2022 World Junior Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Day 5 Finals Event Schedule

  • Girls 1500 Free – FAST HEAT (TIMED FINALS)
  • Boys 100 Free – SEMIFINAL
  • Girls 100 Fly – SEMIFINAL
  • Boys 50 Fly – FINAL
  • Girls 50 Free – SEMIFINAL
  • Boys 50 Breast – SEMIFINAL
  • Girls 50 Back – FINAL
  • Boys 400 IM – FINAL
  • Girls 4×100 Free Relay – FINAL

Day five is one of the more semifinals heavy sessions we’ve seen so far with five finals and four semifinals. The session kicks off with the women’s 1500 free final where all eyes are on Turkish record holder Merve Tuncel, the top seed. She swept the distance freestyle events at the recent European Junior Championships and is likely to do the same here in Peru since the second seed, France’s Alexa Reyna is ranked 26 seconds behind her.

Next is the boys’ 100 free where Romanian sprint star Popovici is going in ranked 2nd after prelims. At the European Junior Championships, the 17-year-old posted a 46.86 to win this event and become the youngest world record holder since Michael Phelps. But, this morning it was Portugal’s Diogo Ribeirowho clocked the fastest time, 48.67. Now that Riberio has scratched the event to avoid a double swim tonight, he is set up for a tight race with Czech record holder Daniel Gracik and second seedCasper Puggaard of Denmark.

In the girls’ 100 fly, 15-year-old Mizuki Hirai was the only swimmer under the 1:00.00 mark in prelims. She and Italy’s Paola Borrelli, the second seed going into the final, had opposite strategies this morning with Hirai going out fast in 27.52. Borrelli had the fastest closing speed though and will likely give Hirai a close race tonight.

Day five is a sprinter’s dream – we’ll see semifinals of the girls’ 50 free and guys’ 50 breast alongside the girls’ 50 back final. There were three swimmers who finished within one-third of a second of each other in the girls’ 50 free this morning: Italy’s Matilde Biagiotti (25.58), Romania’s Bianca Costea(25.77), and Croatia’s Jana Pavalic. It is really anyone’s race and Pavalic has shown she is in great sprinting shape already after winning the girls’ 50 fly last night. The boys’ 50 breast will be an equally exciting race between top seed Uros Zivanovic of Serbia and Alex Sabattani of Italy who touched the wall .03 after Zivanovic in prelims. Hungarian 16-year-old Lora Fanni Komoroczy leads the girls’ 50 back final by about half a second.

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


  • World Record — 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (2018)
  • World Junior Record — 15:28.36, Katie Ledecky (2014)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 15:58.86, Lani Pallister (2019)

Top 3:

  1. Merve Tuncel (TUR) – 16:15.95
  2. Ruka Takezawa (JPN) – 16:24.61
  3. Niko Aoki (JPN) – 16:30.74

As was expected, Turkey’s Merve Tuncel won the girls 1500 free handily tonight, speeding to a 16:15.95. While the swim is 20 seconds off Tuncel’s personal best in the event, she was only 2 seconds off her season best.

Japan’s Ruka Takezawa and Niko Aoki rounded out the podium, swimming 16:24.61 and 16:30.74 respectively, Aoki swam her lifetime best of 16:23.02 in April, which makes her the #8 Japanese performer all-time in the event. Aoki was pushing the pact with Tuncel through the first few laps of the race, but once Tuncel started pulling away from her, she wasn’t able to close the gap.

Notably, 14-year-old Malena Santillan (Argentina) led the early heats that were competed during prelims with a 16:51.36. Her time would beat most of the fastest seeded heat that swam tonight, and Santillan ended up 4th overall.


Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. David Popovici (ROU) – 48.17
  2. Tobias Kern (CZE) – 50.08
  3. Jere Hribar (CRO) – 50.12
  4. Nikolas Antoniou (CYP) – 50.13
  5. Patrick Dinu (ROU) – 50.22
  6. Nans Mazellier (FRA) – 50.27
  7. Francesco Lazzari (ITA) – 50.39
  8. Matias Santiso (ARG) – 50.40

17-year-old Romanian superstar David Popovici was significantly faster than he was in prelims this morning, but he still looked relaxed tonight as he cruised to a 48.17. Of course, Popovici set the World Record last month at the European Championships, throwing down a 46.86. Leading off Romanian relays at these Championships, Popovici has already gone 47.07, 47.23, 47.37, and 47.61. Given that, we can expect the phenom to dip under 48 again in tomorrow night’s final.

Czech 17-year-old Tobias Kern had a good swim tonight, swimming a 50.08 to take the 2nd seed for tomorrow’s final. Another Romanian, Patrick Dinu, has also qualified for the final tomorrow night, swimming a 50.22 for 5th place. Dinu has already split 49.47, 49.50, and 49.69 on relays for Romania, so he may be able to grab a medal in the final.


  • World Record — 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
  • World Junior Record — 56.43, Claire Curzan (2021)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 57.25, Rikako Ikee (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Mizuki Hirai (JPN) – 1:00.01
  2. Paola Borrelli (ITA) – 1:00.30
  3. Beatriz Bezerra (BRA) – 1:00.35
  4. Anna Porcari (ITA) – 1:01.06
  5. Joice Rocha (BRA) – 1:01.07
  6. Paulina Cierpialowska (POL) – 1:01.08
  7. Hajung Yang (KOR) – 1:01.63
  8. Maria Mendez (MEX) – 1:02.10 (TIE)
  9. Mehlika Yalcin (TUR) – 1:02.10 (TIE)

Update: Turkey’s Mehlika Yalcin beat out Mexico’s Maria Mendez in a swim-off at the end of the session. Yalcin clocked a 1:01.88, while Mendez struggles a bit, swimming a 1:03.30.

The semifinal of the girls 100 fly tonight wasn’t terribly fast, seeing no swimmers break 1:00. That being said, Japan’s Mizuki Hirai was close, swimming a 1:00.01. Hirari was under 1:00 this morning, swimming a 59.90.

Beatriz Bezerra out of Brazil was 3rd tonight, clocking a 1:00.35. That marks the first of Bezerra’s races tonight, as she’ll also be up again in the girls 50 free semifinals shortly.

There was a tie for 8th, which will have to be settled via a swim-off. Maria Mendez (Mexico) and Mehlika Yalcin (Turkey) will be facing off later to see who will advance to the final tomorrow night.


  • World Record — 22.27, Andrii Govorov (2018)
  • World Junior Record — 23.05, Andrei Minakov (2020)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 23.12, Diogo Ribeiro (2022)

Top 3:

  1. Diogo Ribeiro (POR) – 22.96 (WJR, CR)
  2. Daniel Gracik (CZE) – 23.46
  3. Casper Puggaard (DEN) – 23.96

Diogo Ribeiro pulled out of semifinals of the 100 free tonight to focus on the 50 fly final and, boy, did it pay off. The 17-year-old roared to a new lifetime best of 22.96, breaking the Portuguese Record, World Junior Championships Record, and World Junior Record in the process. The performance also marks Ribeiro’s first time under 23 seconds in the event, to go along with his first-ever sub-22 swim in the 50 free, which he did last night.

Czech 17-year-old Daniel Gracik was 2nd in 23.46 tonight, marking a personal best for him as well. Gracik tied the Czech Record in the event in semifinals, swimming a 23.53. With his performance tonight, he’s now taken sole ownership of that record.

Denmark’s Casper Puggaard rounded out the medalists, taking 3rd in a 23.96.


