2024 Australian Olympic Trials: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap

2024 AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS

G’day Mates. I hope you enjoyed some stellar performances yesterday and are excited for today’s events, as many of the stars from yesterday are back for more. Kaylee McKeown, Elijah Winnington, and Sam Short are all back in the water as they look to qualify in a second event.

We start the morning off with a bang, like yesterday the very first heat of the morning will see a World Record holder, as McKeown will look to the 100 back to her event list alongside the 200 IM. While the only swimmer entered under 58, that doesn’t mean she isn’t without competition. Mollie O’Callaghan, a World Record holder in her own right, enters as the second seed. While seeded over a second faster than the #3 seed, O’Callaghan will have a hungry pack of determined youngsters behind her led by Iona Anderson and Jaclyn Barclay.

The next event progressed from one of Australia’s strengths to its weakness. Jenna Strauch and Abbey Harkin will duel it out in the 100 breast, vying for a spot on the medley relay and in the individual event. While Strauch has the only entry time under the 1:06.31 qualifying time, 3rd seed Ella Ramsay could be in the hunt, as she already made the team in the 200 IM and could be riding a wave of momentum.

The Multi-Class 50 free comes next and will be a fast affair as 11 men and 16 women will all vie for a coveted spot in tonight’s final. Having a second swim in the para events affords the athletes another shot to earn more points, as qualification to the team will have to wait until the end of the meet.

The men’s 100 back is sandwiched in between the para 50 free and para 100 fly, and will see Isaac Cooper and Bradley Woodward chase down the stiff qualifying time of 53.21. Neither of the top two seeded Aussies have entries under that mark, but it certainly could be within reach. Australian record holder Mitch Larkin, whose best sits at 52.11, is your 8th seed and will need to be on point to make it back to the final.

After the MC 100 fly, the men’s 200 free sees the return of Winnington and Short. Both will look to put up strong performances this morning against the likes of Maximillian Giuliani, Thomas Neill, Alex Graham, Kai Taylor, Flynn Southam, Matt Temple, and Zac Incerti (to name a few). With some many names all desperate for a ticket to Paris, it may be harder to make the top 8 this morning, than tonight, where six of the eight finalists will likely be on the plane to Paris.

Whole Meet Prelims Heat Sheet

Women’s 100 Backstroke – Prelims

  • World Record: 57.33 – Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 2023
  • Australian Record: 57.33 – Kaylee McKeown, 2023
  • Swim Australia OQT: 59.62
  • 2021 Time to Final:  1:01.37 – Abbey Webb

Top 8 

  1.  Mollie O’Callaghan (STPET) – 58.73
  2.  Kaylee McKeown (GUSC) – 59.03
  3.  Hannah Fredericks (STPET) – 59.72
  4.  Iona Anderson (BRW) – 59.96
  5.  Jacyln Barclay (STPET) – 1:00.30
  6. Minna Atherton (BOND) – 1:00.90
  7. Layla Day (BOND) – 1:00.01
  8. Emily Seebohm (STMAR) – 1:01.02

McKeown wasted no effort establishing herself as the dominant swimmer in the first heat. McKeown easily led the first heat into the halfway wall, flipping in 28.63, flipping ahead of up-and-coming Jacyln Barclay and Bronte Job. McKeown looked smooth and controlled, not really going to her legs in the closing meters, and cruised to the wall in 59.03. Barclay had a good swim and put herself into a good spot for tonight’s final, finishing in 1:00.30.

MOC showed off her back half speed in the second heat as she pushed the pace in the closing meters. Out in 28.87, O’Callaghan had a strong run into the finish and went around McKeown to take over the top time in the morning in a swift 58.73. Her teammate, Hannah Fredericks, also got under the 1:00 barrier, hitting the wall in 59.72, just .03 off her entry time.

The third heat (and final) of circle-seeded heats was a slower affair. Top seed in the heat and third overall, Iona Anderson cruised into the wall in 59.96, .72 off her entry time. Anderson has been as fast as 58.53, so will look to drop a lot of time this evening. Veteran swimmers Minna Atherton and Emily Seebohm finished in 1:00.90 and 1:01.02 and sit in 6th and 8th position, so hopefully should move through.

