2022 Australian Trials: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2022 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Who will qualify for the 2022 World Championships on Day 3 of the Australian Trials? Follow along live as we get into the third night of finals. Today’s session will feature the women’s 200 free, 200 breast, and 100 back, along with the men’s 200 IM, 50 back, 100 breast, and 800 freestyle.

WOMEN’S 200 FREE FINALS

  • World Record: 1:52.98 – Federica Pellegrini (2009)
  • World Junior Record: 1:55.11 – Mollie O’Callaghan (2021)
  • Australian Record: 1:53.09 – Ariarne Titmus (2021)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:53.09 – Ariarne Titmus (2021)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:58.66

Top 8:

  1. Ariarne Titmus – 1:53.31
  2. Mollie O’Callaghan – 1:54.94
  3. Madi Wilson – 1:55.86
  4. Kiah Melverton – 1:55.94
  5. Leah Neale – 1:56.10
  6. Lani Pallister – 1:56.28
  7. Brianna Throssell – 1:56.34
  8. Meg Harris – 1:56.82

Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus didn’t waste any time during this race, opening it up under world record pace (55.60) with a 55.57 opening 100. She was ahead of Federica Pellegrini‘s pace until the last lap, but didn’t quite hold on and finished in a time of 1:53.31.

That time ranks as the third-best performance in the history of the event, behind only Pellegrinis’ World Record and Titmus’ own Australian Record of 1:53.09.

This swim by Titmus is the new fastest swim in the world this season and the only sub-1:54 we’ve seen in 2021-22. The 21-year-old confirmed after the race that she won’t be going to the World Championships this summer, opting instead for the Commonwealth Games.

Even without her, the Australians flexed their muscles by showing some monstrous depth in this 200 free.

The likely individual qualifiers for the World Championships in the 200 free will be Mollie O’Callaghan and Madi Wilson. O’Callaghan swam a new best time of 1:54.94 to crack her former best of 1:55.11.

Wilson, who raced the 200 free at the Tokyo Olympics and is a staple of the Australian freestyle relays, got to the wall in a time of 1:55.86, a half-second faster than the 1:56.39 she delivered in the Olympic final last year where she finished eighth. Wilson’s PB is a 1:55.68 from last year’s Olympic Trials.

Distance swimmers Kiah Melverton and Lani Pallister, who already qualified for the Worlds team in the 800 freestyle, will likely also get a bid here for the relay along with Olympic bronze medalist Leah Neale.

MEN’S 200 IM FINALS

  • World Record: 1:54.00 -Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • World Junior Record: 1:56.99 – Hubert Kos (2021)
  • Australian Record: 1:55.72 – Mitch Larkin (2019)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:55.28 – Duncan Scott (2021)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:59.76

Top 8:

  1. Brendon Smith – 1:58.59
  2. Se-Bom Lee – 1:59.48
  3. Joshua Collett – 2:00.59
  4. Mitch Larkin – 2:01.06
  5. David Schlicht – 2:01.44
  6. Gabriel Gorgas – 2:02.28
  7. Marco Soesanto – 2:02.32
  8. William Petric – 2:02.82

Brendon Smith nearly matched his prelim swim from the Olympic Games in this final, winning the men’s 200 IM in 1:58.59, just off his 1:58.57 PB from Tokyo. The 400 IM Olympic medalist is now the Australian champion in the event and will contest the race in Budapest this summer.

Smith was also slightly faster than his time from the 2021 Olympic Trials, where he clocked in at 1:58.82. The other Australian representative in the 400 IM at last summer’s Olympics, Se-Bom Lee, was the only other man sub-2:00 here to solidify second, touching in 1:59.48 to get under the FINA ‘A’ standard and qualify for Worlds.

Mitch Larkin, who holds the Australian record in this event at 1:56.21, was first at the 100 in 55.77 but couldn’t hold onto the lead. A 2021 Olympic semi-finalist in the 200 IM, Larkin wound up slipping out of podium contention at the end of the race and finished in 2:01.06, with Joshua Collett using a huge 33.82 breast leg to snag third in 2:00.59.

