2024 Australian Olympic Trials: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2024 AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS

We’re ready to rumble on day two of the 2024 Australian Olympic Trials. Speculation and predictions are running rampant as we’ll see the men’s and women’s 100m back, the women’s 100m breast and the men’s 200m free unfold over this evening’s high-octane session.

That means the likes of Mollie O’Callaghan, Kaylee McKeown, Isaac Cooper, Jenna Strauch, Maximillian Giuliani, Elijah Winnington and more will be in the pool to either qualify for their first Olympic event or add a 2nd swim to their repertoire for Paris.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK – FINAL

GOLD – Kaylee McKeown, 57.41 *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – Mollie O’Callaghan, 57.88 *OLY Qualifier
BRONZE – Iona Anderson, 58.43

This women’s 100m backstroke was simply incredible, with two swimmers breaking the 58-second barrier.

Reigning world record holder and Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown was under world record pace at the 50m, touching in 28.00 before she fell off pace just at the end.

The 22-year-old Griffith University superstar still ripped a massive time of 57.41, just .08 outside her 57.33 WR from last year.

Her time represents the 2nd-best 100m backstroke ever and she continues to own 8 of the top 10 swiftest performances in history.

Additionally, McKeown’s time established a new All Comers Record, usurping her 57.45 from 2021.

  1. McKeown – 57.33, 2023 World Cup Budapest
  2. McKeown – 57.41, 2024 AUS Olympic Trials
  3. McKeown – 57.45, 2021 AUS Olympic Trials
  4. McKeown – 57.47, 2020 Olympic Games (2021)
  5. McKeown – 57.50, 2023 AUS World Trials
  6. Smith – 57.51, 2024 Nova Speedo Grand Challenge
  7. McKeown – 57.53, 2023 World Championships
  8. Smith (USA) – 57.57, 2019 World Championships & McKeown – 57.57, 2024 NSW State Open
  9. McKeown – 57.63, 2021 Sydney Open & McKeown – 57.63, 2023 World Cup Athens

However, McKeown wasn’t alone under the 58-second threshold, as 20-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan joined her, hitting a huge personal best of 57.88.

Entering this competition, multi-Olympic medalist O’Callaghan’s PB sat at the 58.09 notched at this year’s Australian National Championships to become the #2 Aussie performer ever.

History worldwide, MOC’s eye-catching effort now inserts here in slot #4, becoming just the 4th swimmer ever to break the 58-second barrier.

Top 5 Women’s LCM 100 Backstroke Performers All-Time

  1. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 57.33, 2023
  2. Regan Smith (USA) – 57.51, 2024
  3. Kylie Masse (CAN) – 57.70, 2021
  4. Mollie O’Callaghan (AUS) – 57.88, 2024
  5. Kathleen Baker (USA) – 58.00, 2018

Not to be overlooked, reigning World Championships silver medalist Iona Anderson checked in at 58.43, dropping .10 off her newly-minted PB of 58.53 nabbed last month at the WA Season Opener.

Post-race, McKeown stated, “I was a bit disappointed with that. There are some improvements to be made. Glad to have another swimmer in the 57-club.” McKeown already qualified last night by winning the 200m IM in a new national and Commonwealth record.

O’Callaghan said, “That really hurt. To touch in 57.8 is just amazing. More to come this week, definitely nervous but great way to start it off.”

Of note, new mom Emily Seebohm bumped herself up from 8th out of the heats to 7th, clocking 1:01.14. The world record holder in the SCM 100 back, Minna Athertonplaced 8th in 1:01.22.

WOMEN’S 100 BREAST – FINAL

  • World Record – 1:04.13, Lilly King (USA), 2017
  • Australian Record – 1:05.09, Leisel Jones, 2006
  • Oceanic Record – 1:05.09, Leisel Jones, 2006
  • Commonwealth Record – 1:04.82, Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 2021
  • Swim Australia OQT – 1:06.31

GOLD – Jenna Strauch, 1:06.90
SILVER – Ella Ramsay, 1:06.94
BRONZE – Sienna Toohey, 1:07.01

While no woman was able to meet the stiff Swimming Australia-mandated Olympic Qualification Time of 1:06.31, veteran Jenna Strauch sealed her comeback after missing last year’s championship season with a knee injury.

The 27-year-old from Miami touched in 1:06.90 to grab the gold (31.74/35.16), albeit narrowly over runner-up Ella Ramsay who scored silver in 1:06.94. Ramsay already qualified for Paris in the women’s 200m IM last night.

15-year-old Sienna Toohey put up a smashing performance for the bronze, clocking a monster new personal best of 1:07.01.

She fired off a rapid opening half of 31.01, in itself a split faster than her own Australian Age Record of 31.34 in the 50m breast she established this past March at the NSW State Championships.

Toohey’s overall time slashed well over half a second off her previous personal best of 1:07.72 put up at this year’s Australian Age Championships. She now overtakes legendary Olympian Leisel Jones‘ Australian Age Record, which stood at 1:07.49 for nearly 24 years.

Most likely Strauch will be selected for the Australian Olympic team as she’ll be needed for the medley relay.

MEN’S 100 BACK – FINAL

  • World Record – 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 2022
  • Australian Record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin, 2015
  • Oceanic Record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin, 2015
  • Commonwealth Record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin, 2015
  • Swim Australia OQT – 53.21

GOLD – Isaac Cooper, 53.46
SILVER – Bradley Woodward, 53.53
BRONZE – Enoch Robb, 54.14

The men’s 100m back was also void of any individual qualifiers, as St. Andrews’ Isaac Cooper got to the wall in a time of 53.46. That was just .03 outside of his lifetime best, a mark which remains at the 53.43 turned in during the semi-finals of this event at the 2020 Olympic Games where he placed 12th.

