2022 World Junior Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Day 4 of the 2022 World Junior Championships in Lima, Peru has arrived. This morning’s prelims session will feature heats of the girls 50 back, boys 50 fly, girls 400 free, boys 200 breast, girls 200 IM, and boys 4×200 free relay.

Interestingly, the girls 50 back prelims this morning will feature neither the 100 back champion, Dora Molnar (Hungary), or the 200 back champion, Yuzuki Mizuno (Japan). Hungary’s Lora Fanni Komoroczy is the top seed, coming in with a 28.31. Italy’s Sara Curtis and Japan’s Aimi Nagaoka are both also entered under 29 seconds.

100 fly champion Diogo Ribeiro (Portugal) enters as the top seed in the boys 50 fly. Ribeiro is seeded at 23.28 but swam his personal best and Portuguese Record of 23.07 at the European Championships last month. He won the 100 fly by half a second last night over Czech Republic’s Daniel Gracik, who is the 3rd seed in the 50 fly this morning.

Turkey’s Merve Tuncel is the top seed in the girls 400 free by a massive margin. She’s entered at 4:06.25, making her the only swimmer in the field under 4:10.

In the boys 200 breast, Austria’s Luka Mladenovic is the top seed, coming in at 2:13.21. That being said, Japan’s Asahi Kawashima, the #2 seed, won the event at Junior Pan Pacs last week, swimming a 2:11.81. His new personal best makes him the fastest swimmer in the field this morning.

After winning the girls 400 IM in a Championship Record on day 1, Japan’s Mio Narita comes in as the top seed by a huge margin in the 200 IM this morning. Narita is entered at 2:11.41, but won gold at Junior Pan Pacs last week in 2:11.22.

FINA is running a live stream of the session on their YouTube channel. We’ve also provided that stream below:


  • World Record — 26.98, Xiang Liu (2018)
  • World Junior Record — 27.49, Minna Atherton (2016)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 27.81, Gabi Fa’Amausili (2015)

Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Lora Komoroczy (HUN) – 28.78
  2. Aimi Nagaoka (JPN) – 29.34
  3. Laura Bernat (POL) – 29.49
  4. Rebecca Diaconescu (ROU) – 29.56
  5. Chiaki Yamamoto (JPN) – 29.63
  6. Maria Uranga (MEX) – 29.67
  7. Milla Drakopoulos (RSA) – 29.69
  8. Sara Curtis (ITA) – 29.70
  9. Yi-En Wu (TPE) – 29.79
  10. Jessica Cheng (HGK) – 29.80
  11. Elizabeth Jimenez (DOM) – 29.97
  12. Alexandra Hrncarova (SVK) – 30.00
  13. Alexia Sotomayor (PER) – 30.11
  14. Estella Tonrath (ESP) – 30.18
  15. Ridhima Veerendrakumar (IND) – 30.30
  16. Sudem Denizli (TUR) – 30.46

Hungarian 16-year-old Lora Komoroczy led prelims by a sizable margin this morning, swimming a 28.78. She was 0.56 seconds faster than the #2 finisher, Japan’s Aimi Nagaoka.

There were a number of young swimmers who advanced to tonight’s semifinals. Japanese 15-year-old Chiaki Yamamoto was 5th this morning in 29.63, while Spanish 15-year-old Estella Tonrath was 14th in 30.18 and India’s Ridhima Veerendrakumar, also 15, was 15th in 30.30.


  • World Record — 22.27, Andrii Govorov (2018)
  • World Junior Record — 23.05, Andrei Minakov (2020)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 23.22, Michael Andrew (2017)

Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Diogo Ribeiro (POR) – 23.12
  2. Daniel Gracik (CZE) – 23.83
  3. Casper Puggaard (DEN) – 23.87
  4. Pieter Coetze (RSA) – 24.36
  5. Emil Perez (VEN) – 24.44
  6. Elia Codardini (ITA) – 24.49
  7. Tobais Kern (CZE) – 24.62
  8. Szymon Misiak (POL) – 24.64
  9. Michal Chmielewski (POL) – 24.65
  10. Felipe Baffico (CHI) – 24.67
  11. Pedro Souza (BRA) – 24.79
  12. Benjamin Chateigner (FRA) – 24.86
  13. Boldizsar Magda (HUN) – 24.87
  14. Rokas Jazdauskas (LTU) – 24.93
  15. Simon Bermudez (COL) – 24.96
  16. Mark Horvath (AUT) – 25.01