  • World Record — 23.67, Sarah Sjostrom (2017)
  • World Junior Record — 24.17, Claire Curzan (2021)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 24.59, Rikako Ikee (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Matilde Biagiotti (ITA) – 25.36
  2. Bianca Costea (ROU) – 25.43
  3. Sara Curtis (ITA) – 25.56
  4. Lillian Slusna (SVK) – 25.60
  5. Jana Pavalic (CRO) – 25.96
  6. Celine Bispo (BRA) – 26.22
  7. Isabella Bedoya (COL) – 26.34
  8. Mina Kaljevic (SRB) – 26.56

Italy’s Matilde Biagiotti led this phases of the girls 50 free with a 25.36, bettering her mark from this morning. Bianca Costea (Romania) touched 2nd in 25.43, just off her personal best of 25.34, which she set back in 2019 when she was 14 years old. Costea is the #2 performer all-time among Romanians.

Italy is looking strong in the event, as Sara Curtis posted the 3rd-fastest time in semifinals with a 25.56. She’s put her name into medal contention, but we can expect Croatia’s Jana Pavalic to be faster in finals tomorrow night. Pavalic is the Croatian Record holder in the 50 free, holding a personal best of 25.28.

Beatriz Bezerra (Brazil) attempted to pull off the double tonight like she did this morning, however, she wasn’t able to advance in both events again this time around. Bezerra clocked the #3 time in the girls 100 fly semifinals, then had only the boys 50 fly final before she was back in action for the 50 free. She finished 16th, swimming a 27.28.


  • World Record — 25.95, Adam Peaty (2017)
  • World Junior Record — 26.97, Nicolo Martinenghi (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 27.02, Nicolo Martinenghi (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Uros Zivanovic (SRB) – 28.08
  2. Alex Sabattani (ITA) – 28.44
  3. Filip Urbanski (POL) – 28.55
  4. Luka Mladenovic (AUT) – 28.59
  5. Nikola Koltin (SRB) – 28.77
  6. Dante Nicola (ARG) – 28.98
  7. Kaan Kara (TUR) – 28.99
  8. Maximilliano Cereceda (CHI) – 29.03

Uros Zivanovic led semifinals of the boys 50 breast tonight by a significant margin, swimming a 28.08. There was a very tight field behind him, seeing Alex Sabattani, Filip Urbanski, and Luke Mladenovic all under 28.60 as well. Additionally, Nikola Koltin, Dante Nicola, and Kaan Kara were also under 29 seconds.


  • 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 3:

  1. Lora Komoroczy (HUN) – 28.51
  2. Aimi Nagaoki (JPN) – 28.70
  3. Sara Curtis (ITA) – 28.93

Hungarian 16-year-old Lora Komoroczy won gold in the girls 50 back tonight, swimming a 28.51. She was slightly slower than the 28.48 she swam in semifinals last night, but her swim tonight was good for gold nonetheless.

Japan’s Aimi Nagaoki was significantly faster than the 29.14 she swam in semis, speeding to a 28.70 for silver tonight.

In an impressive display of fortitude, Italian 16-year-old Sara Curtis won bronze with a 28.93 in a grueling double. Curtis posted the 3rd fastest time in semifinals of the 50 free, then had only semifinals of the boys 50 breast before it was time for her to race the 50 back.


  • World Record — 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • World Junior Record — 4:10.02, Ilya Borodin (2021)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 4:11.93, Apostolos Papastamos (2019)

Top 3:

  1. Riku Yamaguchi (JPN) – 4:14.88
  2. Stephan Steverink (BRA)- 4:17.68
  3. Vasileios Sofikitis (GRE) – 4:19.60

Riku Yamaguchi stormed to victory in the boys 400 IM tonight, speeding to a 4:14.88. Yamaguchi was phenomenal on the 2nd half of the race tonight, throwing down a 1:10.84 on breast and 59.88 on free for a 2:10.72 on the final 200. He was also great on the back leg, splitting 1:06.24.

Brazil’s Stephan Steverink was flying coming home, splitting a sizzling 58.28 on the final 100. Steverink, the 400 free champion from earlier in the meet, picked up a silver medal with his performance tonight.

