2023 World Junior Championships: Day 6 Prelims Live Recap


The final day of the 2023 World Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel has arrived. It’s been a great week of racing from the fastest junior swimmers in the world, and we’ll end today with some 200s and the medley relays.


  • Boys 200 Backstroke – Prelims
  • Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Prelims
  • Boys 200 Butterfly – Prelims
  • Girls 200 Freestyle – Prelims
  • Boys 4×100 Medley Relay – Prelims
  • Girls 4×100 Medley Relay – Prelims
  • Boys 1500 Freestyle – Slowest Heats (Timed Finals)


The girls 200 free ought to be a great race today. Canadian Ella Jansen comes in as the top seed with a 1:58.09. Israeli Daria Golovaty is the #2 seed with a 1:58.24, while American Leah Hayes, the champion in both girls IM events this week, is the #3 seed at 1:58.27. It doesn’t end there, however, as 4 other girls are seeded at 1:58 coming into the event, making the 200 free possibly the deepest girls event of the meet.

Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zheltiakov has been one of the top boys backstrokers so far this week, and he comes into the 200 back this morning as the top seed. American Daniel Diehl is the #2 seed, coming in less than half a second off Zheltiakov’s personal best.


  • World Junior Record: 1:55.14 – Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia (2017)
  • Championship Record: 1:56.05 – Pieter Coetze, South Africa (2022)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:57.50
    • ‘B’ Standard: 1:58.09
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:05.71


  1. Oleksandr Zheltiakov (Ukraine) – 1:59.65
  2. Daniel Diehl (United States) – 2:00.30
  3. Caleb Maldari (United States) – 2:01.34
  4. Alexander Foreman (Australia) – 2:01.44
  5. Ivan Martinez (Spain) – 2:01.59
  6. Christian Bacico (Italy) – 2:01.65
  7. Daniele del Signore (Italy) – 2:01.95
  8. Aiden Norman (Canada) – 2:02.30

Ukrainian Oleksandr Zheltiakov clocked the top time of the morning in the boys 200 backstroke, putting up a 1:59.65. The performance marked the only swim under 2:00 this morning, setting Zheltiakov up with the top seed for tonight’s final. Zheltiakov was particularly great on the final 50 this morning, speeding home in 29.44, which was the fastest final 50 split in the field by well over a second.

In the final tonight, Zheltiakov will be flanked by the Americans on either side of him. Daniel Diehl was 2nd this morning, swimming a 2:00.30. He was out the fastest of anyone on the front half of the race, splitting 57.95 on the first 100m. Meanwhile, Maldari was about a second behind Diehl this morning, clocking a 2:01.34.

Italy saw both their swimmers, Christian Bacico and Daniele del Signore, advance to the final as well.


  • World Junior Record: 2:19.64 – Viktoria Gunes, Turkey (2015)
  • Championship Record: 2:19.64 – Viktoria Gunes, Turkey (2015)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 2:23.91
    • ‘B’ Standard: 2:24.63
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:37.28


  1. Alexanne Lepage (Canada) – 2:27.24
  2. Mina Nakazawa (Japan) – 2:27.62
  3. Nayara Pineda (Spain) – 2:27.68
  4. Sieun Park (South Korea) – 2:28.50
  5. Eneli Jefimova (Estonia) – 2:30.26
  6. Amaris Peng (Canada) – 2:30.60
  7. Francesca Zucca (Italy) – 2:30.90
  8. Brigitta Vass (Romania) – 2:31.03

Canadian Alexanne Lepage posted a 2:27.24 for the top time of the morning in the girls 200m breast. She swam a consistent race this morning, splitting 34.49 on the first 50, then splitting 37.21, 38.02, and 37.52 respectively on the remaining 50s.

Japan’s Mina Nakazawa and Spain’s Nayara Pineda were right behind Lepage, both swimming 2:27s as well. Nakazawa swam a very similar race to Lepage, splitting 34.16 on the first 50, then going 37.47, 38.10, and 37.89 the rest of the way. On the other hand, Pineda swam a slightly more conservative race on the front half, which led to her being the fastest of the 3 swimmers on the 3rd 50. Pineda was out in 34.48, then split 37.67, 37.99, and 37.54 on the other 50s.