Portuguese 17-year-old Diogo Ribeiro wasted no time getting after it this morning, speeding to a 23.12 to lead prelims of the boys 50 fly by 0.71 seconds. The swim broke the World Junior Championship Record, which was held by Michael Andrew at 23.22 from the 2017 Championships. Moreover, Ribeiro was just off his own Portuguese Record of 23.07, which he established at the European Championships last month.

Czech 17-year-old Daniel Gracik and Denmark’s Casper Puggaard, also 17, were both under 24 seconds as well this morning. Keep an eye on South Africa’s Pieter Coetze, who was 4th this morning in 24.36. Coetze broke the Championship Record in the 100 back earlier in the meet, which was then broken by Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk. He also broke the CR in the 50 back semifinals last night.


  • World Record — 3:56.40, Ariarne Titmus (2022)
  • World Junior Record — 3:58.37, Katie Ledecky (2014)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 4:05.42, Lani Pallister (2019)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Merve Tuncel (TUR) – 4:14.06
  2. Maria Yegres (VEN) – 4:16.18
  3. Ruka Takezawa (JPN) – 4:16.28
  4. Giulia Vetrano (ITA) – 4:16.60
  5. Alexa Reyna (FRA) – 4:17.24
  6. Agostina Hein (ARG) – 4:17.73
  7. Niko Aoki (JPN) – 4:18.45
  8. Malena Santillan (ARG) – 4:19.79

As expected, Turkey’s Merve Tuncel clocked the fastest time of prelims this morning, swimming a relaxed looking 4:14.06. Entering the meet at 4:06, we can expect a faster swim from Tuncel in tonight’s final.

Japan’s Ruka Takezawa was 3rd this morning in 4:16.28. At the Junior Pan Pacs last week, she swam a 4:10.13 for 4th place, so we may see a much faster race out of her tonight.

Notably, Argentina has a pair of 14-year-olds who qualified for tonight’s final. Agostina Hein swam a 4:17.73 for 6th this morning, while Malena Santillan clocked a 4:19.79 for 8th. Keep an eye on Santillan specifically tonight, as she swam a lifetime best of 4:12.84 earlier in the summer, which makes her the #3 Argentine performer all-time in the event. Hein’s swim this morning was a lifetime best, making her #6 all-time.


  • World Record — 2:05.95, Zac Stubblety-Cook (2022)
  • World Junior Record — 2:09.39, Haiyang Qin (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 2:09.40, Josh Matheny (2019)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Asahi Kawashima (JPN) – 2:14.80
  2. Sai Ting Adam Mak (HKG) – 2:15.62
  3. Luka Mladenovic (AUT) – 2:15.67
  4. Chanwook Park (KOR) – 2:16.12
  5. Kian Keylock (RSA) – 2:16.32
  6. Riki Abe (JPN) – 2:18.07
  7. Roberto Bonilla (GUA) – 2:18.21
  8. Kun-Ming Fu (TPE) – 2:18.99

After winning Junior Pan Pacs gold last week, Japan’s Asahi Kawashima still has something left in the tank. The 17-year-old led prelims this morning with a 2:14.80, swimming the fastest middle 100 in the field to post the top time. He was 3 seconds off the 2:11.81 he swam for gold at JPP days ago, which makes him the fastest swimmer in this field.

Sai Ting Adam Mak, who just turned 16 a month ago today, was 2nd this morning in 2:15.62, marking an excellent swim for the youngster.


