2023 Australian World Champs Trials: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


The first prelims session of the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials kicks off this morning at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Center. This morning’s action will feature heats of the women’s 200 IM, men’s 100 breast, women’s 100 fly, men’s 400 free, and women’s 400 free, as well as prelims of the multi-class para 50 fly and 100 back for both men and women.

This first day of the meet features some of the most highly anticipated races of these Australian Trials. Today, we’ll be treated to Emma McKeon in the women’s 100 fly, Kaylee McKeown in the women’s 200 IM, and, of course, Ariarne Titmus in the women’s 400 free.

On top of that, the men’s 400 free is shaping up to be a heck of a race, as Samuel Short, Elijah Winnington, Mack Horton, and Thomas Neill all appear to be right in the thick of it as they vie for spots on the World Championships roster.


  • World Record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • Australian Record: 2:07.03, Stephanie Rice (2009)
  • All Comers Record: 2:08.19, Kaylee McKeown (2021)
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 2:12.98
  • Swimming Australia 2023 QT: 2:10.72


  1. Kaylee McKeown – 2:11.97
  2. Ella Ramsey – 2:13.51
  3. Jenna Forrester – 2:13.98
  4. Kayla Hardy – 2:15.91
  5. Abbey Harkin – 2:17.25
  6. Lucy Dring – 2:17.60
  7. Sophie Martin – 2:17.70
  8. Lexi Harrison – 2:19.35

Superstar Kaylee McKeown looked very smooth in this morning’s heats, cruising to the top time with a 2:11.97. It was a very solid morning swim for McKeown, who set the All Comers Record with her career best of 2:08.19 a few months ago. She swam a well put together race, splitting 28.52 on fly, 33.16 on back, 37.47 on breast, and 32.82 on free. Of note, Swimming Australia’s qualifying time for the event sits at 2:10.72, which is a mark McKeown should have no problem whatsoever achieving tonight.

18-year-old Ella Ramsey came in second this morning with a 2:13.51. For Ramsey, that performance comes in just over a second off her lifetime best of 2:12.12. Jenna Forrester, the only other swimmer in this field to have been under 2:10 in the event, touched with the third-fastest time of the morning, stopping the clock in 2:13.98.



  1. Montana Atkinson (S14) – 31.62
  2. Victoria Belando Nicholson (S9) – 34.13
  3. Jasmine Greenwood (S10) – 31.48
  4. Savanah Maynier (S14) – 36.15
  5. Amelie Springett-Kelly (S6) – 44.77
  6. Emma Chantry (S19) – 31.26
  7. Summer Klein (S14) – 38.52
  8. Keira Warwick (S6) – 47.07
  9. McKinley Arnison (S10) – 36.84

15-year-old Montana Atkinson won the women’s multi-class 50 fly this morning, which was competed as a timed finals event. As a reminder, para swimming results aren’t determined by order of finish. Para events are competed via a scoring system, in which each swimmer’s time is compared to the world record for their classification.

Another 15-year-old, Victoria Belando Nicholson, came in second, swimming a 34.13.



  1. Nicholas Layton (S15) – 25.37
  2. Alex Saffy (S10) – 27.48
  3. Samuel Gould (S14) – 29.43
  4. Beau Matthews (S9) – 30.25
  5. Ethan Blockey (S14) – 30.83
  6. Alexander Tuckfield (S10) – 29.04
  7. Callum Simpson (S8) – 32.52
  8. Lachlan McNamee (S10) – 30.44
  9. Riley Blitz (S19) – 29.18

Nicholas Layton clocked a 25.37 to win the men’s multi-class 50 fly timed finals this morning. He touched first by over two seconds, coming out on top in the scoring as well.


  • World Record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (2017)
  • Australian Record: 58.58, Brenton Rickard (2009)
  • All Comers Record: 58.84, Adam Peaty (2018)
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 59.75
  • Swimming Australia 2023 QT: 59.49


  1. Haig Buckingham – 1:00.33
  2. Zac Stubblety-Cook – 1:00.47
  3. Samuel Williamson – 1:00.48
  4. Joshua Yong – 1:00.96
  5. Joshua Collett – 1:01.21
  6. Matthew Wilson – 1:01.41
  7. Nash Wilkes – 1:01.49
  8. Calvin Reed – 1:01.55

Haig Buckingham led a very tight prelims of the men’s 100 breast this morning, in which first and eighth place were separated by only 1.22 seconds. It sets up what ought to be an exciting final tonight, as these men will not only be chasing a victory, but the qualifying time of 59.49 as well.