WOMEN’S 200 BREAST FINALS

  • World Record: 2:18.95 – Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • World Junior Record: 2:19.64 – Viktoriya Gunes (2015)
  • Australian Record: 2:20.54 – Leisel Jones (2006)
  • Commonwealth Record: 2:18.95 – Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:25.91

Top 8:

  1. Jenna Strauch – 2:23.26
  2. Abbey Harkin – 2:24.85
  3. Taylor McKeown – 2:25.32
  4. Matilda Smith – 2:26.17
  5. Mikayla Smith – 2:26.69
  6. Ashleigh Oberekar – 2:26.89
  7. Ella Ramsay – 2:31.29
  8. Reidel Smith – 2:31.62

Mikayla Smith and top seed Jenna Strauch were the leaders on the opening 50 of this race, splitting 32.22 and 32.78, respectively. Strauch gained control by the 100-meter mark in 1:08.77 and extended her lead into the final, finishing in a time of 2:23.26.

Strauch has now won both the 100 and 200 breast here in Oaklands Park, earning a nod in both events in Budapest. Strauch finished ninth last year at the Olympics in 2:24.25.

Smith didn’t manage to keep that early lead and finished this race in fifth place overall with a 2:26.69. Instead, Abbey Harkin added a second second-place finish in 2:24.85 to undercut the FINA ‘A’ standard.

Harkin joined Strauch in this event in Tokyo and placed 17th in 2:24.71, just missing the semi-finals.

Taylor McKeown, a 2016 Olympian, was under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 2:25.91 with a time of  2:25.32 for third, meaning that she’s put herself into contention for a Commonwealth Games bid. Matilda Smith was next with a 2:26.17.

MEN’S 50 BACK FINALS

  • World Record: 23.71 – Hunter Armstrong (2022)
  • World Junior Record: 24.00 – Kliment Kolesnikov (2018)
  • Australian Record: 24.54 – Ben Treffers (2014)
  • Commonwealth Record: 24.04 – Liam Tancock (2009)

Top 8:

  1. Isaac Cooper – 24.44
  2. Ben Armbruster – 25.13
  3. Bradley Woodward – 25.35
  4. James Bayliss – 25.61
  5. Ty Hartwell – 25.69
  6. Andrew Rice – 25.76
  7. Harrison Abeya – 25.77
  8. Joshua Edwards-Smith – 25.90

Isaac Cooper said in a post-race interview that he knew he had what it took to crack the Australian record in this event. He was right.

Cooper put up a time of 24.44 to win the Australian title in the men’s 50 backstroke and improve upon the national record of 24.54, set by Ben Treffers in 2014. Cooper won’t automatically qualify for the World Championships because the 50 back is not a selection event, but this swim might get him consideration.

Cooper will also be back later on to race the 100 backstroke where he’s the second seed with a 53.43 to Mitch Larkin‘s 52.75.

Ben Armbruster held onto his second-place position and undercut his prelims time of 25.34 with a 25.13.

Bradley Woodward and James Bayliss were just outside of the top two, hitting times of 25.35 and 25.61, respectively. Ty Hartwell rounded out the top five in 25.69. Notably, if one of the top two swimmers doesn’t get nominated here, 200 backstroke winner Joshua Edwards-Smith (eighth in 25.90) could potentially get a shot at racing this event.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK FINALS

  • World Record: 57.45 – Kaylee McKeown (2021)
  • World Junior Record: 57.57 – Regan Smith (2019)
  • Australian Record: 57.45 – Kaylee McKeown (2021)
  • Commonwealth Record: 57.45 – Kaylee McKeown (2021)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:00.59

Top 8:

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 58.49
  2. Mollie O’Callaghan – 59.12
  3. Minna Atherton – 1:00.62
  4. Alyssa Burgess – 1:01.60
  5. Bronte Job – 1:01.61
  6. Tahlia Thorton – 1:01.67
  7. Hannah Fredericks – 1:01.80
  8. Olivia Lefoe – 1:02.16

She looked like she might be on pace for the world record at a few points in this race, but Kaylee McKeown was a bit off her world record in the women’s 100 backstroke tonight, swimming a time of 58.49. McKeown did a drop taper for this meet, meaning that she kept up training until the Saturday before it started.

