Men’s 100m Freestyle  |   Williamson leads an open field of swimmers in career-best form

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The semifinals of the Men’s 100m Freestyle delivered one of the surprises of night five when 200m Freestyle junior world champion Flynn Southam missed the cut by just 0.01. The Australian’s exclusion opens up the field tonight which will be led by the United States of America’s Maximus Williamson (49.38) who was the standout male swimmer on the first two days of these championships.

Williamson will be joined in the middle of the pool by Australia’s Edward Sommerville (49.53), who will have some extra weight on his shoulders tonight carrying the expectations of the Australian team. Sommerville has delivered two 48-point relay swims this week and his semifinal swim was also a personal best for the 18-year-old.

The entire rest of the field has 49-point personal best times. Men’s 50m Freestyle world junior champion Nikoli Blackman (49.86) will swim from lane two after the Trinbagonian delivered another personal best in the semi finals. Pedro Sansone (49.66), Vlaho Nenadic (49.92) and Filip Senc-Samardzic (49.95) all also hit career best times in the semi finals.

Rounding out the eight finalists are Italy’s Davide Passafaro (49.80) and Lorenzo Ballarati (50.03). Ballarati may have been the eighth and final qualifier for tonight’s final but expect him to be close to the front at the turn and to be in play for the medals. The 6’4” Italian is a powerhouse in the sprint events and will provide plenty of action in the outside lane in tonight’s two lap dash.

Women's 200m Breaststroke  |  Can breakout star Lepage claim the 100/200 breaststroke double

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Alexanne Lepage’s come-from-behind win in the 100m Breaststroke on night three has completely re-shaped the Women’s 200m Breaststroke event here in Netanya, with the Canadian now the favourite and top qualifier going into tonight’s final.

Lepage took three seconds off her personal best in this morning's heats to clock a 2:27.24, ahead of Japan’s Mina Nakazawa (2:27.62) and Spain’s Nayara Pineda (2:27.68).


Women’s 50m Breaststroke world junior champion Eneli Jefimova (2:30.26) qualified fourth, winning her heat ahead of Canada’s Amaris Peng (2:30.60) and Italy’s Francesca Zucca (2:30.90).

A win for Lepage, Nakazawa or Jefimova will move their respective countries to third on the Netanya medal tally, so expect them to be racing for more than just individual glory over the four laps at the Wingate Institute tonight.

Men’s 200m Backstroke  |  Zheltiakov the man to beat in final backstroke race in Netanya

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Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zheltiakov (1:59.65) enters tonight’s Men’s 200m Backstroke final as the fastest qualifier, cruising through this morning’s heats and leaving plenty in the tank for this evening. Already a junior world champion in the 100m Backstroke, Zheltiakov will be aiming to be just the third male swimmer in nine editions of these championships to complete the 100m-200m Backstroke double.

The United States of America’s Daniel Diehl (2:00.30) is the only other swimmer with a personal-best close to the Ukrainian. Diehl has enjoyed plenty of relay success this week to add to his silver medal in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley. This evening’s 200m Backstroke will be the teenagers final chance in Netanya to claim an individual world junior title.

Countryman Caleb Maldari (2:01.34) was third fastest this morning, ahead of Australia’s Alexander Foreman (2:01.44) and Spain’s Ivan Martinez Sota (2:01.59).

Women’s 100m Butterfly  |  The race is on!

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Japan’s Mizuki Hirai (58.43) was the fastest qualifier from both the heats and the semi finals, but will face strong competition in tonight’s final from 50m Butterfly world junior champion Leah Shackley (58.46) and 200m Butterfly world junior champion Lana Pudar (58.55). History won’t be on Pudar’s side as only one swimmer, being Natsukia Akiyama in 2008, has been able to pull off the 100-200m Butterfly double at a World Junior Swimming Championships. That said, Pudar is a bit of a history-maker, so if anyone is going to deliver a rare double it is probably the Bosnian.

The United States of America’s Bailey Hartman (58.49) will also swim from the middle of the pool with this her third individual final of the week, and Canada’s Ella Christina Jansen (58.74) impressively features in yet another final here in Netanya.

Men's 1500m Freestyle |  Turkiye’s Tuncelli looking for another world junior title

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Kuzey Tuncelli (14:54.16) will tonight attempt to become the first male swimmer from Turkiye to win two junior world titles when he swims from lane four in the fastest heat of the Men’s 1500m Freestyle. Tuncelli delivered one of the swims of the meet in the Men’s 800m Freestyle earlier in the week when he surprised the two fancied top seeds in the event with a gold medal-winning performance.

Tonight he shifts up to his preferred distance and is the only swimmer in the field to have a career best time under fifteen minutes. He won this event at the recent European Junior Championships two months ago, with the then silver medallist Romania’s Vlad Stancu (15:00.51) and bronze medallist teammate Emir Batur Albayrak (15:00.57) lining up alongside the 16 year-old tonight.