WOMEN’S 100 Breaststroke – Prelims

  • World Record: 1:04.13 – Lilly King (USA), 2017
  • Australian Record: 1:05.09 – Leisel Jones, 2006
  • Swim Australia OQT: 1:06.31
  • 2021 Time to Final: 1:08.34 – Zoe Deacon

Top 8 

  1. Jenna Strauch (MIAMI) – 1:07.58
  2. Abbey Harkin (STPET) – 1:07.59
  3. Ella Ramsay (CHAND) – 1:07.70
  4. Matilda Smith (MIAMI) – 1:08.03
  5. Sienna Toohey (ALBU) – 1:08.04
  6. Mikayla Smith (GUSC) – 1:09.05
  7. Isabella Johnson (CRUIZ) – 1:09.24
  8. Zoe Deacon (NUN) – 1:09.44

The 200 silver medalist from Budapest, Jenna Strauch, played to her strengths as she swam a strong back 50 to pass the early leader, Sienna Toohey. Strauch, who is on the comeback trail from a knee injury, was behind the 15-year-old at the turn but chased her down to take the heat win in 1:07.58, with Toohey finishing just on the other side of 1:08, taking second in 1:08.04

Abbey Harkin entered the meet as the second seed and will likely enter the finals tonight in the same position, as she won the second heat in 1:07.59, .01 behind the early leader, Strauch. Harkin really pulled through the field and won the heat by nearly one and a half seconds as Mikayla Smith finished in second place in 1:09.05.

Continuing last night’s success, Ella Ramsay swam a strong and smooth heat swim, hitting the wall in 1:07.70. Ramsay, who placed second in the 200 IM, faced a late challenge from Matilda Smith, but she held on, with Smith. With three swimmers under 1:08 and two just over it, it’ll be a tight race in the final tonight as they all chase the 1:06.31 qualifying time.

39-year-old Sally Hunter (nee Foster), a four-time World Championship medalist, placed 9th in the prelims in a time of 1:09.63, missing out on the A-Final by .19.

MEN’S MULTI CLASS 50 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

Top 8 

  1. Tom Gallagher S10 (SOMGC) – 23.51 (956 pts.)
  2. Rowan Crothers S10 (YERPK) – (870 pts.)
  3. Alexander Tuckfield S10 (SSST) – 24.55 (840 pts.)
  4. Riley Moore S10 (WOYW) – 26.20
  5. Ben Popham S9 (HLDR) – 26.27
  6. Luke Holder S10 (HORN) – 27.12
  7. Hamish Keenan S9 (PROP) – 28.40
  8. Daniel Rigby S9 (KPSC) – 28.73

The splash and dash saw swimmers ranging from S3 to S10 all vie for a spot in tonight’s final. Sporting a nice mustache, Tom Gallagher surged past Tokyo Paralympic champion Rowan Crothers and took the win in 23.51, a drop of .06 from seed. Crothers finished second in 24.26 and may have been holding something back as he was .84 off his seed.

Gallagher’s swim this morning already dipped under the qualifying standard, but he cannot rest on his laurels as swimmers tonight could put up higher point totals.

WOMEN’S MULTI CLASS 50 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

Top 8 

  1. Alexa Leary S9 (STHIL) – 28.04
  2. Keira Stephens S10 (STHPT) – 28.83
  3. Katja Dedekind S13 (YERPK) – 28.41
  4. Jenna Jones S12 (USCS) – 29.03
  5. Rachel Watson S3 (CHAND) – 40.76
  6. Hannah Price S10 (CMBT) – 30.45
  7. Michelle Fawer S10 (ENGA) – 31.43
  8. Sarah Howe S10 (BGOLD) – 31.68

The women’s 50 free was a subdued affair, with many of the swimmers saving their best for tonight. Alexa Leary will take the center lane this evening, but will face pressure from Katj Dedekind, who was 28.41 this morning but had an entry time of 26.56.

