2022 World Junior Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Big names are back in action on the third day of the World Junior Championships, which features finals in the girls 200 back, boys 100 fly, girls 100 free, and mixed 4×100 free relay.

Timed finals of the boys 800 free are also taking place Thursday in Lima, Peru. The early heats were completed this morning, with the top eight seeds set to race in this session. We also have semifinal of the girls 50 fly, boys 50 free, girls 100 breast, and boys 50 back.

After winning Romania’s first World Junior Champs relay medal with a gold on Tuesday, world record holder David Popovici returns eyeing more hardware in the mixed 4×100 free relay final. Brazil’s Stephan Steverink is seeking his second individual gold of the week in the boys 800 free after edging Romania’s Vlad Stefan Stancu and Poland’s Krzysztof Chmielewski in the 400 free. No South American swimmers won gold medals at the previous edition in 2019.

There are exciting matchups across the board, including a backstroke duel between Hungary’s Dora Molnar and Japan’s Mio Narita in the girls 200 back. Narita set the meet record in the 400 IM during the first evening session. There’s also another backstroke showdown on the boys side between Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk and South Africa’s Pieter Coetze in the boys 50 back semifinals, albeit in separate heats. They both broke the meet record in the 100 back earlier this week, so we could see another standard go down here, too.

Portugal’s Diogo Ribeiro doesn’t have as much competition in the boys 100 fly as he was nearly a second ahead of the field in Wednesday’s semifinals with a 52.29. Can Ribeiro lower his own Portuguese record of 51.61 from the European Championships earlier this month?

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.


  • World Record — 24.43, Sarah Sjostrom (2014)
  • World Junior Record — 25.46, Rikako Ikee (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 25.46, Rikako Ikee (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Beatriz Bezerra (BRA) – 26.73
  2. Lillian Slusna (SVK) – 26.76
  3. Jana Pavalic (CRO) – 27.01
  4. Celine Bispo (BRA) – 27.17
  5. Hirai Mizuki (JPN) – 27.31
  6. Paulina Cierpialowska (POL) – 27.31
  7. Paola Borrelli (ITA) – 27.31
  8. Lora Fanni Komoroczy (HUN) – 27.41

Brazil’s Beatriz Bezerra set a new personal-best time of 26.73 to pace the semifinals. Slovakia’s Lillian Slusna was right behind her, just three-tenths of a second shy of a 19-year-old national record held by Martina Moravcova.

Croatia’s Jana Pavalic, the lone swimmer to go sub-27 in the morning heats, went slightly slower in tonight’s semis (27.01). Fourth-seeded Celine Bispo (27.17) will give Brazil a chance to put a pair on the podium on Friday.


  • World Record — 20.91, Cesar Cielo (2009)
  • World Junior Record — 21.75, Michael Andrew (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 21.75, Michael Andrew (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Jere Hribar (CRO) – 22.35
  2. Diogo Matos Ribeiro (POR) – 22.45
  3. Nans Mazellier (FRA) – 22.53
  4. Matheus Pereira (BRA) – 22.68
  5. Nikolas Antoniou (CYP) – 22.71
  6. Nikoli Matthew Harold Blackman (TTO) – 22.83
  7. Matias Santiso (ARG) – 22.93
  8. Benedek Andor (HUN) – 23.07

Portugal’s Diogo Matos Ribeiro started off his double with a 22.45, just slightly slower than his 22.32 from this morning’s heats. He’ll have to turn around and compete in the 100 fly finals just 15 minutes later. Croatia’s Jere Hribar claimed the top overall seed heading into tomorrow’s finals with a 22.35, just a few hundredths of a second slower than his personal best from Euro Juniors. Nikolas Antoniou lowered his own Cypriot record by .01 seconds to snag the fifth qualifying spot.


  • World Record — 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • World Junior Record — 2:03.35, Regan Smith (2019)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 2:07.45, Regan Smith (2017)

Top 3:

  1. Yuzuki Mizuno (JPN) – 2:09.79
  2. Dora Molnar (HUN) – 2:09.80
  3. Laura Bernat (POL) – 2:11.09

Japan’s Yuzuki Mizuno got off to a fast start and held on to pull off an upset against Dora Molnar, shaving nearly three seconds off her semifinal swim to take gold over the Hungarian favorite by just .01 seconds. Molnar was less than half a second than her personal best. Mizuno, meanwhile, has been on a tear recently, also winning the 200 back at Junior Pan Pacs last week in 2:09.17.

Poland’s Laura Bernat rounded out the podium with a 2:11.09, more than second slower than her lifetime best from last year. She needed every bit of it to beat out Japan’s Mio Narita by .01 seconds.


