2023 EUROPEAN JUNIOR SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, July 4th – Sunday, July 9th
- Sports and Recreational Center “Milan Gale Muškatirović”, Belgrade, Serbia
- Prelims at 10am local (4am EDT)/Finals at 5pm local (11am EDT)
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Central
- SwimSwam Preview
- Live Results
- Day 1 Prelims Recap |Day 1 Finals Live Recap
- Day 2 Prelims Recap | Day 2 Finals Live Recap
- Day 3 Prelims Recap | Day 3 Finals Live Recap
- Day 4 Prelims Recap | Day 4 Finals Live Recap
- Day 5 Prelims Recap
We’re headed into a heavy night of action in Belgrade, Serbia as day five of the 2023 European Junior Championships brings us five finals and eight semi-final races.
Among the finals is the girls’ 800m freestyle at the end of the session, where Turkey’s Merve Tuncel will try for her third consecutive title in the event. The 18-year-old already claimed gold here in the 1500m free so she’ll carry that momentum against the likes of rising British freestyler Amelie Blocksidge and Germany’s Julia Ackermann.
Denmark’s butterfly ace Casper Puggaard highlights the boys’ semi-finals, taking on the 50m sprint of the discipline. Puggaard hit a morning swim of 24.10 to take the top seed in his quest to double up on the 100m fly event he won last night.
Lana Pudar of Bosnia & Herzegovina is set to be in action across two events this evening, first racing the 200m butterfly final and then the 50m butterfly semi-final.
The trio landed on the 50m backstroke podium already here, with Knedla taking gold, Zheltyakov snagging silver and Ward bagging bronze. We’ll see what they’re able to produce in this evening’s 1back semi-final to set themselves up for a potentially explosive final tomorrow night.
GIRLS 200 BUTTERFLY – FINAL
- World Junior Record: 2:04.70, Summer McIntosh (CAN) 2023
European Junior Record: 2:06.71
- European Record: 2:04.27, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2009
Championship Record: 2:08.41, Anastasia Markova (RUS) 2021
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Lana Pudar (BIH) 2:08.92
- GOLD: Lana Pudar (BIH) 2:06.26 *European Junior Record
- SILVER: Alina Baievych (GER) 2:10.78
- BRONZE: Glenda Abonyi-Toth (HUN) 2:11.61
Right off the bat, we saw a European Junior Record and Championships Record go down, courtesy of 17-year-old Lana Pudar of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The teen blasted a winning time of 2:06.26, dominating this field the entire race, already leading by a body length immediately after turning at the first wall.
Pudar opened in 1:00.30 and brought it home in 1:06.23 to register the fastest time of her career. Entering this meet, Pudar’s lifetime best rested at the 2:06.81 she hit en route to becoming the 2022 European champion.
Pudar already won the 100m fly event last night, producing a new national record of 56.95 in the process, her first-ever foray under the 57-second barrier.
Pudar collected her first major international medal in the 200 butterfly at the 2021 Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi, posting a time of 2:04.88 for a new national record.
BOYS 100 FREESTYLE – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 46.86, David Popovici (ROU) 2022
- European Junior Record: 46.86, David Popovici (ROU) 2022
- European Record: 46.86, David Popovici (ROU) 2022
- Championship Record: 47.30, David Popovici (ROU) 2021
- 2022 European Junior Champion: David Popovici (ROU) 47.69
- Boldizsar Magda (HUN) 49.53
- Patrick-Sebastian Dinu (ROU) 49.84
- Lorenzo Ballarati (ITA) 49.85
- Rafael Fente Damers (FRA) 49.98
- Davide Passafaro (ITA) 50.22
- Alexandre Chalendar (FRA) 50.30
- Rokas Jazdauskas (LTU) 50.49
- Martin Wrede (GER) 50.53
It was a tight pair of semi-finals in this boys’ 100m freestyle event, with the top 4 finishers all dipping under the 50-second barrier.
Landing lane 4 for tomorrow night’s final was Boldizsar Magda of Hungary. The 18-year-old notched a time of 49.53 to hold a .33 advantage over the next-quickest swimmer Patrick-Sebastian Dinu of Romania.
Dinu hit 49.84 while the 50m freestyle champion here, Lorenzo Ballarati of Italy, rounded out the top 3 performers in 49.85. Frenchman Rafael Fente Damers was the remaining sub-50 second athlete, producing 49.98 as the 4th seed.