MEN’S 100 Backstroke – Prelims

  • World Record: 51.60 – Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 2022
  • Australian Record: 52.11 – Mitch Larkin, 2015
  • Swim Australia OQT: 53.21
  • 2021 Time to Final: 55.03 – Travis Mahoney

Top 8 

  1. Bradley Woodward (MING) – 53.78
  2. Isaac Cooper (STAND) – 53.91
  3. Enoch Robb (ALLSA) – 54.58
  4. Mitch Larkin (CHAND) – 54.76
  5. Stuart Swinburn (COSAC) – 54.79
  6. James Bayliss (CHAND) – 54.82
  7. Joshua Edwards-Smith (GUSC) – 55.03
  8. Lewis Blackburn (STAND) – 55.24

Isaac Cooper showed off his speed early in the race, taking out the first 50 fast, hitting the wall in 25.85. Cooper held on to the win, finishing in 53.91. It was a comfortable margin as Stuart Swinburn took second, nearly a full second behind at 54.79.

A much faster heat, the second heat saw Bradley Woodward overtake Cooper’s spot atop the field. Woodward was out quite a bit slower, flipping in 26.48, but surged over the last 50 meters to hit the wall in 53.78. Also swimming well in the heat were Enoch Robb and Mitch Larkin. The pair finished behind Woodward in times of 54.58 and 54.76, respectively, and currently sit in 3rd and 4th with one circle seeded heat remaining.

The third heat of the men’s 100 back was a much slower affair. Lewis Blackburn and Se-Bom Lee dueled with each other over the 100 but didn’t have the speed to keep up with the previous heats’ swimmers. Blackburn got the best of Lee, hitting the wall in 55.24 as compared to Lee’s 55.30. Blackburn is in the hot seat as he currently sits in 8th place and could be bumped from the A-final. The top seed in the heat, visiting athlete Mark Nikolaev add close to two seconds to his seed time to finish in 55.95.

MEN’S MULTI CLASS 100 Butterfly – PRELIMS

Top 8 

  1. Benjamin Hance S14 (STAND) – 56.13 (899 pts.)
  2. Timothy Hodge S9 (ACUB) – 1:00.46 (846 pts.)
  3. Alex Saffy S10 (BUN) – 57.78 (823 pts.)
  4. Cole Pearse S10 (NUN) – 58.27
  5. Lewis Bishop S9 (RACKL) – 1:01.53
  6. Liam Schluter S14 (USCS) – 59.06
  7. Declan Budd S14 (KPSC) – 59.69
  8. William Martin S10 (NCOLL) – 59.82

While it looked like a piano was dropping on his back in the closing meters, S14 swimmer Benjamin Hance absolutely smashed the first heat of the 100 fly. Out in 25.50, Hance held on and managed to hit the wall in 55.90, coming home in 30.63. Hance’s swim was just off .23 from his seed time, but he cleared the qualifying time in his category.

WOMEN’S MULTI CLASS 100 Butterfly – PRELIMS

Top 8 

  1. Ruby Storm S14 (STAND) – 1:09.66 (751 pts.)
  2. Jasmine Greenwood S10 (CRUIZ) – 1:09.04 (745 pts.)
  3. Taylor Corry S14 (KPD) – 1:09.92 (743 pts.)
  4. Emily Beecroft S9 (USCS) – 1:09.56 (725 pts.)
  5. Poppy Wilson S10 (YERPK) – 1:09.92 (718 pts.)
  6. Kael Thompson S14 (SCGS) – 1:12.26 (673 pts.)
  7. Montana Atkinson S14 (HELEN) – 1:12.72 (660 pts.)
  8. Jasmin Fullgrabe S9 (MARI) – 1:13.35 (618 pts.)

Paige Leonhardt, who entered this morning with the fastest entry time, was disqualified in the heats of the 100 fly and must look to other events to book her ticket to Paris. Should she be selected for a different event, she could be afforded the opportunity to swim in this event at the games. It’ll be a tight race this evening between Ruby Storm and Jasmine Greenwood; as points-wise, they were nearly inseparable, with just 6 points separating the two and only eight between the top three.

