2021 Australian Olympic Trials Day 2 Finals Live Recap

Swimming Australia Olympic Trials

It’s the second day of competition in Adelaide where the Australians will be selecting their Olympic and Paralympic team for Tokyo. SwimSwam’s devoted Australian Trials channel has all the information on the meet that you need. Subscribers of Amazon Prime can watch the event live.

This evening’s session will feature finals of the Multi-Class men’s and women’s 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle and the men’s 100 breast. The men’s competition will consist of finals of the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle. The women will contest the 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, and 400 freestyle.

The qualifying criteria for Tokyo are not quite as black and white as other countries, but swimmers will need to finish in the top two tonight whilst swimming under the Australian Olympic Qualifying Time (equal to 8th place at the 2019 World Championships) to earn an individual spot. For relay consideration, swimmers need to swim in the A-final of the respective event.

The Multi-Class swimmers do not qualify to the Paralympic Games automatically. Australia can only take 17 men and 15 women. 10 swimmers have already qualified and are awaiting final selection.

There will be fierce competition for the two slots in the women’s 100 back, as the top four swimmers out of heats all cracked the 1:00 barrier and Australian record-holder Kaylee McKeown (58.57) and Madison Wilson (59.58) were under the OQT. It will be even closer in the women’s 100 breast, where Chelsea Hodges (1:06.17), Jenna Strauch (1:06.37), and Jessica Hansen (1:06.96) all swam under the OQT this morning and Georgia Bohl and Abbey Harkin (tied with 1:07.04) were .07 off the mark. Finally, in the women’s 400 free, fully 5 swimmers notched an OQT in prelims. Led by Australian record-holder Ariarne Titmus (4:04.91), they include Leah Neale (4:06.66), Lani Pallister (4:06.76), Moesha Johnson (4:06.94), and Kiah Melverton (4:06.99).

Only two swimmers were under the OQT in heats on the men’s side: Mitch Larkin in the 100 back (53.04) and Alexander Graham (1:45.22) in the 200 free. Challenging Larkin and hoping for a spot on the Olympic squad in the backstroke will be Isaac Cooper (53.79). Four more swimmers broke 55 seconds: Bradley Woodward (54.47), Tristan Hollard (54.56), Kai Van Kool (54.68), and William Yang (54.75). The 200 freestylers chasing Graham for an individual spot include Elijah Winnington (1:46.44), Kyle Chalmers (1:46.45), Thomas Neil (1:46.56), and Jack McLoughlin (1:46.84).

Women’s 100 Meter Backstroke – Finals

  • World Record: 57.57 Regan Smith, USA (2019)
  • Commonwealth Record: 57.63 Kaylee McKeown, AUS (2021)
  • Australian Record: 57.63 Kaylee McKeown, USC Spartans (2021)
  • All Comer Record: 57.63 Kaylee McKeown, USC Spartans (2021)
  • World Junior Record: 57.57 Regan Smith, USA (2019)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: 58.45 Katinka Hosszú, HUN
  • OQT: 59.71
  • Meet Qualifying: 1:05.68


  1. Kaylee McKeown (USCS) – 57.45 QT
  2. Emily Seebohm (GUSC) – 58.59 QT
  3. Mollie O’Callaghan (STPTET) – 58.86

Kaylee McKeown got off to a strong start with her underwater, leading the field by nearly half a body length before taking her first stroke. She flipped in 28.1 and pushed off the wall with another strong underwater and came home in 29.35. McKeown touched in 57.45 to take .12 off Regan Smith’s World Record from 2019.

Emily Seebohm, who has been on the National Team since she was 14, was hoping to join Leisel Jones as the only Australian swimmers to compete at four Olympic Games. She pulled it off with a second-place finish in 58.59.

