The final day of the 2023 World Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel has arrived. It’s been a great week of racing from the fastest junior swimmers in the world, and we’ll end today with some 200s and the medley relays.
DAY 6 PRELIMS EVENT SCHEDULE
Boys 200 Backstroke – Prelims
Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Prelims
Boys 200 Butterfly – Prelims
Girls 200 Freestyle – Prelims
Boys 4×100 Medley Relay – Prelims
Girls 4×100 Medley Relay – Prelims
Boys 1500 Freestyle – Slowest Heats (Timed Finals)
DAY 6 PRELIMS HEAT SHEET (START LIST)
The girls 200 free ought to be a great race today. Canadian Ella Jansen comes in as the top seed with a 1:58.09. Israeli Daria Golovaty is the #2 seed with a 1:58.24, while American Leah Hayes, the champion in both girls IM events this week, is the #3 seed at 1:58.27. It doesn’t end there, however, as 4 other girls are seeded at 1:58 coming into the event, making the 200 free possibly the deepest girls event of the meet.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zheltiakov has been one of the top boys backstrokers so far this week, and he comes into the 200 back this morning as the top seed. American Daniel Diehl is the #2 seed, coming in less than half a second off Zheltiakov’s personal best.
BOYS 200 BACKSTROKE – PRELIMS
World Junior Record: 1:55.14 – Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia (2017)
Championship Record: 1:56.05 – Pieter Coetze, South Africa (2022)
2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:57.50
‘B’ Standard: 1:58.09
Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:05.71
TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:
Oleksandr Zheltiakov (Ukraine) – 1:59.65
Daniel Diehl (United States) – 2:00.30
Caleb Maldari (United States) – 2:01.34
Alexander Foreman (Australia) – 2:01.44
Ivan Martinez (Spain) – 2:01.59
Christian Bacico (Italy) – 2:01.65
Daniele del Signore (Italy) – 2:01.95
Aiden Norman (Canada) – 2:02.30
Ukrainian Oleksandr Zheltiakov clocked the top time of the morning in the boys 200 backstroke, putting up a 1:59.65. The performance marked the only swim under 2:00 this morning, setting Zheltiakov up with the top seed for tonight’s final. Zheltiakov was particularly great on the final 50 this morning, speeding home in 29.44, which was the fastest final 50 split in the field by well over a second.
In the final tonight, Zheltiakov will be flanked by the Americans on either side of him. Daniel Diehl was 2nd this morning, swimming a 2:00.30. He was out the fastest of anyone on the front half of the race, splitting 57.95 on the first 100m. Meanwhile, Maldari was about a second behind Diehl this morning, clocking a 2:01.34. Italy saw both their swimmers, Christian Bacico and Daniele del Signore, advance to the final as well.
GIRLS 200 BREASTSTROKE – PRELIMS
World Junior Record: 2:19.64 – Viktoria Gunes, Turkey (2015)
Championship Record: 2:19.64 – Viktoria Gunes, Turkey (2015)
2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 2:23.91
‘B’ Standard: 2:24.63
Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:37.28
TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:
Alexanne Lepage (Canada) – 2:27.24
Mina Nakazawa (Japan) – 2:27.62
Nayara Pineda (Spain) – 2:27.68
Sieun Park (South Korea) – 2:28.50
Eneli Jefimova (Estonia) – 2:30.26
Amaris Peng (Canada) – 2:30.60
Francesca Zucca (Italy) – 2:30.90
Brigitta Vass (Romania) – 2:31.03
Canadian Alexanne Lepage posted a 2:27.24 for the top time of the morning in the girls 200m breast. She swam a consistent race this morning, splitting 34.49 on the first 50, then splitting 37.21, 38.02, and 37.52 respectively on the remaining 50s.
Japan’s Mina Nakazawa and Spain’s Nayara Pineda were right behind Lepage, both swimming 2:27s as well. Nakazawa swam a very similar race to Lepage, splitting 34.16 on the first 50, then going 37.47, 38.10, and 37.89 the rest of the way. On the other hand, Pineda swam a slightly more conservative race on the front half, which led to her being the fastest of the 3 swimmers on the 3rd 50. Pineda was out in 34.48, then split 37.67, 37.99, and 37.54 on the other 50s. Estonia’s Eneli Jefimova, the 50 breast champion from earlier in the meet, came in 5th this morning with a 2:30.26.
BOYS 200 BUTTERFLY – PRELIMS
World Junior Record: 1:53.79 – Kristof Milak, Hungary (2017)
Championship Record: 1:53.87 – Kristof Milak, Hungary (2017)
2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:55.78
‘B’ Standard: 1:56.36
Time for 8th at 2022 World Jr Champs: 2:02.21
TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:
Petar Mitsin (Bulgaria) – 1:57.79
Wang Xizhe (China) – 1:58.08
Bill Dongfang (Canada) – 1:58.71
Drew Hitchcock (United States) – 1:59.40
Kevin Zhang (Canada) – 1:59.57
Andrea Camozzi (Italy) – 1:59.71
Alessandro Ragaini (Italy) – 1:59.79
Samuel Kostal (Slovakia) – 1:59.85
In a speedy prelims of the boys 200 fly, it took going under 2:00 to qualify for tonight’s final. Bulgaria’s Petar Mitsin, who has been having a terrific year, clocked the fastest time of the morning with a 1:57.79. Mitsin was out pretty fast, splitting 56.33 on the first 100m, then held on fairly well, splitting 1:01.46 on the 2nd 100.
Wang Xizhe out of China was the 2nd-fastest swimmer this morning, swimming a 1:58.08. Xizhe was fantastic on the final 50 of the race this morning, roaring home in 29.72, which was the fastest split in the field on the final 50 by nearly a full second.
Canadian Bill Dongfang was out the fastest of anyone this morning, clocking a quick 55.99 on the first 100m. Dongfang would go on to post a final time of 1:58.71, which was good for 3rd this morning. American Drew Hitchcock was 4th in 1:59.40. He swam a consistent race, splitting 30.68, 30.55, and 30.96 respectively on the last 3 50s. The second American in the event, Cooper Lucas, was the first swimmer out this morning, finishing 9th in 2:00.08.
GIRLS 200 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS
World Junior Record: 1:53.65 – Summer McIntosh, Canada (2023)
Championship Record: 1:57.08 – Taylor Ruck, Canada (2017)
2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 1:57.26
‘B’ Standard: 1:57.85