American/NCAP swimmer Andrew Seliskar broke the two-minute barrier in the 200 long course meter IM on Tuesday morning in Dubai at the World Junior Championships, and in the process broke his own National Age Group Record.
His 1:59.91 settled clear of the 2:00.21 he set at Junior Nationals just two weeks ago, with the prior record belonging to Michael Phelps at 2:00.86. Seliskar won’t turn 17 and move into the next age group until September 26th.
The comparative splits between the two races:
In the process, Seliskar would also cut a full second off of the 2:00.90 that Japan’s Kosuke Hagino set in 2011 as the old Meet Record; Hagino would win the silver medal in the event at the 2013 World Championships at just 18 years old.
The 2nd seed goes to Canada’s Evan White in 2:01.53, with the second American Gunnar Bentz touching 3rd in 2:01.66. Seliskar was one of only three swimmers in the top 15 in prelims who beat their seed time in the race (all three wound up finaling).
Women’s 100 Free – Prelims
Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey took the top seed in the girls’ 100 free in 55.20. That crushes her own Hong Kong 15-17 National Age Group Record that had stood at 55.78 from April.
American Cierra Runge took 2nd in 55.55, and Russia’s Maria Baklakova, junior champion of Europe, was 3rd in 55.61.
Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, whose ‘other’ swims are almost as exciting at this meet as are her primary breaststrokes, is the 4th seed in 55.65 and will have a double tonight (the 50 breaststroke final will be first).
Other notable semi-finalists include Australia’s Shayna Jack in 56.00, American Mary Schneider in 56.15, and the other Russian Rozaliya Nasretdinova in 56.24.
Men’s 100 Fly – Prelims
Matthew Josa was about half-a-second from his best time to take the top seed in the boys’ 100 fly in 52.92, followed by Japans Takaya Yasue in 53.69.
The real revelation, though, was Ryan Coetzee from South Africa, who beat his seed time by over a second with a 53.93. South Africa is badly in need of more young blood to join Chad le Clos in turning over to the new generation of swimming in that country, and his improvement is a great sign.
The only other swimmer under 54 seconds in prelims was Brazil’s Pedro Vieira in 53.99. The second American, Justin Lynch, took 8th in 54.32.
Women’s 200 Fly – Prelims
Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi, fresh off of a European Junior title, took the top seed in the girls’ 200 fly in 2:10.24, easily ahead of Japan’s Misuzu Yabu in 2:11.55. Shockingly, if Szilagyi can hold that position in finals (or even close to it), it would be Hungary’s very first medal in the history of the meet.
It would be a tall order for anybody to move up and knock her off of the podium; American Katie McLaughlin was 3rd in 2:13.26, three seconds behind, and Japan’s Jurina Shiga was 4th in 2:13.77.
Canadian 14-year old Mary-Sophie Harvey also made the final in 2:16.46 as the 7th seed, one spot ahead of American Becca Mann (2:16.58).
Men’s 200 Free – Prelims
Fresh off of his spectacular victory in the 400 free, Australian Mack Horton was back on his saddle on Tuesday for the top seed, and another best time, in the 200 free with a 1:48.70.
James Guy, who was on Britain’s senior Worlds team, was 2nd in prelims in 1:48.84, followed by Italy’s Andrea D’Arrigo in 1:48.89.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Dylan Carter swam his lifetime best with a 1:49.39 to sit 5th, Italy got a second swimmer into the final with Nicolangelo di Fabio in 6th, Brazil’s Luiz Altamir was 7th in 1:49.90, and Caeleb Dressel from the United States narrowly missed disaster by slipping in 8th in 1:50.12. He finaled by less than a tenth of a second. That tenth was all that kept the Americans from going without a finalist in the second-straight freestyle event at this meet.
The other American, Blake Pieroni, was 16th in 1:51.41.
Mixed 400 Medley Relay – Prelims
In the first-ever Junior Worlds mixed relay, the Russians took the top seed in 3:52.32, going with Grigory Tarasevich on the backstroke (55.63), Ilya Khomenko on the breaststroke (1:02.24), and finishing with their two girls Svetlana Chimrova (59.20 on the fly) and Maria Baklakova (55.27 on the free).
That was a very different swim than the Americans, who led off with Clara Smiddy, passed to Carsten Vissering, then had Courtney Weaver on the fly leg and Paul Powers anchoring. It’s hard to predict what the Americans will do with this relay in finals, though one would guess it has some changes coming, but they need to make up more than a second from their 3:53.60 to catch the Russians.
The Lithuanian’s, suddenly more than just Ruta Meilutyte, sit 3rd in 3:55.74. Meilutyte split just 1:06.97 on that relay, so they could improve in finals as well.
Women’s 800 Free – Early Heats
And closing the session, in the timed-final heats of the girls’ 800 free, Mexico’s Allyson Macias sits first so far in 8:49.52, though that is unlikely to hold up for a medal.