MEN’S 200 Freestyle – Prelims

  • World Record: 1:42.00 – Paul Biedermann (GER), 2009
  • Australian Record: 1:44.06 – Ian Thorpe, 2001
  • Swim Australia OQT: 1:45.97
  • 2021 Time to Final: 1:47.43 – Matthew Temple

Top 8 

  1. Elijah Winnington (STPET) – 1:45.95
  2. Kai Taylor (STPET) – 1:46.29
  3. Zac Incerti (USCS) – 1:46.59
  4. Maximillian Giuliani (MIAMI) – 1:46.72
  5. Alexander Graham (MIAMI) – 1:46.87
  6. Flynn Southam (BOND) – 1:47.07
  7. Thomas Neill (RACKL) – 1:47.10
  8. Brendon Smith (GUSC) – 1:47.58

The first heat was a close affair, with everyone trying their best to put forth a time that would survive the remaining two heats. Alexander Graham was your early leader, leading at the 100 in 51.60. Maximillian Giuliani and Zac Incerti made their move in the last 100, with Incerti getting the better of Giuliani, hitting the wall in 1:46.59, .13 ahead of the second-place finishing time. Graham held on for third, stopping the clock in 1:46.87. Charlie Hawke finished 4th in the heat, adding a second to his seed time, hitting the wall in 1:48.34.

The second heat did not see the Winnington-Short rematch, as the latter withdrew from the heat. It has been rumored that Short has been dealing with a GI illness, and while Short has been recently more known for his distance-free, he was a member of the silver medal-winning 4×200 relay in Budapest. The absence did not faze Winnington, who instead dueled with Kai Taylor. The 400 winner last night doubled up on his prelims top seed as he hit the wall in 1:45.95. Taylor did well to finish second, stopping the clock in 1:46.29.

The last of the circle-seeded heats was a slower affair as Flynn Southam out-dueled Thomas Neill and Brendon Smith to take the win in 1:47.07. Neill, who was just behind in 1:47.10, stayed ahead of Smith, who is more known for his IM prowess, as he hit the wall in 1:47.58.

MEN’S MULTI CLASS 50 Breaststroke – PRELIMS

Top 8 

  1. Grant Patterson SB2 (CENCA) – 1:04.89 (476 pts.)

The last, but certainly not least, race of the morning was the men’s MC 100 breast. Grant Patterson was the lone entrant but made the most of it, getting under the SB2 qualifying time and stopping the clock in 1:04.89.

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mahmoud
12 days ago

Mckeown breaking the 100 m back world record tonight and mollie breaking 58 seconds as well.

Dan tm
Reply to  mahmoud
12 days ago

Would love to see Mollie at 57.51 🙂

peter
12 days ago

will 4 x 1.45 be enough to medal?

Notanyswimmer
Reply to  peter
12 days ago

Safe for bronze, or silver if a few pianos drop on Team USA. South Korea has 3 great legs (Hwang, Lee, Kim) and 1 not-so-great (the TBD 4th guy) and China has 3 decent legs (Wang, Zhang, Ji) and 1 great (Pan), and I don’t think either team is consistent enough to pull through to a medal.

Steve
Reply to  peter
12 days ago

Yess

Genevieve Nnaji
Reply to  peter
11 days ago

4×1.45 means 7:00

Bronze medals in all past World Championships and Olympics were won in time slower than 7:00.

Troyy
12 days ago

Finals program is out and I don’t see any scratches from A finals.

Oceanian
Reply to  Troyy
11 days ago

Good – especially not Cooper or Winnington.

Genevieve Nnaji
Reply to  Troyy
11 days ago

Can’t wait to see MOC in 100 back.

I wonder what she’s cooking. It will give signals for her 100 and 200 free.

