2023 World Junior Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


Day 2 prelims of the 2023 World Junior Championships will be underway shortly. This morning’s session features 7 events. The girls 800 free will be swum at the end of this morning’s session. At this meet, the distance events are timed finals, thereofre the slowest heats of the 800 free will take place this morning and the fastest heats will be tonight. There are also 3 individual 200s this morning, which means it’s a good time to remind you that the 200s at this meet are just prelims/finals, no semifinals. That being said, the top 8 in those events this morning will be advancing to the final tonight.

Day 2 Prelims Event Schedule

  • Boys 200 individual medley – Prelims
  • Girls 100 freestyle – Prelims
  • Boys 100 butterfly – Prelims
  • Girls 200 butterfly – Prelims
  • Boys 200 freestyle – Prelims
  • Mixed 4×100 medley relay – Prelims
  • Girls 800 Freestyle – Slowest Heats (Timed Finals)


Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Lana Pudar comes in as the top seed in the girls 200 fly this morning. Pudar is fresh off a 4th-place finish in the event at the World Championships in Fukuoka a little more than a month ago. She enters the event today as the top seed by 3.5 seconds.

American Maximus Williamson comes in as the top seed in the boys 200 IM, having swum his personal best of 1:58.65 at the U.S. Trials back at the end of June.

After winning the boys 400 free last night, Bulgarian Petar Mitsin will be back in action in the 200 free today. He’ll have his work cut out for him, however, as Australian rising star Flynn Southam is the top seed in the event.


  • World Junior Record: 1:56.99 – Hubert Kos, Hungary (2021)
  • Championship Record: 1:58.46 – Carson Foster, United States (2019)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:57.94
    • ‘B’ Standard: 1:58.53
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:03.80


  1. Tomoyuki Matsushita (Japan) – 1:58.42 (Championship Record)
  2. Daniel Diehl (United States) – 2:00.69
  3. Riku Yamaguchi (Japan) – 2:01.11 (TIE)
  4. Maximus Williamson (United States) – 2:01.11 (TIE)
  5. Lorne Wigginton (Canada) – 2:01.53
  6. Christian Mantegazza (Italy) – 2:01.70
  7. Zhang Zhanshuo (China) – 2:01.93
  8. Minkyu Noh (South Korea) – 2:02.20

The action got off to a roaring start this morning, seeing Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsushita crack the Championship Record in the boys 200 IM. Matsushita swam a 1:58.42, clipping Carson Foster’s CR mark of 1:58.46, which he set at the 2019 World Junior Champs. He was out fast this morning, splitting 25.00 on fly and 29.46 on back for a 54.46 on the opening 100m. For reference, both splits were the fastest in the field for their respective strokes and Matsushita was nearly 2 seconds faster than anyone else on the first 100.

Meanwhile, Daniel Diehl, who will be competing in the men’s 100 back final tonight as well, came in 2nd this morning with a 2:00.69. It was a solid morning swim for Diehl, however, it appears he has room for improvement on the backstroke split tonight after splitting 30.94 this morning.

Japan was out in full force in this event, as Riku Yamaguchi was the 3rd fastest performer of the morning with a 2:01.11. Yamaguchi was tied with American Maximus Williamson, who entered the meet as the top seed in the event.

Also of note, Canadian Lorne Wigginton made it into the final tonight after cracking a Canadian NAG in the boys 400 free final last night.


  • World Junior Record: 52.70 – Penny Oleksiak, Canada (2016)
  • Championship Record: 53.63 – Taylor Ruck, Canada (2017)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 53.61
    • ‘B’ Standard: 53.88
  • Time for 16th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 58.66


  1. Olivia Wunsch (Australia) – 54.22
  2. Milla Jansen (Australia) – 54.42
  3. Anna Moesch (United States) – 54.57
  4. Erika Pelaez (United States) – 55.14
  5. Sara Curtis (Italy) – 55.17
  6. Maria Daza (Spain) – 55.66
  7. Zoe Pedersen (New Zealand) – 55.73
  8. Daria Golovaty (Israel) – 55.92
  9. Mia West (Canada) – 55.94
  10. Rebecca Diaconescu (Romania) – 56.12
  11. Lillian Slusna (Slovakia) – 56.24
  12. Seoa Lee (South Korea) – 56.25 (TIE)
  13. Smilte Plytnykaite (Lithuania) – 56.25 (TIE)
  14. Julie Brousseau (Canada) – 56.29
  15. Celine Bispo (Brazil) – 56.32
  16. Marina Cacciapuoti (Italy) – 56.41

Australia showed that they aren’t just the class of the world in the women’s 100 free at the senior level, seeing Olivia Wunsch and Milla Jansen clock the top 2 times of the morning. Wunsch, 17, swam a 54.22, while Jansen was just off that time with a 54.42.

