Andrei Minakov, Lani Pallister Named Swimmers of the Meet at World Juniors


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  • Duna Arena, Budapest (Hungary)
  • Pool swimming: Tuesday, August 20 – Sunday, August 25, 2019
  • Heats 9:30am GMT+2 (3:30 am EDT / 12:30 am PDT)/ Semifinals and Finals 5:30pm GMT+2 (11:30am EDT / 8:30am PDT)
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Russia’s Andrei Minakov and Australia’s Lani Pallister were named the Male and Female Swimmers of the Meet, respectively, on Sunday at the 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

The 17-year old Minakov was able to carry his success through to yet another big meet this summer in an incredible run of championship success for him. After winning 4 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medal at the European Junior Swimming Championships and an individual silver in the 100 fly at the World Championships, this week Minakov won gold in the 100 free, gold in the 100 fly, gold in the men’s 400 medley relay, silver in the men’s 400 free relay, silver in the mixed 400 free relay, and silver in the mixed 400 medley relay. In ttoal, that adds up to 3 gold and 3 silver medals at the meet. That gives him 13 total ranking points (with 0 bonus points for records) and the title of Male Swimmer of the Meet – which doesn’t include relay medals won.

Men – Top 10 Point Scorers

  1. Andrei Minakov, Russia – 13 points
  2. (TIE) Franko Grgic, Croatia/Thomas Ceccon, Italy – 12 points
  3. (TIE) Wyatt Davis, USA/Vladislav Gerasimenko, Russia/Luca Urlando, USA – 10 points
  4. (TIE) – Apostolos Papastamos, Greece/Josh Matheny, USA – 9 points
  5. (TIE) – Thomas Neill, Australia/Carson Foster/USA – 8 points

Men – Top 10 Event Performances by FINA Points

  1. Franko Grgic, Croatia, men’s 1500 free – 14:46.09 (949 points)
  2. Josh Matheny, USA, men’s 200 breaststroke – 2:09.40 (938 points)
  3. Shoma Sato, Japan, men’s 200 breaststroke – 2:09.56 (934 points)
  4. Gabor Zombori, Hungary, men’s 400 free – 3:46.06 (922 points)
  5. Thomas Neill, australia, men’s 400 free – 3:46.27 (920 points)
  6. Andrei Minakov, Russia, men’s 100 fly – 51.25 (918 points)
  7. Thomas Ceccon, Italy, men’s 100 backstroke – 53.46 (912 points)
  8. Luca Urlando, USA, men’s 200 fly – 1:55.02 (911 points)
  9. Yuta Arai, Japan, men’s 200 breaststroke – 2:10.84 (907 points)
  10. (TIE) Aleksandr Egorov, Russia, men’s 400 free – 3:47.36/Apostolos Papastamos, Greece, 400 IM – 4:11.93 (906 points)

*Best performance by swimmer only

On the women’s side of the pool, it was Australia’s Lani Pallister who took the biggest haul. She won individual gold medals in the three longest freestyle events of the meet: the 400 free (4:05.42), the 800 free (8:22.49), and the 1500 free (15:58.85); and also won a silver medal in the 200 free (1:58.09). Those finishes went along with silver in the women’s 400 free relay and 800 free relay as a finals swimmer.

That scored Pallister 18 points and made her the top overall individual scorer in the meet under FINA’s points system.

Women – Top 10 Point Scorers

  1. Lani Pallister, Australia – 18 points
  2. (TIE) Jade Hannah, Canada/Torri Huske, USA – 13 points
  3. (TIE) – Alba Vazquez, Spain/Evgeniia Chikunova, Russia/Gretchen Walsh, USA – 10 points
  4. Claire Curzan, USA – 7 points
  5. (TIE) Kayla van der Merwe, Great Britain/Anastasiya Shkurdai, Belarus/Erika Fairweather, New Zealand – 6 points

Women – Top 10 Event Performances by FINA Points

  1. Jade Hannah, Canada, women’s 100 back – 59.63 (920 points)
  2. Bronte Job, Australia – women’s 50 back – 27.83 (911 points)
  3. Benedetta Pilato, Italy – women’s 50 breast – 30.35 (909 points)
  4. (TIE) Claire Curzan, USA – women’s 100 back – 1:00.00/Daria Vaskina, Russia – women’s 50 back – 27.91 (903 points)
  5. Mollie O’Callaghan, Australia – women’s 50 back – 27.94/Eveniia Chikunova, Russia – women’s 200 breast – 2:24.03 (900 points)
  6. Lani Pallister, Australia – women’s 800 free – 8:22.49
  7. Anastasia Makarova, Russia – women’s 200 breast – 2:24.39
  8. Gretchen Walsh, USA, women’s 100 free – 53.74

*Best performance by swimmer only

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Yeah Lani !!!