Mollie O’Callaghan broke the 59-second barrier with her third-place finish of 58.86.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Back

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Women’s 100 Meter Butterfly MC – Finals

Podium (based on points):

  1. Paige Leonhardt (S14) – 890 – 1:06.21 QT
  2. Taylor Corry (S14) – 821 – 1:08.01
  3. Jasmine Greenwood (S10) – 774 – 1:08.17 QT

2016 Paralympian Paige Leonhardt (S14) was slightly slower than she had been in morning heats (1:05.92), but she won the 100 fly final with a qualifying time of 1:06.21. Fully five swimmers were ahead of their respective qualifying times coming down the stretch, but in the end it was only Leonhardt and S10 Jasmine Greenwood who finished under their respective QTs. Taylor Corry, classed with S14 like Leonhardt, was second on the podium with 1:08.01, also a bit off her morning performance.

Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly MC – Finals

Podium (based on points):

  1. Will Martin (S9) (NCOLL) – 1069 – 57.76
  2. Alex Saffy (S9) (BUN) – 934 – 1:00.27
  3. Timothy Hodge (S9) (AUBN) – 915 – 1:00.67

Will Martin (S9), who set the S9 World Record this morning with 57.72, was just .04 off that mark in the final with 57.76. Ben Hance was first to the wall but Martin closed the gap and got the overall win with a QT for his class.

Timothy Hodge (S9) (1:00.67), Hugh Gillham (S10) (58.89) and Alex Saffy (S9) (1:00.27) also swam under their respective QTs.

Women’s 100 Meter Breaststroke – Finals

  • World Record: 1:04.13 Lily King, USA (2017)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:05.09 Leisel Jones, AUS (2006)
  • Australian Record: 1:05.09 Leisel Jones, Commercial (2006)
  • All Comer Record: 1:05.09 Leisel Jones, Commercial (2006)
  • World Junior Record: 1:05.21 Ruta Meilutyte, LTU (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: 1:04.93 Lilly King, USA
  • OQT: 1:06.97
  • Meet Qualifying: 1:14.34


  1. Chelsea Hodges (STHP) – 1:05.99 QT
  2. Jessica Hansen (CRUI) – 1:06.69 QT
  3. Jenna Strauch (BOND) – 1:06.96

Chelsea Hodges won the 100 breast final with her first sub-1:06, going 1:05.99 to win by nearly a body length. She and Jenna Strauch were the leaders after the start. Hodges turned first in 30.99, followed by Georgia Bohl and Jessica Hansen. Hodges continued to build her lead and had a body length on the field with 20 meters to go.

Jostling for second place were lanes 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 but at the touch, Hansen came up with the finish. She qualified in 1:06.69, just ahead of Strauch (1:06.96), who also stopped the clock under the QT mark but will miss out on Tokyo as the third-place finisher.

Hodges notched the 6th-fastest time of the season.

2020-2021 LCM Women 100 Breast

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Men’s 50 Meter Freestyle MC – Finals

Podium (based on points):

  1. Rowan Crothers (S10) (YERPK) – 901 – 23.98
  2. Tom Gallagher (S10) – 851 – 24.44
  3. Will Martin – 846 – 25.38

Will Martin scored his second qualification standard, this time in the 50 free, with his 3rd-place finish of 25.38. Rowan Crothers got the win with 23.98 and 901 points. Tom Gallagher was second with 24.44.

Timothy Diskin (S9) also earned a QT for his class, going 25.80 to finish just behind Martin.

Men’s 100 Meter Backstroke – Finals

  • World Record: 51.85 Ryan Murphy, USA (2016)
  • Commonwealth Record: 52.11 Mitch Larkin, AUS (2015)
  • Australian Record: 52.11 Mitch Larkin, SPW (2015)
  • All Comer Record: 52.38 Mitch Larkin, SPW (2019)
  • World Junior Record: 52.53 Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: 51.97 Ryan Murphy, USA
  • OQT: 53.40
  • Meet Qualifying: 58.74


  1. Mitch Larkin (STPE) – 53.40
  2. Isaac Cooper (RACK) – 53.49
  3. Tristan Hollard (STHP) – 54.00

17-year-old Isaac Cooper almost upset Mitch Larkin, but experience prevailed in the end. Larkin was out first in 25.86 and home in 27.54, going exactly 53.40 to book a ticket to his 3rd Olympic Games. Cooper picked up a new PB of 53.49 for second place, while Tristan Hollard went 54.00 for third.