Wunsch was out faster than Jansen, splitting 26.17 on the first 50 to Jansen’s 26.40, however, they were nearly identical on the back half of the race, with Wunsch splitting 28.05 and Jansen 28.02. Those were the 2 fastest 2nd 50 splits in the field this morning.

American Anna Moesch was the only swimmer in the field this morning who was close to the pair of Australians, stopping the clock in 54.57 for the 3rd fastest time of the morning. Moesch was out faster than either Australian, splitting 26.10 on the first 50.

While Moesch was fast on the front half of the race, she didn’t clock the fastest 1st 50 split in the field. That honor went to Italy’s Sara Curtis, who put up a sizzling 25.95 on the opening 50. Curtis ended up in 5th this morning with a 55.17.


  • World Junior Record: 50.62 – Kristof Milak, Hungary (2017)
  • Championship Record: 51.08 – Kristof Milak, Hungary (2017)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 51.67
    • ‘B’ Standard: 51.93
  • Time for 16th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 55.63


  1. Casper Puggaard (Denmark) – 52.38
  2. Filip Senc-Samardzic (Canada) – 52.90
  3. Wang Xizhe (China) – 52.95
  4. Tai Pearson (South Africa) – 53.23
  5. Lukas Edl (Austria) – 53.24
  6. Maro Miknic (Croatia) – 53.67
  7. Maxim Skazobtsov (Kazakhstan) – 53.79
  8. Jacob Wimberly (United States) – 53.84 (TIE)
  9. Andrea Camozzi (Italy) – 53.84 (TIE)
  10. Thomas Pattison (Australia) – 53.90
  11. Enoch Robb (Australia) – 53.95
  12. Diego Balbi (Peru) – 54.07
  13. Daniele Momoni (Italy) – 54.23
  14. Bill Dongfang (Canada) – 54.29
  15. Vlad Mihalache (Romania) – 54.49 (TIE)
  16. Javier Lopez (Spain) – 54.49 (TIE)

The boys 100 fly saw Denmark’s Casper Puggaard lead the field by a comfortable margin, swimming a 52.38. The 18-year-old was out fast, splitting 24.16 on the first 50m of the race. He still had one of the fastest 2nd 50 splits in the field as well, coming home in 28.22.

Canada’s Filip Senc-Samardzic and China’s Wang Xizhe were the only other swimmers to go under 53 seconds this morning. Xizhe posted the fastest 2nd 50 split in the field this morning, swimming a 27.73 on the back half. He was also out very conservatively, splitting 25.22 on the first 50. Senc-Samardzic was out in 24.81 and back in 28.09.


  • World Junior Record: 2:04.06 – Summer McIntosh, Canada (2023)
  • Championship Record: 2:07.74 – Emily Large, Great Britain (2017)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 2:08.43
    • ‘B’ Standard: 2:09.07
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:18.18


  1. Bella Grant (Australia) – 2:09.55
  2. Lana Pudar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – 2:10.11
  3. Hannah Bellard (United States) – 2:11.46
  4. Clare Watson (Canada) – 2:11.64
  5. Bailey Hartman (United States) – 2:11.82
  6. Doyeon Kim (South Korea) – 2:11.92
  7. Paola Borrelli (Italy) – 2:11.96
  8. Jessica Cole (Australia) – 2:12.08

Australian Bella Grant clocked a new personal best en route to swimming the top time of the morning in the girls 200 fly. Grant swam a 2:09.55, clipping her previous top mark of 2:09.82. She was strong on the front half of the race this morning, splitting 29.00 on the 1st 50 and 32.38 on the 2nd for a 1:01.38 on the opening 100m. She then tacked on a 33.78 on the 3rd 50. Of note, Grant had the fastest split in the field on each of the first 3 50s this morning.

Lana Pudar came in 2nd this morning with a 2:10.11. Pudar was the top seed coming into the meet, having earned a 4th place finish in the event at the World Championships in Fukuoka a little over a month ago. Her swim this morning was very relaxed, as she’s been as fast as 2:06.26 in the event. Pudar had the fastest final 50 split in the field this morning, coming home in 34.10.

There is a tight pack following Grant and Pudar, with American Hannah Bellard taking 3rd this morning in 2:11.46, while Australian Jessica Cole was 8th in 2:12.08. That sets up what should be a great race tonight in the final.


