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
We’ve arrived at the first finals session of the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships. Night 1 will begin with the men’s 400 freestyle, in which Elijah Winnington will attempt to fend off the field. Winnington posted a 3:46.83 during prelims to get under the FINA A cut.
Samuel Short was also under that cut with a 3:47.13, followed by Mack Horton in 3rd with a 3:48.92. After the 400 freestyle, it’s the women’s 100 breast, men’s 100 fly, women’s 100 free, men’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 freestyle, and women’s 800 free.
MEN’S 400 FREE – FINAL
- World Record: Paul Biedermann – 3:40.07 (2009)
- World Junior Record: Mack Horton – 3:44.60 (2014)
- Australian Record: Ian Thorpe – 3:40.08 (2002)
- Commonwealth Record: Ian Thorpe – 3:40.08 (2002)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 3:48.15
- Elijah Winnington – 3:43.10
- Mack Horton – 3:44.06
- Samuel Short – 3:44.34
Elijah Winnington, the top seed out of the prelims, held onto his #1 position in the men’s 400 freestyle with a winning time of 3:43.10. Not only was that more than 3 seconds better than his prelims time of 3:46.83, but it also makes Winnington the 2nd-fastest man in the world this season behind Germany’s Lukas Martens who hit a 3:41.60 in April.
This swim was near a personal best time for Winnington whose PB is a 3:42.65 from last year’s Olympic Trials. Winnington qualified for Tokyo 2020 and placed 7th overall in this event.
Mack Horton, the 2016 Olympic champion in the 400, did not qualify for the Tokyo Olympics when he placed 3rd at Trials. He made will make a return to the team this year, however, now that he’s placed 2nd at Trials with a 3:44.06. Horton’s PB is a 3:41.55 from when he won gold in Rio.
Samuel Short was nearly quick enough to make the team and got well under the FINA A cut here. Short swam a 3:44.34, which was just slower than Horton and gets his PB down from a 3:54.33 from last year.
Brendon Smith, the Olympic medalist in the 400 IM, was the 4th man under the FINA A when he touched in a 3:47.95. Joshua Staples rounded out the top 5 in a 3:50.07.
WOMEN’S 100 BREAST – FINAL
- World Record: Lily King – 1:04.13 (2017)
- World Junior Record: Rūta Meilutytė – 1:04.35 (2013)
- Australian Record: Leisel Jones – 1:05.09 (2006)
- Commonwealth Record: Tatjana Schoenmaker – 1:04.82 (2021)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:07.43
- Jenna Strauch – 1:06.69
- Abbey Harkin – 1:06.88
- Chelsea Hodges – 1:06.94
In the second event of the session, an intense battle broke out between the top 3 women in the 100 breaststroke. Olympian Chelsea Hodges was first at the 50, splitting a 30.85, and was followed by Jenna Strauch (31.16) and Abbey Harkin (31.77) at the half.
On the second leg, not only was Strauch able to run down Hodges but Harkin did it too. The two overtook Hodges and went 1-2 in this event with a 1:06.69 and 1:06.88, respectively. All 3 of the top finishers here were under both the FINA A cut (1:07.43), meaning Strauch and Harkin will likely get the nod for the team.
That leaves Olympic semi-finalist Chelsea Hodges, who has been a 1:05.99 before, off the Worlds team this summer. Hodges split a 1:05.57 during the medley relay in Tokyo to help the Australian women to gold in the 4×100 medley relay.
While Strauch had been as fast as a 1:06.37 before this meet, Harkin’s former PB was a 1:07.02. The duo will now likely replace Hodges and Tokyo Olympian Jessica Hansen as the 100 breaststrokers for Australia this summer.
