2021 Australian Olympic Trials – Day 5 Finals Live Recap

SWIMMING AUSTRALIA OLYMPIC TRIALS

It’s the penultimate day of swimming at the Australian Olympic and Paralympic trials. Tonight’s slate of events features the men’s 200 IM,  women’s and men’s multiclass 50 butterfly, women’s and men’s multiclass 100 backstroke, women’s 200 breaststroke, men’s 200 backstroke, and the session will end with the women’s 100 freestyle.

The strength of the Australian women will be on full display tonight in the 100 freestyle. This morning saw four women under the qualifying time of 53.31. The quartet was led by Emma McKeon, who tested Cate Campbell‘s Australian record of 52.03, by swimming a world-leading time of 52.19. McKeon is followed by Campbell (52.78), Madison Wilson (53.06), and Meg Harris (53.23). Behind those four, eyes will be on Bronte Campbell who swam 53.35 this morning and Mollie O’Callaghan at 53.57 to see if they can move up in the rankings

Australian record holder Mitch Larkin was the only male under 2:00 this morning in the 200 IM at 1:59.21. He needs to drop 1.23 in finals to dip under the qualifying time of 1:57.98.Qualifying behind Larkin are Se-Bom Lee at 2:01.54 and Brendon Smith at 2:01.98. Both Smith and Lee have already qualified for Tokyo in the 400 IM on the first night of competition where Smith set a new Australian record.

Jenna Strauch leads the field in the 200 breaststroke. Her prelims swim of 2:25.24 is over two seconds faster than the second qualifier, Abbey Harkin at 2:27.49. Both came into the meet seeded at 2:24 and will be chasing the qualifying time of 2:24.18.

Larkin, who also holds the Australian record in the 200 backstroke, has opted to focus on the 200 IM leaving the door open for the field. This morning saw four men swim under 2:00. Ty Hartwell leads the field by over a second in 1:57.51. Tristan Hollard is second at 1:58.79 with Travis Mahoney just behind at 1:58.82. Joshua Edwards-Smith was the last man under 2:00 with his 1:59.37. The qualifying time of 1:57.26 is well within Hartwell’s sights while the other swimmers will need to drop over 1.5 seconds tonight to meet that time. Hartwell was initially disqualified for movement on the start but was reinstated after an appeal.

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 automatically qualify to the Paralympic Games. Australia has a roster cap of 32 swimmers and can only take 17 men and 15 women to Tokyo.

MEN’S 200 IM – FINAL

  • World: 1:54.00 28-Jul-11 Ryan Lochte, USA
  • Commonwealth: C 1:55.72 12-Jun-19 Mitch Larkin, AUS
  • Australian: A 1:55.72 12-Jun-19 Mitch Larkin, SPW
  • All Comer: 1:54.98 29-Mar-07 Michael Phelps, USA
  • World Junior Record: 1:56.99 19-May-21 Hubert Kos, HUN
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:54.66
  • OQT: Q 1:57.98

Podium:

  1. Mitch Larkin – 1:56.29
  2. Brendon Smith – 1:58.82
  3. Se-Bom Lee – 2:00.36

Se-Bom Lee was quick off the blocks but Mitch Larkin moved ahead over the butterfly leg and turned first 50 in 25.22. Larkin used his backstroke strength to extended his lead to a body length, turning halfway at 54.01 followed by Lee at 55.63. Halfway the race, Lee and Brendon Smith were racing for second place. The two were stroke-for-stroke on the breaststroke led with Smith turning at the 150 with a .06 lead ahead of Lee. Larkin would go on to finish in 1:56.29 followed by Smith in 1:58.82.

Larkin improved upon his season-best time and holds his position as the third fastest person in the world this year. Australia has never won a medal in the men’s 200 IM and Larkin will have a chance to end that drought in Tokyo.

RANKING SEARCH RESULTS

WOMEN’S 100 BACK MC – FINAL

Podium (points):

  1. Katja Dadekind – 939
  2. Jasmine Greenwood – 848
  3. Ellie Cole – 834

The Paralympic athletes have already had more swimmers put in qualifying times than there are available spots for Tokyo. Swimmers will need to be closest to the world record in their respective event to earn a spot. Katja Dedekind swam an Australian record in the S13 classification of 1:07.16. Joining Dadekind with a qualifying time is Jasmine Greenwood in 1:09.58. Greenwood dropped .13 seconds from her prelims swim.