  • World Junior Record: 1:42.97 – David Popovici, Romania (2022)
  • Championship Record: 1:46.18 – David Popovici, Romania (2022)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:46.26
    • ‘B’ Standard: 1:46.79
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 1:50.96


  1. Alessandro Ragaini (Italy) – 1:48.06
  2. Petar Mitsin (Bulgaria) – 1:48.59
  3. Jason Zhao (United States) – 1:48.60
  4. Cooper Lucas (United States) – 1:48.79
  5. Flynn Southam (Australia) – 1:48.83
  6. Anders McAlpine (Australia) – 1:49.12
  7. Filippo Bertoni (Italy) – 1:49.49
  8. Junwoo Kim (South Korea) – 1:50.11

In a speedy prelims of the boys 200 free, 5 swimmers went 1:48 this morning. They were led by Italy’s Alessandro Ragaini, who earned the silver medal in the 400 free last night, Ragaini clocked a 1:48.06, leading the field by over half a second this morning. He was incredibly consistent with his splitting, going 25.59 on the 1st 50, then splitting 27.35, 27.78, and 27.34 respectively on the remaining 50s.

Petar Mitsin, the gold medalist in the 400 free last night, came in 2nd this morning with a 1:48.59. Mitsin was out over half a second faster than Ragaini on the first 100m this morning but didn’t have the same back half. That being said, Mitsin has been as fast as 1:46.50 in the event.

Filippo Bertoni (Italy) made it through as well, swimming a 1:49.49 for 7th place. Bertoni was the bronze medalist in the 400 free last night, meaning all 3 medalists in the 400 free will be in the 200 free final tonight.

Australia’s Flynn Southam, the top seed coming into the event, came in 5th this morning with a 1:48.83. Southam boasts a personal best of 1:46.24.


  • World Junior Record: United States – 3:44.84 (2019)
  • Championship Record: United States – 3:44.84 (2019)
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 4:02.70


  1. United States – 3:50.52
  2. Japan – 3:52.19
  3. Italy – 3:53.13
  4. Australia – 3:53.42
  5. Canada – 3:53.56
  6. Spain – 3:54.28
  7. Kazakhstan – 3:55.85
  8. Hong Kong – 3:56.29

The Americans led the field by a comfortable margin this morning in the mixed 4×100 medley relay. Caleb Maldari (55.79), Joshua Chen (1:01.22), Leah Shackley (57.74), and Haley McDonald (55.77) teamed up for a 3:50.52. They’ll likely switch out the entire relay for tonight’s final, though there are some trickier selections there. For example, Daniel Diehl will presumably take over the backstroke leg, however, he also has the final of the 100 back and the 200 IM tonight, so perhaps he won’t add a 3rd event into tonight’s schedule.

Japan came in 2nd with a 3:52.19, fueled by a quick 1:01.05 from Yamato Okadome on the breast leg.

Italy went with a male-female-male-female lineup and came in 3rd this morning. It seems like it was the right choice for their team, as Francesca Zucca put up a very strong 1:07.39 on the breast leg.

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Tracy Kosinski
3 months ago

Race videos please. Have to watch Hayes vs. Jansen.

3 months ago

As soon as Ragaini fix his start and gains a bit of mass, he’s going to be a threat at the top level

3 months ago

Pretty slow behind the two Aussies in that final heat.

3 months ago

I’m keen to see what de Lutiis splits anchoring the relay later because her split in the 4×2 was basically a PB.

3 months ago

In other news C2 is doing World Cups (source: Off the Blocks podcast)

Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Looks like the world cups will have quite a few proper stars this year

3 months ago

Wunsch only 0.17 off her PB in the heat… hopefully she can keep the momentum up for WUNSCH TIME

Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

And season best for Milla only 0.06 off her PB.

Southerly Buster
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Wunsch and Jansen. More 100 Freestylers rolling off the production line.

Reply to  Southerly Buster
3 months ago

I’m loving the production line but can we order a sprint breaststroker please? An express order in time for Paris would be great thanks!

Hooked on Chlorine
Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

Can’t see that happening but would love it if it did.

Southerly Buster
Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

Paris might be a bit soon. But I’ll put in an order for you and see what happens.

Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Ah didn’t even notice that. Good news for the relays!

Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

Jansen was only just off her PB too, she also hasn’t aged up yet Mollie’s 53.93 age record might be a bit out of reach but I could definitely see her move ahead of at least Cate’s 54.20

Reply to  flicker
3 months ago

Assuming they didn’t go all out you would expect at least a 0.2 drop from heats to finals in a 100. Definitely within reach.

3 months ago

No one beats Kock in the heats.

Hooked on Chlorine
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

They all save energy that way.