2024 Australian Olympic Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

2024 AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS

 

This morning kicked off the 2024 Australian Olympic Trials with already several big swims setting the pace for this all-important Paris qualifying competition.

Ariarne Titmus wasted no time staking her claim on the women’s 400m free, firing off a prelims effort of 4:01.57 in her bid to repeat as gold medalist in Paris.

Griffith’s Lani Pallister is in hot pursuit for the 2nd slot while the likes of Kiah Melverton and Leah Neale also lurk among the top 8 ready to rumble this evening.

22-year-old Kaylee McKeown clocked a morning swim of 2:11.98 to capture the 2nd seed in the women’s 200m IM, with Chandler’s Ella Ramsay landing lane 4 in 2:10.96.

Jenna Forrester rounded out the top 3 seeds in 2:13.44, but history shows it’s McKeown’s race to lose, owning a lifetime best and Aussie national record of 2:06.99 from April’s National Championships.

The men’s 100m breast this morning saw Sam Williamson fire off a lifetime best of 58.95 to capture the top seed, already dipping under the Swimming Australia-mandated Olympic Qualification Time of 59.49. That rendered him Australia’s 3rd-fastest man in history and the quickest since 2013.

Australia’s most decorated Olympian in history, Emma McKeon, was impressive in the women’s 100m fly. She touched in 56.75 as the sole swimmer of the prelims to dip under the 57-second threshold.

We’ll see Alexandria Perkins, Brianna Throssell and Abbey Connor among those chasing the 2nd slot for the Olympic roster, while 200m fly national champion Elizabeth Dekkers is also among the hunters for the OQT.

The final event is the men’s 400m free, giving us a potentially electric head-to-head between 2023 world champion Sam Short and 2022 world champion Elijah Winnington.

WOMEN’S 400 FREE – FINAL

GOLD – Ariarne Titmus, 3:55.44 *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – Lani Pallister, 4:02.27 *OLY Qualifier
BRONZE – Jamie Perkins, 4:04.38

23-year-old Ariarne Titmus put the world on notice with tonight’s winning effort of 3:55.44, a time just .06 outside of her own World Record in this event.

Leading wire-to-wire, Titmus touched nearly 7 seconds ahead of a world-class field. She split 1:56.45 at the 200m mark and was ahead of WR pace through the final 30m until she fell just shy. The Dean Boxall-coached superstar registered the 2nd-fastest time in history and the only other time under 3:56.

Top 5 Women’s LCM 400 Free Performances All-Time

  1. 3:55.38 – Ariarne Titmus, 2023
  2. 3:55.44 – Ariarne Titmus, 2024
  3. 3:56.08 – Summer McIntosh (CAN), 2023
  4. 3:56.40 – Ariarne Titmus, 2022
  5. 3:56.46 – Katie Ledecky, 2016

Splits for Titmus’ remarkable statement-maker included 56.53/59.92/59.78/59.21.

As a refresher, Olympic champion Titmus suffered a health scare late last year, with the dynamo having a benign tumor discovered on an ovary during a routine health screening.

For her part, 22-year-old Lani Pallister punched a result of 4:02.27, just off her time of 4:01.75 notched at this year’s Australian National Championships. The daughter of two-time Olympian Janelle Elford still booked her ticket to Paris, however, easily clearing the Olympic Qualification Time of 4:04.98.

She and mom Elford and godmother Dawn Fraser shared a tearful hug on-deck to celebrate Pallister’s first Olympic berth.

Jamie Perkins rounded out the podium in 4:04.38, a new best time by well over a second. The 19-year-old trains at St. Peters Western.

WOMEN’S 200 IM – FINAL

  • World Record – 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2015
  • Australian Record – 2:06.99, Kaylee McKeown, 2024
  • Oceanic Record – 2:06.99, Kaylee McKeown, 2024
  • Commonwealth Record – 2:06.88, Siobhan Marie O’Connor (GBR), 2016
  • Swim Australia OQT – 2:10.62

GOLD – Kaylee McKeown, 2:06.63 *Australian Record, *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – Ella Ramsay, 2:09.32 *OLY Qualifier
BRONZE – Jenna Forrester, 2:11.83

22-year-old Kaylee McKeown cranked out the fastest time of her career to capture gold in this women’s 200m IM and qualify for her first event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

McKeown’s result of 2:06.63 shaved .36 off the speedy Australian national record of 2:06.99 she put on the books just his past April at the Open Championships. Her outing this evening came within striking distance of the longstanding World Record 2:06.12 Hungarian Katinka Hosszu registered in 2015.

McKeown bumps herself up the list of all-time performers to now rank as the 3rd-best in history.

