Top 5 Performers Of The 2023 European Junior Championships


By Retta Race on SwimSwam


  • Tuesday, July 4th – Sunday, July 9th
  • Sports and Recreational Center “Milan Gale Muškatirović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results

The 2023 European Junior Swimming Championships concluded over the weekend which means we’ve had a few days to digest the impressive performances.

Before we turn our attention to the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, let’s celebrate our top five performers who made their marks in Belgrade, Serbia.

#1 Lana Pudar (BIH)

17-year-old Lana Pudar may already be a senior European Championships gold medalist but she added more junior medals to her resume in Belgrade.

The Bosnia & Herzegovina swimmer rocked European Championships Records and national records en route to sweeping the girls’ butterfly events, including clocking a new outright European Junior Record in the 200m fly.

Pudar punched a winning 50m fly time of 26.10, a 100m fly time of 56.95 and a 200m fly mark of 2:06.26. The teen now ranks 4th in the world in the 200m fly entering Fukuoka.

#2 Petar Mitsin (BUL)

Another 17-year-old in Petar Mitsin did major damage in the boys’ freestyle events, nabbing national records in the 200m free (1:46.50), 400m (3:44.31) and 800m (7:47.45).

Mitsin’s 400m free was especially electric, with the teen firing off a new World Junior Record on his way to gold.

Entering Belgrade, the Bulgarian’s lifetime best in the 400m free rested at the 3:48.02 he produced at the Grand Prix Burgas this past May. That means in a matter of two months the teen hacked off nearly 4 seconds.

The previous WJR stood at the 3:44.60 Aussie Mack Horton put on the books nearly a decade ago in 2014. As a result, Mitsin now ranks 4th in the world on the season.

#3 Caspar Puggaard (DEN)

Denmark’s Caspar Puggaard proved that his two individual medals at last year’s edition of the European Junior Championships weren’t a fluke.

In fact, the 18-year-old improved upon his performance from last year, taking double gold in the 50m and 100m butterfly events this time around.

Puggaard stopped the clock in a time of 23.67 in the shorter and 52.67 in the latter to help his nation finish 3rd in the overall medal table.

#4 Oleksandr Zheltyakov (UKR)

Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zheltyakov was a one-man wrecking ball when it came to the backstroke events.

In addition to taking the 100m back in a result of 54.18, he 18-year-old smashed a new 200m back national record of 1:55.79, registering a new championships record in the process.

Zheltyakov had never before been under the 1:56 threshold and he chose the right time to break through. He wound up beating the Belgrade field by well over a second to now rank 5th in the world on the season.

#5 Nikolett Padar (HUN)

Last year in Romania, Nikolett Padar brought home the gold in the girls’ 100m and 200m free and the Hungarian followed up with 2 more golds this time around.

Padar repeated as the 200m free champion, although this year the 17-year-old brought her time into entirely new territory. She notched gold a winning result of 1:57.59 in her first-ever foray under the 1:58 barrier.

On the final day, Padar denied Turkish favorite Merve Tuncel a repeat gold in the 400m free. Padar stopped the clock a time of 4:08.06 by over 3 seconds.

SwimSwam: Top 5 Performers Of The 2023 European Junior Championships

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