Franko Grgic was the best male swimmer of the meet.
WJR in 1500 free and only 0.25 from WJR in 800 free.
Everyone talks about Grgic.
About Minakov: 51.25 in 100 fly and 48.73 in 100 free, very far from 50.62 by Milak and 48.33 by Girev.
Next year Grgic will be among the possible winners of 800/1500 free, even 400 free. Minakov will still be too far from Dressel, Chalmers and other swimmers.


Given the schedule he’s endured over the past month and a half, Minakov was the more impressive swimmer in my eyes. Franko surprised us with his incredible swims, but I don’t think his few swims can quite compare to the multitude of events Minakov has had going on.


I think Minakov doesn’t have much room for improvement. Time will tell who is right.


You are a prophet, a true prophet!


He’s 17. Why wouldn’t he have room for improvement? Has a male sprinter ever peaked at 17?


Has Milak improved his 100 fly time from 2017 so far? What about Li Zhuhao (not sure he improved much those last couple of years)? Not saying that i agree with our italian friend (i don’t), but i am sure you will find cases that don’t support your point. Even if we only look at russian guys there are at least 3 guys that haven’t improved much (so far) after their teenage years: Sedov, Kolesnikov (not sure what happened to him this year, too early to tell), Girev (not sure what happened to him this year, too early to tell). Edit: Also if you look at the age of the current top guys it seems quite obvious that distance freestyle… Read more »


your thinking is very limitative , dont u think ? unless u know Him personnally ( his training method / club atmosphere , etc… ) and even so …..u can’t predict the destiny in terms of progression just like that .

The Man Himself

Minakov is far more proven at the senior level. Winning a silver medal at worlds in no joke. Yes, he really has no shot at winning an event next year, but Grgic would’ve been 6th in the mile at worlds. Plus, this meet has been by far the highest stakes he has faced at, so who knows how he will perform on the biggest stage in the world for swimming? I really don’t think he has a shot at winning next year, but who knows with the way he is improving. He’s definitely got a bright future, but it’s just not quite his time yet.


Not everyone is talking about Grgic, it is mostly you …
Also please back up your words: How much are you willing to bet that he will win a medal in any of those events in Tokyo next year?
For a start i offer you the following bet: If he wins a medal in the 400 free next year i will give you 100 $, if he won’t medal you will give me 10 $. Do we have a deal?

Honest Observer

One of the most fun things to do at Junior Worlds is to speculate about the potential of various swimmers. With some, the first thought that occurs is, what will happen if so-and-so puts on 15 pounds of muscle? (Couldn’t help but think that about Gretchen Walsh and Franko Grgic.) With some, the thought is, wow, they’re so young (Claire Curzan just turned 15! Josh Matheny is only 16!). As an American, I’m most excited by the swimmers with the potential to make the US Olympic team next year. But one of the swimmers with huge potential is Aleksandr Shchegolev, whom I’d never heard of before this meet. He finished half a second behind Luca Urlando in the individual 200… Read more »


It is impossible to make predictions. Do you remember Ivan Girev? 48.33 in 100 free and 1.46.40 in 200 free (still WJR)?


Still that doesn’t hinder you from making predictions about Grgic … for example him medalling in the 400 free next year despite his PB being 3:52 …

Honest Observer

It’s impossible to make predictions with absolutely certainty, but as I said above, it’s fun to speculate. And I did preface that last prediction with the two words “my guess.”


Why the hell would Grgic put on 15 pounds of muscle? That would be his death in the 800/1500 free, there is a reason why guys like Wellbrock or Paltrinieri look so skinny …
Horton put on a lot of muscle mass (which led him to win the 400 free in Rio), but after that he never again was competitive in the 800 or 1500 free, so not sure why someone would sacrifice 2 medal chances (800 and 1500 free) for 1 medal chance (400 free)?


The same goes in Track & field : some guys running the 1,500 & above races are very skinny /thin . They are physically configurated that way to run long distance but sprinters on the other hand have way more muscle mass to put in the speed they need .

Honest Observer

You’ve just cited the two skinniest distance freestylers, but there have been plenty with more muscle who’ve done quite well. Ian Thorpe set the 800 WR when he weighed roughly 210, in 2001 in Fukuoka. Eric Vendt was only around 5’9″, but was built almost like a wrestler. And most of the greats have been somewhere in between: Kieren Perkins, Sun Yang, Conor Jaeger, Larsen Jensen, Oussama Mellouli, etc. I suspect if Grgic or Wellbrock managed to put on 10 or 15 pounds of swimming muscle (as opposed to say, weight-lifting muscle) it would help their easy speed more than it would hurt their endurance. You’re right, there does seem to be more of a difference these days between the… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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