With his performance, Buckingham took exactly one second off his seed time. Coming in behind him is 200 breast World Record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook, who swam a 1:00.47.

Notably, the third seed coming into the meet, Daniel Cave, who was seeded with a 59.99, came in 27th this morning with a 1:04.31.


  • World Record: 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
  • Australian Record: 55.72, Emma McKeon (2021)
  • All Comers Record: 55.93, Emma McKeon (2021)
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 58.33
  • Swimming Australia 2023 QT: 57.91


  1. Emma McKeon – 57.35
  2. Alexandria Perkins – 58.46
  3. Lily Price – 58.48
  4. Brianna Throssell – 58.68
  5. Abbey Connor – 58.91
  6. Elizabeth Dekkers – 59.13
  7. Kayla Costa – 59.34 (TIE)
  8. Olivia Wunsch – 59.34 (TIE)

Emma McKeon looked great this morning, already clearing the qualifying time of 57.91 by over half a second. It was a strong morning swim for the Commonwealth and All Comers Record holder, coming in about 1.6 seconds off her career best of 55.72. She was out in 26.84 and came home in 30.51.

McKeon has set herself up nicely for tonight’s final, where she has a clear path to victory. Alexandria Perkins put up a strong morning swim of 58.46 for second, though she’ll have to shed at least half a second tonight in order to hit the qualifying standard. Lily Price had a great morning swim, taking half a second off her seed time to come in third.

Briana Throssell, who coming into the day was probably the most likely to take the second spot on the Worlds roster in this event, came in fourth this morning at 58.68. Throssell is still in very good position for tonight, however, it looks like she could have some stiff competition out of Perkins and Price.

We nearly needed a swim-off for finals, as Kayla Costa and Olivia Wunsch tied for seventh at 59.34. Meg Harris was the first swimmer out, coming in ninth with a 59.71.



  1. Holly Warn (S7) – 1:27.32
  2. Hannah Price (S10) – 1:13.75
  3. Montana Atkinson (S14) – 1:14.41
  4. Jasmin Fullgrabe (S9) – 1:22.87
  5. Keira Warwick (S6) – 1:50.26

In a great performance, 14-year-old Holly Warn picked up a win in the women’s multi-class 100 back timed finals this morning. The youngster clocked a 1:27.32, which was the fourth-fastest overall time, but she came out on top in the scoring.

After winning the 50 fly shortly beforehand, Montana Atkinson, who is just 15, came in third in the 100 back with a 1:14.41.



  1. Benjamin Hance (S14) – 56.73
  2. Ricky Betar (S14) – 1:03.56
  3. Tom Gallagher (S10) – 1:02.70
  4. Harrison Vig (S9) – 1:07.78
  5. Samuel Gould (S14) – 1:09.09
  6. Beau Matthews (S9) – 1:16.61
  7. Alexander Tuckfield (S10) – 1:13.14
  8. Riley Blitz (S19) – 1:11.33

Benjamin Hance looked great this morning as he won timed finals of the men’s multi-class 100 back. He clocked the top time, winning the event as well. Hance has been a highly successful swimmer for Australia, having won three medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. At those Paralympics, Hance won gold in the men’s 100 back. He also won gold in the 100 back at last year’s World Championships.


  • World Record: 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • Australian Record: 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe (2002)
  • All Comers Record: 3:40.54, Ian Thorpe (2002)
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 3:48.15
  • Swimming Australia 2023 QT: 3:46.47


  1. Samuel Short – 3:47.32
  2. Elijah Winnington – 3:47.50
  3. Brendon Smith – 3:48.93
  4. Mack Horton – 3:49.50
  5. Matthew Galea – 3:49.59
  6. Thomas Neill – 3:51.47
  7. Elliot Rogerson – 3:53.02
  8. James Koch – 3:53.71

The men’s 400 free final is stacking up to be a great race tonight. They came into meet tightly packed at the top and nobody looked to be in a league of their own this morning. Samuel Short led the way, swimming a 3:47.32. Elijah Winnington is right on his heels, though, touching in 3:47.50 for second.

Brendon Smith swam a 3:48.93, while Mack Horton clocked a 3:49.50, and Mathew Galea was also under 3:50, touching in 3:49.59. Of note, Thomas Neill has been 3:44.51 before. He came in sixth this morning with a 3:51.47, but don’t look past him tonight. He’ll be swimming right next to Horton in the final.


