2023 Australian World Championship Trials: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

2023 AUSTRALIAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIALS

The fourth day of action at the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials is underway with the women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 200 IM, women’s 200 butterfly, men’s 100 freestyle, women’s 50 breaststroke, men’s 50 backstroke, and women’s 800 freestyle on today’s slate.

Friday morning’s session will get started with world record holder Kaylee McKeown taking on one of her signature events during the women’s 200 backstroke prelims. The 21-year-old Olympic champion recently lowered Regan Smith‘s world standard with a 2:03.14 in March, which was preceded by a 2:10.89 in prelims, for reference. On Wednesday night, McKeown came just .05 seconds shy of her own world record in the 100 back with her winning time of 57.50.

Kyle Chalmers will also be back in action on Friday as the top seed in the men’s 100 freestyle (47.08). His competition includes Matthew Temple (48.07), Flynn Southam (48.23), Kai Taylor (48.41), and Cameron McEvoy (48.49), among others. Singer-turned-swimmer Cody Simpson (49.23) is seeded 12th.

There are three men (Brendon Smith, Thomas Neill, and Se-Bom Lee) with entry times under two minutes in the 200 IM. In the women’s 200 butterfly, we could see a fun battle between 19-year-old Elizabeth Dekkers (2:06.55) and 27-year-old Brianna Throssell (2:07.08). The women’s 50 breast looks to be wide open with Mia O’Leary (31.17), Talara-Jade Dixon (31.17), and Abbey Harkin (31.20) all within a few hundredths of each other. And in the men’s 50 backstroke, 20-year-old Isaac Cooper will take a crack at lowering his own national record of 24.38 from earlier this year.

Stay tuned for live updates below:

Women’s 200 Backstroke – Heats

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 2:10.44
  2. Iona Anderson – 2:12.76
  3. Jenna Forrester – 2:13.01
  4. Olivia Lefoe – 2:13.79
  5. Layla Day – 2:15.23
  6. Abbey Webb – 2:15.57
  7. Hannah Fredericks – 2:15.65
  8. Xiandi Chua – 2:16.32

Kaylee McKeown cruised to the top qualifying spot in the women’s 200 back prelims with a time of 2:10.44. The 21-year-old was nearly half a second faster than her morning heats swim in March (2:10.89) when she lowered Regan Smith‘s world record to 2:03.14.

A pair of teens took the next two qualifying spots about two seconds behind McKeown. 17-year-old Iona Anderson (2:12.76) edged 19-year-old Jenna Forrester (2:13.01) as the only other swimmer sub-2:13 in prelims. Anderson went 2:13.74 last season but didn’t swim at last year’s Australian Trials.

Men’s 200 IM – Heats

  • World Record: 1:54.00, Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:55.28, Duncan Scott (2021)
  • Australian Record: 1:55.72, Mitch Larkin (2019)
  • All Comers Record: 1:54.98, Michael Phelps (2007)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 1:57.74
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 1:59.53

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Thomas Neill – 2:00.31
  2. William Petric – 2:00.76
  3. David Schlicht – 2:01.84
  4. Brendon Smith – 2:01.99
  5. Elliot Rogerson – 2:02.27
  6. Gabriel Gorgas – 2:02.47
  7. Joshua Kerr – 2:02.55
  8. Kieren Pollard – 2:02.63

21-year-old Thomas Neill claimed the top qualifying spot in the men’s 200 IM with a 2:00.31, not far off his personal-best 1:58.99 from April’s Australian National Championships. 18-year-old William Petric also produced an impressive 2:00-point time with a 2:00.76, within a second of his lifetime best (2:00.09) from March’s NSW State Open Championships.

22-year-old Brendon Smith won this event at last year’s Australian Trials with a 1:58.59, but he’s seeded fourth (2:01.99) behind 23-year-old David Schlicht (2:01.84). Last year’s runner-up finisher, Se-Bom Lee (1:59.48), was disqualified from this morning’s heats.

Women’s 200 Butterfly – Heats

  • World Record: 2:01.81, Liu Zige (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: 2:03.41, Jessicah Schipper (2009)
  • Australian Record: 2:03.41, Jessicah Schipper (2009)
  • All Comers Record: 2:05.41, Madeline Groves (2015)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 2:07.89
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 2:09.21

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Elizabeth Dekkers – 2:07.94
  2. Abbey Connor – 2:08.46
  3. Brianna Throssell – 2:10.50
  4. Bella Grant – 2:10.77
  5. Laura Taylor – 2:12.35
  6. Brittany Castelluzzo – 2:12.73
  7. Kayla Hardy – 2:13.99
  8. Rafaela Kopellou – 2:14.25

Elizabeth Dekkers led the way in the women’s 200 fly with a 2:07.94. The 19-year-old is aiming to lower her lifetime best that she set during her victory at April’s Australian National Championships in 2:06.55.

