2021 Australian Olympic Trials: Day 5 Prelims Live Recap



  • 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
  • OQT: Q 1:57.98

The men’s 200m IM prelims were on the subdued side with just one athlete getting under the 2:00 barrier in the form of Mitch Larkin. The St. Peters Western athlete posted a top-seeded effort of 1:59.21 to hold over a 2-second advantage over the top 2 finishers in the 400m IM here, Se-Bom Lee and Brendon Smith.

Young Thomas Hauck lurks as the 4th seed in 2:02.45, but this is Larkin’s race to lose, as the 27-year-old veteran boasts a season-best of 1:56.32 to rank as the 3rd fastest performer in the world. And, Larkin is going all-in in this event, dropping the 200m back to focus on this multi-discipline event instead.







  • 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
  • OQT: Q 2:24.18

24-year-old Jenna Strauch leads the women’s 200m breaststroke field by over 2 seconds, posting a morning prelim outing of 2:25.24. That’s less than half a second off of her lifetime best of 2:24.49, a time she’ll need to beat to hit the Aussie-mandated QT of 2:24.18 needed for Tokyo.

Abbey Harkin looked controlled to easily make it into the final, clocking 2:27.49. Harkin is the highest-ranked Aussie entering this meet, but still sits just 17th in the world this season.

Mikayla Smith of Nunawading produced 2:27.64 as the 3rd seeded swimmer. Smith’s effort hacked almost a second off of her lifetime test of 2:27.20.

Of note, 2016 Rio Olympic finalist in this event, Taylor McKeown, sneaked into the final with a prelims time of 2:29.49.

The question is whether any of these women can get under the QT in tonight’s 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
  • OQT: 1:57.26

Sans the aforementioned Larkin, this men’s 200m backstroke is essentially wide open, with any number of swimmers capable of sneaking to the top of the podium. The question will be if they can muster the 1:57.26 qualification time, a mark which both Tristan Hollard and Travis Mahoney have in their sights after morning swims of 1:58.79 and 1:58.82, respectively.

18-year-old Joshua Edwards-Smith is also in the mix with a sub-2:00 result of 1:59.37, while 6th seeded Thomas Hauck took on the 2IM/2back double and was rendered to 6th place in 2:00.69.


  • 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
  • OQT: 53.31

The story coming out of this morning has to be 27-year-old Emma McKeon swimming a new personal best of 52.19. Coming in the heats, no less, McKeon was able to scare the Australian Record held by Cate Campbell (52.06). The swim was a new top mark for McKeon by exactly 0.1 seconds, and is the top time in the world.

Cate Campbell, for her part, posted a truly relaxed-looking 52.78 this morning, taking the 2nd seed for tonight. She took the race out quite a bit slower than McKeon did, splitting 25.30 on the first 50m, to McKeon’s 24.95. Campbell’s season best of 52.46 is now the #2 time in the world this year.

Madison Wilson was another swimmer to crack her lifetime best this morning, roaring to a 53.06. The swim marked a personal best for the 27-year-old, who had just recently swum her previous best of 53.40 back in April.

Youngster Meg Harris took 4th this morning with a new personal best of 53.23, bettering her entry time of 53.87 by a big margin. Bronte Campbell also turned in a solid prelims time, swimming a 53.35 for 5th place.

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1 year ago

That’s some exciting results.
Too bad I have to rely on the commentary on this website only and cannot watch the action.
Why did Swimming Australia decide to give the rights to Amazon prime? Was that much more money? Or the other networks not interested?

Reply to  Clanfa
1 year ago

Without being in the room during conversations, it does seem from the public side that other networks weren’t interested, or at least that they couldn’t come to an agreement.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Thanks. That’s disappointing. So much gold and effort from these formidable athletes and no interest from broadcasters. sigh

1 year ago

Why is Larkin not swimming the 2 Back?

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

Because he chose the 200 IM. It was quite sad to see his lane empty

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Hauck is swimming in both 200IM and 200 back finals tonight. He’s born 2003.

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

The 200 IM is a lot less competitive internationally. I’m pretty sure he even said so in an interview.

Reply to  BadShoulder
1 year ago

The gold in the 200back was probably out of reach for him, although it was probably an easier medal chance, whereas there is no clear favourite, at this point at least, in the 200IM. He’s betting big which in many ways may be admirable; whether it pays off ……. or bites him on the gluteus maximus remains to be seen.

Reply to  commonwombat
1 year ago

I think he had to make the choice and it’s probably the right choice. He was just honest about it.

Nic Ola
1 year ago

Do you think that Mckeon can goes under 52 in the final?

M d e
Reply to  Nic Ola
1 year ago

I think she will.

Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

Any hope of American and Canadian girls in unseating Australia in 4×100 free evaporated with that prelims swims.

Last edited 1 year ago by Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

That was some pretty awesome swims there & appears most will improve their times in final too, just mind boggling.

1 year ago

Omg McKeon

Last edited 1 year ago by IM FAN
1 year ago

Two hours after the session is over and I still have that stadium muzak going round in my head…

1 year ago

Emma McKeon’s front end speed has come on leaps and bounds, really is gonna take a big swim to beat her in Tokyo.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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