Ksawery Masiuk and Matos Ribeiro are back helping the new generation of swimmers rewrite the record books by post two new Championship Records at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships 2022. Poland's Masiuk won the 50m backstroke in 24.44, a new championship record. During the morning preliminary session, Portugal’s Diogo Matos Ribeiro achieved a championship record in the 50m butterfly semi-finals with his 23.12. Ribeiro could look to lower that mark in the event finals on Saturday evening.
On Friday night, Ribeiro won the 50m freestyle to pair with his golden 100m butterfly performance. Now, looks for a trifecta of gold and comes in with an all-time fastest mark in the 50m butterfly.
Italy racked up more medals in the fourth night of swimming, capping the evening with their second gold medal, winning the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. The Italians lead all nations in the medal count with 13, with their depth confirmed by the 4 silver and 7 bronze medals. Japan is next with 10 medals, 4 of them gold including individual titles by Asahi Kawashima in the 200m breaststroke and Mio Narita who claimed gold in the 200m individual medley this evening. Poland, the only nation with 5 gold medals, won two more tonight.
Ksawery Masiuk won the 50m breaststroke and set a new event championship record. It was the second time that Masiuk bettered the championship record set by South Africa’s Pieter Coetze set only one day prior. Karolina Piechowicz won the women’s 100m breaststroke this evening after having previously won the 50m event earlier in the week. These two athletes represent the two men’s and two women’s individual gold medals won by Poland; the fifth was won in the 4x100m Mixed Medley relay.
A total of 20 nations have earned a medal at the FINA World Junior Swimming championships after 4 days of the 6 day competition are completed.
DAY 4 FINALS
MEN’S 50m BACKSTROKE
Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk captured another important victory in Lima, outsprinting South Africa’s Pieter Coetze in the 50m event just as he did in the 100m race. Masiuk swam his personal best (24.44) and his time erased the Championships Record that Coetze set the day prior in the semi-finals.
Coetze finished for another silver medal .17 behind the champion, Miroslav Knelda, third in the 100m final earned another bronze finishing .74 behind Masiuk.
🇵🇱 Polish Ksawery MASIUK continues his winning streak with a gold medal in the 50m Back !! pic.twitter.com/z2aDM0zOcg— FINA (@fina1908) September 3, 2022
"I wasn't expecting to win or even to swim my personal best, but I did," Masiuk said. "I’m so happy to be swimming fast in Lima. I know that I will enjoy this. I’m so happy with this swim. This was my fourth major event of the summer and I am super tired right now. I still have a relay tonight, and then I will take a two week break before getting back to work"
WOMEN’S 50m BUTTERFLY
A first gold medal for Croatia’s Jana Pavalic, winning the event in 26.38, eclipsing her bronze medal time of 26.76 in Otopeni at July’s European Junior Championships. Brazil’s Beatriz Bezerra finished second (26.67) earning Brazil’s first female medal. Lillian Slusna of Slovakia swam 27.04 to earn bronze, her nation’s first medal in Lima.
Said Pavalic: "I was angry before my race but my coach told me to relax and to focus on my own lane and if you do that everything will be fine. I took his advice. My Dad has always told me to be (a little bit) angry and then to swim your best. It’s my first gold medal and I feel amazing. I just want to call my Mom and tell her about this victory."
MEN’S 200m BREASTSTROKE
Asahi Kawashima of Japan outswam Austria’s Luka Mladenovic to win his first gold medal and the first gold for a Japanese male. Kawashima stopped the clock at 2:12.81, just a week after winning the Junior Pan Pacific Championships where he posted a 2:11.18 in Hawaii.
Mladenovic, the 100m breaststroke champion was out fast in 29.88, the first swimmer to the wall and the only one to split under 30 seconds. Kawashima took over in the second lap and never looked back, beating Mladenovic by a slim margin of .22. Sai Ting Adam Mak (HKG) earned a bronze medal finishing 1.29 behind Kawashima.
"Before the race I felt nervous and I was doing everything I could to bring my nerves under control," Kawashima said. "I really wanted to swim my race, and thankfully I was able to do this. Last summer I was swimming the individual medley, but now I am specializing in breaststroke."
WOMEN’S 100m BREASTSTROKE
Karolina Piechowicz became Poland’s double gold medallist by winning the 100m event in 1:08.73, out-touching Irena Mati of Italy by 21/100ths. Piechowicz won the sprint breaststroke distance earlier in the meet and Mati was bronze in the 50m race. Martina Bukvic's bronze marked the first medal won by a Serbian female so far in Lima. Bukvic finished .54 seconds behind the event champion from Poland.
