2021 Australian Championships – Day 4 Finals Live Recap

2021 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

On the penultimate day of racing at the 2021 Australian Swimming Championships, we will be treated to 4 events each on both the women’s and men’s side. As day 4 finals get underway, swimmers will contest the 400 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly, and 200 IM. The session will wrap up with the women’s and men’s 4×100 freestyle.

Among those races scheduled for tonight is Emma McKeon‘s bid for a second 2021 national title as she hunts for gold in the 100 fly, Mitch Larkin‘s 200 backstroke redemption after a DQ in the 100, Kaylee McKeown‘s shot at a 200 IM title, and Ariarne Titmus‘ continued post-injury return to racing in the 400 free.

Follow along for a live recap and analysis.

WOMEN’S OPEN 400 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 4:26.87
  • Australian Record: 3:58.75 – Ariarne Titmus (2019)

Top 3

  1. Ariarne Titmus – 4:01.34
  2. Leah Neale – 4:08.26
  3. Kareena Lee – 4:09.23

Ariarne Titmus swam to an expected victory in the women’s 400 freestyle as she posted a 4:01.34 to become the second-fastest in the world this season behind Katie Ledecky’s 3:59.25.

2020-2021 LCM Women 400 Free

KatieUSA
Ledecky
04/10
3:59.25
2Ariarne
Titmus
AUS4:01.3404/17
3Li
Bingjie
CHN4:02.3605/01
4Wang
Jianjiahe
CHN4:03.0212/31
5Anna
Egorova
RUS4:04.1004/04
View Top 26»

Titmus is back in a world-class position in the 400 freestyle just months after she suffered a shoulder injury. 4:01.34 marks Titmus’ 5th fastest swim on record:

Ariarne Titmus Top 5 400 Freestyles On Record

  1. 3:58.76 (2019) (Australian Record)
  2. 3:59.66 (2019)
  3. 3:59.66 (2018)
  4. 4:00.93 (2018)
  5. 4:01.34 (2021)
  6. 4:01.73 (2018)

Titmus was joined on the podium by Leah Neale in the 400 freestyle who posted a 4:08.26 for silver while Kareena Lee notched a 4:09.23 for bronze. Madeleine Gough and Kiah Melverton fell from 2nd and 3rd seed heading into the race to 4th and 5th with their swims of 4:09.41 and 4:09.64, respectively.

MEN’S OPEN 400 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 4:04.45
  • Australian Record: 3:40.08 – Ian Thorpe (20020)

Top 3

  1. Elijah Winnington – 3:45.69
  2. Thomas Neill – 3:46.35
  3. Brendon Smith – 3:51.04

It was absolutely down to the wire in the men’s 400 freestyle final as Elijah Winnington and Thomas Neill went stroke for stroke down the last lap of the 400 freestyle. It was ultimately Winnington who touched first with a 3:46.35, just trailing his season-best of 3:43.90.

In a post-race interview, Winnington discussed his recent move to Brisbane where he joined forces with Dean Boxall who also coaches women’s 400 freestyle champion Ariarne Titmus. Winnington said that he’s enjoyed the switch so far and described Boxall as a great leader.

Thomas Neill came in with a 3:46.35 for second place, just over his PB of 3:46.27 while Brendon Smith was a 3:51.04 for third. Notably, top seed heading into the final Zac Incerti who posted a 3:49.75 during the prelims decided to scratch the event. Another notable absence in the final was Mack Horton 2016 Olympic Champion in the event Mack Horton who will be the one to beat this summer at 2021 Australian Olympic Trials.

WOMEN’S OPEN 200 BACKSTROKE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 2:22.34
  • Australian Record: 2:04.49 – Kaylee McKeown (2020)

Top 3

  1. Emily Seebohm – 2:07.46
  2. Jessica Unicomb – 2:13.27
  3. Tahlia Thornton – 2:16.97

Emily Seebohm managed to win her 3rd national title in the 200 backstroke with a 2:07.46 to take a full 4 seconds off her prelim swim of 2:11.80. The swim the is fastest Seebohm’s been in the event since she posted a 2:06.82 back in 2018. A 2:07.46 is also good enough to make Seebohm the 4th fastest in the world this season.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 Back

KayleeAUS
McKeown
11/15
2:04.46
2Margherita
Panziera
ITA2:05.5603/31
3Phoebe
Bacon
USA2:06.8405/14
4Regan
Smith
USA2:06.9005/14
5Rhyan
White
USA2:07.2404/11
View Top 26»

Joining Seebohm on the podium, Jessica Unicomb came in at a 2:13.27 for silver and Tahlia Thorton followed with a 2:16.97 for bronze. Mollie O’Callaghan actually swam the third-fastest 200 backstroke of the session with a 2:12.59 from the 17-18-year-old final.

