2023 LEN U23 Championships Day 3 Finals Live Recap


The final day of the LEN U23 Championships are upon us, with action kicking off at 6pm local (1pm Eastern) in Dublin, Ireland.

A full agenda of events are ready to unfold, with swimmers vying for more hardware to wrap up the first-ever edition of the competition.

Mona McSharry and Daniel Wiffen are among the host nation’s swimmers ready to take center stage, while South Africans Pieter Coetze and Matt Sates will also be diving in.

American’s Mitchell Mason, Isabelle Stadden and Evelyn Davis will also be ready to rumble during this final session.

Both the men’s and women’s 100m freestyle battles are among the races, while their respective 50m fly sprints will be contested as well. The evening will wrap up with a mixed free relay.

As a reminder, only European athletes earn gold, silver and bronze. Non-European finishers receive commemorative medals and are not technically on the podium.


  • World Record – 2:17.55 Evgenia Chikunova (RUS) 2023
  • World Junior Recrd – 2:19.64 Viktoria Gunes (TUR) 2015
  • European Record – 2:19.11 Rikee Moeller Pedersen (DEN) 2013
  • European Junior Record – 2:19.64 Viktoria Gunes (TUR) 2015

GOLD – Mona McSharry (IRL) 2:25.49
SILVER – Lilly Booker (GBR) 2:26.37
BRONZE – Ana Blazevic (CRO) 2:26.61

It was the Mona McSharry show in this women’s 200m breaststroke as the Irish Olympian clinched the victory in a time of 2:25.49.

Leading wire-to-wire, the University of Tennessee swimmer opened in 1:09.35 and brought it home in 1:16.14 to complete her breaststroke sweep. McSharry already topped the 50m breast podium in 30.37 and the 100m breast podium in 1:06.69 in front of her home crowd.

Great Britain’s Lilly Booker snagged silver in 2:26.37 while Croatia’s Ana Blazevic rounded out the top 3 in 2:26.61.

McSharry has already been as quick as 2:24.50 this year, the Irish national record she produced at May’s Glasgow International Swim Meet.

Bronze medalist Blazevic is also her nation’s record holder, having notched a time of 2:25.94 also in May this year.


  • World Record – 51.60 Thomas Ceccon (ITA) 2022
  • World Junior Record – 52.53 Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 2018
  • European Record – 51.60 Thomas Ceccon (ITA) 2022
  • European Junior Record – 52.53 Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) 2018

GOLD – Piete Coetze (RSA) 53.44
SILVER – Jonathon Adam (GBR) 53.67
BRONZE – Kai van Westering (NED) 54.08

The bronze medal went to Evangelos Makrygiannis (GRE) – 54.40

While Jonathon ‘Jono’ Adam of Great Britain led the field with a front half of 25.57, South African Pieter Coetze ultimately got to the wall first to take gold in this men’s 100m backstroke.

19-year-old Coetze, who is committed to competing for the Cal Bears, clinched the win in a time of 53.44 while Adam settled for silver just .13 behind in 53.67.

Dutch swimmer Kai van Westering also landed on the podium with bronze in a time of 54.08.

Coetze owns a lifetime best of 52.78 in this event, a time he produced at the South African National Championships this past April. He already took silver in the 200m back in a time of 1:57.05 and 50m back gold in 24.89.

As a refresher, Coetze and teammate Sates both opted out of this year’s World Championships. Post-race Coetze says he looks to add more international racing into his schedule over the next 12 months readying for Paris 2024.


  • World Record – 24.43 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2014
  • World Junior Record – 25.46 Rikako Ikee (JPN) 2017
  • European Record – 24.43 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2014
  • European Junior Record – 25.66 Benchmark

GOLD – Neza Klancar (SLO) 26.02
SILVER – Aleyna Ozkan (TUR) 26.17
BRONZE – Julia Maik (POL) 26.26

Claiming her third gold medal here in fewer than 24 hours, 23-year-old Neza Klancar of Slovenia won this women’s 50m fly.

Klancar clocked a time of 26.02 to hold off Turkey’s Aleyna Ozkan who touched in 26.17. Poland’s Julia Maik was next in 26.26 for the bronze medal.

Ozkan’s silver medal-worthy 26.17 sliced .02 off of her own former national record of 26.19 established at the Turkish Summer Championships just earlier this month.