Estonia’s Eneli Jefimova, the 50 breast champion from earlier in the meet, came in 5th this morning with a 2:30.26.


  • World Junior Record: 1:53.79 – Kristof Milak, Hungary (2017)
  • Championship Record: 1:53.87 – Kristof Milak, Hungary (2017)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:55.78
    • ‘B’ Standard: 1:56.36
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:02.21


  1. Petar Mitsin (Bulgaria) – 1:57.79
  2. Wang Xizhe (China) – 1:58.08
  3. Bill Dongfang (Canada) – 1:58.71
  4. Drew Hitchcock (United States) – 1:59.40
  5. Kevin Zhang (Canada) – 1:59.57
  6. Andrea Camozzi (Italy) – 1:59.71
  7. Alessandro Ragaini (Italy) – 1:59.79
  8. Samuel Kostal (Slovakia) – 1:59.85

In a speedy prelims of the boys 200 fly, it took going under 2:00 to qualify for tonight’s final. Bulgaria’s Petar Mitsin, who has been having a terrific year, clocked the fastest time of the morning with a 1:57.79. Mitsin was out pretty fast, splitting 56.33 on the first 100m, then held on fairly well, splitting 1:01.46 on the 2nd 100.

Wang Xizhe out of China was the 2nd-fastest swimmer this morning, swimming a 1:58.08. Xizhe was fantastic on the final 50 of the race this morning, roaring home in 29.72, which was the fastest split in the field on the final 50 by nearly a full second.

Canadian Bill Dongfang was out the fastest of anyone this morning, clocking a quick 55.99 on the first 100m. Dongfang would go on to post a final time of 1:58.71, which was good for 3rd this morning.

American Drew Hitchcock was 4th in 1:59.40. He swam a consistent race, splitting 30.68, 30.55, and 30.96 respectively on the last 3 50s.

The second American in the event, Cooper Lucas, was the first swimmer out this morning, finishing 9th in 2:00.08.


  • World Junior Record: 1:53.65 – Summer McIntosh, Canada (2023)
  • Championship Record: 1:57.08 – Taylor Ruck, Canada (2017)
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:57.26
    • ‘B’ Standard: 1:57.85
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:03.92


  1. Addison Sauickie (United States) 1:57.98
  2. Leah Hayes (United States) – 1:58.89
  3. Ella Jansen (Canada) – 1:59.12
  4. Daria Golovaty (Israel) – 1:59.97
  5. Julie Brousseau (Canada) – 2:00.20 (TIE)
  6. Hannah Casey (Australia) – 2:00.20 (TIE)
  7. Matilde Biagiotti (Italy) – 2:00.29
  8. Amelia Weber (Australia) – 2:00.60

The American duo of Addison Sauickie and Leah Hayes was on top of things this morning in the girls 200 free, establishing the top 2 times in prelims. Sauickie led the field with a very quick prelims swim of 1:57.98. It was a huge swim for Sauickie, blowing away her previous personal best of 1:58.66, which she swam at U.S. Trials a little over two months ago. On top of the PB, Sauickie’s time lands her 10th all-time among American 17-18 girls in the event.

Meanwhile, Leah Hayes put up a solid swim as well, taking 2nd in 1:58.89. Hayes, the 200 and 400 IM champion here in Netanya, boasts a personal best of 1:58.27, which she swam in April of this year at a Pro Swim Series.

Canadian Ella Jansen, who has had a busy week, came in 3rd this morning with a 1:59.12. She’ll be joined by Canadian teammate Julie Brousseau, who has swum a nearly identical schedule. Brousseau was tied for 5th this morning with a 2:00.20.

Australian Hannah Casey tied with Brousseau for 5th. The other Australian in the event, Amelia Weber, narrowly made it back, finishing 8th with a 2:00.60.