As flagged in yesterday’s preview of the Men’s 400m Individual Medley, the People’s Republic of China’s Zhang Zhanshao (15:11.34) continues to be the wildcard in many events here on the Netanya program, and expect him to feature in the placings despite having an entry time nearly twenty seconds slower than the top seed from Turkiye.

Women's 50m Freestyle |  Can anyone stop Australia’s Wunsch

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Australia’s Olivia Wunsch (24.60) is the fastest qualifier for tonight’s Women’s 50m Freestyle final and showed in last nights 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay why she is one of the world’s top female sprinters. He semi final swim was just 0.01 seconds off the all-time Championship Record, and if everything goes right for the 17 year-old tonight she is going to be extremely hard to beat.

Italy’s Sara Curtis (24.91) enters the final as second seed, her powerful high arm stroke delivering a career-first ‘sub 25’ time in the semi finals. The United States of America’s Annam Olasewere (24.95) also hit a career-best time in the semi finals, and will be the most rested of the field as she’s only in Netanya to deliver in this one race. Expect some fireworks – this is going to be fast!

Men's 200m Butterfly |  Morning heats deliver surprise finals field

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Bulgaria’s Petar Mitsin was our first gold medallist here in Netanya on day one and tonight will be trying to bookend his program with another gold in the second last individual race of the championships. The Men’s 200m Butterfly is a tough race at the best of times and so fronting up on the twelfth and final session of the meet may deliver a few surprises as racing fatigue sets in.

That well and truly happened in this morning’s heats with the crowd in disbelief at the end of the fifth and final heat as just one swimmer progressed through to tonight’s final. That was the People’s Republic of China’s Wang Xizhe (1:58.08), with the top seed still needing to deliver a 29.72 over the last fifty to be assured a finals berth. The rest of the field couldn’t find that turn of pace over the last fifty, and therefore the fourth, seventh and tenth seeded swimmers found themselves without a finals swim.

The penultimate heat delivered three finalists with Petar Mitsin (1:57.79) clocking a personal best time as he powered through the last fifty metres. Canada’s Kevin Zhang (1:59.57) and Slovakia’s Samuel Kostal (1:59.85) will join him in the final.

However is was the third last heat that provided all the action and turned the event on it’s head. Canada’s Bill Dongfang (1:58.71) went out in a blistering 55.99, with the twelfth seed knowing he needed something special to get a swim tonight. The United States of America’s Drew Hitchcock (1:59.40), and Italians Andrea Camozzi (1:59.71) and Alessandro Ragaini (1:59.79), stayed with the Canadian, and all four hitting the wall in sub-two minutes to see four swimmers ultimately progress from the third last heat.

Men's 50m Breaststroke |  Felix Viktor Iberle aiming to make history for Indonesia

Last year in Lima there was just one individual World Junior Record broken and so far in Netanya we’re yet to see an individual world mark fall. However in the final men’s individual event for these championships there is every chance that Indonesia’s Felix Viktor Iberle does what no one else has been able to do.

Iberle (27.15) enters the Men’s 50m Breaststroke final as the fastest qualifier, more than half a second ahead of Denmark’s Jonas Gaur (27.68) and the United States of America’s Watson Nguyen (27.75). Iberle went 26.98 in the heats yesterday just 0.01 seconds outside Nicolo Martinenghi’s World Junior Record set in 2017 while also claiming the Italian’s Championship Record in the process.

Iberle is a recent phenomenon having only broken onto the world scene over the past four months. He is Indonesia’s only swimmer at these championships and is in town for just one event – the Men’s 50m Breaststroke. The 18 year-old swims with a powerful arm recovery and narrow kick, and the speed he generated in both the heats and the semi finals was unmatched across the pool.

Tonight, at his first World Junior Swimming Championships, Iberle will not only be aiming to win Indonesia’s first medal at a junior or senior World Swimming Championships, but to also deliver the first World Junior Record of these championships.

Women's 200m Freestyle  |  Anyone’s race in final individual final for 2023

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The United States of America’s Addison Sauickie (1:57.98) enters tonight’s final as top seed in a field where all but one of the other seven finalists has a 1:58 personal best time. It’s been a big six days of racing for many of these athletes in particular Leah Hayes (1:58.89), Ella Christina Jansen (1:59.12) and Julie Brousseau (2:00.20). Australian pair Hannah Casey (2:00.20) and Amelia Weber (2:00.60) will swim the final alongside each other in lanes seven and eight, while hometown girl Daria Golovaty (1:59.97) will have the weight of her nation on her shoulders as she looks to win Israel’s first medal of the championships in the nation’s final swim here in Netanya.

Day 6  |  Finals Session

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