16-Year-Old O’Callaghan Puts Up World-Class 50 Back Age Record


16-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan has had a breakout meet here at these Queensland Short Course Championships, already having surpassed her own career-best times in several events. For instance, she took down a 200m back Aussie Age Record already with her 2:05.45 swim, which you can read about here.

Tonight’s 50m backstroke was no different, with the St. Peters Western standout cracking a wicked-quick mark of 26.52 to easily top the 16-year-old age category’s final here in Brisbane. Her time slices .01 off of 100m backstroke world record holder Minna Atherton‘s former Aussie Age Record of 26.53, a time she put on the books back in 2016. That time also stood as the Queensland state record and All Comers record for the age.

Entering this 3-day meet, O’Callaghan’s lifetime best in this 50m back was represented by the 27.15 she logged at the 2019 State Team Championships. Flash forward to tonight, and O’Callaghan’s time blows that time to bits with her first-ever sub-27 second swim of 26.52.

Putting O’Callaghan’s swim tonight into a broader context, she now ranks as the 5th fastest Australian performer all-time in this women’s 50m backstroke, at just 16.

Aussie Women’s SCM 50 Backstroke Performers All-Time

  1. 25.81 Minna Atherton 00 Brisbane Grammar Oct’19 Budapest
  2. 25.83 Emily Seebohm 92 Brothers Dec’14 Doha
  3. 25.98 Marieke Guehrer 86 Melbourne Vicentre Nov’09 Stockholm
  4. 25.99 Holly Barratt 88 Rockingham Oct’19 Budapest
  5. 26.53 Mollie O’Callaghan 2020

Of note, O’Callaghan was named to the NY Breakers roster for International Swimming League (ISL) season 2 but withdrew due to Australian travel restrictions. For perspective, O’Callaghan’s 26.52 from these championships would have placed 5th in the ISL Las Vegas final, capturing 4 points using the season 1 scoring.

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11 months ago

What’s even more impressive in O’ Callaghan results at this meet is that the LC format is certainly more favourable for her swimming and physical characteristics. Reminding her races at last year Junior Worlds, she gained a lot of ground in the swimming phase towards the end of the 50 m course.
So, also considering that in this last 13 months she’s improved her start and turns, she will always be stronger in the LCM events.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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