  • 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 3:

  1. Diogo Matos Ribeiro (POR) – 52.03
  2. Daniel Gracik (CZE) – 52.51
  3. Casper Puggard (DEN) – 52.94

Diogo Matos Ribeiro said his double was “tough” in a post-race interview 15 minutes after the 50 free semis, but the 17-year-old Portuguese standout made his 100 fly victory look too easy. He had the second-quickest reaction time and touched first at the turn, cruising to the win by almost half a second — though it was closer than the semifinals.

Daniel Gracik of the Czech Republic (52.51) and Casper Puggard of Denmark (52.94) rounded out the podium as the only three under the 53-second mark.


  • World Record — 1:04.13, Lilly King (2017)
  • World Junior Record — 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (2013)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 1:06.61, Ruta Meilutyte (2013)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Irene Mati (ITA) – 1:09.16
  2. Martina Bukvic (SRB) – 1:09.33
  3. Karolina Piechowicz (POL) – 1:09.71
  4. Sieun Park (KOR) – 1:10.05
  5. Jimena Ruiz (ESP) – 1:10.09
  6. Jana Pribylova (CZE) – 1:10.19
  7. Yumeno Kusuda (JPN) – 1:10.64
  8. Maria Ramos Najji (ESP) – 1:10.71

Italy’s Irene Mati took more than a second off her entry time of 1:10.27, claiming the top seed in tomorrow’s final with a 1:09.16. Serbia’s Martina Bukvic also blew away her entry time (1:10.77) by more than a second with a 1:09.33.

Poland’s Karolina Piechowicz appears to be in good position to bring home a medal tomorrow as the only other swimmer in the field sub-1:10 at 1:09.71. Piechowicz was the only member of the trio who had a sub-1:10 entry time headed into the meet.


  • World Record — 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (2022)
  • World Junior Record — 24.00, Kliment Kolesnikov (2018)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 24.63, Michael Andrew (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Pieter Coetze (RSA) – 24.58 CR
  2. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 24.91
  3. Miroslav Knedla (CZE) – 25.12
  4. Aron Szekely (HUN) – 25.53
  5. Yohan Airaud (FRA) – 25.96
  6. Michal Pruszynski (POL) – 26.00
  7. Simon Clusman (FRA) – 26.03
  8. Ulises Saravia (ARG) – 26.14

South African 18-year-old Pieter Coetze roared to a new meet record with a 24.58 to take down Michael Andrew’s previous mark of 24.63 from the 2017 World Junior Champs. The time represented a new personal best for Coetze, who had gone 24.74 back in April.

The job’s not finished yet, though, as he also broke a meet record in the 100 back semis before ultimately earning silver behind Ksawery Masiuk in the final. The pair of backstroke aces were the only ones sub-25 in the semis, and their duel tomorrow night should not disappoint.

Argentina’s Ulises Saravia snuck into the final with a 26.14, less than a second slower than the nine-year-old national record held by Frederico Grabich.


  • 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 3:

  1. Nikolett Padar (HUN) – 55.11
  2. Matilde Biagiotti (ITA) – 55.56
  3. Marina Cacciapuoti (ITA) – 55.92

Nikolett Padar topped the podium in the 100 free with a 55.11, about half a second slower than the Hungarian’s personal-best 54.69 from Euro Juniors. She was half a second faster than her semifinal swim on Wednesday night. Padar’s night isn’t over yet, as she still is set to compete in the mixed 4×100 free relay at the end of the session.

A pair of Italians finished behind Padar between Matilde Biagiotti (55.56) and Marina Cacciapuoti (55.92). Biagiotti and Cacciaputi were both slightly faster than their qualifying times of 55.92 and 56.18, respectively.


  • World Record — 7:32.12, Lin Zhang (2009)
  • World Junior Record — 7:43.37, Lorenzo Galossi (2022)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 7:45.67, Mack Horton (2013)

Top 3:

  1. Carlos Garach Benito (ESP) – 7:52.73
  2. Batuhan Filiz (TUR) – 7:55.61
  3. Vlad Stefan Stancu (ROU) – 7:56.14

Carlos Garach Benito bided his time behind Turkey’s Batuhan Filiz for most of the race before the Spaniard sped in front with two laps to go and pulled away for a huge victory in 7:52.73, four seconds faster than his previous best. Benito blazed 29.05 and 27.99 on his final two laps to seal the win. Romania got another medal courtesy of Vlad Stefan Stancu, who beat out Hungary’s Laszlo Galicz by less than a second. Boys 400 free champion Stephan Steverink missed the podium in sixth place (8:01.21) as he shot out fast but faded as the race went on.


