2022 World Junior Championships: Day 2 Finals Preview


There was only one scratch for the 2nd finals session of the 2022 World Junior Swimming Championships. 

That scratch came from Korean Jaeyun Song in the girl’s 100 freestyle, who finished 9th during the morning prelims session with a time of 57.70. Song is slated to compete in the final of the girl’s 100 backstroke, where she enters with the 7th fastest time out of semis, shortly after the semi-finals heats of the 100 freestyle are held. In her place, 17th place finisher out of prelims, South Africa’s Milla Drakopolous moved up into lane 8 of the first semi final of the event after posting a 58.79 during prelims as she looks to improve upon her best time of 58.31. Mexican M.F. Guerra Mendez also moves up into the second alternate spot. 

In addition to the aforementioned girl’s 100 backstroke final, the second finals session will also feature finals of the boy’s 100 backstroke, girl’s 200 butterfly, boy’s 200 freestyle, girl’s 50 breaststroke, boy’s 100 breaststroke, boy’s 200 Individual Medley, girl’s 800 freestyle, and the mixed 4×100 medley relay. There will also be semi finals of the aforementioned girl’s 100 freestyle, along with the boy’s 100 butterfly. 

Per usual, keep an eye out for Romanian David Popovici in both the boy’s 200 freestyle. After delivering a blistering 47.07 split leading off Romania’s winning 4×100 freestyle relay, it is clear that Popovici is on-form here. Already the fastest performer in history in a textile suit, Popovici will be looking to improve upon his best of 1:42.97 in the event that he set en route to winning European Championships gold just a few weeks ago. 

Another name to watch on the men’s side is South African Pieter Coetze, who set a blazing new meet record of 52.95 during the semi-finals of the 100 backstroke. Assuming he can hit the same time as he did during semis, Coetze should be well ahead of the field, with the only remaining question being whether he can crack Kliment Kolesnikov’s World Junior Record of 52.53. 

Hungarian Merve Tuncel will also be chasing a championship record in the girl’s 800 freestyle. Tuncel enters the final heat with an entry time of 8:21.91, already almost a second below the current championship record of 8:22.49. Like Coetze, she should be well ahead of the field, its just a matter of how fast she will go. 

The girl’s 100 backstroke final looks to be one of the tightest races of the whole night as all 8 finalists enter with times in the 1:02-range. The field is currently led by Italian Sara Curtis, who was a 1:02.09 out of the semi-finals, but with such a tight race, anyone could potentially snag a medal. Likewise, the girl’s 50 breaststroke will also be a sprint for the finish, as Poland’s Karolina Piechowicz leads a field of swimmers seeded less than a second apart, with more than half of the swimmers in the final going under 32 seconds during semis. 

In the final event of the night, the mixed 4×100 medley relay, Italy, Poland, and Hungary will battle it out in the middle of the pool after taking the top three spots out of prelims. However, watch for South Africa, as the nation has put together a strong meet thus far and could play spoiler for a medal. 

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1 month ago

Merve Tuncel is turkish.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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