2022 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, May 18 – Sunday, May 22, 2022
- SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Oaklands Park, South Australia
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Central
- Entry List
- Live Results
- Live Stream (Amazon Prime)
- World Championships Qualifying Criteria
Tonight we saw an inspiring performance by Ariarne Titmus in the women’s 200m freestyle at the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships.
The 21-year-old Dean Boxall–trained star pumped out a massive time of 1:53.31 to check in with the third-fastest 2free performance in history. The only swims that score higher are represented by now-retired Italian World Record Holder Federica Pellegrini‘s 1:52.98 World Record from 2009 and Titmus’ own 1:53.09 from last year’s national championships.
Looking at the bigger picture, Titmus led a slew of top-notch performances in tonight’s final, as on-fire 18-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan also turned some heads with yet another personal best.
The St. Peters Western ace got to the wall in a time of 1:54.94, a mark representing her first-ever 2free outing under the 1:55 threshold. Entering this meet O’Callgahan owned a personal best of 1:55.11 from the 2020 Olympic Games, so the teen managed to slice another .17 off of that time to snag silver.
Collectively, the top four finishers tonight would produce a combined time of 7:40.05, a relay time that would result in a new World Record if swum together.
Currently, the WR in the women’s 800m free relay stands at 7:40.33, set by China at the Tokyo Olympic Games in what was an upset victory over the Australians, who ended up finishing third in 7:41.29 (the U.S. slid in for second in 7:40.73).
Coming into those Games, the world record stood at the 7:41.50 Australia set two years prior at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships. There in Gwangju, the combination of Titmus (1:54.27), Wilson (1:56.73), Brianna Throssell (1:55.60) and Emma McKeon (1:54.90) registered a winning effort to lower the previous all-time mark of 7:42.08, set by China in 2009.
Even if we factor out Titmus, who will not swim at the World Championships, second through fifth at the Australian Trials would finish with a combined time of 7:42.84.
In contrast, at the 2022 U.S. International Team Trials meet held last month, the top four women’s 200m freestyle finishers included Katie Ledecky (1:55.15), Claire Weinstein (1:57.08), Leah Smith (1:57.44) and Hali Flickinger (1:57.53). Those four combined add up to 7:47.20.
|Australian Trials Add-Up*||U.S. Trials Add-Up|
|Mollie O’Callaghan – 1:54.94||Katie Ledecky – 1:55.15|
|Madi Wilson – 1:55.86||Claire Weinstein – 1:57.08|
|Kiah Melverton – 1:55.94||Leah Smith – 1:57.44|
|Leah Neale – 1:56.10||Hali Flickinger – 1:57.53|
*Excluding Ariarne Titmus, who won’t swim at the World Championships
With these times, on paper, Australia holds a significant advantage over the United States.
China remains a very real threat, especially after Tang Muhan (1:54.26) and Yang Junxuan (1:54.48) posted a pair of scintillating times back in late September. But after China’s trials meet was called off, it’s difficult to know where they stand one month out from Worlds.