Loz
12 days ago

For ex swimmers, Giann and Thorpey don’t seem to know all that much about swimming haha. I must say though, I find it so lovely to see Thorpe back on pool deck. He had some really rough years (much of it courtesy of the Aus public/media), and it’s fantastic to see him re-connected with the sport to which he’s contributed so much. So – in short – I shouldn’t nitpick him! ☺️

Sub13
Reply to  Loz
12 days ago

He may not know anything about swimming anymore but he could still get it

Loz
Reply to  Sub13
12 days ago

Remember when we collectively agreed we weren’t doing this to Ian Thorpe anymore? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Sub13
Reply to  Loz
11 days ago

I never agreed to that. And I never will

Backnbutter
Reply to  Loz
12 days ago

Agree, both are not suited to race commentary. Giann is a good TV presenter of swimming/sport and Ian does his best as pre/post race expert analysis. He is not concise & agile enough to call a race without missing important bits.

Mark69
Reply to  Backnbutter
11 days ago

Thorpie is good at stroke and in-race analysis, but neither of them appear to actually follow swimming, so they ignore or get wrong things about swimmers and basic swimming facts that fans (like us) know and that often would help non-swimming fans who are tuning in just because its the Olympic trials or the Olympics. As swimmers they would have prepared diligently for their races but in their current roles, they are clearly not doing the work in advance.

Oceanian
Reply to  Loz
11 days ago

not as lovely as it would be to see Giaan OFF pool deck lmao

ggggggg
12 days ago

Still got my money on duncan scott in Paris. RIP the 200 Mens FS final tonight.

ggggggg
12 days ago

Idk why these 200 boys bother, cause Duncan scott gonna shit on them in the olympics.

Sub13
Reply to  ggggggg
12 days ago

I know this is trolly bait but Australians love Duncan Scott. I’d love for him to win this in Paris.

Kelsey
Reply to  Sub13
11 days ago

Me too!

Dan tm
Reply to  ggggggg
12 days ago

The Brits get a little over excited about their 200m Free hopes.

Genevieve Nnaji
Reply to  Dan tm
11 days ago

There’s no guarantee the troll is British

Genevieve Nnaji
Reply to  ggggggg
11 days ago

I’m neither Australian, British, Canadian, American, or Chinese so I have the freedom to enjoy legit fantastic swims by anyone regardless nationality.

Dunks is one of my favorites.

Last edited 11 days ago by Genevieve Nnaji
Oceanian
Reply to  ggggggg
11 days ago

Thank you for your articulate analysis.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  ggggggg
11 days ago

Don’t like you sentiment but I would love for Duncan to win.

commonwombat
12 days ago

Suspect tonight’s finals will be a case of major anticipation for the first final of the night then hold out hope with the remaining 3.

W100BK: The only event of the night where the QT is a complete factor and the top 2 are basically clear cut. Primary interests will be the obvious “what time from McKeown ?” and will MOC drop a time that will potentially have her actually consider swimming it in Paris. Having any additional sub59s will be a plus.

W100BRS: AUS QT is most likely out of range. Realistically any WA A time will be gratefully taken. Ramsay or Strauch look the most likely candidates.

M100BK: Another event where AUS QT isn’t likely to be in… Read more »

Robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
12 days ago

I’ll counteract your negativity with some positivity, though not saying you are wrong, but putting a more positive spin on it.
W100BK: WR for McKeown, what a swimmer what a time? She pulls MOC to a 57.6 & Anderson also goes under 59s.
W100BRS: 3 swimmers goes under 1.07, all 3 misses qualifying time, but Ramsey gets 2nd in 1.06.4 & will swim in Paris (already in 200IM) & Strauch will go 1.06.2 to just miss QT but there based on 200 Breast.
M100BK: In the biggest shock of the swimming Trials, 2 swimmers goes under QT with Woodward going 53.1 & Cooper going a 52.8.
M200FR: Yes Max G & Winnington will go into the… Read more »

SNygans01
Reply to  Robbos
12 days ago

My smile will certainly return by night’s end, if all of that pans out!
I imagine that the reality will fall somewhere between the predictions from C/W and yourself.

