Lani Pallister, Josh Matheny Set Championship Records on Fourth Night of World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest

Australia's Lani Pallister won her second gold medal of meet in 400 free Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Budapest 2019

Day Four Finals

The fourth night of finals produced a second gold for Australia’s Lani Pallister for the distance double, the 400m freestyle crown added to the 800m title in which she surpassed her mother, Janelle Elford, on the all-time list on her way to a shot at creating Olympic history next year.

USA’s Josh Matheny scored an upset win in the 200 breast over Japan’s Shoma Sato, both just shy of the world junior record. The women’s 100 breast also produced a thriller, Russia’s Evgeniia Chikunova coming from sixth at the 50 to win the gold medal by 0.04 over USA’s Kaitlyn Dobler and Great Britain’s Kayla van der Merwe.

Eastern Europe had a strong showing on Friday night in Budapest as Jan Cejka of the Czech Republic won the 50 back gold medal in a minor upset win and Vladyslav Bukhov of the Ukraine scored an upset in the men’s 50 free.

And the American 4x200m freestyle quartet brought the session to a sizzling conclusion with a World Junior record.

Men’s 200 Breast

  • World Junior Record: 2:09.39, Qin Haiyang, CHN (2017)
  • Championships Record: 2:10.19, Anton Chupkov, RUS (2015)

In one of the best races of the entire meet here in Budapest, USA’s Josh Matheny and Japan’s Shoma Sato put on a duel in the men’s 200 breast final. The race was hyped with a potential world junior record at stake as the Japanese had a chance to take down Qin Haiyang’s record from 2017 at 2:09.39. The race played out as expected with Sato taking it out and his Japanese teammate Yuta Arai sitting in second place and USA’s Matheny lingering.

Matheny has already had the meet of his life, capturing a silver in the 100 breast earlier in the meet in a new national age group record, and also swam breaststroke on the mixed medley relay that set a world junior record. He continued his dream meet with a stellar last 50 that resulted in a gold medal in the 200 breast, nearly taking down the world junior record with a 2:09.40 to miss Qin’s record by 0.01. Matheny was still able to get the championships record that current world record holder Anton Chupkov set in 2015. Sato settled for silver with a 2:09.56.

Matheny moved up to 24th in the world with his swim and is the sixth fastest American this year, while Sato added a tenth to his season best, swimming a 2:09.42 in April to remain the fourth fastest man in Japan this year. Arai won the bronze medal with a 2:10.84 as he moved to 49th in the world and is the seventh fastest man in Japan.

Turkey’s Demirkan Demir (2:11.85) finished in fourth ahead of Greece’s Savvas Thomoglou (2:12.51) and European Junior Champion Alexander Zhigalov (2:12.52). Great Britain’s Kyle Booth (2:13.56) and Canada’s Gabe Mastromatteo (2:15.19) also swam in the final.

1 MATHENY Josh United States of America USA 2:09.40 CR
2 SATO Shoma Japan JPN 2:09.56
3 ARAI Yuta Japan JPN 2:10.84
4 DEMIR Demirkan Turkey TUR 2:11.85
5 THOMOGLOU Savvas Greece GRE 2:12.51
6 ZHIGALOV Alexander Russian Federation RUS 2:12.52
7 BOOTH Kyle Great Britain GBR 2:13.56
8 MASTROMATTEO Gabe Canada CAN 2:15.19

Women’s 50 Fly

  • World Junior Record: 25.46, Rikako Ikee, JPN (2017)
  • Championships Record: 25.46, Rikako Ikee, JPN (2017)

The close finals continued on Friday night in Budapest with USA’s Torri Huske coming away with the gold medal in the 50 fly at 25.70 to out-touch teammate Claire Curzan, who settled for the bronze at 25.81. Curzan was leading the final for the majority of the final but tightened up at the finish and Huske got the touch over Curzan and Belarus’ Anastasiya Shkurdai (25.77). Huske moved to ninth in the world in this event while Shkurdai is 11th and Curzan is 12th.

