2023 Australian World Championship Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


It’s finally here – day one finals of the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials.

We’ll be treated to a lineup of potentially explosive performances, beginning with the women’s 200m IM. Versatile Kaylee McKeown captured the top seed and will try to improve upon her best-ever time of 2:07.19 from this year’s Sydney Open.

The men’s and women’s 400m free are also taking place tonight which means on the men’s side we’ll see a showdown between reigning world champion Elijah Winnington and current world leader Sam Short. Short hit a massive personal best of 3:42.46 at May’s nationals to rank as Australia’s 4th swiftest man in history.

For the women’s 4free, Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus will try to lay down a marker to Canadian rival Summer McIntosh who overtook Titmus’ former World Record of 3:56.40 at her Trials this past March.

Plus, Emma McKeon is slated to put on a show in the women’s 100m fly, already posting a rapid 57.35 to land lane 4 for this evening’s final.


  • World Record – 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2015
  • Australian Record – 2:07.03, Stephanie Rice 2009
  • Commonwealth Record – 2:06.88, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (GBR) 2016
  • All Comers Record: 2:07.19, Kaylee McKeown (2023)
  • AUS Worlds QT – 2:10.72

GOLD –  Kaylee McKeown 2:07.60
SILVER – Jenna Forrester 2:09.29
BRONZE – Ella Ramsay 2:11.89

McKeown led this women’s 200m IM from start to finish, owning a body-length lead on the field for the majority of the race. She ultimately got to the wall in a time of 2:07.60 to not only grab gold but easily clear the Swimming Australia-mandated time of 2:10.72 needed to qualify for next month’s World Championships.

McKeown’s outing represents the 2nd fastest of her career, sitting only behind the 2:07.19 All Comers Record she posted at the Sydney Open. That ranks her #2 in the world behind Canada’s Summer McIntosh.

Splits for McKeown’s result included 27.74/32.08 (59.82)/37.25/30.53.

Behind McKeown was Jenna Forrester with the 19-year-old St. Peters Western swimmer putting up a silver medal-worthy result of 2:09.29 as the only other swimmer under 2:10 this evening. That sliced .03 off of her personal best of 2:09.32 logged at this year’s Australian National Championships.

Ella Ramsay of Chandler rounded out the top 3 tonight in 2:11.89.

McKeown said post-race, “A relief to gain a qualification on the first night. Always good to blow out those cobwebs on the first race. Michael Bohl’s legacy speaks for itself.”


  • World Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR) 2019
  • Australian Record – 58.58, Brenton Rickard 2009
  • Commonwealth Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR) 2019
  • AUS Worlds QT – 59.49

GOLD – Zac Stubblety-Cook 59.68
SILVER – Sam Williamson 59.86
BRONZE – Joshua Yong 1:00.34

Although two men dipped under the 1:00 mark in this men’s 100m breast final, neither was quick enough to beat the Australian QT of 59.49 needed to automatically qualify for the World Championships. In fact, only finalist Matt Wilson has ever beaten the stiff selection standard.

Reigning world record holder and Olympic champion in the 200m breast, Zac Stubblety-Cook, got it done for gold in 59.68. He was behind on the first 50m but brought it home to chase down leader Sam Williamson who opened in a front half of 27.32.

Williamson, who trained with Adam Peaty of Great Britain earlier this year, settled for silver in 59.86 and UWSC’s Joshua Yong also landed on the podium in 1:00.34.

ZSC’s personal best rests at the 59.51 from last year’s World Championships so the 24-year-old’s outing here came within .17 of that result. As for Melbourne Vicentre’s Williamson, the 25-year-old’s time here fell just .04 outside his best-ever.

Assuming ZSC qualifies in the 200m breast, it’s very possible the Swimming Australia coaching brain trust adds this 100m breast to his lineup for Fukuoka despite not meeting the QT. Of note, his time did get under the World Aquatics ‘A’ cut of 59.75.

On the deck after the race, ZSC stated, “We’ve rested a good amount. That’s a good confidence swim. Definitely building into that 200 for Saturday.”


  • World Record – 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 2016
  • Australian Record – 55.72, Emma McKeon 2021
  • Commonwealth Record – 55.59, Maggie MacNeil (CAN) 2021
  • AUS Worlds QT – 57.91

GOLD – Emma McKeon 56.74
SILVER – Brianna Throssell 57.66
BRONZE – Lily Price 57.78

The women’s 100m fly bronze medalist from the 2020 Olympic Games Emma McKeon clocked a time of 56.74 to take the event tonight, challenged on the front half by Brianna Throssell. 

St. Peters Western’s Throssell wound up at the wall in 57.66, with both women getting under the Australian qualifying time of 57.91.

Tonight’s bronze medalist Lily Price also got under the cut with a bronze medal-worthy 57.78 and 22-year-old Alexandria Perkins, this evening’s 4th-place finisher, also cleared the QT in 57.80.

McKeon owns the national record in this event with her swift 55.72 from Tokyo so tonight’s effort was just over a second off of that best-ever result. Throssell’s personal best remains at the 56.96 she produced last year in Budapest where she ultimately placed 6th in 56.98.