That’s different from her strategy at last year’s Trials, where she broke the world record in 57.45 to qualify for the Olympic Games. McKeown went on to win gold in Tokyo in 2021, and has now qualified to attempt to win her first-ever World Championships title.

McKeown was actually slightly slower than her season-best of 58.31, which she hit in February and ranks her as the second-fastest swimmer in the world this season. Regan Smith is #1 with her 57.76 from the U.S. Trials.

Mollie O’Callaghan is on fire at this meet and has just added a third individual event to her potential World lineup, clocking 59.12 for second place. That’s a bit off her best of 58.86, but enough to get onto the team. She qualified for the 100 free on Day 1 and qualified for the 200 freestyle earlier in this session.

Just outside of the top three, Minna Atherton was a bit over the FINA ‘A’ cut in 1:00.62, and Alyssa Burgess rounded out the top four in 1:01.60.

MEN’S 100 BREAST FINALS

  • World Record: 56.88 – Adam Peaty (2017)
  • World Junior Record: 59.01 – Nicolo Martinenghi (59.01)
  • Australian Record: 58.58 – Brenton Rickard (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: 56.88 – Adam Peaty (2017)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 59.75

Top 8:

  1. Zac Stubblety-Cook – 59.60
  2. Joshua Yong – 1:00.04
  3. Samuel Williamson – 1:00.52
  4. Jake Packard – 1:00.91
  5. Cooper van der Laan – 1:01.16
  6. Matthew Wilson – 1:01.24
  7. Nash Wilkes – 1:01.26
  8. Adam Selwood – 1:01.28

It would be hard to bet against the 200 breaststroke Olympic champ and world record holder in any breast event at these trials. Zac Stubblety-Cook, fresh off of setting a new world record in the men’s 200 breast, showed that to be true in the 100 breast final here, delivering a sub-minute swim of 59.60 to beat the field and add the event to his list for World Championships this summer.

Stubblety-Cook was a tad under his best time of 59.69 from last year. Following him in the race was Joshua Yong in 1:00.04, narrowly missing the FINA ‘A’ cut of 59.75.

It will be interesting to see if 200 breast qualifier Matthew Wilson gets nominated to swim the 100 at Worlds despite a sixth-place finish here (1:01.24). Wilson’s PB is 59.17 from 2019.

MEN’S 800 FREE FINALS

  • World Record: 7:32.12 – Zhang Lin (2009)
  • World Junior Record: 7:45.67 – Mack Horton
  • Australian Record: 7:38.65 – Grant Hackett (2005)
  • Commonwealth Record: 7:38.65 – Grant Hackett (2005)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 7:53.11

Top 8:

  1. Elijah Winnington – 7:45.30
  2. Samuel Short – 7:48.65
  3. Joshua Staples – 7:58.26
  4. Alec Mander – 8:00.54
  5. Matthew Galea – 8:03.13
  6. Elliot Rogerson – 8:04.90
  7. Zac George – 8:04.92
  8. Alexander Grant – 8:09.05

After winning gold in the 400 freestyle on day 1 of the meet, Elijah Winnington came back in the 800 free to take first place in a time of 7:45.30, dipping under his previous best of 7:51.44 set in December 2020. In between this race and the 400 free, Winnington also placed second in the 200 freestyle (1:46.01) and is now looking at swimming three individual events at the World Championships.

Winnington was the favorite to win the 800 here, but Samuel Short pulled off an impressive second-place finish by notching 7:48.65 in the final. Short just missed qualifying for the team on Day 1 when he placed third behind Winnington and Mack Horton in the 400 free final.

Short was entered with a 7:52.18, which he swam in April 2021, meaning that this is his first time under 7:50 in the 800, and it also gets him under the FINA ‘A’ cut (7:48.65).