Shkurdai came into the meet as one of the names to watch as she scored a 57.3 in the 100 fly at the European Juniors which is very competitive on the senior stage. But the Belorussian did not compete in Gwangju at the World Championships so she will have to use the World Juniors as her stage. The 100 fly is not until later in the meet, but Shkurdai could get some pressure from Huske, who already won a silver in the 100 free. Curzan will also be tough to beat in the 100 fly as all three ladies put themselves in the top 15 in the world in the 50 fly.

France’s Naele Portecop (26.12) placed fourth ahead of Puerto Rico’s Miriam Sheehan (26.67) and Mexico’s Athena Meneses (26.74). Italy’s Helena Biasibetti (26.89) and Costanza Cocconcelli (27.21) also swam in the final.

1 HUSKE Torri United States of America USA 25.70
2 SHKURDAI Anastasiya Belarus BLR 25.77
3 CURZAN Claire United States of America USA 25.81
4 PORTECOP Naele France FRA 26.12
5 SHEEHAN Miriam Puerto Rico PUR 26.67
6 MENESES Athena Mexico MEX 26.74
7 BIASIBETTI Helena Italy ITA 26.89
8 COCCONCELLI Costanza Italy ITA 27.21

Men’s 50 Back

  • World Junior Record: 24.00, Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
  • Championships Record: 24.63, Michael Andrew, USA (2017)

Jan Cejka of the Czech Republic came into the World Juniors as the top seed in the 200 back and was expected to come away from Budapest with a couple medals. But he missed the final in the 100 back on the first night of the meet, so his chances at a medal in the 200 seemed to diminish. But the Czech rebounded with a gold medal in the 50 back with a 25.08, moving himself into the top 50 in the world.

Cejka won the final ahead of USA’s Wyatt Davis, who came in as the top seed after the semi finals, and Italy’s Thomas Ceccon, who won the 100 back final that Cejka was not a part of. Davis won the silver medal at 25.23, which was slightly slower than his 25.16 semi finals swim, but he did manage to win his second individual medal of the meet after winning bronze in the 100. Ceccon won bronze at 25.35 and also won his second individual medal.

Russia’s Nikolay Zuev and Pavel Samusenko tied for fourth place at 25.40 as Zuev was the silver medalist in the 100 and was looking dangerous for another medal. India’s Srihari Nataraj has had a strong showing in Budapest with a sixth place finish at 25.50, adding to his seventh place finish in the 100.

USA’s Adam Chaney (25.87) and Poland’s Krzysztof Radziszewski (26.73) also swam in the final.

1 CEJKA Jan Czech Republic CZE 25.08
2 DAVIS Wyatt United States of America USA 25.23
3 CECCON Thomas Italy ITA 25.35
4 ZUEV Nikolay Russian Federation RUS 25.40
4 SAMUSENKO Pavel Russian Federation RUS 25.40
6 NATARAJ Srihari India IND 25.50
7 CHANEY Adam United States of America USA 25.87
8 RADZISZEWSKI Krzysztof Poland POL 26.73

Women’s 100 Breast

  • World Junior Record: 1:05.39, Ruta Meilutyte, LTU (2014)
  • Championships Record: 1:06.61, Ruta Meilutyte, LTU (2013)

Much like the men’s 200 breast earlier in the session, the women’s 100 breast was equally as exciting and produced a tight finish that couldn’t be distinguished by the naked eye. It looked to be Kayla van der Merwe’s race to lose as the Brit was aiming to win both European Junior and World Junior titles in the same season, but the Brit only managed a bronze with a 1:07.06 as she was chased down at the finish by Russia’s Evgeniia Chikunova (1:06.93) and USA’s Kaitlyn Dobler (1:06.97).

Chikunova was another name to watch after she was a 2:21 in the European Juniors in the 200. But her 100 was not nearly as strong, only managing a 1:07 at European Juniors for the bronze medal there. But Chikunova used her strong second 50 as she ran down the field, coming from sixth place at the 50, to win the gold medal and move up to 17th in the world for 2019. Chikunova has been dubbed as one of the stars for the future in Russia as she is a part of the stacked breaststroke prowess in the country that includes World Champion Yulia Efimova. Chikunova is the third fastest woman in Russia in the 100 breast this year.

USA’s Dobler almost looked like she was going to steal the gold as the Oregon native won the silver medal and moved up to 19th in the world for 2019 and fourth in the US. Dobler is still in high school and will be a freshman at the University of Southern California after the Olympics.