In addition to taking the individual 50m free last night in a new national record of 24.76, Klancar also wound up on top of the women’s 50m free skins race which was an additional 3 rounds at the end of last night’s finals session.


  • World Record – 46.86 David Popovici (ROU) 2022
  • World Junior Record – 46.86 David Popovici (ROU) 2022
  • European Record – 46.86 David Popovici (ROU) 2022
  • European Junior Record – 46.86 David Popovici (ROU) 2022
GOLD – Patrick Sammon (USA) 48.53
SILVER – Ed Mildred (GBR) 48.90
BRONZE – Ralph Daleiden (LUX) 49.06
The bronze medal went to Alexander Cohoon (GBR) – 49.16

Despite taking the top seed this morning in a near-lifetime best of 48.83, Luxembourg swimmer Ralph Daleiden settled for the bronze medal tonight in this 100m free in a time of 49.06.

It was America’s Patrick Sammon who soared to the wall first, clinching gold in a time of 48.53.

Sammon was right with the field at the halfway mark, opening in 23.43. But the Arizona State University Sun Devil turned it on in the final 20m to ultimately get there in a result just off his career-quickest of 48.46 from this year’s U.S. Nationals.

Great Britain’s Ed Mildred snagged the silver tonight in 48.90. That marks just the 4th time Mildred has been under the 49-second threshold in this race.

Sammon was the silver medalist in the 200m free on night one here in Dublin (1:47.27).


  • World Record – 15:20.48 Katie Ledecky (USA) 2018
  • World Junior Record – 15:28.36 Katie Ledecky (USA) 2014
  • European Record – 15:38.88 Lotte Friis (DEN) 2013
  • European Junior Record – 15:55.23 Merve Tuncel (TUR) 2021

GOLD – Isabel Gose (GER) 16:02.89
SILVER – Paige McKenna (USA) 16:22.76
BRONZE – Celine Rieder (GER) 16:23.17

The bronze medal went to Giulia Salin (ITA) – 16:26.10.

Germany’s Isabel Gose topped this women’s 1500m free podium, hitting a time of 16:02.89 to beat the fastest heat by nearly 20 seconds. The 21-year-old led a trio of Germans who all finished in the top 4, with teammate Celine Rieder clocking 16:13.17 as the silver medalist and Leonie Maertens claiming bronze in 16:25.54.

However, as one nation can only claim 2 medals, the bronze actually went to Italy’s Giulia Salin who put up a mark of 16:26.10.

Earning the ceremonial silver was American Paige McKenna who posted a time of 16:22.76 to touch behind Gose. That’s within striking distance of her own lifetime best of 16:20.66 from this year’s U.S. Nationals

Gose owns a lifetime best of 15:54.58 from when she placed 6th in this event at this year’s World Championships. She’s already won 400m free (4:05.96) and 800m free (8:20.80) golds here in Dublin.


  • World Record – 2:03.14 Kaylee McKeown (AUS) 2023
  • World Junior Record – 2:03.35 Regan Smith (USA) 2019
  • European Record – 2:04.94 Anastasia Fesikova (RUS) 2009
  • European Junior Record – 2:06.62 Benchmark
GOLD – Isabelle Stadden (USA) 2:09.31
SILVER – Aviv Barzelay (ISR) 2:11.35
BRONZE – Lotte Hosper (NED) 2:13.47

The bronze medal went to Reka Nyiradi (HUN) – 2:13.98.

USA’s Isabelle Stadden dominated this women’s 200m back field, clutching the gold in a time of 2:09.31, getting to the wall over 2 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Israel’s Aviv Barzelay snagged the silver in 2:11.35 while Dutch swimmer Lotte Hosper also landed on the podium in 2:13.47.

Post-race, Stadden said she wanted to be more in the 2:08 territory. Stadden owns a lifetime best of 2:07.28 from 2021 and hit 2:07.69 at this year’s U.S. Nationals.

Stadden of the Cal Bears took 50m back silver on day one and 100m back gold last night.


  • World Record – 56.88 Adam Peaty (GBR) 2019
  • World Junior Record – 59.01 Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) 2017
  • European Record – 56.88 Adam Peaty (GBR) 2019
  • European Junior Record – 59.01 Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) 2017

GOLD – Jan Kalusowski (POL) 1:00.30
SILVER – Koen De Groot (NED) 1:00.37
BRONZE – Mitchell Mason (USA) 1:00.42

The bronze medal went to Luca Janssen (NED) – 1:00.52.