  • World Record — 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • World Junior Record — 2:08.70, Summer McIntosh (2022)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 2:11.03, Viktoria Gunes (2015)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Mio Narita (JPN) – 2:14.74
  2. Emma Carrasco (ESP) – 2:15.19
  3. Ayami Suzuki (JPN) – 2:17.56
  4. Lilla Abraham (HUN) – 2:19.40
  5. Ah Kim (KOR) – 2:22.12
  6. Belis Sakar (TUR) – 2:22.41
  7. Ting-Hsuan Chen (TPE) – 2:23.19
  8. Jimena Leguizamon (COL) – 2:23.74

Japan’s Mio Narita has been on a tear over the past week. After winning gold in the girls 200 IM and 400 IM at the Junior Pan Pacs last week, she won gold in the 400 IM on day 1 of these Championships in a new World Junior Championships Record. Entering the girls 200 IM prelims as the top seed by a wide margin, she led prelims this morning with a solid 2:14.74. Narita swam a 2:11.21 to win JPP gold last week. Just 15 years old, Narita is really looking like yet another rising star in the IMs, along with the likes of Summer McIntosh, Leah Hayes, and Katie Grimes.

Spain’s Emma Carrasco was very strong on the front half this morning, splitting 29.65 on fly and 33.85 on back for a 1:03.50 on the opening 100. She also put up a speedy 38.48 breast split, but was only 33.21 on freestyle. Regardless, she was 2nd fastest this morning, swimming a 2:15.19.


  • World Record — 6:58.55, USA (2009)
  • World Junior Record — 7:08.37, USA (2019)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 7:08.37, USA (2019)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Italy – 7:25.82
  2. Lithuania – 7:26.18
  3. Poland – 7:26.57
  4. Hungary – 7:26.80
  5. Japan – 7:28.39
  6. Brazil – 7:31.69
  7. South Korea – 7:34.63
  8. Turkey – 7:34.70

Italy led a tight field in prelims of the boys 4×200 free relay this morning. Simone Spediacci led Italy’s relay off in 1:50.36, marking the fastest lead-off split in the field and the 2nd fastest split overall.

Lithuania, Poland, and Hungary were all within a second of Italy this morning, setting us up for a thrilling race to close out tonight’s finals session.

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John Hueth
1 year ago

Why are Asians so good at breaststroke?

Reply to  John Hueth
1 year ago

Possible reasons: it requires a bit more flexibility than other strokes, and (East) Asians seem to be a bit more flexible than Europeans on average (many exceptions, of course!) It also requires more technique vs. strength/height, so being a bit shorter isn’t as big of a hindrance as for the other strokes (East Asians being a bit shorter than Europeans.) At this point there’s probably a strong tradition, so advantages cumulate.

Reply to  A_fan
1 year ago

Any by “European,” I mean “people of European descent,” including those in the US, Australia, S Africa (for swimming) etc. They just tend to be taller than E Asians (some of it is due to diet, some may be genetic.)

Reply to  John Hueth
1 year ago

I did an internship in China one summer and went to the local 50m pool 3x a week, most people only knew how to do breaststroke and it wasn’t uncommon for people to come up to me and ask if I could show them how to do freestyle.

Reply to  John Hueth
1 year ago

In Asia and Europe (East still not sure about western anymore) they teach kids to do breastroke (froggy stroke) and not frontcrawl/doggypaddle.

Reply to  Xman
1 year ago

That depends. In Hungary e.g. everyone learns proper front crawl. In Germany and Austria they learn breaststroke (not properly, but let’s call it breaststroke anyway).

Reply to  FST
1 year ago

We also learned breaststroke first in Romania (and in my case at least, I never got past it!) but I don’t think that’s the only reason for Asians being so good at breaststroke (for instance, there are no great Romanian breastrokers right now, whereas we have good juniors in many other events.) Some of what I was talking about was from this article on swimmers’ heights https://swimswam.com/the-shortest-male-olympic-swimming-medalists/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20World%20Health,there%20are%20some%20of%20them. The list of shortest Olympic medallists is dominated by Japanese and breastrokers.

1 year ago

zero comments when Popovici does not swim in prelims lol

Reply to  swimmer
1 year ago


Reply to  swimmer
1 year ago

It even echoes in here