Final Medal Table & Top 10 Swims From 2024 European Junior Championships

2024 EUROPEAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2024 European Junior Championships wrapped up last night from Vilnius, Lithuania with European Aquatics revealing digital media records for the 6-day event.

European Aquatics cited 27 million video views, including a 400% increase on Instagram from last year’s competition in Rome.

On the medal front, Italy reigned supreme as the overall winner, capturing 25 pieces of hardware. That was twice the number as runner-up Hungary while Turkey rounded out the top 3 performing nations with 10 medals.

Italy’s total included 13 golds, 9 silvers and 3 bronze, with its gold haul more than triple that of Hungary, Turkey, Romania and Lithuania.

Host nation Lithuania improved by leaps and bounds from last year, improving on their 2023 finish of 13th to placing 5th this time around.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Italy 13 9 3 25
2 Hungary 4 3 4 11
3 Türkiye 4 3 3 10
4 Romania 4 2 1 7
5 Lithuania 4 1 2 7
6 Spain 3 5 3 11
7 Great Britain 3 4 6 13
8 Denmark 2 1 2 5
9 Germany 1 4 8 13
10 Croatia 1 3 0 4
11 Belgium 1 1 1 3
11 Ireland 1 1 1 3
13 Estonia 1 0 0 1
13 Greece 1 0 0 1
15 France 0 3 2 5
16 Bulgaria 0 1 2 3
17 Slovakia 0 1 0 1
18 Czechia 0 0 2 2
19 Austria 0 0 1 1

Let’s revisit the top 10 performances of this year’s competition before we close the chapter and look ahead to the Paris Olympic Games.

#10 Robert-Andrei Badea‘s 400 IM Meet Record

Romanian 16-year-old Robert-Andrei Badea pulled off an IM sweep in speedy fashion, taking down an 11-year-old meet record in the 400 IM with a winning time of 4:14.37.

In the process, he lowered his own Romanian record of 4:16.43 from April by more than two seconds.

Badea previously topped the 200m IM Euro Jrs podium in a result of 2:00.05

#9 Theodora Taylor Clocks British Junior Record in 100 Breaststroke

15-year-old Theodora Taylor of Great Britain raced her way to bronze in the girls’ 100m breaststroke. She clocked a time of 1:08.59, dropping more than half a second off her previous best of 1:09.19 from March of this year.

Taylor’s time shimmied under the former British Age Record for 15-year-olds which stood at 1:08.60 from 2009. It also obliterated the 1:09.61 logged as she placed 2nd in the B-Final of the event at this year’s British Olympic Trials.

Taylor also notched a personal best of 2:28.71 en route to claiming silver in the 200m breast earlier in the competition.

#8 Amelie Blocksidge Nails British Age Record in 800 Free

British 15-year-old Amelie Blocksidge established a new national age record en route to the girls’ 800 free victory in 8:30.05.

Blocksidge dropped more than two seconds off her previous-best 8:32.65 from last July, in the process dipping under the British age record for 15-year-old girls (8:31.56) set by Holly Hibbott back in 2015.

The teen topped the domestic podium at this year’s Trials in a time of 8:32.61.

#7 Sara Curtis of Italy Hits 24.67 50 Free

17-year-old national record holder Sara Curtis of Italy wasted no time staking her claim on the girls’ 50m freestyle event.

She ripped a new championship record of 24.67 out of the heats, a time which destroyed the previous meet mark of 24.87 Russian Daria Tatarinova put on the books 3 years ago.

Curtis’ result fell just .12 outside her senior Italian national record of 24.56 established at March’s Italian Championships. Her performance also easily overtook the 25.14 she posted en route to topping the podium in this event at the 2023 edition of this competition.

Curtis followed up her 24.67 with a semi swim of 24.73 and ultimately a gold medal-worthy result of 24.68 in the final.

#6 Lithuanian Kristupas Trepocka‘s 1:47.74 200 Free

The first gold for Lithuania came in the form of Kristupas Trepocka‘s 200m free victory.

The 18-year-old cleared the field with a solid time of 1:47.74, erasing the 1:48.59 top-seeded personal best he logged during the previous night’s semi-final.

Trepocka split 25.23/27.38 (52.61)/27.74/27.39 as the sole competitor to dip under the 1:48 threshold.

Trepocka’s best entering this competition rested at the 1:49.13 put up during the prelims at last month’s senior European Championships, so he managed to hack well over a second with his statement-making performance.

#5 Vivien Jackl’s (HUN) 4:39.28 400 IM

Hungarian dynamo Vivien Jackl established a new European Junior Championships record while racing the girls’ 400m IM, the first event of the entire competition.

15-year-old Jackl ripped a time of 4:39.28 to take the event decisively, producing the sole sub-4:40 result of the field.

Jackl’s time overtook the previous meet mark of 4:40.64 champion Alba Vazquez Ruiz put on the books in 2019. It also beat the 4:40.66 Jackl notched en route to taking the gold in Belgrade’s edition of these championships last year.

