2022 World Junior Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


After having only four medal rounds on Day 1, the second finals session of the 2022 FINA World Junior Championship is action packed.

The session kicks off with the boys’ 100 backstroke final, where South Africa’s Pieter Coetze and Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk, two up-and-coming backstroke stars, face off. In semifinals, Coetze roared to a new lifetime best 52.95, smashing both the championship and African records. He also comes in as the newly crowned Commonwealth Games champion in the event. Masiuk had a breakout of his own at Worlds, where he set a Polish record of 52.58 before going on to sweep the backstrokes at European Juniors. It should be a fantastic race between the two to start the night.

Next up is the finals of the girls’ 200 butterfly, where Paola Borrelli kept Italy’s momentum rolling, posting the top time of the morning in 2:14.29. Just behind her in 2:14.47 is Hong Kong’s Sze Ki Mok, which sets up another interesting duel in back-to-back finals.

In the boys’ 200 freestyle though, all eyes will be on David Popoviciwho won Euros in 1:42.97, becoming the third swimmer in history to crack the 1:43 barrier. He held a lot back this morning, turning it on in the final meters to grab the top seed in 1:49.40. After breaking the championship record in the 100 free twice on Day 1, Popovici seems to still be on great form this summer so the question isn’t really if he’ll win, but what time he’ll do it in.

The girls’ 100 backstroke is set to be one of the tightest races of the night, as the eight finalists are all within a second of each other. Italy’s Sara Curtis leads the way with a 1:02.09, but the medals could come from anywhere in the pool.

We’ll be back on championship record watch in the girls’ 800 freestyle, where it’ll be Merve Tuncel chasing the record line. The Turkish distance star has had a stellar summer, racking up medals at European Juniors, European Championships, and the Islamic Solidarity Games. She’s in prime position to take her first in Lima in this event.

Check out our full session preview here.

FINA is live streaming each session on their YouTube page. Below is the stream for tonight’s session.

Boys 100 Backstroke — Finals

  • World Record – 51.60, Thomas Ceccon, ITA (2022)
  • World Junior Record – 52.53, Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 52.95, Pieter Coetze, RSA (2022)


  1. Ksawery Masiuk (POL), 52.91 CR
  2. Pieter Coetze (RSA), 52.99
  3. Miroslav Knedla (CZE), 55.08

As expected, it was Ksawery Masiuk and Pieter Coetze battling for the gold medal in the boys’ 100 backstroke. They had already begun to distance themselves from the field at the 50-meter mark, with Masiuk flipping in 25.86, just ahead of Coetze who was 25.93.

They increased their advantage over the field on the back half of the race, with Masiuk staying in control of the lead. It looked like Coetze might catch him on the final push, but Masiuk got his hand on the wall first in 52.91, shaving .04 seconds off the championship record that Coetze set in semifinals. Both swimmers were under 53 seconds, with Coetze just off his lifetime best from last night in 52.99. That is the second time he’s been under 53 seconds.

Rounding out the medals was Miroslav Knedla, who swam 55.08 for bronze.

Girls 200 Butterfly — Finals

  • World Record — 2:01.81, Liu Zige, CHN (2009)
  • World Junior Record — 2:05.20, Summer McIntosh, CAN (2022)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 2:07.74, Emily Large, GBR (2017)


  1. Anna Porcari (ITA), 2:12.00
  2. Mehlika Kuzeh Yalcin (TUR), 2:13.23
  3. Paola Borelli (ITA), 2:13.36

Mehlika Kuzeh Yalcin led the way through the first 100 meters of the girls’ 200 butterfly, splitting 1:02.73. Over the next 50 meters, the two Italians moved up, with Paola Borelli holding the lead over Yalcin and Anna Porcari.

Porcari, who was sixth at the first turn, moved her way through the field steadily, and overtook Borelli splitting 33.82 on the final 50–the fastest in the field–to earn gold decisively in 2:12.00.  It looked like the Italians were going to go 1-2 in the event, but Yalcin split 35.35, over half a second faster than Borelli, to get her hands on the wall first and grab the silver medal, with Borelli earning bronze.

Boys 200 Freestyle — Finals

  • World Record — 1:42:00, Paul Biedermann, GER (2009)
  • World Junior Record — 1:42.97, David Popovici, ROU (2022)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 1:46.40, Ivan Girev, RUS (2017)


  1. David Popovici (ROU), 1:46.18 CR
  2. Daniel Meszaros (HUN), 1:48.98
  3. Filippo Bertoni (ITA), 1:49.05

David Popovici left no doubts as to who would win this race. He took control of the boys’ 200 freestyle final from the start and lead from wire-to-wire, earning gold in 1:46.18. Though the time is well-off the 1:42.97 he went to win the European Championships in July, the time was still enough to earn him his third championship record in two days as he took down Ivan Girev’s record from 2017.