Despite not winning the gold medal, van der Merwe still swam a personal best, lowering her European Juniors performance by 0.06. She is 23rd in the world and is also the second fastest woman in Britain. Van der Merwe is coached by former breaststroke world record holder Zoe Baker.

Russia’s Anastasia Makarova was also in the crowded finish as she placed fourth at 1:07.10 as another name in a stacked breaststroke country. Lithuania’s Kotryna Teterevkova (1:07.94) placed fifth ahead of Italy’s Benedetta Pilato (1:08.21), who took it out hard at the 50 from lane one, leading the way at the 50 with a 31.1, but she was not able to match her early speed. Pilato has made a name for herself in the 50 breast on the world stage, scoring a silver in Gwangju at just 14-years-old, but she will have to get her 100 up to par with her 50 to be able to compete at the Olympic distance.

USA’s Ellie Andrews (1:08.69) and Hungary’s Eszter Bekesi (1:09.06) finished seventh and eighth.

1 CHIKUNOVA Evgeniia Russian Federation RUS 1:06.93
2 DOBLER Kaitlyn United States of America USA 1:06.97
3 VAN DER MERWE Kayla Great Britain GBR 1:07.06
4 MAKAROVA Anastasia Russian Federation RUS 1:07.10
5 TETEREVKOVA Kotryna Lithuania LTU 1:07.94
6 PILATO Benedetta Italy ITA 1:08.21
7 ANDREWS Ellie United States of America USA 1:08.69
8 BEKESI Eszter Hungary HUN 1:09.06

Women’s 400 Free

By Craig Lord.

  • World Junior Record: 3:58.37, Katie Ledecky, USA (2014)
  • Championships Record: 4:06.17, Tamsin Cook, AUS (2015)

Lani Pallister took another big stroke closer to delivering swimming history next year at Australian trials for Tokyo when she added the 400m freestyle crown to her 800m gold with a second dominant victory at World Junior Championships in Budapest.

The 4:05.42 on the clock was more significant than the championship record it established after Pallister trailed the 2015 pace of fellow Australian Tamsin Cook before a 1:01.69 homecoming 100m swept her inside the global standard.

Among Pallister’s goals is to emulate her mum, Janelle Elford, who raced for Australia in the 400m and 800m freestyle finals at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, and join the thread of soaring history. That includes greats such as legendary triple Olympic crown sprinter Dawn Fraser (Melbourne 1956 to Tokyo 1964 – in the main photo) and l all-strokes, all distances legend  Shane Gould (held world records 100m to 1500m simultaneously and remains the only woman ever to win 5 solo medals at one Games in the pool, three gold, all in world records, a silver and a bronze, Munich, 1972). Both are official national treasures Down Under.

If Pallister, now No8 over 800m and No11 over 400m in the world this year, makes the Olympic team next year in either the 400 or the 800m, she will make self and mum the first mother-daughter combo to swim the same event in the pool at the Olympic Games, generations apart.

Over 400m, Elford would have claimed bronze had it not been for the two GDR swimmers ahead of her on a diet of Oral Turinabol. The evidence of all of that is long in; the will to do anything about it lagging the passionate and drive and dedication of the swimmer, her coach and family by an ocean.

Elford’s best times of 4:10 and 8:24 have both now been surpassed by her daughter, Pallister’s effort today inside her previous best of 4:06.57. At that pace, she was 12th swiftest Australian ever. Now she is No 8 – and as it is in the 800m, is ranked No 3 in her country over the 400m among those still in the hunt.

At the helm of Dolphin pace is Ariarne Titmus, who seized the day in Gwangju last month to become World champion over 400m in 3:58.76 as American Katie Ledecky struggled with the pace and her form on the cusp of declaring illness that would put her out of action in the 200m and 1500m events before she put in one of the most impressive swims of her career for gold over 800m.

While Titmus, on best times of 3:58.76 and 8:15.70 has a clear edge on the rest back home, the battle for the second berth has heated up significantly on Pallister’s progress (4:05.46 and 8:22.49) and that of Kiah Melverton, who has the edge on the clock with best times of 4:05.30 and 8:22.24 set this year.

