2021 Australian Championships – Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2021 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

As day 3 finals of the 2021 Australian National Championships get underway, there will be no shortage of heated battles and fast racing. Cate Campbell will look to collect yet another national championship title in the 100 freestyle but will need to fend off sister Bronte and second seed Emma McKeon. In the men’s version of the event, 2016 Olympic Kyle Chalmers will look to do the same.

The women’s 100 backstroke will feature Kaylee McKeown and Emily Seebohm fighting for gold while the men’s field has been left wide open upon Mitch Larkin‘s DQ during the prelims. Follow along below for all that and much more during day 3 finals.

WOMEN’S OPEN 50 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL

  • Australian Record: 30.16 – Sarah Katsoulis (2009)

Top 3

  1. Chelsea Hodges – 30.20
  2. Tessa Wallace – 31.22
  3. Abbey Harkin – 31.43

Chelsea Hodges posted another PB in the women’s 50 breaststroke final with a 30.20, improving upon her prelim swim of 30.32. The swim for Hodges was nearly enough to crack the Australian record in the event, trailing Sarah Katsoulis’ 30.16 from back in 2009. Hodges swim makes her the 2nd fastest swimmer in the world this year behind Benedetta Pilato’s 29.61.

2020-2021 LCM Women 50 Breast

2Chelsea
Hodges
AUS30.2012/18
3Tatjana
Schoenmaker
RSA30.3204/07
4Lilly
King
USA30.4204/08
5Martina
Carraro
ITA30.4412/18
View Top 26»

With the 50 breast win, Hodges collected her second Australian title of the meet, having won the 100 breaststroke a day before with a 1:07.14. Tessa Wallace joined Hodges on the podium as silver medalist with a 31.22 while Abbey Harkin was bronze in a 31.43.

MEN’S OPEN 50 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL

  • Australian Record: 26.74 – Christian Sprenger (2014)

Top 3

  1. Matthew Wilson – 27.55
  2. Jake Packard – 27.76
  3. James McKechnie – 28.00

Former world record holder in the 200 breast Matthew Wilson managed to claim victory in the 50 with a 27.55, just under what he swam during the prelims where he posted a 27.78. Jake Packard fell from the top-seeded spot after the prelims to #2 in the final as he hit a 27.76 for silver. James McKechnie managed to reach the podium as well, nearly dipping into the 27-second range with a 28.00 for bronze.

All swimmers were a bit off the current Australian record in the event which currently sits at a 26.74 swum by Christian Sprenger back in 2014.

Last night’s 100 breast champion Zac Stubblety-Cook wound up 4th in the final with a 28.15. With the 100 and 50 breast out of the way, only the 200 remains for the stroke which will take place on the final day of the meet.

WOMEN’S OPEN 200 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 2:21.97
  • Australian Record: 2:03.41 – Jessica Schipper (2009)

Top 3

  1. Brianna Throssell – 2:07.20
  2. Elizabeth Deckers – 2:07.82
  3. Meg Bailey – 2:09.72

Brianna Throssell managed to hit a 2:07.20 to jump from third seed heading into the race to Australian champion in the 200 butterfly. That’s almost exactly as fast as she was back in 2016 when she hit a 2:07.19 in the semi-finals at Rio 2016. She went on to place 8th in the Olympic final with a 2:07.87. Throssell was within a second of her PB which currently stands at a 2:06.58 from April 2016.

Elizabeth Decker also improved upon her prelims swim, going from a 2:09.60 to a 2:07.82 while Meg Bailey collected bronze with a 2:09.72. Throssell and Decker were both under the cut they’ll need, come Olympic Trials this June to qualify for the Games which is a 2:08.43.

In a post-race interview, Throssell said that after a few years to get her head around the 200 fly, it’s good to be back at it and racing. Throssell also added that one thing she needs to focus on heading into Tokyo is getting used to swimming fast inside considering that she normally trains and races outdoors.

MEN’S OPEN 200 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 2:07.88
  • Australian Record: 1:54.46 – Nick D’Arcy (2009)

Top 3

  1. Bowen Gough – 1:57.08
  2. Matthew Temple – 1:57.92
  3. David Morgan – 1:58.87

Bowen Gough managed to get into the 1:57 range during the finals of the 200 butterfly with a 1:57.08. That’s Gough’s third-fastest time on record as he got within a second of his 1:56.65 PB from July 2019, along with his 1:56.73 from April of that year.

That gold medal-winning swim was not only the fastest time in the field but was also under Australia’s Olympic selection cut in the event of 1:57.98. Having hit that standard in-season is a good sign for Gough’s eventual bid for a spot on the Olympic squad this June.

Gough will have to fend off the likes of Matthew Temple and David Morgan, however, who weren’t too far behind in the final, posting times of 1:57.92 and 1:58.87, respectively. Also getting under 2:00 in the 200 fly was Nicholas Brown who hit a 1:56.47 for 4th.