Top 5 Women’s LCM 200 IM Performers All-Time

  1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2:06.12, 2015
  2. Ariana Kukors (USA) – 2:06.15, 2009
  3. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 2:06.63, 2024
  4. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (GBR) – 2:06.88, 2016
  5. Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2:06.89, 2023

Ella Ramsay, the 19-year-old Chandler ace, produced a time of 2:09.32 also to add her name to the provisional roster for Paris.

Ramsay’s swim tonight represents her first-ever foray under the 2:10 barrier, overtaking the 2:10.71 logged in April. She usurps Olympic medalist Emily Seebohm to become Australia’s 5th-swiftest 200m IMer ever.

MEN’S 100 BREAST – FINAL

  • World Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2019
  • Australian Record – 58.58, Brenton Rickard (AUS), 2009
  • Oceanic Record – 58.58, Brenton Rickard (AUS), 2009
  • Commonwealth Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2019
  • Swim Australia OQT – 59.49

GOLD – Sam Williamson, 58.80 *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – Joshua Yong, 59.48 *OLY Qualifier
BRONZE – Zac Stubblety-Cook, 59.63

Entering this competition, the men’s 100m breaststroke was leaning towards Australia potentially not seeing any qualifiers based no recent historical times against the stiff Swimming Australia OQT of 59.49. Only 5 Aussie swimmers have ever been under that barrier.

However, we now have 2 men who got the job done from tonight’s final to put a spark in the 1breast.

Sam Williamson of Melbourne Vicentre just put up the swim of his life to take the gold and qualify for Paris, posting a result of 58.80.

26-year-old Williamson opened in a blistering 26.89 and closed in 31.91 to hack another .15 off the 58.95 performance he turned in for the top seed this morning out of the heats. That AM outing already rendered Williamson the fastest Aussie since 2013.

He now froghops former 200m breast world record holder Matt Wilson to check in as the #3 Aussie of all time.

Top 5 Aussie Men’s LCM 100 Breaststroke Performers All-Time

  1. Brenton Rickard – 58.58, 2009
  2. Christian Springer – 58.79, 2013
  3. Sam Williamson – 58.80, 2024
  4. Matt Wilson – 59.17, 2019
  5. Jake Packard – 59.20, 2018

But behind Williamson was 22-year-old Joshua Yong who posted a new lifetime best of his own. Yong clocked 59.48, sneaking into the qualification column by just .01 ahead of the OQT.

Entering this meet, UWSC’s Yong held a personal best of 59.99 from the 2022 Commonwealth Games before he dropped it down to 59.83 at last month’s Swimming WA Season Opener. At the right time, Yong sliced just under half a second off that PB to join Williamson in Olympic qualification territory.

Yong is coached by Ben Higson who made his move to Western Australia after about 5 years as Swim Ireland’s National Head Coach and Head Coach of the National Centre (Dublin). Olympic medalist Ross Murdoch of Scotland was under his tutelage while he was at the University of Stirling before the Ireland gig.

Another former 200m breast world record holder and Olympic champion in that longer event, Zac Stubblety-Cook, grabbed bronze in 59.63.

WOMEN’S 100 FLY – FINAL

  • World Record – 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2016
  • Australian Record – 55.72, Emma McKeon, 2021
  • Oceanic Record – 55.72, Emma McKeon, 2021
  • Commonwealth Record – 55.59, Maggie MacNeil (CAN), 2021
  • Swim Australia OQT – 57.17

GOLD – Emma McKeon, 56.85 *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – Alexandria Perkins, 57.33
BRONZE – Brianna Throssell, 57.42

Reigning Olympic bronze medalist in this women’s 100m fly event, Emma McKeon got the job done in terms of Paris qualification but it didn’t look easy.

The Griffith star who just recently turned 30 years of age stopped the clock at 56.85, the sole outing of the field under the 57-second barrier.

McKeon opened in 26.20 and closed in 30.65, although she looked notably tight on the final 20m of the race. In fact, the woman who has been on the Australian national team for 14 years was quicker at April’s National Championships, having produced a time of 56.58 to take the gold there.

USC Spartan Alexandria Perkins snagged silver in 57.33, although her time was outside the 57.17 QT needed for Paris.  Perkins is a 4-time relay medalist at this year’s World Championships in Doha.

Olympic multi-medalist Brianna Throssell also landed on the podium in 57.42 for bronze. As with McKeon, Throssell was faster at the Open Championships where she notched 56.77, a time which would have qualified her for this summer’s Olympics. She’ll still have Paris-qualifying opportunities in the 200m fly and 200m free.

MEN’S 400 FREE – FINAL

  • World Record – 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (GER), 2009
  • Australian Record – 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe, 2002
  • Oceanic Record – 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe, 2002
  • Commonwealth Record – Ian Thorpe, 2022
  • Swim Australia OQT – 3:45.43

GOLD – Elijah Winnington, 3:43.26 *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – Sam Short, 3:43.90 *OLY Qualifier
BRONZE – Ben Goedemans, 3:48.66

In a feisty battle from start to finish, Elijah Winnington and Sam Short took the respective top two slots in this men’s 400m free.