18-year-old Abbey Connor was just about half a second behind Dekkers, and only a tenth of a second off her best time (2:08.36) from last year’s Commonwealth Games. 27-year-old Brianna Throssell (2:10.50) edged 18-year-old Bella Grant (2:10.77) for the third qualifying spot in prelims. Throssell’s lifetime best is a 2:06.58 from the 2016 Australian Championships while her season best sits at 2:07.08 from April, when she placed second behind Dekkers at Nationals.

Men’s 100 Freestyle – Heats

  • World Record: 46.86, David Popovici (2022)
  • Commonwealth Record: 47.04, Cameron McEvoy (2016)
  • Australian Record: 47.04, Cameron McEvoy (2016)
  • All Comers Record: 47.04, Cameron McEvoy (2016)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 47.96
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 48.51

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Kyle Chalmers – 48.09
  2. Jack Cartwright – 48.21
  3. Flynn Southam – 48.75
  4. Dylan Andrea – 49.08
  5. Matthew Temple – 49.17
  6. Alexander Graham – 49.30
  7. Kai Taylor – 49.32
  8. Josha Salchow – 49.37

2016 Rio Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers fired off a 48.09 to pace the men’s 100 free heats. The 24-year-old nearly surpassed his time of 48.00 from April’s Australian National Championships, and was just about a second off his personal-best 47.08 from the 2019 World Championships.

Fellow 24-year-old Jack Cartwright snagged the second seed with a 48.21, just a couple tenths off his lifetime best from the 2017 World Championships (47.97). Cartwright was way faster than his 49.35 from April’s Australian Nationals, where he placed sixth. He’ll need to set a new personal best during tonight’s final in order to meet Swimming Australia’s qualifying time of 47.96.

18-year-old Flynn Southam was the only other swimmer under 49 seconds this morning. His time of 48.75 was about half a second off his personal-best 48.23 from last year’s Junior Pan Pacs. Singer-turned-swimmer Cody Simpson went 49.54 to tie Jamie Jack for the final qualifying spot before going a couple tenths faster in a swim-off (49.34) to beat Jack and sneak into the A-final.

Women’s 50 Breaststroke – Heats

  • World Record: 29.30, Benedetta Pilato (2021)
  • Commonwealth Record: 29.72, Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • Australian Record: 30.15, Chelsea Hodges (2022)
  • All Comers Record: 30.15, Chelsea Hodges (2022)
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 31.82

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Mikayla Smith – 31.38
  2. Talara-Jade Dixon – 31.41
  3. Mia O’Leary – 31.61
  4. Abbey Harkin – 31.68
  5. Maaike Vrij – 31.99
  6. Tilly King – 32.04
  7. Zoe Deacon – 32.06
  8. Isabella Johnson – 32.27

24-year-old Mikayla Smith clocked a new lifetime best to lead the women’s 50 breaststroke heats, posting a 31.38 to take down her previous-best 31.55 from last year’s Australian National Championships.

26-year-old Talara-Jade Dixon earned a runner-up result in prelims with a 31.41, just a couple tenths off her best time (31.17) from December. 20-year-old Mia O’Leary (31.51) touched third less than a tenth of a second ahead of 25-year-old Abbey Harkin, who owns a lifetime best of 31.20 from last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Men’s 50 Backstroke – Heats

  • World Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (2022)
  • Commonwealth Record: 24.04, Liam Tancock (2009)
  • Australian Record: 24.38, Isaac Cooper (2023)
  • All Comers Record: 24.38, Isaac Cooper (2023)
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 25.16

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Isaac Cooper – 24.55
  2. Bradley Woodward – 25.10
  3. James Bayliss – 25.41
  4. Lewis Blackburn – 25.49
  5. Mark Nikolaev – 25.56
  6. Fergus Mclachlan – 26.09
  7. Kai Van Kool – 26.15
  8. TIE: Ryder Lambert – 26.22 / Ty Hartwell – 26.22

It was a promising morning performance from 20-year-old Isaac Cooper, whose top qualifying time of 24.55 was within a couple tenths of his personal-best 24.38 from March. That mark ranks as the fifth-fastest in the world so far this season.

Cooper was the only swimmer in the field under 25 seconds in prelims, reaching the wall more than half a second ahead of Bradley Woodward. The 24-year-old Woodward was just .02 seconds off his best time (25.08) from last year’s Commonwealth Games.

19-year-old James Bayliss (25.41), 23-year-old Lewis Blackburn (25.49), and 25-year-old Mark Nikolaev (25.56) were separated by less than a couple tenths in the battle for third place.