This was an extremely close race where a line of swimmers all seemingly stroked for stroked heading into the wall.

Ultimately it was Poland’s Jan Kalusowski who arrived there first, notching 1:00.30 as the gold medal winner.

Dutchman Koen De Groot was a hair behind in 1:00.37 while the United States’ Mitchell Mason rounded out the top 3 in 1:00.42.

Of note, World Junior Record holder Simone Cerasuolo from Italy was disqualified.

For American Mason, the Louisiana State University athlete registered a morning swim of 1:00.25, a mark which represents the 2nd-swiftest time of his career. He’s been under the minute mark once thus far, owning a career-quickest time of 59.87 from this year’s U.S. Nationals.


  • World Record – 51.71 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2017
  • World Junior Record – 52.70 Penny Oleksiak (CAN) 2016
  • European Record – 51.71 Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2017
  • European Junior Record – 53.61 Freya Anderson (GBR) 2018

GOLD – Janja Segel (SLO) 54.66
SILVER – Grace Cooper (USA) 54.67
BRONZE – Panna Ugrai (HUN) 55.10

The bronze medal went to Kornelia Fiedkiewicz (POL) – 55.17.

Slovenia’s Janja Segel held onto her top seed from the morning heats, taking tonight’s time in a mark of 54.66. The 22-year-old’s outing was just under half a second off her lifetime best of 54.26 and also near her 2022 Mediterranean Games silver medal-worthy outing of 54.48.

American Grace Cooper looked like she was the winner but was out-touched by just .01, settling for silver in 54.67. That still represents a lifetime best for the Texas Longhorn, beating out her previous PB of 54.85 from this year’s U.S. nationals.


  • World Record – 22.27 Andrii Govorov (UKR) 2018
  • World Junior Record – 22.96 Diogo Ribeiro (POR) 2022
  • European Record – 22.27 Andrii Govorov (UKR) 2018
  • European Junior Record – 22.96 Diogo Ribeiro (POR) 2022
GOLD – Stergios-Marios Bilas (GRE) 23.16
SILVER – Simon Bucher (AUT) 23.30
BRONZE – Rasmus Nickelsen (DEN) 23.57

Greece’s Stergios-Marios Bilasmade it 2-for-2 in sprint events, following up his massive 50m free victory from last night with another win in this 50m fly.

Bilas stopped the clock in an outing of 23.16, a new lifetime best by .23.

Austria’s Simon Bucher was good enough for silver while Denmark’s Rasmus Nickelsen wrangled up bronze in 23.57.


  • World Record – 1:54.00 Ryan Lochte (USA) 2011
  • World Junior Record – 1:56.99 Hubert Kos (HUN) 2021
  • European Record – 1:54.82 Leon Marchand (FRA) 2023
  • European Junior Record – 1:56.99 Hubert Kos (HUN) 2021

GOLD – Matt Sates (RSA) 1:57.78
SILVER – Ron Polonsky (ISR) 1:58.07
BRONZE – Gabor Zombori (HUN) 1:59.17

The bronze medal went to Eytan Ben Shitrit (ISR) – 1:59.47.

South Africa’s Matt Sates roared home on the freestyle leg to overtake Israel’s Ron Polonsky who had led the field heading into that final 50m.

Sates finally touched in 1:57.78 to double up on his 400m IM victory from last night while Polonsky was relegated to silver in 1:58.07.

Hungary’s Gabor Zombori bagged the bronze in 1:59.17.

Sates owns a lifetime best of 1:57.43 from the 2022 Mare Nostrum Tour, a time which rendered the former Georgia Bulldog the 2nd-fastest South African in history. Sates opted out of this year’s World Championships.


  • World Record – 7:32.12 Zhang Lin (CHN) 2009
  • World Junior Record – 7:43.37 Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) 2022
  • European Record – 7:39.19 Daniel Wiffen (IRL) 2023
  • European Junior Record – 7:43.37 Lorenzo Galossi (ITA) 2022

GOLD – Sven Schwarz (GER) 7:41.77
SILVER – Daniel Wiffen (IRL) 7:45.59
BRONZE – Luca Di Tullio (ITA) 7:48.20

21-year-old Sven Schwarz was a man on a mission in this 800m freestyle, ripping a huge lifetime best en route to gold. The German cranked out a winning time of 7:41.77, easily surpassing his previous career-quickest effort of 7:43.43 from this past April.

