2023 Australian World Championship Trials: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


After a thrilling first day of the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials, the action is set to continue this morning. Australia’s best and brightest in the pool will be competing in the men’s 100 back, women’s 100 breast, men’s 200 free, women’s 100 back, and men’s 50 fly heats this morning, as well as timed finals of the para 100 breast, 400 free, and 200 free.

The women’s 100 back will feature world record holder Kaylee McKeown, who won the 200 IM last night in the second-fastest time in the world this year. McKeown owns the WR at 57.45, which makes her the fastest swimmer in today’s field by nearly a full second. Coming in behind her on the start list is Mollie O’Callaghan, who enters with a 58.42.

After setting the All Comers Record in the men’s 50 fly earlier in the year, 21-year-old Ben Armbruster comes in as the top seed by a considerable margin in the event today. While the 50s of the strokes aren’t selection events at these Trials, a great 50 today could bode well for Armbruster’s 100 fly later in the meet.

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the day is the men’s 200 free. Alexander Graham enters these Trials as the top seed, coming in with a 1:45.22. Three other men come is a 1:45s as well – Kyle Chalmers, Elijah Winnington, and Thomas Neill. We also have to keep an eye on rising star Flynn Southam, as the 18-year-old enters as a 1:46.24. Of course, we would be remiss not to mention Sam Short as well, given he won the 400 free last night, punching his ticket to Fukuoka.


  • World Record: 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (2022)
  • Commonwealth Record: 52.11, Mitch Larkin (2015)
  • Australian Record: 52.11, Mitch Larkin (2015)
  • All Comers Record: 52.38, Mitch Larkin (2019)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 53.00
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 54.03


  1. Bradley Woodward – 53.79
  2. Joshua Edwards-Smith – 54.67
  3. Isaac Cooper – 54.98
  4. Kai Van Kool – 55.29
  5. James Bayliss – 55.40
  6. Ty Hartwell – 55.42
  7. Mark Nikolaev* – 55.57
  8. Fergus McLachlan – 55.57
  9. Lewis Blackburn – 55.96

After a little more than twenty minutes in delays due to technical difficulties, the prelims session got underway with the men’s 100 back. The first heat of the event, which had to sit out behind the blocks, and at one point, wait in the water, during the duration of the delay seemed to be affected a bit by the delay. Still, Isaac Cooper, the top seed coming into the meet, managed to advance to tonight’s final, clocking a 54.98 for third.

Mark Nikolaev, a Russian native who is in the process of attempting to change his sporting citizenship to Australia, where he trains at Bond University, came in a tie for seventh at 55.57. However, since Nikolaev hasn’t yet been granted the sporting citizenship change, he is still an international swimmer in this meet, and therefore isn’t eligible to advance to the championship final. That bumps ninth-place finisher Lewis Blockburn into the final.

Swimming Australia is known for setting stiff qualifying standards for major international rosters, and this year is no exception. The QT in the men’s 100 back was set at 53.00, which leaves this entire field in tonight’s final with their work cut out for them.

Bradley Woodward was reasonably close to the mark this morning, swimming a 53.79 to post the top time. He’ll need to shed 0.79 seconds from that time tonight in order to automatically qualify for the World Championships team in the event, however.


  • World Record: 1:04.13, Lilly King (2017)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:04.82, Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • Australian Record: 1:05.09, Leisel Jones (2006)
  • All Comers Record: 1:05.09, Leisel Jones (2006)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 1:06.40
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:07.35


  1. Abbey Harkin – 1:08.22
  2. Mikayla Smith – 1:08.31
  3. Talara-Jade Dixon – 1:08.93
  4. Zoe Deacon – 1:09.58
  5. Matilda Smith – 1:09.86
  6. Kayla Van Der Merwe* – 1:10.03
  7. Ashleigh Oberekar – 1:10.09
  8. Tilly King – 1:10.19 (TIE)
  9. Maaike Vrij – 1:10.19 (TIE)

We narrowly avoided a swim-off, as Tilly King and Maaike Vrij tied for eighth this morning in the 100 breast with times of 1:10.19. The swim-off won’t be necessary, however, as sixth-place finisher Kayla Van Der Merwe is an international swimmer who competes for Great Britain, and therefore isn’t eligible for the championship final tonight.

Abbey Harkin swam a 1:08.22 to grab the top seed for tonight’s final. She came in narrowly ahead of Mikayla Smith, who touched in 1:08.31. Like the men’s 100 back, the women’s 100 breast is one of those events in which the Swimming Australia qualifying standard presents as much of a challenge as winning the race. The standard was set at 1:06.40, which is nearly two seconds faster than Harkin swam this morning.