Larkin still has the 4th-fastest time of the 2020-21 season after his 52.75 from December 2020.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Back

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Women’s 400 Meter Freestyle – Finals

  • World Record: 3:56.46 Katie Ledecky, USA (2016)
  • Commonwealth Record: 3:58.76 Ariarne Titmus, AUS (2019)
  • Australian Record: 3:58.76 Ariarne Titmus, SPW (2019)
  • All Comer Record: 3:58.37 Katie Ledecky, USA (2014)
  • World Junior Record: 3:58.37 Katie Ledecky, USA (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: 3:56.46 Katie Ledecky, USA
  • OQT: 4:07.10
  • Meet Qualifying: 4:26.87


  1. Ariarne Titmus (STPE) – 3:56.90
  2. Tamsin Cook (UWSC) – 4:04.10
  3. Kiah Melverton (TSS) – 4:04.78

20-year-old World Champion Ariarne Titmus broke the Australian Record in the 400 free with 3:56.90, winning by just over 7 seconds. Titmus was out first at the 50 turn, followed by Tamsin Cook and Lani Pallister. She was up by 1 second at the 100 wall over Cook and Pallister who were still 2nd and 3rd as the field began to spread out. She continued to add about half a second per 50 to her lead, and turned at the halfway mark in 1:57. Still ahead of the WR mark at the 300 with 2:57.77, Titmus swam all alone over the final 100 meters and finished with 3:56.90, a lifetime best by 1.8 seconds.

With a 1:57/1:59, Titmus notched a world-leading time for the season, surprising herself with the time.

2020-2021 LCM Women 400 Free

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Titmus said in interviews that she expects it will take a 3:55 to win gold in Tokyo. She added “Katie is definitely the standard. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire podium is under 4 minutes.”

Cook, who was 6th in prelims this morning, held on to the second spot throughout the race and earned the second qualifying spot with 4:04.10. Kiah Melverton was 3rd with 4:04.78.

Women’s 50 Meter Freestyle MC – Finals

Podium (based on points):

  1. Katja Dedekind (S13) (USCS) – 986 – 26.80 QT
  2. Rachel Watson (S4) (CHAND) – 866 – 39.73 QT
  3. Kirralee Hayes (S13) (GENES) – 860 – 28.04

Katja Dedekind clocked a PB of 26.80 to win the women’s 50 free podium. Dedekind, who is visually impaired, didn’t know her time at the end of the race. When she learned how fast she had swum in the post-race interview, she reacted with excitement, saying “I didn’t think I’d be able to go that quick in my life. That’s insane, that’s crazy.”

Rachel Watson (S4), whose impairment had her starting in the water, went 39.73 to grab a QT in her class.

Men’s 50 Meter Breaststroke MC – Finals

Podium (based on points):

  1. Ahmed Kelly (SB3) – 662 – 54.48
  2. Grant Patterson (SB2) – 554 – 1:01.66

Competing against their own World Records in their respective classes, Ahmed Kelly and Grant (“Scooter”) Patterson finished 1-2 with Patterson earning a QT for Tokyo. Kelly, who won gold at Para Pan Pacs, was 1.7 seconds faster than he had been in the morning but came up short of the qualifying time. His main event, the 150 medley, is later this week so he still has a chance to make the team. In that case, he will be able to swim this event in Tokyo.

Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle – Finals

  • World Record: 1:42.00 Paul Biedermann, GER (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:44.06 Ian Thorpe, AUS (2001)
  • Australian Record: 1:44.06 Ian Thorpe, SLC Aquadot (2001)
  • All Comer Record: 1:43.86 Michael Phelps, USA (2007)
  • World Junior Record: 1:44.96 Hwang Sun Woo (2021)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: 1:44.65 Sun Yang, CHN
  • OQT: 1:45.76
  • Meet Qualifying: 1:54.22

Top 6:

  1. Kyle Chalmers (MARI) – 1:45.48 QT
  2. Elijah Winnington (STPE) – 1:45.55 QT
  3. Thomas Neil (RACK) – 1:45.70
  4. Alexander Graham (BOND) – 1:45.71
  5. Zac Incerti (UWSC) – 1:46.18
  6. Mack Horton (MVC) – 1:46.33

Defending Olympic champion in the 100 free, Kyle Chalmers cracked a PB in the 200 free to come from behind for a 1:45.48 win and an Olympic qualification. Elijah Winnington was a mere .07 behind to earn his second individual spot on the roster, having qualified in the 400 free on Day 1.