Schwarz’s final 50m was 27.27 on his way to registering the 17th-best performance in history. Schwarz already took the 1500m freestyle silver on night one and bowed out of last night’s 400m free final after having logged the top seed out of the morning heats.

Schwarz remains Germany’s 3rd-fastest performer all-time in this event, sitting only behind national record holder Florian Wellbrock (7:39.63) and Lukas Maertens (7:41.43).

As for Daniel Wiffen of Ireland, the national record holder held strong for silver this evening, clocking 7:45.59. Wiffen is the European Record holder in this event with his personal best of 7:39.19 from when he finished 4th in Fukuoka.


  • World Record – 3:18.83 Australia (AUS) 2023
  • World Junior Record – 3:25.92 United States (USA) 2019
  • European Record – 3:21.68 Great Britain (GBR) 2023
  • European Junior Record – 3:27.35 Russia (RUS) 2020

GOLD – USA 3:27.35
SILVER – Poland 3:28.32
BRONZE – Great Britain 3:28.52

The bronze medal went to Germany – 3:28.90.

The United States capped off its meet with a victory in this mixed 4x100m free relay event, getting to the wall in a collective effort of 3:27.35.

That punched the sole result of the field under the 3:28 barrier, as the next 3 finishers of Poland, Great Britain and Germany were all in the 3:28-zone.

As for the United States, Sammon led off in a split of 48.68, not far off the 48.53 he produced earlier in the session to top the individual men’s 100m freestyle podium. Sammon was the only sub-49 second swimmer on lead-off and scored the fastest split of the entire field across all relay slots.

Hunter Tapp continued the momentum with a 2nd leg of 49.31. Julia Dennis logged 55.05 on the 3rd leg while Cooper sealed the deal with an anchor of 54.31, the swiftest of the entire pack.

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6 months ago

Of the Irish medalists, how many train in Ireland at one of the heavily funded National Centres?

Luke Cardy
Reply to  AquaDuck
6 months ago

Starting to find these comments a bit boring now. Is that all you can offer?

Reply to  Luke Cardy
6 months ago

It’s a valid question, no?

For Duck Sake
Reply to  AquaDuck
6 months ago

Are there a few future stars emerging from the National Centres though? Valid question, no?

Reply to  For Duck Sake
6 months ago

And they will end up like Corby… 💀

For Duck Sake
Reply to  Swimm
6 months ago

Oh dear, that is a low comment and not necessary.

Reply to  For Duck Sake
6 months ago

Yes, a very valid question, as valid as the question of why the current crop of the best Ireland has to offer choose to be not based in the same centres?

For Duck Sake
Reply to  HereWeGoAgain
6 months ago

Did they stay with their home coaches?

Reply to  For Duck Sake
6 months ago

Someone can correct me, but my understanding is
one left their club directly for an overseas program

one left their club, went into a national centre, only to leave very soon after and go to another overseas program

one left club to go to an overseas program, came back and had to stay in Ireland, but interestingly choose their club rather than national centre

Reply to  Luke Cardy
6 months ago

Almost as boring as people trying to deflect from the reality of whats happening in Irish Swimming

The facts are the facts, the best Irish swims are from those based outside the national centres

Reply to  HereWeGoAgain
6 months ago

Which was exactly my query.

Would the money being spent on the NC’s be better spent in other ways?

6 months ago

Solid day for Arizona State men:

Sammon won two Golds with solid 100 Freestyles, winning the individual race 0.12 off his US Nationals PB and then leading off the US relay 0.22 off that PB, creating more than half the eventual margin of victory.

Also solid was Pac-12 1650 winner Zalan Sarkany of Hungary in the 800. Zalan was in the next-to-last heat, coming in seeded 10th in his PB of 8:01.06 and dropped 5.80 seconds to finish 4th in 7:55.26.

6 months ago

Great performance by Schwarz and his coach over the past years, very consistent improvement:
2021: 7:52
2022: 7:46
2023: 7:41

Excited to see what he can do next year at the german trials. He should be quite safe on the 400 free, could win the 800 free and maybe challenge Martens in the 1500 free.

