Three World Junior Records Broken, Two Tied on Night Four of 2017 FINA World Junior Championships

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Three world junior records were broken, and another two tied, this evening at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships. Finals were highlighted by a Team USA 1-2 finish in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke and two golds and a first-place seed for Michael Andrew.

Teammates Daniel Roy and Reece Whitley claimed the gold and silver medals in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke. World Junior records were broken by Rikako Ikee, Michael Andrew, and Hungary’s 4×200 freestyle relay team.

A few surprising upsets occurred during the course of the night as well, as favorites like Faith Knelson in the 100 breaststroke, Alex Walsh in the 200 IM, and Team USA in the 4×200 freestyle relay were overtaken.

Schedule of Events:

  • Women’s 50m Backstroke Semi-Finals
  • Men’s 200m Breaststroke Finals
  • Women’s 50m Butterfly Finals
  • Men’s 50m Backstroke Finals
  • Women’s 100m Breaststroke Finals
  • Men’s 50m Butterfly Semi-Finals
  • Women’s 400m Freestyle Finals
  • Men’s 50m Freestyle Finals
  • Women’s 200m IM Finals
  • Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay Finals

Women’s 50 Back Semi-Finals

In the first event of the evening, the semi-finals of the women’s 50-meter backstroke, Canada’s Jade Hannah sprinted to a first-place qualifying time just shy of breaking the 28.00 barrier, a 28.04. Second seed went to Japan’s Natsumi Sakai in 28.11, and 200-backstroke championship record holder Regan Smith of Team USA sits in third place heading into finals with her time of 28.21.

Team USA captain Grace Ariola stepped up in the semi-final to swim a fourth-place qualifying time of 28.34. Cassie Wild of Great Britain’s 28.60 was good for fifth seed, while teammate Anna Maine touched in 28.64 for the sixth spot in the final heat.

Rounding out the athletes heading to finals of the 50-meter backstroke are Polina Egorova of Russia and Julie Knepp Jensen of Denmark, tied at 28.70.


Men’s 200 Breaststroke Finals

Team USA dominated the men’s 200-meter breaststroke finals, finishing 1-2 to take the gold and silver medals over a stacked field. Daniel Roy just out-touched teammate Reece Whitley in a 2:10.77 to Whitley’s 2:10.82, due to his strong middle 100. Zac Stubblety-Cook of Australia took the bronze medal in a 2:10.90, as the only other athlete under 2:11.00.

Fourth place went to Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy in a 2:11.53, while Yu Hanaguruma of Japan’s time of 2:12.28. Teammate Ikuma Osaki grabbed sixth place with his swim of 2:12.38.

Rounding out the top eight in the finals were Austria’s Valentin Bayer (2:12.62) and Czechoslovakia’s Filip Chrapavy (2:13.49).


Women’s 50 Fly Finals

Rikako Ikee of Japan broke her own World Junior record of 25.51 set this year in April in the finals of the women’s 50-meter butterfly in Indianapolis. Sprinting to a 25.46, she finished over a half-second ahead of the rest of the field, and now a gold medal, as well as the world and championship records, in the event.

The competition for silver and bronze was not so absolute, as Sara Juvenik of Sweden just out-touched Rebecca Smith of Canada in 26.18 to 26.22 for silver. Smith took the bronze medal for Canada.

Fourth place went to Anastasiya Shkurdai of Bulgaria with her time of 26.37, while Sayuki Ouchi‘s time of 26.59 was good for fifth.

Maya Nadine Tobehn of Germany took sixth with a 26.91, while Sweden’s Hanna Rosvall (27.04) and Great Britain’s Emily Large (27.23) rounded out the top eight finishers.


Men’s 50 Back Final

Michael Andrew showed his consistency in the men’s 50-meter backstroke final, swimming the exact time he swam at prelims of the event, a 24.63, for the gold medal. The time holds as the new championship and world junior record set by Andrew earlier in the week. Hugo Gonzalez of Spain claimed the silver medal with his time of 25.30, and bronze went to Kacper Stokowski of Poland in 25.38.

Ireland’s Conor Ferguson was just off the podium with a 25.48 for fourth place, while fifth went to Daniel Martin of Romania in 25.52. Kamil Kazmierczak of Poland claimed sixth place with his swim of 25.59.

Russia’s Gleb Karasev (25.74) and USA’s Nic Albiero (26.20) swam to seventh and eighth, respectively.


Women’s 100 Breast Final

Ireland’s Mona McSharry overtook Canada’s top seed Faith Knelson in the finals of the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, her explosive first 50 helping her touch in a defiant 1:07.10 to Knelson’s 1:07.42.