  • World Junior Record: 3:33.19 – Russia (2019)
  • Championship Record: 3:33.19 – Russia (2019)
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 3:50.36


  1. United States – 3:40.96
  2. Australia – 3:41.46
  3. Kazakhstan – 3:41.63
  4. Italy – 3:42.47
  5. Spain – 3:42.54
  6. South Korea – 3:42.96
  7. Japan – 3:43.56
  8. China – 3:43.72

The United States led the field in prelims of the boys 4×100 medley relay this morning. Caleb Maldari (55.91), Watson Nguyen (1:00.86), Jason Zhao (54.68), and Hudson Williams (49.51) combined to clock a 3:40.96. As they turn the roster over for finals tonight, we can expect the U.S. squad will be quite a bit faster tonight.

Australia came in 2nd this morning with a 3:41.46, fueled by a 48.53 on the anchor from Flynn Southam.

Kazakhstan, in a great performance for them, came in 3rd this morning in 3:41.63. Maxim Skazobtsov was critical to that effort, providing a 52.77 on the fly leg.


  • World Junior Record: 3:58.38 – Canada (2017)
  • Championship Record: 3:58.38 – Canada (2017)
  • Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 4:23.50


  1. Australia – 4:05.17
  2. Italy – 4:06.10
  3. Canada – 4:07.85
  4. Japan – 4:08.03
  5. Spain – 4:08.35
  6. United States – 4:08.56
  7. New Zealand – 4:09.48
  8. Hong Kong – 4:10.46

Australia clocked a 4:05.17 to lead the way in prelims in the girls 4×100 medley relay. Iona Anderson (1:00.59), Isabella Johnson (1:10.30), Bella Grant (59.88), and Milla Jansen (54.40) teamed up to get the job done. The Aussies are in great shape heading into finals, as we know they’ll be way faster tonight in finals.

Italy and Canada also looked good this morning, coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The U.S. came in 6th this morning, swimming a 4:08.56. Jojo Ramey (1:02.27), Molly Sweeney (1:10.63), Hannah Bellard (1:00.89), and Anna Moesch (54.77) teamed up to qualify for finals. While the 6th-place finish this morning doesn’t exactly jump off the page, we know the American team in finals tonight will be significantly faster.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
22 days ago

> 70

22 days ago

Canada has two swimmers in 200 breast USA zero 🙁

22 days ago

Remarkable 15.01.94 by Korean Kim Junwoo in the 1500 free: he’s just turned 16 during these Champs.

22 days ago

The future of the australian male freestyle program looks really bleak to be brutally honest..there are atleast 5 countries better than us at the moment…

Reply to  sharkboii
22 days ago

Short, Somerville, McAlpine and Southam are all under 20. It’s not too bad.

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

Giuliani and Taylor only just turned 20 in the last couple of months.

Reply to  Troyy
22 days ago

and none of them have gone under 1.46 in the 200 free..so not exactly sure what your point is? what are you seeing that i’m not? it s so hard to accept facts?

Reply to  sharkboii
22 days ago

You said freestyle…then select the 200m as the example, the only freestyle distance Australia did not medal in at the WC!
But even then Australia still managed to medal in the 4x200m relay!

Reply to  torchbearer
22 days ago

mate learn to read, i clearly emphasized on the word “future”, i.e_ post chalmers at paris. fukuoka 2023 is already in the past, get over it.

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

being optimistic is one thing but this is straight up delusional lol.

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

Yep looking bleak……..

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

and w.r.t short, given the career trajectories of winnington and horton, chances are that he’s peaked already and will never swim those times again. Our mid/long distance male freestylers are cursed.

Reply to  sharkboii
22 days ago

Whata…..too much Chlorine

22 days ago

Southam’s been relegated to the medley relay prelims.

Reply to  Troyy
22 days ago

Not a surprise – tough week. Backstroke or freestyle?

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

Freestyle, of course.

Reply to  Bernie
22 days ago

I think he did a 55 last year. I could be wrong.

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

I’m not sure about his times in it last year, but I know he was 53.6 SCM / 55.9 LCM back in 2021.

Reply to  Bernie
22 days ago

Thought they might put Somerville on free but looks like they are resting him. Robb could do back or fly tonight.

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

Robb – Burnes – Pattison – Sommerville(Southam?) would be my guess for the final.

Reply to  Joel
22 days ago

Does he even train backstroke anymore?