Regarding Märtens, I really think he should not swim the 1500m. The focus should be on the 400m and adjacent distances (200m-800m), so it doesn’t make too much sense to concentrate on the 1500m.
But in my opinion he should not swim the 200m freestyle as well: The competition is simply very strong here and the 200m freestyle in Paris will… Read more »

6 months ago

Ireland topple ‘not so’ Great Britain in the medals!!

Reply to  Swimm
6 months ago

Mona McSharry, Dan Whiffen and Ellen Walshe are the top tier Irish swimmers. GB did not send swimmers to this meet who had been to the WCs a few weeks ago, (with the exception of Keanna Macinnes for some reason). If they had sent Katie Shanahan, Freya Colbert, Freya Anderson, Matt Richards, Jacob Whittle, Tom Dean, to name a few, I think the results would have been very different.

Reply to  Lola
6 months ago

Also, Greg Butler attended WC’s + Jack McMillan was slated to do both but withdrew for personal reasons.

6 months ago

Very impressive time from Sven Schwarz

6 months ago

German national record since Fukuoka: Martens 7:39,48 – so, Sven Schwarz as a step to do…

6 months ago

Great meet for Schwarz. Hope this helps Wellbrock to drop the 800 free. 800 free should be Märtens and Schwarz next year.
Best possible outcome for me:
400 free: Märtens, Schwarz
800 free: Märtens, Schwarz
1500 free: Wellbrock, Schwarz/Märtens/Klemet
Open water: Wellbrock, Klemet
Klemet will hopefully focus on the open water, also would like to see Märtens dropping the 1500 free in favor of the 200 free. Märtens went 1:44.7 this year while also going 14:40 in the 1500 free. Maybe he can get down to 1:44 low next year if he drops the 1500 free. It might actually be easier to medal in the 200 free (especially if Popovici doesn’t return to his… Read more »

Reply to  Sawdust
6 months ago

Wellbrock has a 7:39 in the 800 from last year, I don’t see why he should drop it.
This year the open water affected him and Paltrinieri in a big way but next year I don’t see why they can’t be in the mix.

Reply to  Mike
6 months ago

I absolutely don’t see Wellbrock getting down to 7:36 (which is probably what it will take to medal). Don’t see the point of him swimming this event if he doesn’t have a medal chance.

Reply to  Sawdust
6 months ago

All those seeded outside the top 8 should just stay home

Reply to  JimSwim22
6 months ago

Don’t agree with you on that …
The question is what your goals are. Wellbrock (at this point of his career) is focused on winning medals, therefore he should choose a strategy/schedule that allows him to maximize his medal potential. In Paris the 800 m free heats will be on July 29th, while the 1500 m free heats will be on August 3rd and the 10 km open water race will be on August 9th. Dropping the 800 m free would allow him to better peak for the 1500 m free/10 km open water.

Reply to  Sawdust
6 months ago

I think that 4 days recovery between the 8 and 15 is plenty. The training for 800 and 10k is the tougher challenge but if he focuses on the long race and still has the speed to qualify on 800 he should go for it

Reply to  Sawdust
6 months ago

So a 7:41 is closer to 7:36 rather than his 7:39?
He won’t drop it

Reply to  Mike
6 months ago

1) Schwarz actually did his best time this year
2) Schwarz is 5 years younger
3) Schwarz has different (lower) expectations than Wellbrock. For Schwarz it would be great to reach the olympic final, don’t see how that would be satisfying for Wellbrock when he has a realistic chance at a medal in other events (1500 free + 10 km open water)

Reply to  Mike
6 months ago

But Wellbrock just swam that 7:39 at a time when he was in top form, over the 1500m he also delivered a 14:36 last year. I think Wellbrock still has the potential to improve, but how much more can he realistically achieve here? The 800m tends to be too short for him and considering his chances in the 1500m and 10k he probably won’t work extremely on his speed now.
To get a medal in Paris, realistically you have to swim under 7:38, possibly even 7:37. That is of course within the realm of possibility, but to improve his personal best by another 2-3 seconds at the age of 27 is always difficult.

I’m sure Wellbrock will try the… Read more »

6 months ago

Tactical brilliance by Schwarz–excellent swim

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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