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
  • Meet site
  • Entries book
  • FinaTV Live Stream (subscription required)
  • 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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3 years ago

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.

3 years ago

Pignatiello’s CR was from 2012.

Reply to  Troyy
3 years ago

Pretty sure Pignatiello is only 19 now though?

Reply to  Samesame
3 years ago

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

Reply to  Troyy
3 years ago

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

3 years ago

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

Reply to  Verram
3 years ago

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.

Reply to  Oceanian
3 years ago

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
Reply to  Robbos
3 years ago

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.

Reply to  Miss M
3 years ago

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.

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Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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