Thomas Neill Ends World Juniors With 1500 Silver, Enters Top 10 Aussies List


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  • Duna Arena, Budapest (Hungary)
  • Pool swimming: Tuesday, August 20 – Sunday, August 25, 2019
  • Heats 9:30am GMT+2 (3:30 am EDT / 12:30 am PDT)/ Semifinals and Finals 5:30pm GMT+2 (11:30am EDT / 8:30am PDT)
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17-year-old Thomas Neill of Australia closed out his 2019 World Junior Championships campaign in style, reaping his 3rd individual medal of this elite international meet.

Neill had earlier snagged 400m free silver in a new lifetime best of 3:46.27, followed by bronze in the men’s 800m free in another career-quickest effort of 7:48.65.

Tonight, however, the Rackley teen threw down a big-time 14:59.19 in the men’s 1500m freestyle to take another silver, but also check-in among Australia’s greatest in this event on both an age level, as well on the senior level.

Entering these World Junior Championships, Neill’s personal best in the men’s 1500m free rested at the 15:15.95 he produced for gold at this year’s Australian Age Championships. However, chasing Croatia’s dynamo Franko Grgic tonight, who blasted a new World Junior Record of 14:46.09 en route to gold, Neill threw down the first sub-15:00 outing of his young career for silver. Russia’s Ilia Sibirtsev wrangled up bronze in 15:05.17.

As for Neill, his 14:59.19 outing now checks him in as the 5th fastest 17-year-old Aussie ever. He sits behind Dolphins legends Kieran Perkins, Jordan Harrison, Mack Horton, and Grant Hackett.

Broadening to the entire Aussie contingent over the years, all ages, Neill’s time renders him the 9th quickest in Australian history.

All-Time Australian 1500m Freestyle Performers – 17 Years of Age

  1. 14:50.58 Kieren Perkins Commercial Perth World Championships 06.01.91
  2. 14:51.02 Jordan Harrison Miami Adelaide Australian Champs 26.04.13
  3. 14:51.55 Mack Horton Melb. Vicentre Brisbane Australian Champs 01.04.14
  4. 14:51.70 Grant Hackett Miami Perth World Championships 12.01.98
  5. 14:59.19 Thomas Neill Rackley World Junior Championships 25.08.19
  6. 15:11.25 Glen Housman CQ Aquatics Perth Aus. Champs 03.08.89
  7. 15:12.62 Jason Plummer St Peters Western Edinburgh Comm. Games 25.07.86
  8. 15:13.38 Jarrod Poort Wests Illawarra Adelaide Aus. Champs 15.03.12
  9. 15:14.49 Daniel Kowalski Miami Brisbane Australian Age 10.04.93
  10. 15:16.78 Nathan Robinson St Peters Western Brisbane Australian Age 16.04.17

All-Time 1500m Freestyle Performers – All Ages

  1. 14:34.56 Grant Hackett 1981 Fukuoka 29.07.01
  2. 14:39.54 Mack Horton 1996 Adelaide 14.04.16
  3. 14:41.66 Kieren Perkins 1973 Victoria 24.08.94
  4. 14:47.09 Jack McLoughlin 1995 Gold Coast 10.04.18
  5. 14.51.02 Jordan Harrison 1995 Adelaide 03.05.13
  6. 14:53.18 Craig Stevens 1980 Sydney 29.03.08
  7. 14:53.42 Daniel Kowalski 1975 Rome 09.09.94
  8. 14:53.59 Glen Housman 1971 Adelaide 13.12.89
  9. 14:59.19 Thomas Neill Budapest 25.08.19
  10. 15:00.96 Robert Hurley 1980 Sydney 21.03.10

Splits for Neill’s 1500m free tonight from Budapest:

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3 years ago

Just read that only 9 gold medalists from junior worlds from 2006-2017 have then stood on an Olympic podium .

13 % Chinese person
3 years ago

Better than that , he backed up for a 49.00 anchor on the relay .

Reply to  13 % Chinese person
3 years ago

Australian male sprinting is so bad right now that we have to rely on Neill to back up after a 1500m to anchor the medley relay.

Reply to  Troyy
3 years ago

Poor performances from Thomas Hauck and Joshua Smith and others too. Its only him in men side along with decent See Bom Lee.

Reply to  DRAMA KING
3 years ago

Yes I agree.. I’m disappointed in the severe lack of depth in men’s junior ranks at these champs .. Thomas Neill and then a big gap to the rest of the boys it seems

Reply to  DRAMA KING
3 years ago

Thomas Hauck and Joshua Edwards-Smith are both 16 atm and will potentially have another crack at JWC in 2021 so potentially would both be right up there barring injury etc so watch this space. Both broke Mitch Larkin’s 16yr 200 Back record at Age this year BTW.

Reply to  DRAMA KING
3 years ago

Hauck was 2 seconds slower in his 400 IM heat than his PB ( but then so were a lot of people ) but he did do a 1.48.65 split in the 200 free relay and was the youngest swimmer in the top 3 teams in that relay .

3 years ago

Hope he continues to improve for next year

Off topic – whatever happened to Jordan Harrison ?? He was so promising but then just disappeared

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  Verram
3 years ago

Broke his wrist in a cycling accident . Lost momentum .& never really got back into it . I think he got a place at Bond University maybe with finsncial benefits & hopefully did well .

Reply to  Verram
3 years ago

My understanding he had severe back injury over last few years and has or will have a spinal operation! Dame shame could of being on of Australia’s greatest

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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