Two notable absences in this event were Australian record holder Kaylee McKeown who opted out of the event in favour of the 200 IM and Minna Atherton who holds the 100 backstroke short course world record.

MEN’S OPEN 200 BACKSTROKE – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 2:08.83
  • Australian Record: 1:53.17 – Mitch Larkin (2015)

Top 3

  1. Tristan Hollard – 1:56.40
  2. Ty Hartwell – 1:58.73
  3. Bradley Woodward – 1:58.76

Mitch Larkin posted a field-leading 1:54.38 during the prelims of the 200 backstroke but has opted to forgo the final in order to save energy for the 200 IM later in the session. With Larkin out of the final, Tristan Hollard took full advantage and swam to victory. Hollard established an early lead in the heat with a 58.32 100 split and held on until the end, coming home in a 1:01.41 for a final time of 1:56.40.

That swim for Hollard was an improvement upon his morning swim of 1:59.17 and got under the Olympic qualifying time of 1:57.26. The 200 backstroke title made Hollard a two-time Australian national champion this year, having posted a 54.83 to win 100 backstroke gold earlier on in the meet.

Hollard was followed by Ty Hartwell in the 200 back final who swam a 1:58.73 for silver and Bradley Woodward with a 1:58.76 for bronze. Both were faster than their prelim swims of 1:59.40 and 2:00.11, respectively.

WOMEN’S OPEN 100 BUTTERFLY  – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 1:02.81
  • Australian Record: 56.18 – Emma McKeown (2017)

Top 3

  1. Emma McKeon – 56.44
  2. Brianna Throssell – 57.76
  3. Alexandria Perkins – 59.01

Emma McKeon pulled off an impressive 56.44 win in the 100 butterfly to get within 0.30 of her own PB and Australian national record in the event which stands at a 56.18. The swim is the third-fastest time in the world this season, trailing Zhang Yufei’s 55.62 and Claire Curzan’s 56.20. The time is an improvement upon her previous season-best of 55.65 which also ranked #3 in the world.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Fly

ZhangCHN
Yufei
09/29
55.62
2Claire
Curzan
USA56.2004/10
3Emma
McKeon
AUS56.4404/17
4Torri
Huske
USA56.6904/10
5Louise
Hansson
SWE56.7304/09
View Top 26»

The swim for McKeon was good enough to set a new All-Comers record in the eventMcKeon was well under the Olympic selection cut of 57.10 which she will need to swim at the upcoming Australian Trials in order to get a spot on Australia’s Olympic squad in the event this summer.

200 butterfly champion Brianna Throssell was a bit over that Olympic cut with a 57.76 for silver while Alexandria Perkins rounded out the top 3 in a 59.01. Meg Bailey was fourth in the final with a 59.74 which was just a little slower than her prelim swim of 59.44. Swimming from the 17-18-year-old final, Mia O’Leary managed to post the 5th fastest time overall with her 59.95.

MEN’S OPEN 100 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 56.87
  • Australian Record: 50.85 – Andrew Lauterstein (2009)

Top 3

  1. Matthew Temple – 51.83
  2. Shaun Champion – 52.17
  3. Bowen Gough – 53.01

After Bowen Gough managed to out-swim Matthew Temple in the men’s 200 butterfly final, Temple returned for redemption in the 100 and pulled off the win in a 51.83. That was an improvement by about half a second from his morning swim of 51.83 and gets him within a second of Andrew Laurerstein’s 2009 Australian record of 50.85.

Shaun Champion earned a silver medal in the event by posting a 52.17 to get under his prelim swim of 52.64. Bowen Gough retained the third-place rank he held heading into the final, claiming the silver medal here with a 53.01, adding a bit of time to his 52.99 from the prelims.

The Olympic selection cut in the event sits at a 51.70 which means all three of the medalists in the 100 fly will need to be a little quicker come Trials this June should they wish to earn a spot on the team this summer.