WOMEN’S OPEN 100 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 57.57
  • Australian Record: 52.03 – Cate Campbell (2018)

Top 3

  1. Emma McKeon – 52.49
  2. Cate Campbell – 52.85
  3. Madi Wilson – 53.56

In a stroke for stroke battle between Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell, it was ultimately McKeon who got the upper hand, posting a 52.49 for gold, narrowly edging out Australian record-holder Cate Campbell who was a 52.85. McKeon’s swim was a little bit faster than her prelims swim of 52.71 while Cate Campbell added 0.42 seconds to her 52.43 from this morning.

The swim for McKeon was just off her 52.46 PB which she set in December 2020 and stands as the second-fastest time in the world this season behind Campbell’s morning swim of 52.43.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Free

CateAUS
Campbell
04/15
52.43
2Emma
McKeon
AUS52.4612/14
3Zhang
Yufei
CHN52.9009/27
4Ranomi
Kromowidjojo
NED53.1304/10
5Marie
Wattel
FRA53.3203/20
View Top 26»

Behind McKeon and Campbell followed a trio of 53s in the form of Madi Wilson (53.56), Bronte Campbell (53.80), and Mollie O’Callaghan (53.85) while Meg Harris came 6th with a 54.17. Since Harris was a 53.87 during the prelims, that makes for 6 women under 54 in the event.

Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon will lead the way among Australians as the remaining sprinters will chase down the leading duo and look to claim a top 2 spot in June at Olympic Trials. There, it will take a 53.31 to qualify for the team.

MEN’S OPEN 100 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 52.20
  • Australian Record: 47.04 – Cameron McEvoy (2016)

Top 3

  1. Kyle Chalmers – 48.04
  2. Jack Cartwright – 48.81
  3. Louis Townsend – 48.93

The men’s 100 freestyle final featured 7 swimmers under the 50-second mark with 2016 Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers leading the way in a 48.04. That was faster than Chalmers’ 48.11 prelim swim and enough to take gold by nearly a second as Jack Cartwright hit a 48.81 for silver. Chalmers advanced to the #3 rank in the world this season in the event behind only Andrei Minakov‘s 47.57 and Kristof Milak‘s 48.00

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Free

2Andrei
Minakov
RUS47.5710/30
3Vladislav
Grinev
RUS47.8504/07
4Duncan
Scott
GBR47.8704/16
5Vlad
Morozov
RUS48.0004/07
View Top 26»

Chalmers noted in an interview after the race that he’s happy to get close to getting to 47 in the event but that he’s still “hungry for more”.

Cartwright got under 48 during the finals to shave some time off his 49.36 prelims swim while Louis Townsend had the opposite experience, going from a 48.93 in the heats to a 49.10 in the finals for bronze.

Between prelims and finals, a total of 9 men were faster than 50 seconds in the 100 freestyle.

WOMEN’S OPEN 100 BACKSTROKE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 1:05.68
  • Australian Record: 57.93 – Kaylee McKeown (2020)

Top 3

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 58.60
  2. Emily Seebohm – 59.22
  3. Jessica Unicomb – 1:01.32

Just as McKeon and Campbell were in the 100 free, Kaylee McKeown and Emily Seebohm swam much of the 100 backstroke final together until McKeown pulled away towards the end and claimed the gold medal in a 58.60. Emily Seebohm made a bid to catch and out-touch McKeown but couldn’t quite get it done and wound up with a 59.22 for silver.

Despite having posted a world-class swim, McKeown was still more than half a second off her current season-best in the event of 57.93. As the world leader in the event and now Australian champion, McKeown will now be looking to get her name on her first-ever Olympic squad, come Australian Trials this June.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Back

2Kathleen
Dawson
GBR58.2404/15
3Kylie
Masse
CAN58.4805/07
4Kira
Toussaint
NED58.6504/11
5Olivia
Smoliga
USA59.0404/10
View Top 26»

Jessica Unicomb and Mollie O’Callaghan delivered a battle of their own for bronze that came down to touch with Unicomb ultimately taking third place with a 1:01.32, just ahead of O’Callaghan’s 1:01.33. Short course world record holder in the event Minna Atherton was a bit slower than her prelim swim of 1:00.85, taking a 1:00.85 for 5th.

MEN’S OPEN 100 BACKSTROKE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 58.74
  • Australian Record: 52.11 – Mitch Larkin (2015)

Top 3

  1. Tristan Hollard – 54.83
  2. Bradley Woodward – 55.34
  3. Thomas Hauck – 55.69

After reigning national champion and current Australian record holder in the 100 back, Mitch Larkin was disqualified in prelims, the field was left wide open in his absence. Tristan Hollard capitalized on the situation and managed to crack the 55-second mark with his 54.83 for gold.

Two more swimmers got under 56 in the event as Bradley Woodward was a 55.34 for silver and Thomas Hauck hit a 55.69 for the bronze medal.

With Larkin being the favourite to win the event at the 2021 Australian Olympic Trials this summer, it will likely be down to a battle for that second spot on the team. It will take a top 2 spot at Trials and a swim under 53.40 in order to qualify.