As for 20-year-old Price of Rackley, her 57.78 outing this evening now renders her as Australia’s 11th fastest woman in history.

On her performance here in Melbourne, McKeon said, “I was hoping for a bit quicker but this is trials and it’s all about making the team.”

McKeon now ranks 5th in the world this season in this women’s 100m fly event.

2022-2023 LCM Women 100 Fly

View Top 26»


  • World Record – 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (GER) 2009
  • Australian Record – 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe 2002
  • Commonwealth Record – 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe (AUS) 2002
  • AUS Worlds QT – 3:46.47

GOLD – Sam Short 3:43.38
SILVER – Elijah Winnington 3:43.48
BRONZE – Mack Horton 3:46.71

It was a thrilling finish all the way to the wall, as Sam Short and Elijah Winnington battled throughout this men’s 400m free with it coming down to the touch.

Winnington led after the first 100m but Short took over with Winnington on his hip the remainder of the way until he made his move in the final 25m. Short ultimately got there first in 3:43.38 while Dean Boxall-trained Winnington hit 3:43.48.

The 2016 Olympic champion in this event Mack Horton put up a solid performance of 3:46.71 for bronze.

Short said post-race, “I put the hammer down with 150m to go and I paid for it.”

Winnington stated, “Tonight was just about doing the job. It’s about replicating this on the world stage.”

Both Short and Winnington easily cleared the QT of 3:46.47 needed for Fukuoka. Short’s mark of 3:42.46 from April’s National Championships keeps the Rackley 19-year-old ranked #1 in the world while Winnington now slots himself as 3rd fastest.

2022-2023 LCM Men 400 Free

View Top 26»


GOLD – Ariarne Titmus 3:58.47
SILVER – Lani Pallister 4:02.43
BRONZE – Kiah Melverton 4:05.03

Former World Record holder Ariarne Titmus attacked this women’s 400m free race from the get-go, jumping out to the lead and never looking back. The reigning Olympic champion looked smooth and in control, ultimately producing a time of 3:58.47 as the sole sub-4:00 swimmer of the field.

Qualifying for Fukuoka was no problem for Titmus while runner-up Lani Pallister also got the job done. A 4-time Short Course World Champion, Pallister also looked controlled with a silver medal-worthy swim of 4:02.43.

Open water ace Kiah Melverton logged 4:05.03 for bronze, a time which also cleared the 4:06.44 cut for Fukuoka.

This marks Titmus’ first sub-4:00 outing of the season, now checking her in as the #2 performer in the world behind Canada’s newly-minted World Record holder Summer McIntosh. Pallister is positioned as the 6th quickest performer on the season after tonight’s final.

2022-2023 LCM Women 400 Free

3:55.38 WR
View Top 26»

Titmus said after this race, “It wasn’t the best-feeling 400m but every swim under 4:00 is a fast swim. The last 2 months I’ve put in a lot of good work. I would have preferred to have been a little bit faster tonight but that means there are things to work on.”

Titmus’ 3:58.47 ranks as the St. Peters Western star’s 5th-best personal performance as well as the 13th-fastest performance in history.

Ariarne Titmus‘ Top 5 LCM 400 Free Performances

  1. 3:56.40 2022
  2. 3:56.69 2021
  3. 3:56.90 2021
  4. 3:58.06 2022
  5. 3:58.47 2023

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cant kick cant pull
8 months ago

Elijah got a lot more to give. He took out the first 100 with intent, then settled down, then came back with about 55-60 to go. All in all 343 mid still with more in the tank. Should be a great event again at worlds. Well done boys

8 months ago

Wasn’t overly impressed with today, early I know. Lots of racing left, but not hitting SB’s at what should be a target meet is a little alarming for Short, McKeown, example of peaking to soon? Japan will tell…

Reply to  AquaDuck
8 months ago

Why would you need to swim a SB if you don’t need to? That would be bad judgement.

Personal Best
Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

Oh man… would hate to have a bunch of them swim peak times at trials and not come anywhere close at Worlds.

SBs and PBs are not necessarily needed at Worlds but coming close would be good as opposed to what used to happen with some swimmers in seasons past when they didn’t get anywhere close.

Reply to  AquaDuck
8 months ago

McKeown just swam her second fastest 2IM ever, 0.4 off her PB. Same with Short, he was less than a second off his PB in the 400.

Sure it would have been great if they set new PBs but I don’t see why you’re “alarmed”. The Aussies usually get criticised for peaking at trials and then being slower at Worlds. Maybe we’ll see the opposite here.

Summer is Titmus’ Sleep Paralysis Demon
8 months ago

Summer making Ari@rNe a one quad wonder!


What happened to all the nice, intelligent & friendly Canucks on here? Did a WR from Summer all turn them into the ‘Swimming Dead?’

Reply to  Oceanian
8 months ago

I don’t actually think this person is Canadian. They never mention Canadians except to insult other people but they fangirl over every American swimmer.

Most of the Canadians are great. The awful ones seem to have just joined recently after Summer got popular.

