Top Performances Of The Inaugural LEN U23 Swimming Championships


The inaugural U23 Swimming Championships concluded over the weekend with the final night of action wrapping up on Sunday, August 13th from Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

For this first edition, LEN allowed one nation from four other continents to participate, although Russia and Belarus were still banned from competing.  A total of 399 athletes representing 44 nations competed for meet titles and cold hard cash.

European swimmers earned the actual gold, silver and bronze medals while non-European athletes were awarded with commemorative medals for their efforts.

A total of €5,000 ($5,454) in prize money was awarded with half going to the top male performances and half going to the top female performances of the meet by the World Aquatics points system.

According to that points system, the following athletes scored the top-ranked performances over the course of the three-day affair.

Top 5 Male Performances According to World Aquatics Points

  1. Daniel Wiffen (IRL), men’s 1500m freestyle – 14:35.79, 983 pts
  2. Sven Schwarz (GER), men’s 1500m freestyle – 14:43.53, 958 pts
  3. Luca De Tullio (ITA), men’s 1500m freestyle – 14:54.31, 923 pts
  4. Petar Mitsin (BUL), men’s 400m freestyle – 3:46.16, 921 pts
  5. Lucien Vergnes (FRA), men’s 200m breaststroke – 2:10.04, 908 pts

Top 5 Female Performances According to World Aquatics Points

  1. Anita Bottazzo (ITA), women’s 50m breaststroke (heats) – 30.09, 924 pts
  2. Isabelle Stadden (USA), women’s 100m backstroke – 59.2,7 910 pts
  3. Tessa Giele (NED), women’s 50m backstroke – 27.86, 908 pts
  4. Isabel Gose (GER), women’s 800m freestyle – 8:20.80, 907 pts
  5. Mona McSharry (IRL), women’s 50m breaststroke – 30.37, 897 pts

Although not ranked within the top 5, these additional performances from Dublin were also worth noting.

Gabriel Jett (USA) – 51.53 100m Butterfly Heat

20-year-old Gabriel Jett of the United States wasted no time making his presence known, taking on the men’s 100m butterfly in a head-turning performance during day one prelims.

The Cal Bear ripped a new lifetime best en route to capturing the top seed, touching in 51.53 (24.44/27.09). That erased his previous career-quickest result of 51.61 (24.42/27.19) from this year’s U.S. National Championships.

Jett continued his momentum into the final where he topped the podium in a time of 51.65. As impressive as these two performances were, however, Jett wound up placing 18th out of the 200m fly heats, registering a time of 2:03.85 the following day. He also ended up bowing out of the 200m IM event entirely.

Neza Klancar (SLO) – 24.76 50m Freestyle

Slovenia’s Neza Klancar roared her way to the wall first in the 50m free, stopping the clock in 24.76. That established a new national record en route to gold, slicing .04 off of the 24.80 she posted at this year’s World Championships.

But the 23-year-old wasn’t done on night two of the competition, doubling up on that individual gold medal with three additional rounds of the 50m free as the ‘skins’ event.

Klancar came in 2nd place in round 1, hitting 25.37 then followed up with a top spot in round 2 with a time of 25.85. The Slovenian finally touched in 25.83 to earn the skins gold in the final round ahead of Julia Dennis of the United States who touched in 26.66 as the runner-up.

Stergios-Mario Bilas (GRE) – 21.83 50m Freestyle

Greek ace Stergios-Marios Bilas produced a monster performance to take the men’s 50m free gold, powering his way to a big-time personal best of 21.83.

After already hitting the first sub-22 second result of his career in 21.98 as the 2nd-seeded swimmer out of the heats, the 21-year-old dropped another .15 to grab the gold and dip under the World Aquatics ‘A’ time needed for Paris 2024 (21.96).

He joined national record holder Kristian Gkolomeev as the only Greek swimmers ever to have delved under the 22-second barrier in this 50m free event.

Patrick Sammon (USA) – 48.53 100m Freestyle

America’s Patrick Sammon clinched the men’s 100m freestyle gold on the final day of competition in a time of 48.53.

Sammon was right with the field at the halfway mark, opening in 23.43. But the Arizona State University Sun Devil turned it on in the final 20m to ultimately get there in a result just off his career-quickest of 48.46 from this year’s U.S. Nationals.

Sammon also hit a split of 48.18 as the anchor in the heats of the mixed medley relay and led-off the mixed 4x100m free relay in a time of 48.68 to make it three sub-49-second 100m freestyles on the meet. He also nabbed silver in the 200m free in a mark of 1:47.27 after registering a heats swim of 1:46.91 in the heats for the 2nd-best performance of his career.

Isabel Gose (GER) – 4:05.96 400m Freestyle

Isabel Gose won the women’s 400m freestyle handily achieving a time of 4:05.96 to beat the field by well over 2 seconds. She led the race from blocks to the final wall, hitting 2:00.63 at the halfway mark to improve upon her heats result of 4:08.51.

Gose owns a lifetime best of 4:03.02 in this event from the prelims of this year’s World Championships. There in Fukuoka, the German ultimately finished in 7th place in 4:05.27 so here time here was within range of that performance.  The German is the reigning European champion in the 400m free, clocking a time of 4:04.13 in Rome last year.

Gose collected a trio of freestyle medals, finishing on top of the 400m, 800m and 1500m events.

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3 months ago

Why do the longer races attract more FINA points in general? Especially in the men’s events. Someone explain it to me again.

Reply to  Joel
3 months ago

My understanding is that the point system is based on World Record for that race. The same percentage difference from the world record between a 1500 free and a 50 Breast would garner the same points.

Thamos Hailmen
3 months ago

Nice swim by patrick Salmon

3 months ago

Gabe Jett puts out some very impressive swims, but seems to have some consistency issues at big meets. Lifetime best in what arguably hasn’t been his signature event (100 M fly), followed by a rough swim in his signature (200M). Seems like Cal is focusing on his strength and speed – hopefully his endurance for the 200 will be there at trials time next year. I’d say it’s his best shot at a spot in Paris.

Foreign Embassy
Reply to  James
3 months ago

It looks like he got sick or had an injury after 100fly. He wouldn’t go 51.5 then go 2:03 2fly unless there was an issue…

About Retta Race

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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