MEN’S 100 BACK MC – FINAL

Podium (points):

  1. Benjamin Hance – 1091
  2. Timothy Hodge – 953
  3. Ricky Betar – 915

Eyes were on Benjamin Hance in lane 4 as he challenged the world record in the S14 classification. Hance turned at the 50 in 27.46, right on world-record pace. He would hold his pace and keep his stroke rate over the second 50 to finish in 57.56. Hance crushes the previous world record of 58.05. Timothy Hodge, Ricky Betar, and Jesse Aungles all put up qualifying times in their classification. Jacob Templeton, who had swum a qualifying time, was disqualified.

WOMEN’S 50 FLY MC – FINAL

Podium (points):

  1. Tahlia Blanshard – 806

Tahlia Blanshard was the lone competitor in this event as she was chasing the qualification time of 36.23 after swimming a 37.06 this morning. Blanshard held fast over the last ten meters and would finish with a new personal best of 36.33.

MEN’S 50 FLY MC – FINAL

Podium (points):

  1. Joel Mundie – 611
  2. Henrik Korgius – 338

There were two swimmers in the men’s 50 fly event, Joel Mundie and Henrik Krogius from Finland. Mundie’s time of 33.48 was a significant drop from his 34.13 in prelims but well off the qualifying time of 30.06. Krogius’s time of 45.26 was a .04 drop from this morning.

WOMEN’S 200 BREAST – FINAL

  • World: 2:19.11 01-Aug-13 Rikke Pedersen, DEN
  • Commonwealth: C 2:20.12 30-Jul-09 Annamay Pierse, CAN
  • Australian: A 2:20.54 01-Feb-00 Leisel Jones, Commercial
  • All Comer: 2:20.04 06-Feb-16 Rie Kaneto, JPN
  • World Junior Record: 2:19.64 30-Aug-15 Viktoriya Gunes, TUR
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Rie Kaneto (JAP) – 2:20.30
  • OQT: Q 2:24.18

Podium:

  1. Jenna Strauch – 2:23.12
  2. Abbey Harkin – 2:23.59
  3. Tessa Wallace – 2:24.86

The field was tight over the first 50 as Tessa Wallace in lane 8 held the early lead at 32.92. Jenna Strauch would use her long strokes to take the lead over the second 50 with Wallace right behind her. Strauch turned at the 100 in 1:09.11 with Wallace at 1:09.38. Over the third 50, Strauch would continue to lead as Abbey Harkin moved up challenge Wallace. With 25 meters left in the race,  Strauch, Harkin, and Wallace were all ahead of qualifying pace. Strauch would take the win in 2:23.12 followed by Harkin at 2:23.59 as both swimmers were well under the qualifying time. Wallace faded over the last 15 meters to finish in 2:24.86

Strauch and Harkin both put up best times. Strauch’s previous best was 2:24.49 from March of this year and Harkin’s best was 2:24.27 from April.

MEN’S 200 BACK – FINAL

  • World: 1:51.92 31/07/2009 Aaron Peirsol, USA
  • Commonwealth: 1:53.17 7/11/2015 Mitch Larkin, AUS
  • Australian: 1:53.17 7/11/2015 Mitch Larkin, SPW
  • All Comer: 1:53.72 15/12/2015 Mitch Larkin, SPW
  • World Junior Record: 1:55.15 28/07/2017 Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Ryan Murphy (USA) – 1:53.62
  • OQT: 1:57.26

Podium:

  1. Tristan Hollard – 1:56.44
  2. Ty Hartwell – 1:57.45
  3. Travis Mahoney – 1:58.06

On the start all swimmers kicked-out to nearly 15 meters. Bradley Woodward was the early leader, turning at the 50 in 27.55. On the second 50, Ty Hartwell and Tristan Howell moved up on the field. At the 100 meter mark, Woodward continued to lead at 27.22 followed by Hartwell at 57.29 and Hartwell at 57.40. Heading into the third turn there was a spread of four swimmers led by Hartwell at 1:57.14. Hollard had a phenomenal final turn and used upwards of nine dolphin kicks to move ahead of Hartwell. Hollard would hold on to the lead as he finished under the qualifying time and just off his best of 1:56.40.

WOMEN’S 100 FREE – FINAL

  • World: 51.71 23/07/2017 Sarah Sjostrom, SWE
  • Commonwealth: 52.03 10/08/2018 Cate Campbell, AUS
  • Australian: 52.03 10/08/2018 Cate Campbell, Chandler
  • All Comer: 52.06 2/07/2016 Cate Campbell, Chandler
  • World Junior Record: 52.70 11/08/2016 Penny Oleksiak, CAN
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Simone Manuel (USA), Penny Oleksiak (CAN) – 52.70
  • OQT: 53.31

Podium:

  1. Emma McKeon – 52.35
  2. Cate Campbell – 52.59
  3. Madison Wilson – 52.76
  4. Meg Harris – 52.92

McKeon was the first to surface after the start followed by Cate Campbell. McKeon continued to lead as she turned at the 50 in 24.90, a hair quicker than her 24.95 from this morning. Campbell was right behind McKeon as she turned in 24.95. McKeon and Campbell would battle over the second 50 with both ahead of world-record pace at the 75 meter mark. McKeon would hold on to win in 52.35 followed by Campbell in 52.59, and Wilson in 52.76. Campbell’s finish qualifies her for her fourth Olympic games.