24-year-old Winnington ultimately got to the wall first, hitting 3:43.26 while Short was less than a second behind in 3:43.90.

Ben Goedemans put up a big personal best of 3:48.66 for bronze, dipping under the 3:50 barrier for the first time in his career.

Both titans Winnington and Short were notably faster at the Aussie Open Championships, with St. Peters Western’s Winnington clocking 3:41.41 to Short of Rackley’s 3:41.64. Those performances checked them in as the #2 and #3 performers in the world this season, sitting only behind Germany’s Lukas Maertens who owns the top time in 3:40.33.

2023-2024 LCM Men 400 Free

LukasGER
MÄRTENS
04/25
3:40.33
2Elijah
WINNINGTON
AUS3:41.4104/17
3Samuel
SHORT
AUS3:41.6404/17
4 Woomin
KIM
KOR3:42.4206/01
5Oliver
KLEMET
GER3:42.8104/19
View Top 31»

According to announcers on 9Now, Short has been suffering from some gastrointestinal issues at these Trials.

Of note, Brendon Smith, the 3rd-seeded swimmer out of the heats (3:48.79) was not in tonight’s final.

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rajiv
1 day ago

Why are so many Americans here so unpleasant?

Last edited 1 day ago by rajiv
Mandy
Reply to  rajiv
1 day ago

haha haha

kevin
1 day ago

Good to see Emma win and make the team first night but clearly she needs more work the next 6 weeks are precious

Useful contributors
1 day ago

Are Alexandra, Jaime and Kieran related?

Mark69
Reply to  Useful contributors
1 day ago

No. And the correct names are Alexandria, Jamie and Kieren.

David
1 day ago

Surely Alex Perkins has done enough to qualify for the second 100 fly spot, under qualifying time in preliminary and second in the final. Besides Australia will need a backup flyer for the medley relay, just in case something doesn’t work for Emma.
Qualifying criteria needs a little more flexibility.

Sub13
Reply to  David
1 day ago

If Throssell misses the team then Perkins is 100% selected. However, she has the faster PB and if she makes the 200 relay anyway I would expect them not to bother with Perkins.

I actually hope they take Perkins but I don’t think they will

Hank
2 days ago

Australia is really fast at the top but lacks the depth of the USA so makes for a more boring trials meet.

dg5301
Reply to  Hank
2 days ago

It’s a different feel for sure, but I still find it very entertaining. There definitely seems to be less heartache since we’re not seeing many cases of someone getting a QT and being out-touched for 2nd, but that may just be because I don’t know all of the swimmers. I really like the unrushed interviews after the races. Sam & Joshua’s reactions were fantastic.

STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
Reply to  Hank
1 day ago

It’s not a new insight to say that Australia lacks the depth of the USA. But given what’s at stake and given the quality of times in most of the races, you must have exceptionally high standards if you think this is a boring trials meet.

Swimposter
Reply to  STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
1 day ago

I think performance makes for about 75% of what makes a meet exciting to me. There are plenty of high school meets that are super exciting because there’s a close competition, even if none of the swimmers are at a Juniors level. Without that it’s just a little more boring.

Their wording sucks though because it sounds like both are chores to watch, with one being worse than the other.

Sub13
Reply to  Hank
1 day ago

Watching Titmus swim faster than anyone in history and Kaylee swim faster than anyone has since 2016 was very exciting to me!

David
Reply to  Hank
1 day ago

Don’t forget Australia has a population of 27.2 million where the US has a population of 335million. I don’t think you could expect any other outcome in relation to depth than the observation you make above.

PineappleNoMore
Reply to  David
1 day ago

Yes, but Australia’s population prioritizes swimming much more than America’s population. The relevant comparison isn’t the population of the two countries, it’s the size of the participation in the sport between the two countries. I think America still has a bigger swimming population than Australia, but by more like a factor of 3, not a factor of 12 like the population difference would suggest.

I agree with your comment, just trying to add context.

Robbos
Reply to  PineappleNoMore
1 day ago

While you may be correct that swimming population is not factor of 12, but I would say its far greater than a factor of 3.

I think Americans misconstrues the swimming popularity in Australia.
Yes Australians are all encouraged to swim (for safety reasons) at a young age, not that many take up as a sport.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Robbos
1 day ago

we all know that athletics is the most popular sport because most people walk.

that’s the quality of that swimming stat

Dan
Reply to  PineappleNoMore
1 day ago

No Australia does not prioritise Swimming more than the USA. Are you even from Australia?