Today in Budapest, there was no getting close to the 3:58.37 in which Ledecky set the world records senior and junior back in 2014, the year FINA started to recognise global youth standards. The championship record reflects the fact that the greatest distance freestyle swimmer ever known never raced at the junior event, her international arrival at 15 resulting in Olympic gold over 800m freestyle at London 2012.

Nearest to Pallister were Canada’s Emma Crionin, on 4:08.11, a last 100m of 1:01.54 sweeping her past American Rachel Stage, who took bronze in 4:08.30, New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather locked out in 4:08.78. Fairweather’s last 100m split, of 1:01.43 was the swiftest in the final.

Pallister’s pace made her closest battle that against the clock stopped by Cook in 2015:

  • 59.10; 2:01.31; 3:03.73; 4:05.42 Pallister, 2019
  • 59.00; 2:01.36; 3:03.67; 4:06.17 Cook, 2015
1 PALLISTER Lani Australia AUS 4:05.42 CR
2 O’CROININ Emma Canada CAN 4:08.11
3 STEGE Rachel United States of America USA 4:08.30
4 FAIRWEATHER Erika New Zealand NZL 4:08.78
5 JUSTE SANCHEZ Paula Spain ESP 4:10.72
6 BOCEKLER Beril Turkey TUR 4:11.24
7 TUGGLE Claire United States of America USA 4:12.39
8 NAMBA Miyu Japan JPN 4:15.77

Men’s 50 Free

  • World Junior Record: 21.75, Michael Andrew, USA (2017)
  • Championships Record: 21.75, Michael Andrew, USA (2017)

The Eastern European nations have showed out well on Friday night in Budapest as the Ukraine’s Vladyslav Bukhov scored an upset win in the 50 free with a 22.13 to upset USA’s David Curtiss (22.14) for the gold medal. Bukhov had a lightning quick start and nearly swam away from Curtiss, who scorched a 21.9 in the semi finals. Bukhov had an extra stroke at the finish that looked to almost cost him the gold medal but the 17-year-old Ukrainian held on for the gold by 0.01 as he actually swam slower than the semi finals but still ranks 40th in the world with his 22.09 last night.

Curtiss was a 21.95 last night, which put him 22nd in the world and fourth in the United States. He was joined on the podium by fellow American Adam Chaney, who collected his third medal of the Championships but his first individual. The Cincinnati native, who trains at the same club as Carson Foster, was a 22.40.

New Zealand’s Michael Pickett, who has been dubbed as a rising star in his own country, was fourth at 22.46 ahead of Singapore’s Jonathan Tan (22.50). The Ukraine had a second finalist with Illia Linnyk (22.53) placing sixth. Sweden’s Robin Hanson (22.61) was unable to win a second medal after a silver in the 200 with a seventh place finish in the 50 at 22.61. Singapore’s Mikkel Lee (22.81) was eighth.

1 BUKHOV Vladyslav Ukraine UKR 22.13
2 CURTISS David United States of America USA 22.14
3 CHANEY Adam United States of America USA 22.40
4 PICKETT Michael New Zealand NZL 22.46
5 TAN Jonathan Singapore SGP 22.50
6 LINNYK Illia Ukraine UKR 22.53
7 HANSON Robin Sweden SWE 22.61
8 LEE Mikkel Singapore SGP 22.81

Women’s 200 IM

  • World Junior Record: 2:09.98, Rikako Ikee, JPN (2017)
  • Championships Record: 2:11.03, Viktoria Gunes, TUR (2015)

USA’s Justina Kozan won the Americans’ third gold medal of the night as she had a great freestyle leg in the 200 IM final to claim gold at 2:11.55. Kozan was amongst the pack on the breaststroke leg and split a 29.9 on the freestyle leg to win gold by almost two full seconds. Kozan moved up to 22nd in the world rankings for 2019 and is now seventh in the United States as the 15-year-old from California is going to be a sophomore this fall.

After Kozan, the rest of the medals were up for grabs as the seven other swimmers scrambled to get on the podium. Spain’s Alba Vazquez was the only other swimmer to break 31 on the last 50 as she won the silver medal from lane one after turning in eighth at the 100 and sixth at the 150. Vazquez won the 400 IM earlier in the week with a new world junior record to remain the only individual to break a world junior record this week in Budapest.