The bronze went to Team USA’s Zoe Bartel, who put up a strong time of 1:07.63. Next was USA teammate Emily Weiss, who swam to a fourth-place time of 1:08.33. Alena Chekhovskikh of Russia claimed fifth place with a 1:09.00.

Russia’s Anastasia Makarova (1:09.65), Sweden’s Hannah Brunzell (1:09.90), and Spain’s Laia Marti Fernandez (1:10.24) rounded out the wide-open final heat.


Men’s 50 Fly Semi-Finals

Just one event later, Andrew stepped up big to smash Li Zhuhao‘s two year-old World Junior record in the men’s 50-meter butterfly semi-finals. Andrew’s time of 23.27 was quicker than both his own championship record (23.48) set this morning, as well as Zhuhao’s record of 23.39. He sits in first heading into finals of the event, ahead of second seed Andrei Minakov of Russia, who swam a 23.76. Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Mussin claimed the third spot in the final heat with his time of 23.82, while 100-distance champion Kristof Milak of Hungary sits in fourth with a 23.85.

Umitcan Gures of Turkey sprinted to a 23.94 for fifth seed, while Luca Armbruster of Germany was close behind in 23.97 for sixth.

Egor Kuimov of Russia (24.02) and Egypt’s Abdelrahman Sameh (24.16) qualified seventh and eighth.


Women’s 400 Free Finals

Hungary’s Ajna Kesely notched a first-place finish in the women’s 400-meter freestyle on Saturday evening, touching in 4:06.72. Delfina Pignatiello of Argentina took silver with her time of 4:08.33, and the bronze medal went to Anastaiia Kirpichnikova of Russia in 4:08.73.

Waka Kobori of Japan was fourth in the final heat, stopping the clock in 4:09.59. Sixth place went to Leah Braswell of Team USA in 4:11.65. Esther Morillo Lopez of Spain’s time of 4:13.02 was good for sixth place.

Australia’s Molly Batchelor (4:13.62) and Sharni Robinson (4:13.71) rounded out the final heat.


Men’s 50 Free Finals

Andrew again tied his new world junior record, set yesterday, in the finals of the men’s 50-meter freestyle. His time of 21.75 was exactly what he swam during prelims, and won him the gold medal in the event.

France’s Maxime Grousset claimed the silver medal with his time of 22.25, and Leonardo Deplano of Italy sprinted to a time of 22.31 for the bronze medal.

Alberto Mestre of Venezuela stopped the clock in 22.45 for fourth, while Will Davis of Team USA touched just 0.01 behind in 22.46 for fifth place.

The entire heat was under the 23.00 second mark, as Canada’s Ruslan Gaziev (sixth, 22.56), Nandor Nemeth of Hungary (seventh, 22.66), and Karol Ostrowski (eighth, 22.97).


Women’s 200 IM Finals

The finals of the women’s 200-meter IM saw a close race for gold, with Japan’s Miku Kojima coming out on top of Canada’s Kayla Noelle Sanchez by a small margin. Kojima touched first in 2:12.42, while Sanchez claimed silver in 2:12.64. France’s Cyrielle Duhamel got atop the podium with the bronze medal with her time of 2:13.31.

Team USA’s top seed Alex Walsh fell to fourth place with her swim of 2:13.62. Great Britain’s Ciara Schlosshan was fifth in 2:13.93, while Bartel claimed sixth place with her time of 2:14.43.

Amy Bell of Great Britain was seventh in 2:15.24, and Germany’s Julia Maria Mrozinski rounded out the top eight in a 2:19.84.


Men’s 4×200 Free Finals

Hungary’s team of Richard Marton, Milak, Balazs Hollo, and Nemeth shocked the crowd in the men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, out-touching the favorited Team USA by 0.01 to finish with the gold medal. Team Hungary combined for a time of 7:10.95, a new World Junior record as well as a championship record. The previous World Junior record had been set by the USA in Singapore in 2015, a 7:13.76. Patrick Callan, Jack LeVant, Carson Foster, and Trey Freeman III of Team USA finished with the silver medal this evening, stopping the clock in 7:10.96.

Russia’s team of Ivan Girev, Petr Zhikharev, Maksim Aleksandrov, and Martin Malyutin put together a swim of 7:11.39 for the bronze medal. Fourth place went to Australia’s relay team in 7:15.18, fifth place to Spain in 7:15.76, and sixth place to Poland in 7:21.37.

Rounding out the top eight relay teams in the event were Germany (7:23.81), and Brazil (7:34.79.).