  1. Samuel Gould (S14) – 1:16.36
  2. Beau Matthews (S8) – 1:27.21
  3. Riley Blitz (S19) – 1:19.52
  4. Andrew Dinh (S19) – 1:23.95
  5. Thomas Bytheway (S19) – 1:24.25

Samuel Gould picked up a gold in the first para event of the day. A reminder that para events aren’t ranked simply by time. Rather, the swimmer’s time is put through a scoring system which compares the time to the World Record in that swimmer’s classification and produces a score, which is then used to rank the results.

Gould clocked a 1:16.36, marking the fastest time in the field, as well as the highest scoring swim. 14-year-old Beau Matthews came in second with a 1:27.21.



  1. Keira Stephens (S9) – 1:19.42
  2. Tegan Reder (S11) – 1:37.12
  3. Amelie Springett-Kelly – 1:49.67
  4. Jasmine Greenwood (S9)- 1:26.00
  5. Jordan Berryman (S8) – 1:36.12
  6. Summer Klein (S14) – 1:33.28
  7. Savanah Maynier (S14) – 1:38.86

Keira Stephens both posted the top time in the women’s multi-class 100 breast and came out on top in scoring. The 20-year-old sped to victory in 1:19.42, opening up a big lead on the first 50m of the race.


  • World Record: 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:44.06, Ian Thorpe (2001)
  • Australian Record: 1:44.06, Ian Thorpe (2001)
  • All Comers Record: 1:43.86, Michael Phelps (2007)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 1:46.06
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:47.06


  1. Kyle Chalmers – 1:46.97
  2. Elijah Winnington – 1:47.26
  3. Charlie Hawke – 1:47.41
  4. Thomas Neill – 1:47.69
  5. Alexander Graham – 1:47.93
  6. Brendon Smith – 1:48.12
  7. Maximillian Giuliani – 1:48.17
  8. Flynn Southam – 1:48.26

In a thrilling preliminaries of the men’s 200 free this morning, Kyle Chalmers got it done once again, swimming a 1:46.97 to lead the way into tonight’s final. He heads into tonight’s final with the middle lane, though the field is extremely tight. 18-year-old Flynn Southam, who had a tremendous 2022, barely made it into the championship final tonight, but he made it, taking eighth this morning in 1:48.26.

Elijah Winnington, who came in second in the 400 free last night, took second this morning in the 200, swimming a 1:47.26. Speaking of which, 400 free champion Sam Short did not show for the 200 free this morning.

There is still work yet to be done, as the qualifying standard sits at 1:46.06. Of course, the 200 free is also a relay event, so six relay spots are up for grabs tonight as well.



  1. Kaylee McKeown – 59.59
  2. Mollie O’Callaghan – 59.68
  3. Madi Wilson – 59.80
  4. Bronte Job – 1:01.09
  5. Iona Anderson – 1:01.19
  6. Hannah Fredericks – 1:01.37
  7. Jaclyn Barclay – 1:01.52
  8. Olivia Lefoe – 1:02.03

World Record holder Kaylee McKeown looked smooth and in control as she clocked the top time of the morning in the women’s 100 back. McKeown swam a 59.59, which already dipped under the qualifying time of 59.99. Also dipping under the QT were Mollie O’Callaghan and Madi Wilson, who touched second and third respectively.

We can expect a faster swim out of McKeown tonight, as she was just off her career best en route to victory in the women’s 200 IM last night. Really the only question for tonight is whether she’ll be able to dip under 58 seconds.

Outside of McKeown, the race for seconds should be quite exciting. With both O’Callaghan and Wilson having already hit the qualifying time, it will simply come down to who posts the faster time tonight.


  • World Record: 22.27, Andriy Govorov (2018)
  • Commonwealth Record: 22.73, Matt Targett (2009)
  • Australian Record: 22.73, Matt Targett (2009)
  • All Comers Record: 23.05, Ben Armbruster (2023)


  1. Cameron McEvoy – 23.08
  2. Cody Simpson – 23.61
  3. Matthew Temple – 23.68
  4. Shaun Champion – 23.70
  5. Jack Carr – 23.84
  6. Jesse Coleman – 23.87
  7. Harrison Turner – 23.95
  8. Grayson Bell – 23.99

Cameron McEvoy scared the All Comers Record of 23.05, touching in 23.08 to claim the top seed for tonight’s final. While the 50 fly isn’t a selection event for these Trials, the swim is a promising look forward for McEvoy towards the 100 fly.

Cody Simpson came in second this morning with a 23.61, leading a very tightly packed second-through-eighth this morning.

