Franko Grgic Hits 7:45.92 800 Free For World Juniors Gold, Croatian Record


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16-year-old Franko Grgic of Croatia raced his way to gold in the men’s 800m freestyle in Budapest tonight, taking the World Junior Championships title in a new lifetime best of 7:45.92.

The teen led the field wire-to-wire, keeping a relatively comfortable advantage over Ilia Sibirtsev of Russia and Thomas Neill of Australia, both of whom also landed on the podium in silver and bronze, respectively. Sibertsev touched in 7:48.05 to Neill’s 7:48.65. Neill already earned 400m free silver on night 1 here in Budapest.

For Grgic, the teen’s previous career-fastest in this 800m free rested at the 7:53.75 he posted in Zagreb this past March. Tonight the Croatian hacked about 8 seconds off of that mark to produce the first sub-7:50 outing of his career, overtaking the previous National Record of 7:51.78 held by Marin Mogic since last year’s European Championships. Mogic finished 8th in that final in Glasgow.

Splits for Mogic’s old record of 7:51.78 from 2018:

Splits for Grgic’s new record of 7:45.92 from tonight:

Grgic already holds the Croatian National Record in the men’s 1500m free, having rocked a lifetime best of 14:56.55 at the Croatian Team Championships this past March. Later this summer Grgic took the 400m free and 1500m free European Youth Olympic Festival gold medals in respective efforts of 3:52.10 and 15:04.75.

At just 16, Grgic now checks-in as the 25th fastest performer all-time, any age, in this 800m freestyle. His mark tonight fell just .25 shy of Mack Horton’s time of 7:45.67 established back in 2013, before World Junior Records became official.

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1 year ago

No comments for such a swimming beauty???
Grgic is the most amazing talent watched at these Champs.

Reply to  nuotofan
1 year ago

He sure is Nuoto. Such a mature racer.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

Also, when he walked out on deck before the race, did you see the infectious smile & exuberance on his face? And he was THIS close to Mack Horton’s record too. He’s got at least one more JWC crack at it in two years.

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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