Japan’s Mei Ishihara won the bronze medal with a 2:13.52 ahead of teammate Shiho Matsumoto (2:13.79) and USA’s Grace Sheble (2:13.97). Germany’s Zoe Vogelmann (2:14.45), Israel’s Lea Polonsky (2:14.91) and Canada’s Ashley McMillan (2:16.04) also swam in the final.

1 KOZAN Justina United States of America USA 2:11.55
2 VAZQUEZ RUIZ Alba Spain ESP 2:13.43
3 ISHIHARA Mei Japan JPN 2:13.52
4 MATSUMOTO Shiho Japan JPN 2:13.79
5 SHEBLE Grace United States of America USA 2:13.97
6 VOGELMANN Zoe Germany GER 2:14.45
7 POLONSKY Lea Israel ISR 2:14.91
8 MCMILLAN Ashley Canada CAN 2:16.04

Men’s 4×200 Free Relay

  • World Junior Record: 7:10.95, Hungary (2017)
  • Championships Record: 7:10.95, Hungary (2017)

The United States remained perfect in relays after four nights of the 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest with a new world junior record in the men’s 4×200 free relay. The quartet of Jake Magahey (1:48.11), Luca Urlando (1:47.13), Jake Mitchell (1:47.03) and Carson Foster (1:46.10) obliterated the world junior record with a 7:08.37 to lower Hungary’s 7:10.95 from 2017 by nearly three full seconds.

The Americans had some pressure through three legs from the Russian Federation, who won the silver in four of the five relays thus far. The Russians gave the Americans a race with the likes of Nikita Danilov (1:48.76), Aleksandr Shchegolev (1:46.36) and Maksim Aleksandrov (1:48.38) but Foster unleashed a 1:46 on the anchor leg to run away from Aleksandr Egorov (1:48.40) as the Russians settled for silver at 7:11.90.

This was a huge split from Foster, who fell short of winning a medal in the individual 200 free on Wednesday and split nearly a second and a half faster than the individual event. Urlando won the gold medal in the 200 free at 1:46.9 but swam slightly slower at 1:47.1. This has been a busy week for Foster and Urlando, who were named Swimming World’s high school swimmers of the year this year, as they were on the world junior record setting 4×100 free relay on night one. Urlando also was on the mixed 4×100 free relay last night as Foster won gold in the 200 IM.

Urlando will have the 200 fly on Sunday where he is a big favorite after a 1:53 this summer and Foster will have the 400 IM tomorrow where he is the world junior record holder.

Australia was with the leaders early with Thomas Neill leading the way at 1:47.58 as he has already won silver in the 400 and bronze in the 800 free this week. But the Aussies did not have the horses to compete with the Americans and Russians but they still won the bronze medal at 7:15.06 after Alexander Grant (1:48.98) won a tussle with Brazilian anchor Gustavo Francisco (1:49.69).

The Brazilians were fourth at 7:16.99 after Murilo Stein (1:47.04) and Eduardo Oliveira (1:47.83) put them into bronze medal contention on the second and third legs.

Hungary had a nice lead-off from 400 champion Gabor Zombori (1:48.17), but they fell off the pace with two 1:53s on the back end as they were sixth at 7:25.14 behind the Czech Republic (7:22.70). Turkey (7:28.80) and China (7:31.55) also competed in the final.

1 United States of America USA 7:08.37, WJ, CR Magahey, 1:48.11, Urlando, 1:47.13, Mitchell, 1:47.03, Foster, 1:46.10
2 Russian Federation RUS 7:11.90 Danilov, 1:48.76, Shchegolev, 1:46.36, Aleksandrov, 1:48.38, Egorov, 1:48.40
3 Australia AUS 7:15.06 Neill, 1:47.58, Tinsley, 1:49.85, Hauck, 1:48.65, Grant, 1:48.98
4 Brazil BRA 7:16.99 Tomiyama, 1:50.43, Stein, 1:47.04, Oliveira, 1:47.83, Francisco, 1:49.69
5 Czech Republic CZE 7:22.70 Lunak, 1:51.28, Hloben, 1:50.00 Prochazka, 1:51.36, Stemberk, 1:50.06
6 Hungary HUN 7:25.14 Zombori, 1:48.17, Pap, 1:50.50, Ulrich, 1:53.23, Szabados, 1:53.24
7 Turkey TUR 7:28.80 Unlu, 1:50.79, Gulsen, 1:51.01, Aslan, 1:52.43, Saka, 1:54.57
8 People's Republic of China CHN 7:31.55 Hong,  1:51.17, Zhao, 1:52.41, Li, 1:52.82, Huang, 1:55.15

Semi Finals Wrap

By Craig Lord.

