SwimSwam Pulse: 79% More Excited For World Juniors Than WUGs

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which of the two end-of-season international meets they were more excited for:


Question: Which end-of-summer meet are you more excited for?

  • World University Games – 20.7%
  • World Junior Championships – 79.3%

SwimSwam voters overwhelmingly expressed more interest in and excitement for the World Junior Championships than the World University Games.

That’s despite the World University Games (also known as the Summer Universiade) having faster winning times in more than half of the events. It also echoes a trend we’ve seen since the early days of SwimSwam in which fans tend to enjoy age group swimming more than senior level swimming, even when the hard-and-fast times themselves aren’t as fast.

Certainly there’s plenty to be said about watching the future of the sport. Youth meets are perhaps more unpredictable as well, with young swimmers in better position to have major time drops or shocking breakout swims.

It also speaks somewhat to fan ire with the heightened profile age group swimming has taken on in swimming-specific media. There are commenters that criticize coverage of National Age Group or junior world records in 10&under, 11-12 and even 13-14 age groups. On the other hand, these polling results only confirm what we’ve seen in our internal metrics for years – fan interest in youth swimming is at an all-time high, and far more fans want to be updated on the top junior swimmers than have swimming media ignore those levels.

For fans interested, the breakdown of winning times between World Juniors and World University Games was pretty interesting. Here’s a visual look at which events were faster at each meet, based purely on the gold medal times from each final:

World Junior Championships World University Games
Women Men Men Women
X X 50 free
X X 100 free
200 free X X
400 free X X
800 free X X
1500 free X X
X X 50 back
X 100 back X
X 200 back X
X 50 breast X
X 100 breast X
200 breast X X
X 50 fly X
X X 100 fly
X X 200 fly
200 IM X X
400 IM X X
X 4×100 free relay X
X 4×200 free relay X
X 4×100 medley relay X
18 TOTAL: 22


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters whether they support the World Swimming Association as an alternative governing body to FINA:

Do you support the World Swimming Association as an alternative to FINA?

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The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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bobo gigi

Normal. We see the future swimming stars at world juniors or at junior pan pacs while, expect a few big senior names, we see B-teams at WUGS.

Steve Nolan

Some people love “the future!!” more than others…

Harry Dresden

I have no evidence to support this, but I suspect that if we looked back at the last several years of both meets, there are far more WUG participants than Jr Worlds participants on the world stage right now.


Holy crap the World Juniors dominated the best gold medal times in butterfly across the board, and in the women’s relays.

Not that I’m too surprised that the Canadian Junior women at least beat their University counterparts on the relays.

Nor am I surprised that the University age people swept the best times in the Individual Medleys. It’s really hard for younger swimmers to master all four strokes.

Swim Mom Yo

It was definitely fun to watch. Plus more accessible.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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