Rising Teens Daniel Diehl and Maximus Williamson Looking to Shine at World Junior Championships

Rising Teens Daniel Diehl and Maximus Williamson Looking to Shine at World Junior Championships

At last month’s World Championships in Fukuoka, American teenager Thomas Heilman became the youngest male to represent Team USA on the international stage in a little more than two decades. Behind a time of 1:53.82, the 16-year-old just missed the world junior record in the 200-meter butterfly, owned by Hungarian star Kristof Milak at 1:53.79.

Now, Heilman’s fellow rising teenage stars will get to show off their skill to a global audience when the World Junior Championships are held next week in Netanya, Israel. Most notably, the competition will feature the tandem of Daniel Diehl and Maximus Williamson, both of whom have set several National Age-Group records.

A North Carolina State recruit, Diehl is slated to contest five individual events at World Juniors. In addition to the three backstroke disciplines, Diehl is entered in the 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley. Diehl also figures to see heavy relay duty, with his versatility providing the coaching staff with multiple options.

Earlier this year, Diehl established an NAG record in the 17-18 classification in the 100 backstroke, thanks to a time of 53.07. His next target is a sub-53 performance. Diehl also owns a best mark of 1:56.04 in the 200 backstroke, an effort which is less than a second off the NAG standard of 1:55.15, set in 2002 by future Olympic champion Aaron Peirsol.

Meanwhile, Williamson is one of the top recruits in the Class of 2025 and earlier this year set NAG standards in the 15-16 group in the 200 freestyle (1:47.29) and 200 individual medley (1:58.65). At World Juniors, Williamson will race the 100 freestyle and 200 medley. At the recent Speedo Junior Nationals, Williamson clocked 48.84 in the 100 freestyle.

Like Diehl, Williamson is expected to be busy in relay action for the United States.

By Dr Muhammad Hussain