Chalmers was swimming in lane 2 after finishing 6th in heats this morning. Top qualifier Alexander Graham took it out first from lane 4 and led the field at the 50, 100, and 150 walls. At the halfway mark, Graham was .3 ahead of Winnington and .4 in front of Clyde Lewis and Chalmers.

Chalmers began to make his move over the second half. He moved past Lewis at the 150 wall, then came home in 27.0 to overtake Winnington and Graham. As Graham ran out of steam, both Winnington and Thomas Neil got to the wall just ahead in 2nd and 3rd, with Neil edging Graham by .01 for the podium.

It was a tight heat all around as everyone was under 1:47. After a disappointing 400 free on Day 1, Mack Horton, who was 9th in prelims and got into the final via a withdrawal, made it into the top-6 in the final and is thus in the running to be selected to the 4×200 squad.

The Australians’ depth in the event will make them a favorite for gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

2020-2021 LCM Men 200 Free

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1 year ago

We won’t know until the Olympics but my guess is that Australia will not perform as well at the Olympics as they do in their Olympic Trials. This happens almost every four years.

Reply to  lightning
1 year ago

Lets hope so, Let really hope so, on 2nd thoughts maybe just wishful thinking on your part.

1 year ago

To many comments to read through them all.
This is with regards to many countries, not just Australia. I wish that countries would use the OQT as that would make the prelims more competitive and make it faster to qualify for Semifinals and it would give a few more swimmers a 2nd chance in case they were a little off during the qualifying period for the said championship (Olympics, Worlds, etc).

From the results listed above, Issac Cooper would have made the meet/team.

1 year ago

Nicole Johnstone is hands down the best swimming commentator

Reply to  Cate
1 year ago

Nicole Livingstone, but yes 100% agree. We had Giaan Rooney for a few years & she was horrible.

Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

How Giaan got that job is a mystery to many.

1 year ago

I don’t think Mack Horton will do anything in the 800FS but I expect he’ll make the team as a member of the relay. He owes Matthew Temple a few beers. Ironically Horton is swimming better at these trials than he was in 2019. If he again makes the same kind of improvement from trials to the big event he could once more be an important factor in the 4X200. Right now though it’s looking pretty good for GBR.

Irish Ringer
1 year ago

Brilliant swim and we’ll see if the US ladies answer back this week.

1 year ago

Not certain why we can’t celebrate the thrilling swims at this meet without attacking and tearing down other athletes

1 year ago

Remember Cate broke the WR and then what happened in 2016.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  MichaelTran
1 year ago

Seehohm was also favored to win in 2012.

Some blame the brutal Australian media for putting lofty expectations on the swimmers.

I don’t think it’ll be a factor this year though.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  MichaelTran
1 year ago

all this talk of regan going faster in a few days time.
stephanie rice broke the 400 im wr at trials, katie hoff broke it at us trials then rice wins the gold in a new wr while hoff settled for bronze in a time slower than her trials time

Last edited 1 year ago by Old Man Chalmers
1 year ago

The US team knows to do what they need to do. So don’t worry. Even with the rise of their main rivals, they stll can have like 8-10 gold medals.

Reply to  MichaelTran
1 year ago

BEST Gold medal chance for US Team:
800m free W
1500m free W
100m breast W
4X100m medley W
50m Free M
100m free M
100m fly M
4x100m medley M
4x100m free M
4x100m medley mixed

Reply to  MichaelTran
1 year ago

4×100 free would be higher than medley, same for 100 fly higher than 100 free

Last edited 1 year ago by Rafael

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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