2023 Australian World Championship Trials: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Day three of the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials is ready to bring the heat, as the men’s 200m fly, women’s 200m free, men’s 50m breast, women’s 50m fly and men’s 800m free are all on tonight’s agenda.

We’ll look for reigning Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus to potentially put on a show in the 200m free to follow up on her 400m free victory from night one.

Surprisingly, Shayna Jack will not be joining her, having missed out on the top 8 and instead settling for the B-final this evening.

Matt Temple was in control of the men’s 200m fly heats and will be in a duel with Bowen Gough when the medals are on the line.

The men’s 800m free has Sam Short and Elijah Winnington among its contenders, the pair who went head-to-head all the way to the touch in the 400m free on night one of the competition.


  • World Record: 1:50.34, Kristof Milak (2022)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:52.96, Chad Le Clos (2012)
  • Australian Record: 1:54.46, Nick D’Arcy (2009)
  • All Comers Record: 1:52.09, Michael Phelps (2007)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 1:54.91
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:56.71

GOLD – Bowen Gough 1:56.01
SILVER – Harrison Turner 1:57.77
BRONZE – William Petric 1:58.24

Of note, top-seeded Matt Temple of Marion put up a time of 1:56.40 this morning but wound up dropping this men’s 200m fly final.

That would have bumped 400m IM Olympic bronze medalist Brendon Smith into the A-final after his 9th place morning outing of 2:00.71; however, Smith opted out which meant 10th place finisher out of the prelims, Olympian David Morgan grabbed an A-final lane.

In Temple’s stead, it was Bowen Gough who topped the final in a time of 1:56.01, nearing his lifetime best of 1:55.88 from 2021.

Behind him was Harrison Turner who clocked 1:57.77 while William Peteric rounded out the top 3 in 1:58.24. Morgan placed 6th in 2:00.36.

None of the men got within striking distance of the Swimming Australia-mandated qualification time of 1:54.91 needed to earn consideration for next month’s World Championships.

In fact, only one man in Australian swimming history, Nick D’Arcy, has ever been under the 1:55 threshold. He owns the Aussie national record with the 1:54.46 he put on the books in 2009. Only an additional 4 swimmers – Temple, Morgan, Grant Irvine and Gough – have ever been under 1:56.

Post-race, 25-year-old Gough said he feels he’s a 1:54 swimmer but just hasn’t been able to put together that kind of race. Tonight specifically he pointed out he was ‘a bit too conservative’ on the first 100.


  • World Record: 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:53.09, Ariarne Titmus (2021)
  • Australian Record: 1:53.09, Ariarne Titmus (2021)
  • All Comers Record: 1:53.09, Ariarne Titmus (2021)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 1:56.87
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:58.66

GOLD – Mollie O’Callaghan 1:53.83
SILVER – Ariarne Titmus 1:54.14
BRONZE – Lani Pallister 1:56.03

19-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan busted out the best 200m free of her career, producing a monster swim of 1:53.83 to get under the 1:54 barrier for the first time.

Reigning Olympic champion and national record holder Ariarne Titmus led through the 150m mark but MOC launched herself off the final wall to overtake the lead and keep it all the way to the wall. Titmus settled for silver in 1:54.14, still a very solid time and a new season-best.

For MOC, her best-ever entering this event sat at the 1:54.01 produced at the 2022 Commonwealth Games for silver behind Titmus. However, her 1:53.83 PB not only keeps her as the #2 Australian performer in history but the Dean Boxall-trained teen is also now the 5th swiftest performer of all time worldwide.

MOC now takes over the top spot in the season’s world rankings, surpassing Canadian phenom Summer McIntosh.

2022-2023 LCM Women 200 Free

1:52.85 WR
CAN1:53.65 WJR07/26
View Top 26»

Lani Pallister produced a bronze medal-worthy result of 1:56.03 while Madi Wilson snagged 4th place in 1:56.68, Kiah Melverton hit 1:56.85 for 5th and Brianna Throssell nabbed 6th in 1:56.87.

Shayna Jack missed the A-Final by just .06 but made up for it with a redemptive swim in the B-Final, winning that consolation in 1:56.82, beneath the QT of 1:56.87.

Notably, 5 of the top 8 swimmers all hail from St. Peters Western and 7 swimmers in total got under the stiff QT for Fukuoka.

After the race, Olympic medalist O’Callaghan said, “Absolutely amazed by that race. I came into this so nervous and just hoping for a PB and top 2. Just so happy and overjoyed. This is what Dean has taught me and guided me through.”


  • World Record: 25.95, Adam Peaty (2017)
  • Commonwealth Record: 25.95, Adam Peaty (2017)
  • Australian Record: 26.74, Christian Sprenger (2014)
  • All Comers Record: 26.58, Cameron Van Der Burgh (2018)

GOLD – Sam Williamson 27.17
SILVER – Haig Buckingham 27.53
BRONZE – Nash Wilkes 27.72

In this non-selection event, it was Melbourne Vicentre’s Sam Williamson who nabbed the gold, posting an effort of 27.17 for the 4th quickest of his career.

Williamson is the reigning Commonwealth Games silver medalist behind Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, the Olympic champion with whom Williamson trained on the Gold Coast earlier this year.

Behind Williamson was Haig Buckingham who touched in 27.53 while Nash Wilkes scored bronze in 27.72.

The breaststroke discipline continues to be a relatively weak stroke on both the men’s and women’s sides. Olympian Christian Sprenger’s 2014 Aussie Record of 26.74 remains in place still nearly a decade later.