It took a sub-:24 to make it into the championship final, with Grayson Bell taking eighth in 23.99.



  1. Callum Simpson (S8) – 4:40.55
  2. Harrison Vig (S9) – 4:34.03
  3. Beau Matthews (S9) – 4:42.55
  4. Ethan Blockey (S14) – 4:54.27

In a small field, Callum Simpson won the men’s 400 free in 4:40.55. Once again, 14-year-old Beau Matthews had a terrific swim, taking third in 4:42.55.



  1. Grace Brimelow (S8) – 5:11.26
  2. Hannah Price (S10) – 5:04.73
  3. Holly Warn (S7) – 5:41.98
  4. Chloe Osborn (S7) – 5:42.38
  5. McKinley Arnison (S10) – 5:11.27
  6. Victoria Belando Nicholson (S9) – 5:09.61
  7. Jordan Berryman (S8) – 5:52.05

16-year-old Grace Brimelow swam a 5:11.26 to win the women’s multi-class 400 free this morning.



  1. Samuel Gould (S14) – 2:04.96
  2. Ricky Betar (S14) – 2:07.16
  3. Alexander Tuckfield (S10) – 2:01.74
  4. Alex Saffy (S10) – 2:07.39
  5. Nicholas Layton (S15) – 2:05.84
  6. Riley Blitz (S19) – 2:12.21

After winning the men’s multi-class 100 breast earlier in the session, Samuel Gould was back in action in the men’s multi-class 200 free, winning the event with a 2:04.96.



  1. Kael Thompson (S14) – 2:22.58
  2. Montana Atkinson (S14) – 2:23.27
  3. Grace Brimelow (S8) – 2:34.94
  4. Emma Chantry (S19) – 2:20.41
  5. Savanah Maynier (S14) – 2:49.35

16-year-old Kael Thompson took the women’s multi-class 200 free this morning, swimming a 2:22.58.

Impressively, fellow sixteen year-old Grace Brimelow took third in the 200 free after winning the women’s multi-class 400 free about five minutes earlier. Brimelow swam a 2:34.94, which was actually a touch slower than she split on the first 200m of her 400 this morning.

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8 months ago

Aussies mens 200 free although not our weakest even has to definitely be our most overrated event! Don’t get me wrong the race is exciting to watch cause it’s close but the times have not improved. The rest of the world is moving ahead in the 200 free and Australia is stuck pacing the first 150 then hammering the last 50 when they have no energy to do so. How is it Thorpe’s own country didn’t catch onto his advice for the 200 free but everyone else did 😞

Hooked on Chlorine
8 months ago

“Network connectivity has been lost.”

All other streaming apps are working just fine.

cant kick cant pull
8 months ago

is that a PB for brendon smith in the 2 free?

Reply to  cant kick cant pull
8 months ago

Yes I believe so

8 months ago

You talk a lot of garbage but honestly attacking swimmers for the way they look is beyond the pale.

You are disgusting. I hope this gets removed.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

reminder that relay names guy used this argument to diminish kelly pash’s swimming achievements in a pro swim article

Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

I put relay names guy and this user in the same basket. Just vile.

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Lol and now she’s posted two further slurs that are awaiting approval. Hopefully SwimSwam finally just bans this trash

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

This user is way worse than relay names guy.

Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

It just shows that Australian swimmers are his sleep paralysis demon lol
It is living rent free on his head.

And we all know he is not Canadian, he is using Summer to mask his intentions.

8 months ago

Now I want Tilly King to become the best Australian breaststroker and start a rivalry with Lilly King

Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

neill looking much better than last night

8 months ago

As somone already mentioned, Kyle’s pulled out of the 200. Also Madi’s pulled out of the 100 back

Personal Best
Reply to  Steph
8 months ago

Not surprised by Kyle.
That was a good morning effort by him.

Surprised somewhat by Madi – I thought she’d want to give it a big shot, but she has the 200 tomorrow and she probably wants to give herself every chance in that. MOC at least intends on swimming the 100 back internationally.

Reply to  Steph
8 months ago

Yeh I saw he posted on Insta. Said “hopefully get my name in the 4×200 relay” so he clearly plans to swim the relay at Worlds.

Reply to  Steph
8 months ago

Madi was probably just laying down a time so she can be considered for the medley prelims if needed.

8 months ago

Sam Short just posted on Insta and he is very optimistic about tonight. We’ll see what happens.

Also why is it that he always seems to be the victim of mistakes

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Sam Short? did u mean Isaac Cooper?

Reply to  Steph
8 months ago

Lol I meant Cooper. Confused myself

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Sam would be being highly optimistic if we was hoping to swim the 200 final… 🙂