Aussie Lani Pallister Blasts 8:22.49 800 Free World Junior C’ships Record


  • 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)
  • 50-meter (LCM) course
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  • Live results

17-year-old Lani Pallister of Australia busted out a new meet record in the women’s 800m freestyle tonight in Budapest, competing on night 2 of the 2019 World Junior Championships. Firing off a winning time of 8:22.49, Pallister not only took gold in the race but also rolled right over the previous CR of 8:25.22 set by Pan American Games multi-medalist Delfina Pignatiello from the 2017 edition of this meet.

Pallister’s personal best entering this competition was 8:25.66 she registered at this year’s Aussie World Championships Trials. Prior to that, the Cotton Tree athlete produced a time of 8:28.54 for gold in the event, reaping the Australian Age Championships title, along with the 200m and 400m free races.

Tonight, however, Pallister powered her way to a remarkable swim, one that etches her name into Australian swimming history.

Pallister’s effort now ranks her as the 2nd fastest 17-year-old performer ever in this women’s 800m freestyle among Australians. She sits only behind 400m free World Champion Ariarne Titmus, who holds the Age Record at an eye-popping 8:17.07 from last year’s Pan Pacific Championships.

When looking at Aussie women of all ages, Pallister now slides into slot #3, sitting only behind the aforementioned Titmus, as well as former Aussie National Record holder Jess Ashwood‘s 8:18.14 from 2016.

Splits for Pallister’s outing tonight:

Finishing behind Pallister tonight was another one of our ‘women to watch’ entering this meet, 17-year-old Miyu Namba, who hit the wall in 8:27.24, her first time ever under 8:30 in the event. Bronze went to Italy’s Giulia Salinwho produced a mark of 8:28.99. Salin had won the Europan Junior Championships title earlier this summer in a time there in Kazan of 8:29.19.

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I hope she continues to improve and joins Titmus in the 800m free for Tokyo .. we need a fast second distance swimmer to keep the stars honest


800 free could be a decent race at trials with these two plus Melverton, Gough and any other improvers. Imagine if Jess Ashwood was still around.


Also interesting which direction she takes, at junior level, she can take on 200, 200, 800 & 1500, but for trials, it will be interesting where she thinks she can qualify. I’d like her to take on the Titmus races 200 (relay spot, 400 & 800), but the weaker event is the 1500 in Australia.

Miss M

400, 800 and 1500 at trials, qualify for the team and take a heat swim in the 4×200 for a medal. I don’t think Lani has the speed to seriously challenge for a top 4 spot, but you want to rest Titmus and McKeon in the heats.


Definitely she should be aiming at 800/1500 for Tokyo. I’m sure she will still swim the 400/200 at our trials, so anything that happens in those events will be a bonus. After Tokyo she can think about ditching the 1500 if she wants.


Pignatiello’s CR was from 2012.


Pretty sure Pignatiello is only 19 now though?


Ah yep, the entry sheets are wrong. I didn’t think an even year seemed right.


It was from 2017. Also, World Junior Championships have been held biennially since 2011. There were no Junior World Championships in 2012.


As I said in the live finals recap, she now owns every freestyle record in the Pallister family, demolishing the last (8-24.15) record Mum Janine held from 1988. And she warmed up for this with a 55.24 anchor in the mixed medley relay heats in the morning.

I’m thinking she may cruise for a win in the 1500 final instead of going for a time as she will have a leg of the AUS 4×1 freestyle relay to swim in the same session as that 1500. Expecting her to give it her all in the 400 and 200 frees though.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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