Women’s 800 Freestyle – Morning Heat

  • World Record: 8:04.79, Katie Ledecky (2016)
  • Commonwealth Record: 8:13.59, Ariarne Titmus (2022)
  • Australian Record: 8:13.59, Ariarne Titmus (2022)
  • All Comers Record: 8:11.35, Katie Ledecky (2014)
  • Swimming Australia QT: 8:26.71
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 8:37.90
  1. Hannah Allen – 8:53.41
  2. Molly Walker – 8:57.61
  3. Jacinta Essam – 8:57.85
  4. Jessica Lavin – 8:59.87
  5. Lily Tomlinson – 9:05.12
  6. Kirralee Shepherd – 9:08.39
  7. Rosie Wilson – 9:15.53
  8. Lauren Maguire – 9:24.87
  9. Amelie Smith – 9:32.30

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Zachariah
8 months ago

Could this be the end of Melverton?

Sub13
8 months ago

I think tonight may be the best one so far. Potential for excitement in 5/7 events really (M200IM and W50 Breast excluded)

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

and the 200 im is looking better than it was on paper

Lisa
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

I would exclude the 800

Last edited 8 months ago by Lisa
Sub13
Reply to  Lisa
8 months ago

Why? It’s got the second fastest swimmer of all time and another 2 from the top 20. I’m excited to see what happens.

Lisa
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

No what I mean is that of course they gonna be fast and unless you’re expecting some kind of PB from her and the time from the 800 this evening will be enough to qualify and she did say in her interview a few days ago she didn’t fully taper .

Last edited 8 months ago by Lisa
Sub13
Reply to  Lisa
8 months ago

I’m not expecting a PB from Titmus but it’ll be a good race with several world class swimmers and I think a Pallister PB could be coming.

Again, not sure why you would say that can’t be an exciting race.

bubble bubble bubble
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Considering Titmus’s bit off, if Pallister could do a PB, then I think she and Titmus will come within a second. Might be a battle.

Lisa
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Well no I’m not expecting it too it just that these swims is just to qualify and I think the exciting part is the battle for the second and third cause we probably know who’s gonna win.

jeff
Reply to  Lisa
8 months ago

that kinda implies that we don’t know who will win the M100 free or the W200 back either. You can have an exciting race even when you know who the winner will be

Miss M
8 months ago

Simpson into the final 49.34… although Jack swam another PB at 49.50

Last edited 8 months ago by Miss M
Oceanian
8 months ago

At least they both swam faster than their heat

Hiswimcoach
8 months ago

King Kyle going 47.2 in finals.

Oceanian
8 months ago

“a peleton”

reminds me of that British commentator that used to say ‘echelon’ about 10 times every race

Oceanian
Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

Oh God – and Matt just said ‘echelon’

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

I’ll take that over gushing about the swimmers’ bodies

british 2021 euros coverage: GORGEOUS. peaty taking the top off just gives me the chills

Sub13
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

Oh that’s creepy

Oceanian
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

I thought it was a bit creep today when that Shane guy kept saying ‘Ainley’ as ‘anally’..

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

that makes all the wunsch attempts look very tame

Personal Best
Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

Haha! This meet has everything… fast swims, world leading times, disappointments, thrills, and comedy.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Personal Best
8 months ago

no need to add comedy to that – disappointments and thrills aptly describes the commentary blunders

Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

if simpson loses the swimoff, i can imagine the tabloids jumping on it:

chalmers reignites emma mckeon jealously as he refuses to let cody simpson into final

Riley
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

only way this sport seems to be able to make the mainstream media

Mark69
Reply to  Riley
8 months ago

Not quite – there was plenty of coverage when Kaylee set her world record earlier this year, and when Ariarne and ZSC set theirs at trials last year. And obviously during major meets (Worlds, CGs, and obviously Olympics). But not the coverage there was during the golden era (say 95-08).

Oceanian
Reply to  Mark69
8 months ago

In the newspaper days you used to see results from a state championship meet (even if there was no actual story or outstanding performances) printed in sports pages. These days….’crickets’.

Mark69
Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

That’s the same with many sports. The grade cricket results used to be in the Monday sports results pages, same with reserve grade NSWRL scores and tables etc. Look at the sports section of the SMH now, whether online or even the paper version and there are very few articles outside of the major football codes and cricket, sometime tennis and golf. And very few results.

Oceanian
Reply to  Mark69
8 months ago

Once upon a time I would ring the sports room of my local paper (Adelaide Advertiser) around midnight to get results of some overseas meet (and they would tell me). These days if anyone answered they would probably say ‘what’s swimming?’ (or most other sports not involving a ball).

Zachariah
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
8 months ago

“Chalmers refuses to pull out of final in spite of Cody Simpson dating his ex”

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Zachariah
8 months ago

to spite*

Oceanian
8 months ago

That Shane guy is orgasming over this Cody Simpson swim-off

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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