Joshua Staples also crack eight minutes here for third in 7:58.26. Alec Mander touched in 8:00.54 for fourth and Matthew Galea was fifth in 8:03.13.

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GrAndy
1 month ago

Where is photo of the real star – Good golly Miss Mollie in the section above? It is about time she got some coverage.

Octavio Gupta
1 month ago

I don’t think McKeown’s goggles are big enough

Swimswamswum
1 month ago

Read the article.

1:55 is faster than 1:56

Therefore, the sentence “in a 1:55.86 to slightly trail the 1:56.39 she delivered in the Tokyo” is incorrect.

commonwombat
1 month ago

W200FR: Was expecting Titmus to be quite; giving the WR another shake was a slight surprise. MOC very impressive. Also very pleasing to have top4 ALL below 1.56. 4X200 thoughts at end of piece

M200IM: Expected nothing of international significance from this one and so it transpired. It seems Larkin is nursing an injury, one wonders if he’s doing himself any favours continuing to swim at this meet.

W200BRS: Strauch very solid, strong finish from Harkin. The latter’s Worlds trajectory is most likely semis at best; Strauch is maybe a second away from a secure finals berth.

M50BK: Excellent swim from Cooper; the most pertinent question is if/how he can translate this over to 100.

W100BK: Major expenditures inevitably come… Read more »

Owlmando
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

Maybe they throw wilson on prelims?

Miss M
Reply to  Owlmando
1 month ago

Heat: Wilson, Harkin, Throssell, Jack
Final: McKeown, Strauch, Throssell, O’Callagan

Medal chance, unlikely to get gold unless McKeown throws down a WR and Smith is off.

Stephen
1 month ago

After 3 days it clear these trials are very much experimental for many of the top swimmers. Which is kinda disappointing when you wanna see super fast times.
Thanks Fina

Owlmando
Reply to  Stephen
1 month ago

We have seen some pretty fast swims…

Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

Not many people in the stadium? Is it Covid restrictions?

Joel
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

Tickets are expensive, and most people had left before the 800.

Pacheco
1 month ago

Winnington just said he’s not sure if he will swim 800 at worlds and that he doesn’t even know what day it is on

Last edited 1 month ago by Pacheco
Troyy
Reply to  Pacheco
1 month ago

800 heats are on the morning of the 200 free final.

Robbos
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

He’s not a threat in the 200 free. Maybe won’t even qualify for final.

Troyy
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

He’s not really a threat in the 800 either.

Gheko
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Is the 800m free on the Commonwealth menu?

Troyy
Reply to  Gheko
1 month ago

No. 800 women and 1500 men

Ldn
Reply to  Gheko
1 month ago

No 800 men or 1500 women in Birmingham…but there will be 50s in all strokes, 4×1 mix free as well as all the Olympic events apart from the aforementioned two

Robbos
Reply to  Gheko
1 month ago

No he’ll have a good chance to get in final, his time tonight would have got 6th at Olympics in 800, his 200 time not even semis.

Swimswamswum
1 month ago

Glad that Short qualified, but I expected faster time

Hackett commentary in this event is 100% insightful and accurate. He said Sam should push the pace from the start and shouldn’t let Winnington swim at the same speed, or he’ll wreck him in the final 150m. And that’s exactly what happened.

(Looking at you, Gaines. You don’t need to scream if you get all the facts right)

Last edited 1 month ago by Swimswamswum
Pacheco
Reply to  Swimswamswum
1 month ago

I mean that was a 3.5 second pb from short so

Joel
Reply to  Swimswamswum
1 month ago

Mind you he had no idea how to pronounce Lani Pallister’s name which was weird. But he is doing pretty well.
The main male commentator said Larkin came 2nd in the 400IM earlier in the week! That was interesting.

Ldn
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

Hackett and Livingstone are enough ( and excellent). There’s no need for a shouty radio voice commentator.

Swimswamswum
Reply to  Ldn
1 month ago

Yeah, Hackett and Livingston have deep understanding of elite swimming, and have nice sounding voice.