Robbos
Reply to  SNygans01
12 days ago

That was my intention (smile on the faces).

commonwombat
Reply to  Robbos
12 days ago

Don’t really think I’m being particularly negative but rather dispassionately realistic. This IS a ‘back to earth” session where there is only one real “medal event”, one “middling” and two where a WA A mark IS a “grab it with glee” when seen in an international competitiveness context …. just as yesterday is one where it was 3/4 “major contender” events.

As for your calls

  • W100BK: basically in line with mine albeit I did not specifically state WR
  • W100BRS: a best case scenario but reasonable enough, happily go along with it !
  • M100BK: here we part ways. someone could give the QT a nudge but not betting on it and sorry but Cooper lost me a while back with
… Read more »

Robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
12 days ago

Ok we agree on top 2.

I thought you were a bit negative on the 100 back, based on their relay swims, both Woodward & Cooper should ave more to give, Woodward only .5 a second from QT & Cooper .7, both big chances of QT tonite. I maybe a bit overboard on Cooper’s 52.8 though.

As for 200 free, I like most on here have been disappointed before, is Guiliani a Clyde Lewis, who knows, lets hope that there is faster times than high 1.45s.

Robbos
Reply to  Robbos
12 days ago

That was based on heat swim,

Andy
Reply to  commonwombat
12 days ago

I think MOC will swim a 57s swim (maybe 57.7-57.8) but she would realistically have to swim a near world record time for it to be even worth her considering doing the double on the same night as the 200 free, on a background of an already heavy schedule once you add in 4 relays.

Yes, she’s the WR holder but MOC is BARELY faster than Titmus in the 200free and we know from last night that Titmus is in amazing form. She’s gonna need fresh legs for her trademark last 50m and can’t afford to waste it on backstroke.

It technically will be her second Olympics but her first with individual events. I’m 99% confident she’ll stick to… Read more »

commonwombat
Reply to  Andy
12 days ago

Largely my read. 57.5 – 57.6ish = you have to seriously consider doing so as you’re talking not just bronze but potential gold/silver but 57highish and above = No.

Would however love to see her seriously pursue it internationally at some point of her career.

McKeown dropping 200IM for Tokyo was, in hindsight, a right call due to an already big program but was actually due to a shoulder niggle that made butterfly problematic.

Robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
12 days ago

Agree there.

Troyy
Reply to  commonwombat
12 days ago

The Worlds schedule works a bit better for her to do the 100 back alongside the freestyles so I’m hoping she’ll give it a go next year.

Andy
Reply to  commonwombat
11 days ago

The reason I drew the McKeown analogy was that she was no 1 ranked in weak events that Ohashi won with slow times and STILL didn’t swim it.

Even if MOC cracks a 57.5 tonight, she’d be fighting with the two giants of women’s backstroke in Kaylee and Regan. Why would she damage her chances of winning Olympic gold in arguably her best event (100free is getting crowded with Haughey and Steenbergen) for a slim chance at gold in her worst event – 1 gold is better than 2 bronzes (and most would say better than 2 silvers).

The women’s 100 backstroke semis are scheduled to finish at 21:21 and shed likely have to swim a 59 low to… Read more »

Oceanian
Reply to  Andy
11 days ago

I would love to see heads *EXPLODE* if MOC beat Kaylee tonight. Not that I think it will happen and don’t wish for Kaylee to lose.

But I can’t resist the thought of *EXPLODING HEADS* lol

Sub13
12 days ago

Quite a decent heat. Things looking good for tonight. Charlie H the biggest flop. Massive improvements in SCY and not even close to top 8.

Flynn looking decent but a bit off his PB. I think some were hoping for a breakout but I don’t see it.

Cartwright swam his best 200 in years. I’m sticking with him as my second individual pick in the 100.

Genevieve Nnaji
Reply to  Sub13
11 days ago

“Massive improvements in SCY and not even close to top 8.”

SCY is practically a different sports than LCM.

Troyy
Reply to  Genevieve Nnaji
11 days ago

To be fair he was even a second off his PB which was set while training SCY.