With FINA officially beginning recognition of Junior World Records on April 1st, Australian 17-year-old Mack Horton has now taken down two of them within the first week.
On Tuesday of Australian nationals, Horton went 3:44.60 to break the official 400 free record, and Sunday night he went 14:51.55 to add the 1500 free to that haul.The current FINA records stand as the winning times from the Junior World Championships last summer. That means Horton officially broke his own record of 14:56.60.
Of course, the qualifier on these Junior World Records is that FINA is not retroactively assigning any records to previously-swum faster times. In both cases, Horton’s Junior World Records are not even Australian World Records – Ian Thorpe still holds the 400 free and Grant Hackett’s 14:48.63 from 1999 is the fastest junior 1500 time on record for an Aussie.
Nonetheless, this was a big swim for the rising Horton, knocking 5 seconds off his incoming seed and powering him from the third prelims seed to a national championship. Hackett’s Aussie record was set at age 18, so Horton does have another year to try and knock down the final three seconds to add the Australian mark to his World Record.