Women’s 50 Back Semi Finals

  • World Junior Record: 27.49, Minna Atherton, AUS (2016)
  • Championships Record: 27.81, Gabrielle Fa’Aumasili, NZL (2015)

Australian Bronte Job set the pace at 27.83 leading the first line-up – and with that would also claim lane 4 for the final as things turned out.

The second semi had Jade Hannah, the Canadian who already has the 200m title in her treasury from this week, stopping the clock first in 28.20, 0.13sec ahead of the second Australian through to the showdown, Mollie O’Callaghan.

In separate semis, Russian Daria Vaskina and, in the second line up Italian Costanza Cocconcelli, both clocked 28.36, the final completed by Lena Riedemann (28.53), of Germany, Rafaela Azevedo (28.55), Portugal, and Annabel Crush (28.70, of the USA).

1 JOB Bronte Australia AUS 27.83 Q
2 HANNAH Jade Canada CAN 28.20 Q
3 O’CALLAGHAN Mollie Australia AUS 28.33 Q
4 COCCONCELLI Costanza Italy ITA 28.36 Q
4 VASKINA Daria Russian Federation RUS 28.36 Q
6 RIEDEMANN Lena Germany GER 28.53 Q
7 AZEVEDO Rafaela Portugal POR 28.55 Q
8 CRUSH Annabel United States of America USA 28.70 Q
9 GORBENKO Anastasia Israel ISR 28.72
10 GAETANI Erika Italy ITA 29.01
11 SHEEHAN Miriam Puerto Rico PUR 29.05
12 GOMES Fernanda Brazil BRA 29.07
13 STANISAVLJEVIC Nina Serbia SRB 29.11
14 MARUSAKOVA Emma Slovakia SVK 29.36
15 GRABOWSKI Lena Austria AUT 29.53
16 KAN Cheuk Tung Natalie Hong Kong, China HKG 29.56

Men’s 50 Fly Semi Finals

  • World Junior Record: 23.22, Michael Andrew, USA (2017)
  • Championships Record: 23.22, Michael Andrew, USA (2017)

Luca Armbruster, of Germany, set the pace at 23.60 in the first battle before he was matched by Bulgarian Josif Miladinov in the second battle as third man home.

The top two into the final are Russians Aleksandr Shchegolev, on 23.57, and Andrei Minakov, the 100m champion this week, on 23.59.

The fourth man to make the second line-up the speediest of the semis was Italian Thomas Ceccon, on 23.69, the final completed by Brazil’s Bernardo Bondra (23.75), American Blake Manoff (23.91) and Arseni Barzhakou, of Belarus (24.01.

1 SHCHEGOLEV Aleksandr Russian Federation RUS 23.57 Q
2 MINAKOV Andrei Russian Federation RUS 23.59 Q
3 ARMBRUSTER Luca Germany GER 23.60 Q
3 MILADINOV Josif Bulgaria BUL 23.60 Q
5 CECCON Thomas Italy ITA 23.69 Q
6 BONDRA Bernardo Brazil BRA 23.75 Q
7 MANOFF Blake United States of America USA 23.91 Q
8 BARZHAKOU Arseni Belarus BLR 24.01 Q
9 TROIANOVSKYI Ihor Ukraine UKR 24.03
10 KAMMANN Bjorn Germany GER 24.11
11 RAMADAN Youssef Egypt EGY 24.13
12 LIENDO Joshua Canada CAN 24.21
13 SHAMSHURYN Ivan Belarus BLR 24.26
14 NG Cheuk Yin Hong Kong, China HKG 24.27
15 LEE Mikkel Singapore SGP 24.31
16 QUACH Alex Australia AUS 24.75
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