Behind him, there was a thrilling race for silver and bronze, as Daniel Meszaros was trying to hold onto second ahead of a charging Filippo Bertoni and Vitor Sega. He was able to do just that, winning the silver medal in 1:48.98, fending off Bertoni, who had the second-fastest closing split in the field behind Popovici.

Girls 50 Breaststroke — Finals

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


  1. Karolina Piechowicz (POL), 31.55
  2. Maria Ramos Najji (ESP), 31.68
  3. Irene Mati (ITA), 31.96

Though she was slightly slower than the 31.50 she posted to top the semis, Karolina Piechowicz successfully defended her top seed, winning the girls’ 50 breaststroke in 31.55. With that, she gives Poland its second gold medal of the session. The race was still anyone’s to grab as they closed on the wall, but Piechowicz surged over the final 20 meters to touch first.

Spain’s Maria Ramos Naji was faster than she was in the semis, dropping down to a 31.68 to take the silver medal, just .13 seconds behind Piechowicz. It was Italy’s Irene Mati who came up with the bronze medal in 31.96, just out-touching Martina Bukvic by .03 seconds. Italy had a successful home European Championships (especially in breaststroke), and so far they’ve continued that success here in Lima; this is their third medal of the session so far.

Boys 100 Butterfly — Semifinals

  • World Record — 49.45, Caeleb Dressel, USA (2021)
  • World Junior Record — 50.62, Kristof Milak, HUN (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 51.08 Kristof Milak, HUN (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Diogo Matos Ribeiro (POR), 52.29
  2. Daniel Gracik (CZE), 53.13
  3. Casper Puggard (DEN), 53.30
  4. Diego Nicolas Balbia Alayao (PER), 53.73
  5. Yohan Airaud (FRA), 53.78
  6. Michal Chmielewski (POL), 54.06
  7. Pedro Souza (BRA), 54.16 (TIE)
  8. Elia Codardini (ITA), 54.16 (TIE)

Daniel Gracik got the job done in the first semifinal, leading the whole way and taking the win in 53.13. He turned first in 24.50, and was breathing every stroke before he put his head down into the final 15 meters. He won by almost a second ahead of Michal Chmielewskiwho took second in the heat in 54.06. There was a tie between Brazil’s Pedro Souza and Italy’s Elia Codardini for third.

The second semifinal was faster, with Diogo Matos Ribeiro leading the way. Like Gracik, he led the entire race, and ended up posting 52.29 to easily secure the top time of the semis and set himself up as the favorite for the final. Casper Puggard finished second in that heat, and advances third overall in 53.30. Diego Nicolas Balbia Alayao moves through in fourth, giving the home nation Peru a swimmer to cheer for the final.

There will be a swim-off for first alternate, as Emil Jose Perez Avila and Lucas Tudoras tied for ninth in 54.24.

Girls 100 Freestyle — Semifinals

  • World Record — 51.71, Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (2017)
  • World Junior Record — 52.70, Penny Oleksiak, CAN (2016)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 53.63, Taylor Ruck, CAN (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Nikolett Padar (HUN), 55.62
  2. Matilde Biagiotti (ITA), 55.92
  3. Marina Cacciapuoti (ITA), 56.18
  4. Bianca-Andreea Costea (ROU), 56.45
  5. Celine Bispo (BRA), 57.07
  6. Cristina Ciobanu Spataru (ESP), 57.18
  7. Beatriz Bezerra (BRA), 57.29
  8. Julia Kulik (POL), 57.33 (TIE)
  9. Lili Gyurinovics (HUN), 57.33 (TIE)
  10. Paulina Cierpialowska (POL), 57.33 (TIE)

Marina Cacciapuoti was just a tick faster than she was in the prelims, taking the first semifinal of the girls’ 100 freestyle in 56.18. It was Brazil’s Celine Bispo who was first at the turn, getting out in 27.04, but both Cacciapuoti and Bianca-Andreea Costea overtook her on the back half of the race. Bispo touched third in 57.07.