Leader Magda has only been in the 49-second zone on one occasion before this competition, owning a previous personal best of 49.68 from this year’s Hungarian Nationals. He clocked a time of 49.89 this morning to score the 2nd seed.
Dinu’s 49.84 result represents his first time under 50 seconds, as his previous PB sat at the 50.05 logged in December of last year. Dinu will try to make it a repeat gold for his nation of Romania, although his teammate David Popovici‘s winning effort of 47.69 is a big stretch.
GIRLS 100 FREESTYLE – FINAL
- World Junior Record: 52.70, Penny Oleksiak (CAN) 2016
- European Junior Record: 53.61, Freya Anderson (GBR) 2018
- European Record: 51.71, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2017
- Championship Record: 53.97, Marrit Steenbergen (NED) 2015
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Nikolett Padar (HUN) 54.69
- GOLD: Smilte Plytnykaite (LTU) 55.31
- SILVER: Sara Curtis (ITA) 55.35
- BRONZE: Dora Molnar (HUN) 55.56
Lithuania earned its first gold medal of these championships, with Smilte Plytnykaite firing off a time of 55.31 to top this girls’ 100m free podium.
Plytnykaite has actually been much quicker already this year, owning a lifetime best and Lithuanian national record of 54.74 from April’s national championships.
The 50m freestyle champion here, Sara Curtis of Italy, was only .04 outside of gold, getting to the wall in 55.35 while versatile Hungarian Dora Molnar punched 55.56 for bronze. Molnar’s bronze is added to the 200m backstroke gold she earned here in Belgrade.
The 2022 European Junior champion in this event, Nikolett Padar of Hungary, was denied repeat gold and instead relegated to 5th place in 55.76.
BOYS 100 BACKSTROKE – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 52.53, Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 2018
- European Junior Record: 52.53, Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 2018
- European Record: 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (ITA) 2022
- Championship Record: 52.91, Ksawery Masiuk (POL) 2022
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Ksawery Masiuk (POL) 52.91
- Christian Bacico (ITA) 54.52
- Miroslav Knedla (CZE) 54.61
- Oleksandr Zheltyakov (UKR) 54.92
- Matthew Ward (GBR) 55.01
- Daniele Del Signore (ITA) 55.08
- Merlin Ficher (FRA) 55.49
- Ivan Martinez Sota (ESP) 55.58
- Apostolos Siskos (GRE) 55.69
While the boys’ 50m back podium claimed the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seeds, it was Italy’s Christian Bacico who put up the quickest time in this 100m of the discipline.
The teen logged a result of 54.52 to lead a trio of sub-55-second competitors, hitting a huge lifetime best in the process.
Entering these championships, Bacico’s career-quickest time stood at the 55.54 produced at this year’s Italian National Championships.
However, just like that, Bacico is now Italy’s 11th swiftest man in history in this event, one in which fellow Italian Thomas Ceccon currently holds the World Record.
Miroslav Knedla was also strong tonight, getting to the wall in 54.61, blowing away his 55.17 put up to finish 5th in this event last year in Romania. His time this evening falls just .29 outside his lifetime best from the Mare Nostrum Tour this past May.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zheltyakov and Great Britain’s Matthew Ward lurk as the 3rd and 4th seeds. The former earned 50m back silver behind Knedla here while he also crushed a monster 1:55.70 Ukrainian national record last night to win the 200m back. Ward earned 50m back bronze earlier in the competition.
Apostolos Siskos was the 200m back bronze medalist last night and can’t be counted out in this 1back final for tomorrow.
GIRLS 100 BREASTSTROKE – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 2013
- European Junior Record: 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 2013
- European Record: 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 2013
- Championship Record: 1:05.48, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) 2013
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Enli Jevimova (EST) 1:06.50
- Olivia Klint Ipsa (SWE) 1:08.18
- Eneli Jefimova (EST) 1:08.27
- Irene Mati (ITA) 1:08.73
- Jimena Ruiz Sanchez (ESP) 1:08.86
- Justine Delmas (FRA) 1:08.95
- Lisa Nystrand (SWE) 1:09.02
- Chiara Della Corte (ITA) 1:09.48
- Nayara Pineda Lopez (ESP) 1:09.54
There weren’t any fireworks in these semi-finals of the girls’ 100m breast, as no swimmer got under the 1:08 barrier.
Sweden nabbed the 1st and 6th seeds, with Olivia Klint Ipsa touching in 1:08.18 while her teammate Lisa Nystrand posted 1:09.02. Both girls have already collected hardware here in Belgrade, with the former bagging 50m and 200m breast bronze while the latter earned 400m IM silver.