WOMEN’S OPEN 200 IM – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 2:22.23
  • Australian Record: 2:07.03 – Stephanie Rice (2009)

Top 3

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 2:09.78
  2. Tessa Wallace – 2:13.14
  3. Meg Bailey – 2:13.29

Kaylee McKeown decided to opt-out of the 200 backstroke at this meet in order to focus on the 200 IM. That decision seemed to have paid off tonight as she swam to victory with a world-class 200 IM swim of 2:09.78. The event is among the best globally this season but wasn’t quite her season-best as she hit a 2:08.23 in December 2020.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 IM

KayleeAUS
McKeown
12/15
2:08.23
2Abbie
Wood
GBR2:09.2304/17
3Miho
Teramura
JPN2:09.5501/24
4Yui
Ohashi
JPN2:09.5902/06
5Alicia
Wilson
GBR2:09.6104/17
View Top 26»

McKeown said in a post-race interview that she will likely race the event, as well as the 200 back at Trials in June looking for a spot on the Tokyo squad in both. She was well under the IM Australian cut for the Olympics which stands at a 2:10.49.

Tessa Wallace got within 3 seconds of that cut with a 2:13.14 to shave a few seconds off her prelim swim of 2:13.14 while Meg Bailey touched with a 2:13.29 for bronze.

MEN’S OPEN 200 IM – FINAL

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 2:08.60
  • Australian Record: 1:55.72 – Mitch Larkin (2019)

Top 3

  1. Mitch Larkin – 1:56.74
  2. Louis Townsend – 2:02.98
  3. Thomas Hauck – 2:03.23

Mitch Larkin was lethal in the 200 IM, taking gold by over 4 second by swimming a 1:56.74 to get just 1.02 seconds off his PB and Australian record of 1:55.72. Larkin was significantly faster than his 2:02.85 prelims swim in the event. Despite winning the final, Larkin was still a bit slower than his season-best of 1:56.32 which he swam in December. That swim currently stands as the 3rd fastest in the world this season behind Duncan Scott’s 1:55.90 and Wang Shun’s 1:56.27.

2020-2021 LCM Men 200 IM

DuncanGBR
Scott
04/14
1:55.90
2Wang
Shun
CHN1:56.2710/01
3Mitch
Larkin
AUS1:56.3212/15
4Phillip
Heintz
GER1:56.4212/30
5Michael
Andrew
USA1:56.8405/15
View Top 26»

Larkin would be the favourite to win both the 200 back and 200 IM at the upcoming Australian Olympic Trials but will likely be choosing only 1 of the two considering that the two events will occur in the same session.

Louis Townsend and Thomas Hauck joined Larking in the top 3 in the 200 IM, posting swims of 2:02.98 and 2:03.23, respectively.

WOMEN’S OPEN 4×100 FREESTYLE RELAY – FINAL

  • Australian Record: 3:09.91 – Sullivan/Lauterstein/Callus/Targett (2008)

Top 3

  1. NUN – Costa/Ekelmans/Peiniger/Hawkins – 3:45.17
  2. NCOLL – Courtney/Messer/Sanders/Mitchell – 3:50.33
  3. TSS – Melverton/Stuart/Stovgaard/Taylor – 3:50.97

MEN’S OPEN 4X100 FREESTYLE RELAY – FINAL

  • Australian Record: Jack/B.Campbell/McKeon/C.Campbell (2018)

Top 3

  1. SOSC – Kapocius/Hertz/Simat/McDonald – 3:22.32
  2. NUN – Temple/Gough/Rogerson/Smith – 3:22.44
  3. TSS – McEvoy/Morgan/Bell/Maher – 3:23.23

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HoosierDaddy
1 month ago

The Outback in Bloomington has an awesome bloomin onion!!! AUSIE AUSIE AUSIE AUSIE

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  HoosierDaddy
1 month ago

Dude, it’s “Aussie.” You need to get out of Bloomington more.

Troyy
1 month ago

4:01.34 for Titmus. Really impressed considering her interrupted preparations.

Stephen
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Clearly no problems with Titmus………green light to a great Olympics race. 4.01 is sensational at this stage in prep.

Anon
1 month ago

4:01 from titmus. She swam 4:06 a month ago so she’s recovering well from her injury! The Olympics battle with ledecky is gonna be a treat!

Stephen
Reply to  Anon
1 month ago

You would think one of those ladies will have to do a 3.57 low to win