Once again, it was a much faster second semifinal. Hungary’s Nikolett Padar set the pace early, flipping in 26.91. Only Matilde Biagiotti was able to stay near her, and both touched under 56 seconds, with Padar qualifying for the final first overall with a 55.62. Biagiotti moves through second in 55.92, and is the only swimmer who’s been under 56 in both rounds.

There is a three-way tie for 8th place, as Julia Kulik, Lili Gyurinovicsand Paulina Cierpialowska all clocked 57.33.

Boys 100 Breaststroke –Finals

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


  1. Luka Mladenovic (AUT), 1:01.30
  2. Uros Zivanovic (SRB), 1:01.64
  3. Filip Urbanski (POL), 1:02.80

It was a thrilling race in the middle of the pool between Luka Mladenovic and Uros Zivanovic for gold in the boys’ 100 breaststroke. Zivanovic held the lead at the turn, getting out in 28.53, with Mladenovic just .03 seconds behind him in 28.56. Zivanovic maintained his lead until about 20 meters to go, when the Austrian surged ahead in the closing meters.

Mladenovic, who earned silver at European Juniors in this event, took the win in a new personal best time of 1:01.30, with Zivanovic just behind in 1:01.64. Filip Urbanski took bronze, adding a third medal to Poland’s session tally.

Girls 100 Backstroke — Finals

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


  1. Dora Molnar (HUN), 1:01.44
  2. Aimi Nagaoka (JPN), 1:01.45
  3. Chiaki Yamamoto (JPN), 1:02.10

The girls’ 100 backstroke was expected to be one of the most exciting races of the session, with all eight finalists within a second of each other, and it lived up to the hype.

Aimi Nagaoka flipped first in 29.53, with her countrymate Chiaki Yamamoto running second in 30.53. It looked like Japan might go 1-2 but Hungary’s Dora Molnarwho was fifth at the turn, accelerated off the wall and charged home in 31.16, moving through the field quickly. She and Nagaoka were stroke for stroke heading under the flags, and it was Molnar who came up with the gold, out-touching Nagaoka by .01 seconds.

Japan still got two swimmers on the podium, with Yamamoto holding off Italy’s Sara Curtis to take bronze in 1:02.10.

Peru’s Alexia Sotomayor finished seventh in 1:03.29.

Boys 200 IM — Finals

  • World Record — 1:54.00, Ryan Lochte, USA (2011)
  • World Junior Record — 1:56.99, Hubert Kos, HUN (2021)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 1:58.46, Carson Foster, USA (2019)


  1. Sanberk Yigit Oktar (TUR), 1:59.89
  2. Tomoyuki Matsushita (JPN), 2:00.89
  3. Yuta Watanabe (JPN), 2:01.39

Sanberk Yigit Oktar put together a great race to win the boys’ 200 IM and earn Turkey’s first gold medal at these World Junior championships. Like in prelims, he used a sizzling backstroke to put himself ahead of the field; in the final, he split 30.10, the fastest in the field. He extended his lead on breaststroke with the fastest split in the field again–at 34.96, he was the only one in the field under 35 seconds. He stopped the clock at 1:59.89, breaking his personal best from European Juniors and getting under the 2 minute mark for the first time and setting a new Turkish record.

For the second event in a row, Japan earned both the silver and bronze medals. Tomoyuki Matsushita led at the first 50 after opening the race in a 25.40, and held on well through the rest of the race to earn silver in 2:00.89. Outside smoke in lane 1, Yuta Watanbe overtook Simone Spediacci on freestyle to take bronze.

Girls 800 Freestyle — Finals

  • World Record — 8:04.79, Katie Ledecky, USA (2016)
  • World Junior Record — 8:11.00 Katie Ledecky, USA (2014)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 8:22.49, Lani Pallister, AUS (2019)


  1. Merve Tuncel (TUR), 8:30.00
  2. Ruka Takezawa (JPN), 8:36.80
  3. Carla Carron (ESP), 8:42.88

17-year-old Merve Tuncel made it back to back wins for Turkey, as she easily took gold in the girls’ 800 freestyle. The win was not a surprise–Tuncel swept the 400/800/1500 freestyles at the European Juniors earlier this summer, and even established herself on the senior international stage by winning bronze in this event at Euros. She was off her best here in Lima, but it didn’t matter as she won by over six seconds.

Ruka Takezawa won Japan’s fifth medal in three events, establishing herself as a solid second behind Tuncel and maintaining that position. Niko Aoki almost made it the third event in a row where Japan earned silver and bronze, but she was ultimately ran out of room to chase down Spain’s Carla Carron, who took the bronze in 8:42.88 ahead of Aoki’s 8:43.26. Italy’s Giulia Vetrano was trying to chase down both of them, and finished fifth just behind Aoki in 8:43.34.

Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay — Finals

  • World Record — 3:37.58, Great Britain (Dawson, Peaty, Guy, Hopkin) (2021)
  • World Junior Record — 3:44.84, USA (Grant, Matheny, Huske, Walsh) (2019)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 3:44.84, USA (Grant, Matheny, Huske, Walsh) (2019)


  1. Poland, 3:52.00
  2. Italy, 3:55.58
  3. South Africa, 3:58.58

At the halfway mark, South Africa held a huge lead as they had opted for the typical M-M-F-F lineup. However, Poland was led by Masiuk and Piechowicz, both gold medalists from earlier in the session and they kept Poland within striking distance. On the butterfly leg, Krzysztof Chmielewski chased down Jessica Thompson to hand Paulina Cierpialowska the lead heading into the freestyle leg. Cierpialowska finished it off well, splitting 56.22 and stopping the clock at 3:52.00 for Poland’s third gold medal of the night.

Italy also caught up with South Africa, as they went F-F-M-M and Francesco Lazzari overtook Jessica Carmody on the freestyle leg.

Hungary touched second, but was disqualified for a relay exchange violation. Because of that, Italy moved up to the silver medal and South Africa gets the bronze.

Boys’ 100 Butterfly — Swim Off

  1. Emil Jose Perez Avila (VEN), 54.15
  2. Lucas Tudoras (BRA), 54.45

In the first of our two swim-offs to end the session, Emil Jose Perez Avila won the boys’ 100 butterfly. Originally, the spot was for first alternate, but the in-pool announcer said it was for a spot in the final. At this point, we don’t know who scratched out of the final (or it anyone did).

Perez Avila was second at the turn, but surged over the final 15 meters to secure the win ahead of Brazil’s Lucas Tudoras. He was faster than he was in the original semifinal, hitting 54.15 compared to 54.24.

Girls’ 100 Freestyle — Swim Off

  1. Lili Gyurinovics (HUN), 57.35
  2. Julia Kulik (POL), 57.40

This was supposed to be a three-athlete swim-off, as Gyurinovics, Kulik, and Paulina Cierpialowska all tied for eighth in 57.33. However, Cierpialowska scratched out of the race, leaving just Gyurinovics and Kulik to face off for a spot in the final.

Kulik was just ahead at the turn, splitting 27.34 to Gyurinovics’ 27.55. The Hungarian put the pedal down in the closing meters of the race though, and got her hand on the wall first in 57.35, just .02 seconds slower than her semifinals swim. That secures her a spot in the final, where she’ll join her teammate Nikolett Padar.

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Pacific Whirl
5 months ago

Mizuno could have won gold had Japan registered her in the individual race.

5 months ago

Some of those changeovers were slow. ( And yes I know they are juniors )Especially South Africa. But they managed bronze because Hungary was DQed.

Reply to  Joel
5 months ago

The teams were slow in general.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Slow af

5 months ago


The silver medal was in your hands.


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

Juniors. Otherwise how could Gyurta DSQ-d two relays? When he was olympic champion etc.

5 months ago

It’s like Titmus swimming 1:57 when you were expecting her to break Pellegrini’s record.

Reply to  Yozhik
5 months ago

Who was expecting that Popovici could break the (superhuman) 200 free WR tonight?? In this season Popovici had already two peaks in 200 free: 1.43.2 at Worlds in June and 1.42.9 at Euros in mid-August. It was simply impossible that he had a third peak in 200 free at the end of this season, in which he swam also at EuroJuniors in early July. Obviously Popovici could swim faster that 1.46.1 if that was necessary to win the race, but considering that he has other swims at these JuniorWorlds and perhaps a sore back, it’s perfectly understandable how he managed this 200 free final. Final consideration: if we, swimming fans, put so much pressure on these phenoms even when it… Read more »

5 months ago

The first turkish swimmer ever, under 2 minutes. He looked promising until 150, he lost 1,5 seconds on the last 50 to Kós.

Reply to  NathenDrake
5 months ago

What’s your opinion about Kalisz, Marchand and Kós?

5 months ago

what do the girls that go 58s and 59 lows come back ?

Emily Se-Bom Lee
5 months ago

alia atkinson presenting the w50 breast medals

5 months ago

What a second 50 by Molnár.


Dóra is very terid, this is her 4!! championship of the summer. With third individual junior gold, and 10!! medal in total.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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