  • World Record — 3:19.38, Australia (2022)
  • World Junior Record — 3:25.92, USA (2019)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 3:25.92, USA (2019)

Top 3:

  1. Hungary – 3:30.03
  2. Romania – 3:30.39
  3. Italy – 3:32.54

David Popovici powered Romania to a massive lead early with a 47.23 opening split (22.79 at the turn), and it looked like his squad was in line to capture its second-ever gold medal at World Juniors following its historic boys 4×100 free relay triumph on Tuesday. He was actually even faster in that race, splitting 47.07 to lead off the relay.

But in a repeat of Euro Juniors, the Hungarians chased down the Romanians down the stretch as Nikolett Padar (54.41) and Dora Molnar (55.37) both threw down clutch splits. It’s all the more impressive considering it was the second swim of the night for both Padar and Molnar, a backstroke specialist. The Hungarians were nearly three seconds behind Romania at the halfway point, but by the end of Padar’s third leg, they trailed by just a few tenths of a second.

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2 months ago

Keep in mind that Heilman just went 51.9 in the 1 fly – at 15.

Reply to  Swimken
2 months ago

Riberio is 17, and had a 50 free 20 minutes before the final.

2 months ago

47 high/ 48 low is probably going to be the untapered time for this guy.

Reply to  Luigi
2 months ago

He was 48.05 in April this year

Reply to  John26
2 months ago

April this year for a guy his age is like a different era

2 months ago

This article says David won a relay silver on Tuesday.
It was gold

Argentina on top 🇦🇷
2 months ago

He had 15 before this competition.
Now he added 4 sub 48s, with 3*100 frees more to come.

comment image

Reply to  Argentina on top 🇦🇷
2 months ago

two of those don’t count i think

Reply to  dddddddd
2 months ago

The other swimmers’ counts also include mixed relays. The mixed relay rule only applies for records tracked by FINA.

Thomas Selig
Reply to  dddddddd
2 months ago

Yeah I think mixed relay lead-offs don’t count. I sort of get it for the medley relay, but mixed free everyone just goes MMFF, so all lead-offs are male anyway, making it kind of silly that they aren’t recognised. FINA could just mandate that all lead-offs should be male in mixed free relays, and then recognise records.

Popovici should still be in clear second place on the table after the individual, mind. Pretty remarkable considering he’s only been at it for two years, just incredible consistency. Most swims are sub 47.5 too (pretty sure he’d be first on that list).

Argentina on top 🇦🇷
Reply to  Thomas Selig
2 months ago

This list includes mixed relays lead offs. Dressel and Chalmers swam 2 mixed relays in their 24 and 17 swims.

Popovici has 3*47s in mixed relays. 2 at World Juniors and one at European Juniors.

They will never appear in the FINA Rankings, but we are tracking them 😎😎.

Last edited 2 months ago by Argentina on top 🇦🇷
Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Thomas Selig
2 months ago

popovici has 9 sub 47.5 swims, second only to dressel’s 10. he’ll definitely pull even once he’s won the individual final, but I don’t think he’ll go that hard in the heats or semis, which he’d need to do to be outright first

Reply to  Thomas Selig
2 months ago

That would lead to unfairness and lawsuits. You’re effectively creating an extra opportunity for men to set records that women won’t have… And at big competitions, records equal money, so that’s a problem
Plus, what if one country has a very fast female with a great start and a not-so-great relay takeover(like Dressel for example)? They would obviously prefer to lead off with her and you’d be hurting that country’s performance.
No way.

Reply to  Bud
2 months ago

The lawsuit argument is a bit ridiculous.

Philip Johnson
2 months ago

With an exception of not winning an Olympic gold, this is probably the best year ever for a 100 free swimmer.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
2 months ago

Going 47.3 or faster on 8 occasions in 2 months within a year (will be 9 or 10 at the end of week) is actually probably more impressive than setting a world record at 46.86

Reply to  Philip Johnson
2 months ago

Sarah Sjostrom’s 2017 where she broke the long course 50/100 records that still stand plus the 50/100/200 free short course world records would get my vote for that. I remember she had a Mare Nostrum meet where she went 24.7 in the 50 fly, then had only the men’s 400 IM final before stepping up on the block again and going 52.28 in the 100 free, which at that point was the 4th fastest time EVER.

2 months ago

Another sub 47.3 lol

Reply to  Calvin
2 months ago

Yup, kid’s dropping 47s low like it’s nothing.

2 months ago

Hopefully Pádár has a left a lot in the tank.

With a normal schedule, they would have been the clear favs with the nations we have here.

They beaten Romania, in Romania in july.

2 months ago

Is mr. british guy is half romanian?

Reply to  NathenDrake
2 months ago

Mate just stop crying about the commentator focusing on the 17 year old world record holder over some random swimmers who are 15 meters behind him

Reply to  Coco
2 months ago

He doesnt know a single word about the others!!!
Stop loving popovici.
How suprising Mcintosh is not here.
Simply not fair to race with the juniors, when you are a world record holder already.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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