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

I should make them answer an Obscure Canadian Trivia quiz.

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
8 months ago

Oh man, please do!

Reply to  snailSpace
8 months ago

I imagine it would be like those facepalm YT videos where Murrican kids are asked simple questions – eg https://www.youtube.com/@loveliveserve – “What is the capital of Canada”‘ “Ummm….I’m not good at history…. Poutine?”


I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a multiple Olympic and World Champion and World Record Holder just to have some unemployed nobody on the internet call me a “One Quad Wonder”. Must be surreal.

Summer is Titmus’ Sleep Paralysis Demon
Reply to  Hooked on Chlorine
8 months ago

No. But that’s a nice pic of you!


yeah and her Olympic gold medal win was so anticlimactic her race vs Ledecky the huge build up beforehand was dampened with no fans in the stands besides the very few cheering athletes aloud the atmosphere was so lifeless you though you were watching some random January non sense meet and how we forget the masks barf!!! safe to say this no fans pandemic Tokyo Olympics did not make for great Television. The race itself was great at least.

Reply to  crazycanuck
8 months ago

It took a coach who went beserk to save the day who actually got more publicity than the winner itself, Sad.

Summer is Titmus’ Sleep Paralysis Demon
Reply to  crazycanuck
8 months ago

Her coach was the most entertaining thing that came out of that 😂 AriUrn has no personality. Imagine having that as a sporting hero? 🫷

8 months ago

So Titmus isn’t thinking about 2028?! Next year if everyone is healthy, I’m seeing her with 1 gold, the 4×200 free!! And a haul of minor medals.

With Summer’s rise, I’m not seeing her winning the 400. And With Ledecky’s stranglehold of the 800 free. 🙌🏻🙌🏻

Reply to  Willy
8 months ago

Funny how some will place a bet on the future. And the past. But ‘the present’ is apparently over.

Reply to  Willy
8 months ago

Going into this summer world championship the 400 free is gonna be a tight battle and McIntosh going in as the favorite because she’s the world record holder and both long distance events especially the 800 free was never in contention because Ledecky is ahead than anybody else and she’s probably locked to win it and become the first woman to win a sixpeat.

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

And thinking of the 200m she’s got Mollie in there. It’s so tight in all her events…but Titmus could be the 200m world champion.

Reply to  Willy
8 months ago

Correct and I would not be surprised if Pellegrini world record get broken too

Summer is Titmus’ Sleep Paralysis Demon
Reply to  Willy
8 months ago

It’s Joever 😞

8 months ago

Titmus trying to psych out summer lol.

Reply to  David
8 months ago

I have read somewhere, where she stated that Summer isn’t experienced enough lol😂🙌🏻 like someone with 2 world titles to her name isn’t experienced.🙌🏻

Reply to  Willy
8 months ago

quote from Titmus “I feel like Summer hasn’t really had that experience yet racing on the international stage with the pressure” thinks summer hasn’t been to worlds yet because she forgot to go last year.
Before the age of 17, Summer has already raced at an Olympic Games, SC world champs, LC world champs, and CW Games. And only missed out on going to major Jr meets because of the pandemic.
Titmus had much less big meet experience at the same age.

Reply to  crazycanuck
8 months ago

Thanks for cut and pasting my Tweet! 😂

Reply to  crazycanuck
8 months ago

Summer has said the only pressure she puts is on herself if Summer falters i don’t think it will be because of this or that competitor or the pressure of the occasion she has proven that she can produce fast times whether its a big or small meet the concern might be with navigating a heavy schedule and proper recovery between prelims, finals and in other events the added semifinals.

Reply to  crazycanuck
8 months ago

Regarding the 400 free, she will be fresh.🤞🏼

Reply to  crazycanuck
8 months ago

I think you’re missing the key part “with the pressure”. She didn’t go into worlds last year with high expectations. This meet will be the first one where she knows the world is expecting her to win big.

Like… the only way you could take offence to what Arnie said is if you’re really trying to find a reason to be a victim.

8 months ago

It irks me to no end that multiple Australians can seemingly throw down 3:42-3:43 in the 400 each time they’re rested, but we (USA) will be lucky to get one swimmer at 3:44 each year.

Reply to  thezwimmer
8 months ago

You’re right about that, and the problem is even deeper than that on a global scale. It hasn’t really improved since Ian Thorpe.

Reply to  thezwimmer
8 months ago

No one does mid distance – distance like the aussies

Reply to  thezwimmer
8 months ago

Haha we’ll swap you a mid-distance swimmer for a breaststroker?

Octavio Gupta
8 months ago

Only 2 swims today even close to international relevance.

Reply to  Octavio Gupta
8 months ago

I counted 6 swims that would have been in the top 5 in Budapest. But it’s ok, counting is hard for some people.

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

I actually think it’s more than that:
200IM: McKeown and Forrester
100 Fly: McKeon
W400 Free: Titmus and Pallister
M400 Free: Short and Winnington

So in every event except the M100 Breast (which we all saw coming) we would have had a top 5 time in Budapest

8 months ago

I like ZSC for the 100 breast final

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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