Greece managed to pick up a medal as well, seeing Vasileios Sofikitis put together a strong back half to work his way into 3rd.

As he was this morning, Poland’s Krzysztof Chmielewski was out incredibly fast tonight. He split 56.10 on fly and 1:06.76 on back for a 2:02.86 on the opening 100, putting him into the halfway turn well over a second ahead of the field.


  • World Record — 3:29.69, Australia (2021)
  • World Junior Record — 3:36.19, Canada (2017)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 3:36.19, Canada (2017)

Top 3:

  1. Hungary – 3:41.94
  2. Italy – 3:43.78
  3. Brazil – 3:50.13

Hungary took control from the start of the race tonight and never looked back, tearing to gold in 3:41.94. Lilla Abraham (55.59), Nikolett Padar (54.90), Lili Gyurinovics (56.39), and Dora Molnar (55.06) teamed up to get the job done. Padar and Molnar were responsible for the 2 fastest splits in the event, tonight, while Abraham’s lead-off leg was the fastest by a significant margin and the 5th fastest split overall.

Italy just didn’t get out to as good of a start as Hungary, seeing Veronica Quaggio lead-off in 57.08. They were strong behind Quaggio, with Marina Cacciapuoti (55.55), Giulia Vetrano (55.92), and Matilde Biagiotti (55.23) all come in under 56 seconds.


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3 months ago

What makes the performance of the Hungarian girls even more insane that the best 3 Padar, Molnar and Abraham are all eligible junior for next year too…

Reply to  Swimmka
3 months ago

And that they are swimming their fourth meet this summer – yes, they are still winning medals but their times are beginning to slow down a bit, ex. Padar int the 100 free, and Molnar in the 100 back.

Last edited 3 months ago by Kim
Reply to  Kim
3 months ago

For Minna this her third. But I missed at the Worlds, she had a great 200 free at the Nationals.
But few older swimmers were protected as usual…

3 months ago

Noteworthy:First time ever girls from Brazil win a relay medal in a Junior Worlds!

3 months ago

Insane start by Ábraham as a medley swimmer.
After that it was easy cruise for Pádár, Gyurinovics and Molnár.

Ábraham’s pb was 57,11 from April 22th, as lead-off of swimmer for UTE (hungarian club).

She and Pádár with Molnár will be the hungarian future in Europe for sure.

Last edited 3 months ago by NathenDrake
Reply to  NathenDrake
3 months ago

This was the 6th fastest time by a european junior relay since 2006. Russia has 4, Germany 1.

Reply to  NathenDrake
3 months ago

Minna’s pb was 56.52 (2021.12.12.)

Reply to  Istar
3 months ago

My mistake, I checked only fina for it.

But still a massive improvement.

Last edited 3 months ago by NathenDrake
3 months ago

Sensor malfunction? Beatriz was clearly 4th on her semis

Miss M
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Fixed. She qualified for the final in 8th

3 months ago

Youngest ever under 23 seconds!

3 months ago

Incredible Diogo Ribeiro. 3 individual gold medals. More than Popovici. One WJR. Can we start talking about this Portuguese super talent? OMG…22.96 at 17? My god! Wow

Also, thank you FiNa for robbing us the chance to see Popovici vs Ribeiro in the 100 Free because of terrible schedule. (I know popovic would win easy, but maybe the Portuguese could get near 47.99)

I’m what world does it make sense for every boys sprint be 10 min apart from each other?

Reply to  GrameziPT
3 months ago

All sprints.girls having 100 fly 50 free 4×100

Schedule here have been awful

Last edited 3 months ago by Rafael
The Pathologist
Reply to  GrameziPT
3 months ago

If Dressel ever swims again, he may end up contracting Ribeirosis before the 50 fly semi-finals at Worlds next summer.

Reply to  The Pathologist
2 months ago


3 months ago

Incredible swim for Ribeiro, 22.96 at 17 is crazy

3 months ago

22,96… wjr