2022 World Junior Championships: Day 5 Prelims Preview


Day 5 of the 2022 World Junior Championships is set to kick off in a few hours. This morning’s prelims session will feature heats of the boys 100 free, girls 100 fly, boys 400 IM, girls 50 free, boys 50 breast, and girls 4×100 free relay. There will also be timed finals of the girls 1500 free today. The early heats of the 1500 will be swum this morning, while the fastest heat will swim with finals tonight.

Romanian 17-year-old David Popovici had yesterday off from racing but will be back in action today in the boys 100 free. Of course, the World Record holder enters as the top seed by a wide margin. Popovici is entered at 47.30, which is actually almost half a second slower than his World Record mark of 46.86 from the European Championships last month. Popovici set a new World Junior Championship Record in the 100 free leading off the boys 4×100 free relay on day 1 of the meet, swimming a 47.07.

Behind Popovici, Portugal’s Diogo Ribeiro is the #2 seed by a wide margin. Ribeiro broke the Portuguese Record in the event at the European Championships last month, roaring to a new lifetime best of 48.52. He’s been swimming well at these Championships so far, having already won gold in the boys 100 fly and 50 free, breaking the Championship Record in the 50 fly prelims yesterday as well.

The girls 100 fly features 3 swimmers seeded under 1:00. Mizuki Hirai (Japan) comes in as the top seed at 59.31, with Paola Borrelli (Italy) and Hajung Yang (South Korea) right behind in 59.45 and 59.51 respectively. Of note, girls 50 fly champion Jana Pavalic isn’t entered in the 100 fly today.

Pavalic is instead competing in the girls 50 free this morning, where she is the top seed (25.34). Actually, Pavalic shares the top seed with Romania’s Bianca Costea, who is also entered at 25.34. Italy’s Sara Curtis is seeded 3rd with a 25.39, while Matilde Biagiotti (Italy), Lillian Slusna (Slovakia), and Alexandra Hrncarova (Slovakia) are all entered under 26 seconds as well.

After winning the boys 400 free earlier in the meet, Brazil’s Stephan Steverink comes in as the top seed in the boys 400 IM today. Steverink is seeded at 4:16.44, just ahead of Japan’s Riku Yamaguchi (4:17.33) and Riki Abe (4:18.46). Abe notably won bronze in the event at the Junior Pan Pacs last week, swimming a 4:17.96.

Italy’s Alex Sabattani (27.50) and Serbia’s Uros Zivanovic (27.64) are the top seeds in the boys 50 breast this morning by a wide margin. No other swimmer is entered under 28.2, clearing the path for what should be a really fun battle to watch between the two as we advance through the rounds of the event.

It appears Italy and Hungary are set for another girls relay battle. Italy enters as the top seed in the girls 4×100 free relay this morning, with Hungary right behind.

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1 year ago

If FINA had not totally mucked up the international calendar, we’d probably see USA, Australia, and Canada here as well. I guess they simply can’t do ANYTHING correctly.

1 year ago

Why do people say the swimming calendar is too busy? There were 4 competitions this year for juniors (Europeans, Worlds) and 2 or 3 for seniors. In other sports, like tennis, there is a tournament every 2-3 weeks, sometimes consecutive weeks – with often 2-3 hour intense matches almost every day. Tennis players are also training 2-3 hours daily and travel a lot between countries.

When is the next big swimming competition? In months? The worlds are almost in a year from now.

Genuine question.

Reply to  Andy
1 year ago

It is probably because of this exhausting “hard load – tapering” technique that swimmers are using to perform at high level in such dense environment as water.
Tennis is quite a different exercise. The tiredness causes the lost of coordination that is crucial for the accuracy of shots. This ability restores much faster than general tiredness of a swimmer who needs more time to relax before pumping himself up with hard training to make next tapering effective.

1 year ago

Diogo won 50 free also
And steverink won 400 free, he did not swim 200 free but his opening leg on yesterday realy was his first time under 1:50