WOMEN’S OPEN 1500 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 17:19.77
  • Australian Record: 15:52.17 – Jessica Ashwood (2015)

Top 3

  1. Madeleine Gough – 16:00.18
  2. Kareena Lee – 16:08.28
  3. Kiah Melverton – 16:12.43

Madeleine Gough and Kareena Lee swam the first 2 thirds of the race together, splitting nearly identically until the 1,000-meter mark, at which point Gough began to pull away. Gough was within 0.20 seconds of cracking the 16-minute barrier but wound up with a 16:00.18, just a few seconds over her PB of 15:56.39.

Kareena Lee came into the wall a few moments after Gough touched, posting a 16:08.28, 7 seconds off her 16:01.02 best time. Kiah Melverton joined the two on the podium with a 16:12.43. Melverton actually went in as second seed in the event with a nearly identical PB to Gough (16:12.43).

Gough was the only swimmer in the field to get under the Olympic qualifying standard of 16:02.75. Since Lee and Melverton both hold a PB faster than that cut, it will come down to a solid race this June when the 3, among others, compete for a spot on the Olympic squad.

MEN’S OPEN 800 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 16:06.66
  • Australian Record: 7:38.65 – Grant Hackett (2005)

Top 3

  1. Thomas Neill – 7:51.65
  2. Jack McLoughlin – 7:59.33
  3. Nick Sloman – 8:00.68

All top 3 finishers in the men’s 800 freestyle were a bit off their entry times with Thomas Neill posting the top time of 7:51.65, trailing his 7:48.65 PB. Jack McLoughlin came in a few seconds slower than Neill with a 7:59.33 for silver which is slower than his PB of 7:59.33 and Nick Sloman rounded out the top 3 in a 8:00.68. Sloman has been two seconds faster before with a PB of 7:58.38.

Should any men want to represent Australia in the newly-introduced Olympic 800 freestyle this summer, they will need to get down to a 7:48.12 at Trials to hit the selection cut set by Swimming Australia.

OPEN 4X100 MEDLEY RELAY – FINAL

  • Australian Record: 3:38.91 – Larkin/Packard/McKeon/Campbell (2018)

Top 3

  1. Oliva Lefoe / Zoe Deacon / Bowen Gough / Nicholas Wu – 3:57.02
  2. Will Sharp / Calvin Reed / Gabrilla Peuniger / Julia Hawkins – 3:57.81
  3. Cam McEvoy / Grayson Bell / Alice Stuart / Laura Taylor – 4:00.14

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Miss M
23 days ago

Chelsea Hodges just 0.04 off Sarah Katsoulis’ Australian Record in 30.20

Oceanian
Reply to  Miss M
23 days ago

Hopefully more 100m improvement to come at trials

Miss M
Reply to  Oceanian
23 days ago

She’s always been very good at the 50, but her 200 is looking better. We need a 1.05 breaststroker! Jess Hansen has looked promising …

Troyy
Reply to  Miss M
23 days ago

Is her 200 really looking better? She basically never swims it.

Troyy
Reply to  Oceanian
23 days ago

Needs to improve her 200 but she seems allergic to the event.

PeatyPiper
23 days ago

Comon Aussies let’s see some fast 100 free times.

Khachaturian
Reply to  PeatyPiper
23 days ago

are they tapered?

Jackman
Reply to  Khachaturian
23 days ago

never

Eula Moore
Reply to  Khachaturian
23 days ago

They don’t even taper for the Olympics.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Khachaturian
23 days ago

No. This is not even their Olympics Trials

Australia Olympics Trials will be held in June

Irish Ringer
Reply to  PeatyPiper
23 days ago

48 is fast….for an Aussie

Jackman
23 days ago

Can’t wait for a showdown between Cate and Emma. My money is on them pushing each other to low 52, and Cate takes it with 52.27, Emma follows in 52.38.

Troyy
Reply to  Jackman
23 days ago

I think they’ll stay around 52 mid.

Stephen
Reply to  Troyy
23 days ago

Glorified training session

Joel
Reply to  Stephen
23 days ago

Race practice. The Americans do it all the time

Swimmer
Reply to  Joel
23 days ago

Australians don’t get enough racing and it’s what let’s them down in big meets! if swimming Australia realised this and added more national meets through out the year like how USA have the tyr pro swim series then I’m confident we’d see the aussies preform better at world champs and the olympics they need more race practice the best way to train for an event is to race it over and over because that way you can get offical results that show if a race plan works or training style works.

commonwombat
Reply to  Swimmer
23 days ago

Agree but Swim AUS tends to be a conservative org and the outlook of some, but certainly not all, AUS coaches may not be helpful. However, it also needs to be acknowledged that the corporate $$$ necessary to stage such events isn’t easy to come by these days. If such a series could be viable in the future, it certainly would be helpful as would the continuation of the ISL or something similar. ISL1 DID see a number of AUS swimmers take to that format with gusto and, whilst understanding the reasons for SA’s line on ISL2/COVID, participation would’ve been beneficial.