MEN’S 100 FLY – FINAL
- World Record: Caeleb Dressel – 49.45 (2021)
- World Junior Record: Kristof Milak – 50.62 (2017)
- Australian Record: Matthew Temple – 50.45 (2021)
- Commonwealth Record: Joseph Schooling – 50.39 (2016)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 51.96
- Matthew Temple – 51.50
- Kyle Chalmers – 51.67
- Cody Simpson – 51.96
Two-time Olympic medalist in the 4×100 freestyle and mixed 4×100 medley relay Matthew Temple had the winning time in the men’s 100 butterfly with a 51.50. That will likely be enough to get him onto the Worlds team this summer as he undercut the 51.96 FINA A. Last summer he swam at Tokyo individually in this event and tied Jakub Majerski for 5th in the final.
The race for second place came down to 100 freestyle Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers and Cody Simpson, who were separated by just 0.01 seconds at the 50. Chalmers turned at a 24.16, Simpson a 24.17.
Chalmers has enough closing speed to out-pace Simpson here and the 2 of them went 2-3 in a 51.67 and 51.96, respectively. Notably, Simpson swam exactly on the FINA A cut in this event. Chalmers has said that he won’t be racing at World Championships this summer, meaning that if he declines an invitation based on the top 2 finish, Simpson could wind up getting the nomination instead.
Simpson swam under the FINA A during prelims with a 51.79, which brought him under 52 seconds for the first time.
The battle for 4th place was live between all 5 of the other men in the final with Bowen Gough (4th) and Jesse Coleman (8th) touching just 0.35 seconds apart. Gough was a 52.35, followed by Ben Armbruster (52.41), David Morgan (52.61), Shaun Champion (52.67), and, finally, Coleman (52.70).
WOMEN’S 100 FREE – FINAL
- World Record: Sarah Sjostrom – 51.71 (2017)
- World Junior Record: Penny Oleksiak – 52.70 (2016)
- Australian Record: Emma McKeon – 51.96 (2021)
- Commonwealth Record: Emma McKeon – 51.96 (2021)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 54.25
- Mollie O’Callaghan – 52.49
- Shayna Jack – 52.60
- Meg Harris – 53.09
Mollie O’Callaghan brought her speed from the morning (52.83) into the final of the women’s 100 freestyle and posted another season-best of 52.49 to claim a spot on the World Championships roster. This time from O’Callaghan is the fastest swim in the world this year and gets her well under the 54.25 FINA A.
Coming into this meet, her PB in the event was a 53.08 from a relay leadoff at the Olympics. What’s notable about O’Callaghan’s swim is that is just a touch slower than what Emma McKeon posted at Australian Trials last year (52.35), and is faster than Cate Campbell’s 52.59 from that meet.
O’Callaghan has taken up the 100 free mantel in the absence of McKeon and the Campbell sisters and was followed by Shayna Jack who delivered a 52.60. Jack, formerly banned and now returned to the sport, hit a 52.60 to also get under the 53-second barrier, and FINA A cut. This is a new PB for Jack and improves upon her morning swim of 53.27.
Jack will also get onto the team here, marking an official comeback for her after missing the 2019 World Championships and every major meet since then. O’Callaghan and Jack and now the top 2 swimmers in the world this season.
Third place finisher Meg Harris was a 53.09 here to replace Sarah Sjostrom as the #3 swimmer in the world this year. Madi Wilson was 4th in a 53.19 and Ariarne Titmus, who won’t race at Worlds, placed 5th in a 53.68. Now with 4 women between 52.49 and 53.19, Australia looks like its still got the depth it needs without McKeon or the Campbells to put up a strong fight for yet another gold medal in the 4×100 free.
MEN’S 200 BACK – FINAL
- World Record: Aaron Peirsol – 1:51.92 (2009)
- World Junior Record: Kilment Kolesnikov – 1:55.14 (2017)
- Australian Record: Mitch Larkin – 1:53.17 (2015)
- Commonwealth Record: Mitch Larkin – 1:53.17 (2015)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:58.07
- Joshua Edwards-Smith – 1:56.71
- Mitch Larkin – 1:56.79
- Bradley Woodward – 1:57.38
Unlike most other events on day 1, no one swam under the FINA A cut during the prelims of the men’s 200 backstroke. That changed, however, once finals rolled around as 4 men managed to work their way under the 1:58.07 cut.
