Postponed Sr Worlds Gives US a Crack at Full-Blown Junior Worlds Roster

With the postponement of the 2022 World Championships to 2023 now confirmed, one of the swimming community’s biggest questions has been: what will the Americans do? Much of the world has other international competitions, like the European Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, to serve as potential “replacement” championship meets, but the Americans now seem to be left high and dry after the 2022 Pan Pacs were pushed to 2026 and with USA Swimming recently announcing that they will not send a contingent to the 2022 World University Games.

There’s no doubt that the lack of a 2022 international championship meet is a problem that the United States will need to solve, but there is a small group of elite Americans that will not be totally in the dark: the top American juniors. 

The 2022 World Junior Championships are still scheduled to take place in Kazan, Russia August 23rd-28th, with girls born 2005 to 2008 and boys born in 2004 to 2007 eligible to compete. Historically, the United States has not placed a top priority on the meet, opting to have their top juniors skip the meet in favor of senior-level international competition. 

This meet has been a subordinated meet on USA Swimming’s priority list, though. The last three World Junior Championships have seen several top American juniors skip the meet to compete in either the World Championships or the Pan-American Games, including three swimmers who went on to win medals in Tokyo in 2021. 




Despite missing some of their top swimmers, the Americans still performed well at all three of those championships. The US won the most total medals at all three of those World Juniors, though Australia officially topped the 2015 medal table after winning 9 golds to the Americans’ 6. 

Several World Juniors-eligible swimmers dot the 2022 US National Team roster, including Sandpiper Olympic teammates Bella Sims (800 free) and Katie Grimes (800/1500 free, 10k) and Fishers’ Jo Jo Ramey (200 back), meaning that these three seem likely to head to Kazan in August, though USA Swimming has yet to release the qualifying procedure for the meet. There are no junior men on the US National team, with University of Pennsylvania 19-year-old freshman Matt Fallon serving as the team’s youngest member. 

The Americans have historically taken the approach of sending their swimmers to the highest level meet possible, even if it means potentially sacrificing their event lineup. For example, in 2017, Regan Smith broke onto the international scene as a 15 year old when she made the final of the 200 back at the 2017 World Championships, her only event at the meet. The 2022 summer now gives the US the opportunity to take the opposite approach, allowing their top juniors to swim fuller event lineups at the World Juniors instead of a limited lineup at the senior level. 

Globally, the World Junior Championships is held in high regard and is a stepping stone for many of the world’s top swimmers on their way to senior-level success. Several Tokyo Olympic medalists competed in either the 2019, 2017 or 2015 championships, including Ahmed Hafnaoui, Kyle Chalmers, Nicolo Martinenghi, Kristof Milak, Zac Stubbletty-Cook and Kate Douglass

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2 years ago

What are the odds that this gets cancelled or countries decide not to send a team if Russia invades Ukraine?

tea rex
2 years ago

Is just top two performers/event from the 2021-22 season are eligible? Usually there’s more to it than that.

Corn Pop
2 years ago

Jen , Corn Pop here .

” I read there is a list of pre emptive punative measures the admin has decided for Russia.
If as is logical Russia reciprocates things will be equally difficult for American & interests in Russia .

With this situation in play , why are you sending an official US team of juniors to Russia ?

2 years ago

just send the entire Sandpipers national team lol

2 years ago

Is worlds for sure off?

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

FINA has not made a public announcement.

FINA has told every federation that LC Worlds won’t be happening in 2022.

This doesn’t mean that FINA can’t change their minds and say that either 1) they’re back on, or 2) “the media made it all up.”

But, there is overwhelming sourcing and evidence that FINA has told federations that there will be no World Aquatics Championships in 2022. We’ve spoken to no fewer than 8 national federations that have confirmed it, not a single national federation has denied it, other outlets have spoken to multiple national federations, and Vladimir Salnikov, a member of the FINA Bureaue, has confirmed it in Russian media.

Especially in the era of COVID, nothing is ever… Read more »

2 years ago

Realistically on the men’s side I see heilman having an outside shot at the National team as well as I believe Bloebaum (don’t remember if he turns 19 this year or not) and potentially Kharun that are or still will be jrs by the end of the year.

Reply to  PFA
2 years ago

Carl was born in 2003, so he turns 19 this year.

2 years ago

Has fina officially postponed words yet?

2 years ago

Reagan Smith swam at 2017 World Champs and then swam later that summer at World Jrs.
9 2020 US Olympians were on 2017 Jr team including Douglas, Walsh, Regan Smith, Kieran Smith, Sullivan, Michael Andrew, along with Brinegar, Callan, Kibler not to mention 2019 Curzan, Huske, Bacon. There may be others.

Reply to  Rev
2 years ago

Bacon was not on 2019 jr team. Pan Ams I believe.