Spain also will see two competitors in tomorrow night’s final as Jimena Ruiz Sanchez scored the 4th slot in 1:08.86 while Nayara Pineda Lopez logged 1:09.54 to sneak in as the 8th-seeded swimmer.
Estonian national record holder Eneli Jefimova clocked 1:08.27 to flank Ipsa.
16-year-old Jefimova topped the 50m breast podium and scored 200m breast silver already here. She is the reigning European Junior champion having won the event in 2022 in a time of 1:06.50, so she’s holding her cards close to her vest with her casual semi swim.
Jefimova set a new Estonian record of 1:06.36 just this past April while competing at the Swim Open Stockholm. That performance ranks her 11th in the world on the season.
BOYS 100 BREASTSTROKE – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) 2017
- European Junior Record: 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) 2017
- European Record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR) 2019
- Championship Record: 59.23, Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) 2017
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Volodymyr Lisovets (UKR), 1:00.96
- Jonas Gaur (DEN) 1:01.78
- Steijn Louter (NED) 1:02.22
- Uros Zivanovic (SRB) 1:02.25
- Finn Wendland (GER) 1:02.56
- Henri Bonnault (FRA) 1:02.76
- Lubin Viano (FRA) 1:02.80
- Nil Cadevall Micolau (ESP) 1:02.86
- Cas Verstegen (NED) 1:02.98
The boy’s 100m breast was also on the slow-ish side, with just one athlete clocking a time in the 1:01-zone.
It was Jonas Gaur of Denmark, the 50m breast gold medalist here, who claimed the top seed in a time of 1:01.78. That dropped nearly one second off his morning heats mark of 1:01.56. Both outings, however, blow away his previous lifetime best of 1:02.39 notched just this past April.
Dutch 200m breast victor here, Steijn Louter, scored the 2nd seed in 1:02.22. He was the bronze medalist in this event at the 2022 edition of the competition, posting a time of 1:01.32 in Romania.
Serbia has a contender in Uros Zivanovic who touched in 1:02.25 for the 3rd seed.
GIRLS 50 BUTTERFLY – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 25.46, Rikako Ikee (JPN) 2017
- European Junior Record: 25.66
- European Record: 24.43, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2014
- Championship Record: 26.14, Daria Klepikova (RUS) 2021
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Lana Pudar (BIH) 26.49
- Martine Damborg (DEN) 26.53
- Lana Pudar (BIH) 26.62
- Paulina Cierpialowska (POL) 26.94
- Emmy Hallkvist (SWE) 27.01
- Klara Beierling (GER) 27.07
- Julia Ullmann (SUI) 27.10
- Lillian Slusna (SVK) 27.24
- Anna Maria Boerstler (GER) 27.28
Denmark’s Martine Damborg continued her speed from this morning to take the top spot in the girls’ 50m fly. She posted a time of 26.53, knocking .17 off of her AM result of 26.70.
The teen’s time this evening represents a new lifetime best, overtaking her previous career-quickest of 26.78 earned in April of this year. Damborg already took silver in the 100m fly on day 3 of the competition.
Bosnia & Herzegovina’s newly-minted European Junior record holder Lana Pudar was back in the water after her 200m fly victory. The 17-year-old nabbed the 2nd seed in a mark of 26.62, within striking distance of her national record of 26.29 registered for silver at the 2021 European Junior Championships.
Pudar won this event last year in Romania in a time of 26.49, so Damborg is already just .04 off of that result en route to landing lane 4 for tomorrow night’s main event.
Poland’s Paulina Cierpialowska also dipped under the 27-second barrier this evening, clocking 26.94 as the 3rd-swiftest performer.
BOYS 50 BUTTERFLY – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 22.96, Diego Ribeiro (POR) 2022
- European Junior Record: 22.96, Diego Ribeiro (POR) 2022
- European Record: 22.27, Andrii Govorov (UKR) 2018
- Championship Record: 23.48, Noe Ponti (SUI) 2019
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Casper Puggaard (DEN) 23.67
- Casper Puggaard (DEN) 23.92
- Ondrej Slavik (CZE) 24.11
- Ethan Dumesnil (FRA) 24.21
- Ivan Harmarchuk (UKR) 24.30
- Maro Miknic (CRO) 24.31
- Szymon Misiak (POL) 24.35
- Teo Del Riego Torres (ESP) 24.38
- Lukas Edl (AUT) 24.39
Casper Puggaard of Denmark is well on his way to doubling up on his 100m fly gold, topping the boys’ 50m fly in a rapid 23.92.