Southerly Buster
Reply to  PineappleNoMore
1 day ago

I think the registered club swimmers comparison is something like:

USA 400,00+

Australia 93,000

Plus ofc USA has a massive College system whereas Australia has nothing remotely like that.

harriet
Reply to  David
1 day ago

yeah

Dan
Reply to  Hank
1 day ago

I think you’re forgetting how small Australia is compared to the USA population wise

NotHimAgain
Reply to  Hank
1 day ago

So you’re saying that the American Trials are boring too, just not as boring as the Australian trials?

Dan tm
Reply to  Hank
1 day ago

So, apart from the US Trials, which other trials are actually not boring?

Carlo
Reply to  Hank
1 day ago

When has Australia ever had the depth of the US across multiple events?

Are you new to swimming?

‘Murica
2 days ago

When does the McChoker swim?

saltie
Reply to  ‘Murica
2 days ago

twice a week

‘Murica
Reply to  saltie
1 day ago

USRPT? Must be trying to emulate Andrew.

Last edited 1 day ago by ‘Murica
Robbos
Reply to  ‘Murica
1 day ago

You always talk about those you fear.

summerbreezin
Reply to  ‘Murica
1 day ago

you asking in this way suggests you’re a closeted fan and are excited to see him swim. cute

‘Murica
Reply to  summerbreezin
1 day ago

I mean, I am. Not really closeted at all.

harriet
Reply to  ‘Murica
1 day ago

since you’ve seen McChocker swimming

Astur
2 days ago

Australia is rocking, US will have worst Olympics ever, and by far.

Jozsef Nagy Acting School
Reply to  Astur
2 days ago

US trials are next week. Maybe keep your wallaby dry until then.

former swimmer
Reply to  Astur
2 days ago

No one cares. Here in the US we have NFL, NBA etc. There are many other sports we can dry our tears on. You, not so much.

Admin
Reply to  former swimmer
2 days ago

You forgot to mention cricket*.

Useful contributors
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 day ago

And they have a football game named after themselves – Australian Rules Football.

NotHimAgain
Reply to  Useful contributors
1 day ago

Just when I thought the American commenters here couldn’t get any more intellectual, along comes that dazzling observation.

NC Fan
Reply to  Useful contributors
1 day ago

And America has a game named after a part of the body not even used (except by those who think women should have ‘less thoughts more babies’)

Davis
Reply to  Useful contributors
1 day ago

Well gee whizz, its. Australian, and it rules, what else could you call it, after you took the name world series for yourselves, we wanted that.

NC Fan
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 day ago

That’s right! Australia has a losing record against Pakistan in T20 World Cups. I know a certain swim power undefeated against the same!

Sub13
Reply to  former swimmer
1 day ago

Yes, poor Australia. We literally only have one sport. No one has ever heard of football or basketball. I wish we had 3 sports like America instead of our 1

Duck
Reply to  former swimmer
1 day ago

State of origin. *cries in nsw*

Mark69
Reply to  former swimmer
1 day ago

In the last week in Australia, we had 2 AFL matches with crowds of over 88,000, the Matildas (national women’s football team) played in front of 75,000 and in a third football code, rugby league, there was a massive crowd and TV audience for State of Origin game 1. The swimming trials are doing well just to get a mention.

Dan tm
Reply to  Mark69
1 day ago

There is some myth in the US swimming fraternity that Swimming is somehow a bigger sport than our football codes. Reality is that like the US,AFL,NRL and Cricket dominate the vast majority of Australian media,then followed by Soccer,Rugby,Netball and NBL. Somehwere after that Swimming gets a mention.

Meow
Reply to  Mark69
1 day ago

As an American in Australia, it is pretty exciting to see how much press the trials are getting. There’s certainly more mainstream media coverage of swimming trials than there ever has been in the US. I know it doesn’t compare to everyday coverage of Australia’s main sports, but I do think it’s a bigger deal than most countries.

Mark69
Reply to  Meow
1 day ago

At Olympic trials time and during the Olympics and to a lesser extent during a successful world championships (mainly whenever they are held in Fukuoka), swimming gets a lot of publicity in Australia. Outside of that, not much.

NC Fan
Reply to  Meow
1 day ago

And definitely the pressure the media in Australia puts on swimmers is next level. Can be pretty brutal. In America you have to go viral for stupid DQ calls or be the GOAT to get a mention

Last edited 1 day ago by NC Fan
NC Fan
Reply to  NC Fan
1 day ago

Sorry, or trash a gas station and lie about it…can’t forget that one

Jonathan
2 days ago

Wow. Is it gonna take a world record to win the women’s 200 IM in Paris?

anty75
Reply to  Jonathan
2 days ago

Could be

VA Steve
Reply to  Jonathan
2 days ago

Given the competition, I don’t think there is any doubt. Several swimmers in great form.

snailSpace
Reply to  VA Steve
2 days ago

Canadian trials this year have shown that the 200IM WR is one tough cookie. I don’t think it gets broken this year, although it is in more danger than ever.

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