  • World Record: 3:56.08, Summer McIntosh (2023)
  • Australian Record: 3:56.40, Ariarne Titmus (2022)
  • All Comers Record: 3:56.40, Ariarne Titmus (2022)
  • World Aquatics ‘A’ Cut: 4:10.57
  • Swimming Australia 2023 QT: 4:06.44


  1. Ariarne Titmus – 4:05.21
  2. Lani Pallister – 4:07.36
  3. Kiah Melverton – 4:09.30
  4. Amelia Weber – 4:10.79
  5. Jamie Perkins – 4:10.88
  6. Moesha Johnson – 4:11.93
  7. Madeleine Gough – 4:12.21
  8. Tasmin Cook – 4:12.42

In a relaxed looking swim, Ariarne Titmus swam a 4:05.21 to lead the way in prelims of the women’s 400 free. The Australian Record holder in the event, Titmus has already cleared the automatic qualifying standard of 4:06.44. We can expect her to be much, much faster tonight, as she’s been as fast as 3:56.40 before. The fastest time in the world this year belongs to Summer McIntosh, who broke Titmus’ World Record back in April with a 3:56.08.

Lani Pallister and Kiah Melverton were also under 4:10 this morning, and we can expect both swimmers to be faster tonight. Once, again, the qualifying mark sits at 4:06.44, which we can expect both women to be under tonight.

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11 months ago

Did Mitch Larkin officially retire?

Reply to  Meow
11 months ago

No, he’s focussing on Paris.

11 months ago

So busy with work so can’t watch live but these results look pretty good

11 months ago

Think Titmus will break SM’s WR today.

bubble bubble bubble
Reply to  phelpsfan
11 months ago

money on 3:56high

Reply to  phelpsfan
11 months ago

I don’t think she’ll be near the WR tonight (but I hope I’m wrong).

Reply to  Troyy
11 months ago

For me, as a McIntosh fan I’m hoping for the opposite.

Reply to  Troyy
11 months ago

Would be pleasantly surprised if she’s much below 3.58; would not be completely surprised if she doesn’t break 4min. However, I would not be totally surprised to see Pallister give that mark a nudge tonight.

11 months ago

Abbey Harkin’s pulled out of the 200 IM and Brendon Smith’s pulled out of the 400 free

Last edited 11 months ago by Steph
Miss M
Reply to  Steph
11 months ago

Understandable. She’s looking in good shape but unlikely to beat out Forrester or Ramsey for the second spot. Hopeful of some good breaststroke swims from her this week.

Reply to  Steph
11 months ago

Her breaststroke split earlier was really promising. Hopefully it will translate to her 100 and 200 breaststroke races.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nono
11 months ago

Great swims by the SPW athletes. Looking forward to finals tonight

11 months ago

I very much doubt we can get any qualifiers in the men’s 100 breast… they all seem to slow down in that second 50 heading to the wall

Reply to  Verram
11 months ago

We may not get any that hit the QT, but ZSC will obviously qualify in the 200 and they’ll take an extra 100 just to be safe for the medley relay anyway. Even if none of them hit the A cut, Wilson already has the 200 A cut so they might just bring him anyway

Reply to  Verram
11 months ago

Williamson is a 50 swimmer who can’t go the longer distance. Yong = not sure. Wilson was a 200 gun who may’ve brought himself undone trying to make himself into a legitimate 100 swimmer. Time will tell us whether ZSC falls into that same trap.

ZSC will qualify for the 200 so by default he get’s medley relay duties. Given even the FINA A mark for 100 may be problematic; they will look to a potential 2nd qualifier as insurance.

NOT seeing a direct qualifier tonight; a single FINA A = plausible; anything better will be a bonus.

11 months ago

Top seeds, and those who know they didn’t need to extend themselves to make the final, did what they needed to do …. and nothing more. Not much else can really be read other than:

  • M100BRS remains problematic
  • 2nd 100fly spot behind McKeon looks more competitive than expected
  • hard to look past Winnington & Short in M400FR
  • W400FR “firming” towards Titmus/Pallister
  • we see 1-2 more make W200IM QT but still looks a McKeown/Forrester show
Reply to  commonwombat
11 months ago

While the 1breast remains problematic at least Buckingham is progressing again.

Reply to  Troyy
11 months ago

His swim should certainly be seen as a positive but as yet, he is some way from being a solution. One can hope he does continue to progress.

11 months ago

Very happy with the meet so far. M100 Breast is the only event that doesn’t seem to have an individual gold medal contender, and the heat times weren’t actually that bad.

Tonight should be good