2023 World Junior Championships Day 5: Swims You Might’ve Missed


Lorne Wigginton may not have topped the podium on Friday night at the World Junior Championships, but his bronze medal-worthy time of 4:12.81 in the boys’ 400-meter IM final still shaved nearly a full second off his previous Canadian 15-17 age group record of 4:13.75 from the 2023 World Championships, where he placed 9th.

Wigginton, 17, placed 3rd in the 400 IM behind China’s Zhang Zhanshuo and Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsushita in a historically fast final. Matsuhita broke the World Junior Championship meet record with a winning time of 4:10.97 while Zhang became the fastest 16-and-under 400 IMer ever with his runner-up finish in 4:12.44.

In the girls’ 50 freestyle semifinals, Sara Curtis placed 2nd a few tenths behind Australia’s Olivia Wunsch (24.60), but the Italian sprint star still lowered her age group record from 25.14 to 24.91 in the process.

Check out some other swims you might’ve missed below from the fifth night of racing in Netanya, Israel:

Mao Yihan (CHN)

At just 14 years old, Mao Yihan followed up her 800 free silver medal with a bronze in the 1500 free (16:18.76). The emerging distance specialist shaved more than 16 seconds off her lifetime best from May en route to her second medal of the meet. For context, her new personal-best time of 16:18.76 would rank fourth in the U.S. girls’ 13-14 national age group (NAG) rankings just ahead of Katie Ledecky. Mao also placed 5th in the 400 IM (4:48.14) on Monday. 

Kim Doyeon (KOR)

Another 14-year-old, Kim Doyeon, had a breakout performance in the girls’ 100 butterfly semifinals with a personal-best 58.98. She dropped a couple tenths off her previous-best 59.21 from the 100 fly heats on Friday morning. Only one 14-and-under American girl has ever been faster than Kim in the 100 fly: Claire Curzan‘s 58.61 from 2019.

Annam Olasewere (USA)

16-year-old American Annam Olasewere announced her presence with a sub-25 statement swim to clinch the 3rd qualifying spot heading into Saturday’s 50 free final. She clocked a personal-best 24.95 to finish behind only Italy’s Sara Curtis (24.91) and Australia’s Olivia Wunsch (24.60), slicing more than a tenth off her previous-best 25.08 from the morning heats. Olasewere is now ranked No. 6 in the U.S. girls’ 15-16 NAG rankings behind Anna Moesch (24.92), Anya Goeders (24.85), Simone Manuel (24.80), Gretchen Walsh (24.71), and Claire Curzan (24.17).

Smilte Plytnykaite (LTU) 

At 16 years old, Smilte Plytnykaite anchored the Lithuanian women’s 400 free relay with a blazing 54.94 split to secure a 5th-place finish in the final (3:44.01). There were only a few sub-55 splits in the field courtesy of Australia’s Olivia Wunsch (52.61), USA’s Erika Pelaez (53.89), and Canada’s Sienna Angove (54.80).

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Kia ora
3 months ago

Lorne is an absolute legend. Credit to him and his coaches

3 months ago

Insane 400 IM final. The times of all 3 medalists would have made the finals of a loaded field in Fukuoka. Crazy that 4:13 for juniors was left off the podium

Reply to  NUSwimFan
3 months ago

Wish Maximus Williamson had swam it

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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