Last year in Romania, Puggaard became the European junior champion with a time of 23.67, a mark which remains as the 18-year-old’s personal best.
Czech swimmer Ondrej Slavik will try to carry on his nation’s tradition in this event, producing a time of 24.11 as the 2nd seed. Last year his teammate Daniel Gracik snagged silver in this race.
The rest of the 100m fly podium is also among the contenders, as Ethan Dumesnil of France notched 24.21 as the 3rd seed while Austria’s Lukas Edl squeaked into the final in 24.39. Dumesnil earned 1fly bronze while Edl was the silver medalist already here in Belgrade.
GIRLS 200 IM – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 2:06.89, Summer McIntosh (CAN) 2023
- European Junior Record: 2:11.03
- European Record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2015
- Championship Record: 2:13.03, Ilaria Cusinato (ITA) 2016
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Leah Schlosshan (GBR) 2:13.49
- Leah Schlosshan (GBR) 2:13.30
- Emma Carrasco Cadens (ESP) 2:14.21
- Phoebe Cooper (GBR) 2:14.32
- Ellie McCartney (IRL) 2:14.93
- Mariia Diachenko (UKR) 2:15.85
- Lisa Nystrand (SWE) 2:16.94
- Lilla Minna Abraham (HUN) 2:17.41
- Karoline Kjelstrup (DEN) 2:17.42
Great Britain’s Leah Schlosshan set herself up nicely to defend her 200m IM title, scoring the top seed in 2:13.30. That knocked over 2 seconds off of the 2:15.43 she put up this morning to lead the pack.
Spain’s Emma Carrasco Cadens frog-hopped 2nd-seeded Phoebe Cooper of Great Britain to snag the 2nd seed this evening, logging 2:14.21.
17-year-old Cadens was the champion in the 400m IM last year in Romania and took bronze in this shorter IM in a time of 2:14.39. She’s already beaten that result with her time this evening.
Cooper is still in the mix as the 3rd-seeded performer in 2:14.32 while Ireland’s Ellie McCartney was also under the 2:15 threshold in 2:14.93 for the 4th seed.
400m IM silver medalist here Lisa Nystrand is among the contenders as well, nabbing the 6th seed in 2:16.94.
GIRLS 100 BACKSTROKE – SEMI-FINAL
- World Junior Record: 57.57, Regan Smith (USA) 2019
- European Junior Record: 59.08, Anastasia Shkurdai (BLR) 2020
- European Record: 58.08, Kathleen Dawson (GBR) 2021
- Championship Record: 59.62, Polina Egorova (RUS) 2017
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Dora Molnar (HUN) 1:00.88
- Lora Fanni Komoroczy (HUN) 1:01.55
- Daria-Mariuca Silisteanu (ROU) 1:01.59
- Nika Sharafutdinova (UKR) 1:01.68
- Aissia-Claudia Prisecariu (ROU) 1:01.85
- Blythe Kinsman (GBR) 1:01.90
- Sudem Denizli (TUR) 1:01.97
- Giada Gorlier (ITA) 1:02.08
- Sofia Salvato (ITA) 1:02.10
It’s essentially any girls’ race in this 100m backstroke, as the top 8 competitors are separated by just over half a second from one another.
Hungary’s Lori Fanni Komoroczy led the way with a time of 1:01.55, holding just a .04 advantage over Romania’s Daria-Mariuca Silisteanu. Silisteanu clocked 1:01.59 while Ukraine’s Nika Sharafutdinova rounded out the top 3 in 1:01.68.
Sharafutdinova has a shot at becoming Ukraine’s first medalist here on the girls’ side, attempting to join teammates Oleksii Hrabarov (silver 400m IM) and Oleksandr Zheltyakov (silver 50m back, gold 200m back).
The podium this time around will indeed look entirely different than 2022, as reigning European junior champion Dora Molnar of Hungary missed the final. The 200m backstroke gold medalist here, Molnar posted 1:02.15 to be relegated to the 1st reserve position in this shorter event.
The 2022 silver medalist Roos Vanotterdijk of Belgium and bronze medalist Mary-Ambre Moluh of France aged out of this competition.