In her post-race interview, Campbell spoke about the depth of the Australian women in this event. She asked everyone to look at the scoreboard saying “that is a world class scoreboard in a country of 23 million people.” The world record of 3:30.05 for the women’s 400 freestyle relay will be on notice in Tokyo. Overall, the top six finishers in the 100 freestyle all swam faster than the qualifying time of 53.31, which is set as the 8th place time from prelims at the 2019 FINA World Championships.

McKeon’s time of 52.19 from this morning vaults her to the top of the world rankings this season. Factoring in the swims from tonight, Australia now holds four of the top five fastest spots in this season’s rankings.

2020-2021 LCM WOMEN 100 FREE

CATEAUS
CAMPBELL

04/15
52.43
2 EMMA
MCKEON
AUS 52.46 12/14
3 ZHANG
YUFEI
CHN 52.90 09/27
4 FEMKE
HEEMSKERK
NED 53.05 05/22
5 RANOMI
KROMOWIDJOJO
NED 53.13 04/10

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John26
1 year ago

I’m surprised there were some people who thought Emma would beat Sjostrom’s 51.71 here.

Although it was certainly possible, I think of this as Sjostrom’s strongest WR apart from the 50fly. On the men’s side, we wouldn’t think 46.71 would be in reach if they swam 47.19 so it seems bizarre to me. 51.7 in my world is a significant jump from 52.0 or 52.1, and in my eyes it’s unlikely this record goes this summer

Reply to  John26
1 year ago

I think Emma has a chance to beat Sarah’s record. What I think was strange was her change of tactics. In her previous PB(52.2), not tapered, Emma opened in 25.6 or 25.7 and came home like a train. I don’t understand her to need to open in 24.9. It looks like she was experimenting with her swim, which I think is pretty crazy to do in trials.

Robbos
Reply to  DDias
1 year ago

Very good point.

Aquajosh
Reply to  DDias
1 year ago

I think it speaks to her confidence. She knew that whatever race plan she took, she was going to touch the wall first or second, even in a field that strong. She’s willing to be fearless to be faster, and that’s why she will be the one to beat in Tokyo.

Troyy
Reply to  DDias
1 year ago

Her PB in the heats opened in 24.9. She probably needs to go out faster but not 24.9 fast. Maybe 25.3 and see if she can still keep the back half spliit the same.

Torchbearer
Reply to  John26
1 year ago

I think it was the ease of her 52.1 that made the WR look possible…. Understand your point completely though.

Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

It’s not fair that Australia has 4 women swimming sub 53 flat start

Coach Mike 1952
1 year ago

The top six women were all under the Aussie OQT no less, faster than the OQT. Now that’s smokin’!

Old Man Chalmers
1 year ago

52.35
52.59
52.76
52.92
3:30.62, would be 3rd fastest performance all time

EliteSwim99
1 year ago

Imagine going a 52.76 100FR, a time that would be .06 off of winning the Gold Medal in Rio 2016, and not even qualifying individually for the Olympics. Yikes.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  EliteSwim99
1 year ago

Idiot 2 athlete per country rule, but others will say they don’t want an AUS/US 100 free women’s final.

FSt
1 year ago

I’m enjoying the Amazon broadcast so much! And I don’t care what my fellow swim-nerds on here have to say about it, having the para events right alongside the able-bodied events is a smart move! It’ll draw a lot of people to watch it who maybe normally wouldn’t (aside from it being on Amazon, which probably already means a huge new built-in audience). The commentary is WORLDS better than whatever NBC has going on with Rowdy and that other guy. And Giaan is doing a way better job interviewing the athletes after the race than her American counteprart as well. And last but not least, the Australian swimmers, both those who compete for a spot at the Olympic Games as… Read more »

Sunday Morning Grind
1 year ago

AnEn where you at?

Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Countries like Australia suffer from the 2 athlete per country limit in an individual event. Such a shame swimming a 52 and you can’t swim the individual event at the Olympics!

Torchbearer
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Indeed, and a 52.76…basically the winning time from Rio!!!!!

Robbos
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Have to blame the east Germans for that during their reign.