Delfina Pignatiello Becomes 4th U18 Under 16 Minutes in Women’s 1500


17-year old Argentinian swimmer Delfina Pignatiello has become just the 4th swimmer (that we can find) to go faster than 16 minutes in the women’s 1500 free before her 18th birthday. Swimming at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships on Sunday in Indianapolis, United States, Pignatiello swam a Championship Record and winning time of 15:59.51. Unlike her prior swim this week in the 800, that’ not quite a South American Record (Kristel Kobrich, Chile – 15:54.30), but it is the fastest ever by an Argentine.

It broke the old Championship Record of 16:05.61 done by Italy’s Siomna Quadarella at the 2015 World Junior Championships, and won the race by more than 16 seconds.

The other 4 swimmers that we could find who were faster than 16 minutes in the event prior to their 18th birthday were the current World Record and World Junior Record holder Katie Ledecky, China’s Xuanxu Li, and former World Record holder Janet Evans – who broke the barrier just before her 17th birthday.

17 & Under All-Time Rankings (Unofficial)

  1. Katie Lededcky, USA – 15:28.36, 2014
  2. Janet Evans, USA – 15:52.10, 1988
  3. Xuanxu Li, China – 15:58.02, 2011
  4. Delfina Pignatiello, Argentina – 2017

Pignatiello now has wins in the 800 (8:25.22) and 1500 freestyles as well as a silver in the 400 free (4:08.33) at the meet. All three are Argentina National Records in addition to the South American Record in the 800.

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Her swim was amazing and she was so strong from start to finish. It was fun to watch. Question – if she is turning 18 on Sunday; how was she allowed to swim at this meet? I thought you had to still be 17 on December 31st. Or is that just a USA Swimming Rule?


That’s impossible, she was born in 2000?


I’m pretty sure it means it was Sunday that she did the swim, just phrased a bit weirdly..


Date of birth April 19, 2000


Date of birth April 19, 2000


There is a tool you can use. It’s called the internet. They put what you want to look for, and boom, there you have it. It’s easy, do not be afraid.


The male Argentinian who was suspended last year also had amazing swims.

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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