BOYS 800 FREESTYLE – FINAL
- World Junior Record: 7:43.37, Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) 2022
- European Junior Record: 7:43.37, Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) 2022
- European Record: 7:39.27, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) 2019
Championship Record: 7:51.20, Yigit Aslan (TUR) 2021
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) 7:52.04
- GOLD: Petar Mitsin (BUL) 7:47.45 *European Junior Championships Record
- SILVER: Vlad-Stefan Stancu (ROU) 7:49.68
- BRONZE: Kuzey Tuncelli (TUR) 7:52.39
The boys’ 800m freestyle did not disappoint, as two national records, as well as the European Junior Championships Record, went down during the battle.
Romania’s Vlad-Stefan Stancu led through the 300m mark but then Bulgaria’s Petar Mitsin leveled up another gear to take over the lead and not look back.
Mitsin wound up at the wall first, touching in 7:47.45, a monster new lifetime best for gold. Entering this meet, 17-year-old Mitsin’s personal best and Bulgarian national record stood at the 7:55.59 he produced just this past May.
Flash forward to tonight and the teen hacked over 8 seconds off of that result to become the new champion. For perspective, Mitsin’s time this evening would render him the fastest American 17-18-year-old boy in history in this 800m free ahead of Larsen Jensen (7:48.09).
But Stancu put up a super strong swim in his own right, clocking 7:49.68 to clinch his first time under the 7:50 barrier. Stancu’s previous career-quickest stood at the 7:54.02 Romanian national record he put up at this same competition last year when he earned silver.
Mitsin now ranks 11th in the world and Stancu 20th in the world on the season.
Turkish 15-year-old Kuzey Tuncelli added bronze to his collection in 7:52.39 after already having grabbed gold in the 1500m freestyle.
GIRLS 800 FREESTYLE – FINAL
- World Junior Record: 8:11.00, Katie Ledecky (USA) 2014
- European Junior Record: 8:21.91, Merve Tuncel (TUR) 2021
- European Record: 8:14.10, Rebecca Adlington (GBR) 2008
- Championship Record: 8:21.91, Merve Tuncel (TUR) 2021
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Merve Tuncel (TUR) 8:28.32
- GOLD: Merve Tuncel (TUR) 8:35.10
- SILVER: Marian Ploeger (GER) 8:36.55
- BRONZE: Julia Ackermann (GER) 8:36.85
18-year-old Merve Tuncel of Turkey successfully secured her third consecutive European Junior Championships title in this girls’ 800m freestyle event.
The teen put up a time of 8:35.10 and although that was her slowest of her 3 Euro Jrs performances, it was enough to top the podium this evening.
In 2021, Tuncel produced the current meet record of 8:21.91 while last year in Romania she collected gold in 8:28.32. Her time this evening still got to the wall ahead of the field, but two Germans were right on her heels.
Ultimately Marian Ploeger got there next in 8:36.55 while teammate Julia Ackermann also landed on the podium in 8:36.85.
Ploeger’s result this evening ripped her previous PB of 8:43.23 to shreds while Ackermann also dropped time from her previous best of 8:39.49. Both of those prior performances were just from this past springtime.
BOYS 4×200 FREESTYLE RELAY – FINAL
- World Junior Record: 7:08.37, United States (USA) 2019
- European Junior Record: 7:10.95, Hungary (HUN) 2017
- European Record: 6:58.58, Great Britain (GBR) 2021
- Championship Record: 7:15.46, Hungary (HUN) 2017
- 2022 European Junior Champion: Italy (ITA) 7:17.45
- GOLD: Italy (ITA) 7:17.42
- SILVER: France (FRA) 7:18.23
- BRONZE: Turkey (TUR) 7:21.38
The nation of Italy repeated as the boys’ 4x200m free relay champions, with tonight’s squad clinching the victory in a time of 7:17.42.
The combination of Alessandro Ragaini, Carlos D’Ambrosio, Federico Mao and Filippo Bertoni collectively earned gold ahead of France who touched in 7:18.23 for silver while Turkey bagged bronze in 7:21.38.
Ragaini ripped a 1:48.41 opener to launch Italy ahead, scoring the sole time of the field under 1:50. D’Ambrosio continued the speed in 1:49.22 while Mao and Bertoni hit splits of 1:51.15 and 1:48.64, respectively.
The quickest split of the French squad came from 3rd leg swimmer Corentin Pouillart who logged 1:48.26 while Turkey’s 2nd leg of Ahmet Burak Isik clocked 1:50.00. Last year Turkey earned silver while France finished in 5th place.