The charge was led by 19-year-old Joshua Edward-Smith who got the lead at the 50 and held onto it the entire way. Edwards-Smith opened the race with a 27.22, hit a 56.58 at the half, and then wound up finishing with a 1:56.71.
Prior to this meet, Edwards-Smith has a best time in this event from back in 2019 when he hit a 1:57.82. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, his fastest had been a 1:59.20 from Olympic Trials in 2021. He raced this event in 2019 at the World Junior Championships and placed 9th overall with a 2:00.13.
Joining Edwards-Smith, who has made his first-ever senior team will be Australian vet Mitch Larkin. Larkin has raced at many a World Championships meet at Olympic Games and won gold in this event at 2015 Worlds, along with silver at Rio 2016. Larkin holds the national record at a 1:53.17 from 2015.
His best time from the last few years is a 1:53.38 from April 2021, but he actually opted out of the 200 back at a high-level last summer. He will likely now have the option to race this event at Worlds.
Bradley Woodward and Ty Hartwell both swam quicker than the FINA A as well, hitting a 1:57.38 for 3th and a 1:57.65 for 4th, respectively.
MEN’S 50 FREE – FINAL
- World Record: Cesar Cielo – 20.91 (2009)
- World Junior Record: Michael Andrew – 21.75 (2017)
- Australian Record: Ashley Callus – 21.19 (2009)
- Commonwealth Record: Ben Proud – 21.11 (2018)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 22.18
- Thomas Nowakowski – 21.86
- Grayson Bell – 22.08
- Isaac Cooper – 22.33
Thomas Nowakowski burst into the lead in the men’s 50 freestyle and managed to power his way towards a first place finish with a 21.86. That swim from Nowakowski marks his first time under 22 seconds in this event and is quicker than the FINA A cut of 22.18. That means that he will likely nab a spot on the World Championships team this summer.
Nowakowski came into the meet with a PB more than half a second slower, a 22.53 from the 2021 Australian Olympic Trials where he finished in 8th place.
Also within the top 2 and under the qualifying standard, Grayson Bell hit a 22.08 for second place. He out-swam third-place finisher Isaac Cooper who notched a 22.33 to just miss a spot on the Worlds team.
Last year Cam McEvoy was the only man to qualify for the Olympic team in the 50 freestyle and he finished in 29th place at the Games with a 22.31.
Women’s 800 FREE – FINAL
- World Record: Katie Ledecky – 8:04.79 (2016)
- World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky – 8:11.00 (2014)
- Australian Record: Ariarne Titmus – 8:13.83 (2021)
- Commonwealth Record: Ariarne Titmus – 8:13.83 (2021)
- FINA ‘A’ Cut: 8:37.90
The notably absent swimmer in this field was Olympic silver medalist and Australian/Commonwealth record-holder Ariarne Titmus. Titmus has been as fast as an 8:13.83 in this event but won’t be racing at Worlds this summer so she opted out of this event (and into the 100 freestyle).
In her place, Lani Pallister picked up the Trials victory, swimming an 8:17.77 to claim to top spot and most likely book herself a ticket to World Championships. The time was under the FINA A cut of 8:37.90 by just over 20 seconds.
Pallister established a new best time in this event, beating her 2019 swim of 8:22.49. That former PB from Pallister was a gold medal-winning swim at the 2019 World Junior Championships. The reigning world junior champion will come into Worlds as a medal contender as the #2 performer worldwide this year.
The only woman in the world who has been faster this season in Katie Ledecky who swam an 8:09.27 at US Trials.
Kiah Melverton, who was Australia’s second entrant to Titmus at Tokyo 2020, looks like she also qualified for the team with her second-place swim of 8:22.64. That time is right above what she swam during her first-ever Olympic final where she placed 6th in an 8:22.25. Melverton was actually quicker during prelims, however, at the Olympics, having swum an 8:20.45.
Moesha Johnson, Jamie Perkins, and Madeleine Gough were all under the FINA A cut as well, hitting an 8:26.35, 8:30.03, and 8:30.17, respectively.