Williamson’s effort checks in as the 22nd-fastest in the world this season


  • World Record: 24.43, Sarah Sjostrom (2014)
  • Commonwealth Record: 25.20, Fran Halsall (2014)
  • Australian Record: 25.31, Holly Barratt (2019)
  • All Comers Record: 25.47, Cate Campbell (2018)

GOLD – Alex Perkins 25.92
SILVER – Lily Price 25.97
BRONZE – Emma McKeon 26.09

In a fast and furious battle to the wall it was Alex Perkins of USC who touched first in this non-selection event. Perkins clocked a gold medal-worthy mark of 25.92, just .05 ahead of Lily Price who produced the only other-sub-26 effort of the night.

Price hit 25.97 while Australia’s winningest Olympian of all-time Emma McKeon also landed on the podium in 26.09

Perkins’ time tonight checks in as a new lifetime best and her first time ever under the 26-second threshold. Entering this meet the Spartan’s PB rested at the 26.12 produced at this year’s New South Wales State Open Championships.

Price of Rackley’s outing here was also a new lifetime best, obliterating her previous career-quickest of 26.46 from April’s Australian Championships.

Perkins now ranks 13th in the world while Price is right behind in the 14th slot.

McKeon took the gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, topping the Birmingham podium in a result of 25.90. Her time this evening represents the 9th fastest of her prolific career.

MEN’s 800 Free – FINAL

  • World Record: 7:32.12, Zhang Lin (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: 7:38.65, Grant Hackett (2005)
  • Australian Record: 7:38.65, Grant Hacket (2005)
  • All Comers Record: 7:41.59, Ian Thorpe (2001)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 7:47.46
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 7:53.11

GOLD – Sam Short 7:40.39 *All Comers Record
SILVER – Elijah Winnington 7:45.75
BRONZE – Matt Galea 7:53.33

The men’s 400m free gold medalist already here, Sam Short blasted a humongous effort to double up in this 800m free.

The 19-year-old Rackley star crushed a time of 7:40.39 to defeat Elijah Winnington by over 2 body lengths, overtaking the storied All Comers Record by Ian Thorpe in the process. Thorpe established that record of 7:41.59 back over 20 years ago in 2001.

Short’s outing here easily dipped under the Swimming Australia-mandated QT of 7:47.46, as did runner-up Winnington’s time tonight of 7:45.75. Matt Galea of SOSC wrangled up bronze in 7:53.33.

Short said post-race that he was gunning for Thorpe’s record after having clocked a time of 7:42.96 to take the gold at this year’s Australian National Championships.

The teen now ranks #1 in the world, setting himself apart from Germany’s Lucas Martens who had possessed the crown with his 7:42.14 from this past April.

2022-2023 LCM Men 800 Free

Ahmed TUN
View Top 26»

Additionally, Short now ranks as the 3rd swiftest Aussie and 10th quickest worldwide in the history of this 8free race.

Top 5 Australian Men LCM 800 Free Performers All-Time

  1. Grant Hackett – 7:38.65 2005
  2. Ian Thorpe – 7:39.16 2001
  3. Sam Short – 7:40.39 2023
  4. Jack McLoughlin – 7:42.51 2021
  5. Mack Horton – 7:44.02 2015

Regarding his performance this evening, Short stated, “I’m very stoked. I held off Elijah in the 400m and had a lot of confidence. I knew if I was with him or ahead of him at the 400m I could do it. I’ve been grinding in training by myself and I can push myself when out in front alone.”

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8 months ago

Day 4 heats live recap?? Has Retta gone back to sleep?


Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

Retta only does the finals recaps, the prelims are someone else

Draft chase
8 months ago

Looked like ari swam on top of the water quicker on all laps but the last one and moc really put the foot down. Her uw are best in the world in the long course racers. Moc also does this thing where she breathes on the third stroke on the break out. Not the second or first which is common.
For short that is his best race I’ve seen. He held his 400 stroke with a bounce all the way through. Before I’ve seen him just drop into his long stroke.

8 months ago

Remember the remark last year about the quality of the Aussie depth vs USA women. I think we are seeing this equal out with the exception of the Aussie top 2. Titmus seems just a little flat here not sure if it matters for worlds

Reply to  Taa
8 months ago

US trials were very weak last year and I don’t think actually really reflected their ability. I expect US trials to be much better this year

Boxall's Railing
8 months ago

Wow, the women’s 200 free at Worlds is going to be STACKED!

8 months ago


Oh God – how I hate that made-up American word…

Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

all words are made up

Reply to  Random123
8 months ago

I think the words ‘most’ and ‘successful’ were already in the dictionary a long long time before somebody dreamed up that awful word.

8 months ago

So is women’s 1:54.00 more like men’s 1:45.00 or 1:44.00?

4 kick pullout
Reply to  John26
8 months ago

1:54.00 is like 1:44.00. One of the girls in 09 forgot to go 1:52.00 to have parity but everything else lines up.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  John26
8 months ago

1:54.08 is now 8th fastest female, male is 1:44.26.
Comparing to WR it is roughly a 1:43 flat.
Historically, it is probably a similar barrier to 1:44, 1:53.5 is similar to a 1:43.

Last edited 8 months ago by Springfield's #1 Athlete
8 months ago

Anyone else wish they’d show the WR splits in the races feel like that should be a a no brainer thing to have

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  Swimmer
8 months ago

Next year is hopefully given a full level TV production with marketing to match, adding WR lines is top priority.
The first thing to do is book the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre ASAP.

8 months ago

Great swim by MOC. Interesting enough after seeing AT prelim time I thought she would have been 1:53 mid. Heck of of a race though and MOC turns and underwaters were the difference.

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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