months ago

Terrible relay times.

The 3 bronze medalist from the last three Junior Worlds had a way better time then Romania today, while Hungary on the women side would have won a medal in 2013.

Last edited 5 months ago by NathenDrake
Reply to  NathenDrake
5 months ago

Feel free to mention if there’s anything you enjoy or think is good. We’d like to hear that too.

Reply to  Swimmer
5 months ago

Check my comment about Pádár, MATE!!

Reply to  Swimmer
5 months ago

And its simply terrible to watch even a JUNIOR WORLDS without a decent line-up and every nation.

Reply to  NathenDrake
5 months ago

Don’t watch then

5 months ago

Hungary was 7:59,04 in Romania at the junior european championship.

But Pádár had a perfectly build-up 200 free for a 16 years old.

Reply to  NathenDrake
5 months ago

I would have liked to seen a women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay of Weinstein – Grimes – Gemmell – Sims at the World Junior Swimming Championships.

Last edited 5 months ago by Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

Would have destroyed the field like Hungary did at Junior Euros, when they won with nearly 10 seconds.
But that day Hungary was totally rested, and Pádár finished and Minna was the lead-off.

The next junior Worlds in 2023 can be a good one if the hungarians can progress, and Australia and USA has a team like Canada in 2017, with Oleksiak and Ruck in the relays.

Reply to  NathenDrake
5 months ago

If the Aussie 100 free girls continue on a similar trajectory maybe they can threaten Canada’s 4×100 free WJR.

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

Gemmell isn’t a junior.

Edit: And Sims will be aged out before 2023 WJCs but Grimes and Weinstein will still be formidable.

Last edited 5 months ago by Troyy
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

Gemmel wouldn’t have been eligible anyway. She’s too old.

Reply to  Sub13
5 months ago

I also don’t think the US goes to both. If you make the WC, then you have to let others go to the Juniors.

Reply to  MarkB
5 months ago

True. But the other 3 theoretically would have been eligible within the rules. Gemmel would not.

Andy Hardt
5 months ago

The swim that made him a World Champion will go down as one of his *slowest* tapered times of the year.

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