"It feels great to be a double champion and to win both breaststroke events," Piechowicz said. "I didn’t have a race this morning so I was fresh for this race. Yesterday I was tired but today I did my personal best. I prefer to race the 100m event because there is more distance in which I can speed up, although the longer event hurts more. Poland has the best team!"
WOMEN’S 400m FREESTYLE
Merve Tuncel, Turkey’s European Junior champion in this event captured her second gold medal swimming 4:10.29 to outpace Ruka Takezawa from Japan, who finished 1.54 seconds behind for the second step on the podium. The Tuncel-Takezawa one-two performance mimicked the gold and silver that the two won in the 200m individual medley. Italy’s Giulia Vetrano finished 1.57 behind and earned her second medal in Lima, having received a bronze in the 400 individual medley.
"This is my second medal of the championships so I am very happy with this result," Tuncel said. "I tried to go out fast but the first 100m was challenging for me. I felt comfortable in the next 200m and then finished the race strong. This is a long championship and everyone is so tired."
MEN’S 50m FREESTYLE - FINAL
A day of significant accomplishments for Portugal’s Diogo Matos Ribeiro gained a glint of gold as he broke 22 seconds in the freestyle sprint final. His 21.92 was .59 seconds ahead of silver medallist Nikolas Antoniou of Cyprus and .63 seconds ahead of Jere Hribar (CRO).
"Unbelievable, I can’t explain this result," Ribeiro said after the finals on a day he set a Championship Record and took gold in another event. "Just like yesterday I only had about 30 minutes rest and recovery between the semi-finals. This result was possible because of the support of my coach, my physio and of my family. With this result I am closer to the world junior record (also the championship record of Michael Andrew set in 2017) and perhaps I can make this happen. I will do my best."
WOMEN’S 200m INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
Japan’s Mio Narita and Hungary’s Lilla Minna Abraham repeated as the respective gold and silver medallists in the shorter of the two individual medley races. In the last 7 days Narita has won both IM’s in Lima at the FINA World Junior Championships after having won the same two events at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Honolulu. Narita’s winning time tonight of 2:11.88 was eclipsed by a faster time in her winning performance at the Pan Pacs (2:11.22 ). Abraham finished 1.77 behind Narita to earn her second individual silver medal. Spain’s Emma Carrasco Cadens' 2:13.74 earn her her first bronze medal. Abraham and Carrasco Cadens finished in the same positions at the July European Junior Championships and both swam faster in Lima than they swam in Otopeni, Romania.
"I am very happy with my performances this summer, in Honolulu (Junior Pan Pacs) and also here in Lima," Narita said. "My strategy was to swim the first 300m in a technically correct way and then to unlock my energy for the final 100m sprint to the finish."
MEN’S 4x200m FREESTYLE RELAY
Three European teams battled for supremacy in the longest relay event with the Italian team coming out on top and winning not only the race but their first men’s gold medal. A slim margin of victory over the Hungarian men who finished .47 behind the Italian quad, as a gold medal in any men’s event continues to elude them. Poland’s relay finished third, 2.85 seconds behind the leader.
Alessandro Ragaini (1:49.05): "I am very happy with my swim."
Simone Spediacci (1:49.59): "Basically in order to win we needed each man to swim their best time of the season."
Massimo Chiarioni (1:49.90): "It’s fantastic for Italy. We are very proud."
Filippo Bertoni (1:48.54): "I gave the race everything that I had. My teammates are fantastic."
DAY 4 SEMI-FINAL RACES
WOMEN’S 50m BACKSTROKE
Hungary’s Lora Fanni Komoroczy swam 28.48 to lead the 16 swimmers in the semi-finals. Komoroczy won the second heat while Sara Curtis of Italy advanced as the second seed, 29.06, winning the first heat. Aimi Nagaoka of Japan posted the next fastest time, 29.14.
MEN’S 50m BUTTERFLY
Daniel Gracik of the Czech Republic advanced as the top seed posting 23.53, .34 seconds ahead of second seed Casper Puggaard of Denmark. Diogo Matos Ribeiro finished as the third seed. In the morning heats, Ribeiro blazed a new championship record, 23.12, with Gracik and Puggard advancing second and third behind the Portuguese pacesetter.