As quick as Jackl’s outing was this evening, the teen owns a lifetime best of 4:34.96, the monster effort she produced in Budapest earlier this year to become the 6th-best performer on the season.

#4 Eneli Jefimova‘s 1:06.08 Estonian 100 Breaststroke Record

17-year-old Eneli Jefimova established a new Estonian national record as she captured the top seed out of the girls’ 100m breaststroke semi-finals.

Jefimova stopped the clock at 1:06.08, a time which beat the 1:06.41 she put up for gold at last month’s senior European Championships. Her outing also surpassed the 1:06.18 notched in the semi-finals at the 2023 World Championships.

Although the teen was just a hair slower in this Euro Jrs final, posting 1:06.12, she still beat the field by over a second and a half in her dominant performance. Jefimova now ranks 14th in the world.

#3 Tajus Juska Becomes Youngest Swimmer To Ever Break 49 Seconds in 100 Free

On the heels of his head-turning time in the 50m free, Juskas of Lithuania upped the ante even further by becoming the youngest swimmer ever to break the 49-second barrier in the 100m free.

Juska reached the wall in 48.74, dropping almost a second off his previous-best 49.55 that qualified him 7th for the final.

His first-ever foray under the 49-second barrier rendered him the fastest 15-year-old of all time by more than a few tenths ahead of USA’s Olympic qualifier Thomas Heilman (49.06).

Fastest 15-Year-Old 100 Freestylers

  1. Tajus Juska (LTU) – 48.74, 2024
  2. Thomas Heilman (USA) – 49.06, 2022
  3. Flynn Southam (AUS) – 49.55, 2021
  4. Tie: Jacob Whittle (GBR) / Maximus Williamson (USA) – 50.14, 2020/2022

#2 Tajus Juska (LTU) 22.34 50 Freestyle

15-year-old Lithuanian sprinter Tajus Juska captured the bronze medal in the 50m free, clocking a lifetime best of 22.34 in front of the home crowd.

That annihilated his previous career-quickest of 22.84 from February as well as the 22.58 he posted in the semi-finals at these Euro Jrs.

Juska’s result rendered him the fastest 15-year-old in history, only .01 away from American Michael Andrews’ U.S. boys 15-16 National Age Group Record. Juska is also now faster than reigning Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel (USA) was at his age (22.39 in 2013).

Fastest 15-Year-Old 100 Freestylers Ever

  1. Tajus Juska (LTU) – 22.34, 2024
  2. Artem Selin (GER) – 22.60, 2018
  3. Vladyslav Bukhov (UKR) – 22.75, 2018
  4. Federico Burdisso (ITA) – 22.79, 2018
  5. Michael Andrew (USA) – 22.82, 2014

#1 Kuzey Tuncelli’s (TUR) 1500 Free World Junior Record

On night 3 of the competition, Turkey’s Kuzey Tuncelli unleashed a stunning performance in the boys’ 1500 freestyle.

Tuncelli routed the elite field, getting to the wall more than 22 seconds ahead of the next closest swimmer. His winning effort of 14:41.89 took down Croatian Franko Grgic‘s World Junior and European Junior Record of 14:46.09 set at the 2019 World Junior Championships.

Tuncelli, 16, knocked more than 12 seconds off his Turkish Record and lifetime best of 14:54.16, set in July 2023. His swim also erased 17 seconds off the European Junior Championship Record of 14:58.89 that he set last year en route to gold.

The Turk now ranks 4th in the world this season.

2023-2024 LCM Men 1500 Free

Daniel IRL
Wiffen
02/18
14:34.07
2Robert
FINKE
USA14:40.3806/23
3Gregorio
PALTRINIERI
ITA14:41.3811/28
4Kuzey
Tuncelli
TURWJR 14:41.8907/04
5Florian
WELLBROCK
GER14:42.2804/28
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Luis
10 days ago

Taylor breaking a record by .01 is fine, but Smilte placing ahead and lowering a PB by two and a half seconds is a nothing burger?

MastersSwimmer
10 days ago

Some really brilliant swimming… but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay what WA were asking to stream.

It may seem a reasonable price to WA but if you add up £60+ here and there for the big championships, over the year, it’s unaffordable.

The heats weren’t interesting. They usually aren’t when there are semis. (I wish swimming would get rid of semis- are they just filler for the finals programmes?)

At least the finals were in my time zone. Who is gonna pay for championships not in their own timer zone ? I’ll get up all hours for the Olympics, and probably for worlds finals but WA needs to rethink their pricing if they want a committed,… Read more »

Mako
10 days ago

Kuzey’s performance is incredible, yet it seems we aren’t giving it the attention it deserves. If he were an Australian swimmer, we’d have hundreds of comments; if he were American, we’d have thousands. Considering he’s only 16, it appears he has the potential to take the 1500 to new heights.

PBJSwimming
10 days ago

Those 100M free times are fire! 22.34? Wow 🙂

Coach MM
10 days ago

If you start from 10th to 1st it is more exciting for the readers:)

About Retta Race

Retta Race

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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