25-year-old Bradley Woodward was just out-touched by Cooper and settled for silver in 53.53, also within range of his personal best of 53.38 from the 2023 World Championships.

Finally, 19-year-old Enoch Robb established a head-turning personal best en route to bronze. The All Saints swimmer clocked 54.14 to overtake the 54.38 he registered at last year’s World Junior Championships

30-year-old national record holder and Olympic silver medalist from the 200m back event in Rio, Mitch Larkin, put up a time of 54.22 to place 4th this evening. He was gunning for a 4th Olympic slot and would have been the first Australian male to have accomplished the feat.

As with Strauch, Cooper will most likely be taken to Paris as the backstroker for the men’s medley relay.

MEN’S 200 FREE – FINAL

  • World Record – 1:42.00, Paul Bidermann (GER), 2009
  • Australian Record – 1;44.06, Ian Thorpe, 2001
  • Oceanic Record – 1:44.06, Ian Thorpe, 2001
  • Commonwealth Record – 1:44.06, Ian Thorpe, 2001
  • Swim Australia OQT – 1:45.97

GOLD – Maximillian Giuliani, 1:45.83 *OLY Qualifier
SILVER – Tommy Neill, 1:46.02
BRONZE – Elijah Winnington, 1:46.08

The men’s 200m free was built up as the race of the night, however, just one man was able to achieve the Swimming Australia-mandated Olympic Qualification Time of 1:45.97.

Maximillian Giuliani was that swimmer, nailing a Paris 2024-worthy time of 1:45.83.

Giuliani was somewhat on the outside in lane 6 and saw Zac Incerti blaze to the front of the pack through about the 150m mark before the field moved in on the Olympian.

Tommy Neill, bringing outside smoke from lane 1, caught up to Incerti and stopped the clock in 1:46.02 to place 2nd before last night’s 400m free victor, Elijah Winnington, captured 3rd in 1:46.08.

Giuliani busted out the swim of his life at last year’s Queensland Championships, producing a career-quickest 1;44.79 to become Australia’s #2 performer of all-time behind Olympic icon Ian Thorpe‘s 1:44.06 from 2001.

Neill’s PB remains at the 1:45.70 notched at the 2021 Olympic Trials while Winnington’s  stays at the 1:45.53 he scored at the 2022 World Championships.

With the men’s 4x200m free relay in mind, here were the remaining results of this men’s 2free:

4th – Kai Taylor, 1:46.26
5th – Zac Incerti, 1:46.83
6th – Alex Graham, 1:47.11
7th – Flynn Southam, 1:47.29
8th – Brendon Smith, 1:47.53

We’ll see how the overall Australian roster plays out as the week wears on, but history tells us the nation will most likely take the top 6 swimmers from this event.

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CavaDore
11 days ago

So far, one women’s event on day 1 with only one qualifier (100 Fly) and one event on day 2 with no qualifiers (100 Breast). For the men, qualifiers in all events on day 1 but no qualifiers in one event on day 2 (100 Back) and one qualifier in two events (100 Breast and 200 Free). That’s three vacant spots for the women so far and four vacant spots for the men so far. Ouch!

The Australian Swimming Federation obviously missed the mark with these too-difficult-to-attain Olympic qualifying times. There’s still four days left and the individual roster is already looking a bit thin. By contrast, the U.S. team may have zero or one vacant spots on their roster.

Sub13
Reply to  CavaDore
11 days ago

This is very inaccurate. Perkins and Throssell both have the A cut in the 100 fly. If Throssell makes the 200 free relay she will go and if she doesn’t they’ll send Perkins. So that’s 2.

Strauch will qualify in the 200 and Ramsay is already qualified. Neither have the A cut but presumably they will let Strauch swim it.

Cooper and Woodward will both qualify in other events but even if they don’t both have the A cut so will be sent anyway for the relay.

Men’s 100 breast had 2 qualifiers hit the Aus Cut so that’s wrong.

200 free has to send the relay anyway and the top 3 all have the A cut.

So basically we’re… Read more »

CavaDore
Reply to  Sub13
11 days ago

I guess you missed the part where I clearly mentioned INDIVIDUAL event qualifiers. I didn’t say those people wouldn’t go for a relay.

Sub13
Reply to  CavaDore
11 days ago

Yes I did. But most of them are going to swim the individual. The only event you listed that won’t have two individual swimmers compete in Paris is the women’s 100 breast. You said the women have 3 vacant spots and the men have 4. That’s false. All those spots will be filled bar 1.

Robbos
Reply to  CavaDore
11 days ago

They missed direct selection which is top 2 & faster than qualifying time.
However, selectors can still select swimmers eg, they will pick 4-6 for the 4x 200 relay & Thomas Neill who came 2nd in 200 free, will now be able to swim in Paris.
Likewise the winners of 100, M100 back, W100 Breast will also be selected for the medley relays & hence will be selected & be able to race in Paris. Cooper & Stranch.
Likewise if you are in top 2 & under WA time you can also swim in the event Ramsey 2nd in W100 Breast, already qualified for 200IM & Woodward if he qualifies for M200 Back, will be able to swim M100 Back.

Sub13
Reply to  Robbos
11 days ago

Ramsay doesn’t have the A cut so she can’t swim it. But tbh I’d prefer she didn’t since she will likely have 3 other individuals and be needed for relay

Robbos
Reply to  Sub13
11 days ago

Ok Thanks. I didn’t know what the A cut was?

FST
11 days ago

I’ve said it for the Tokyo trials, but I have to say it again… I really, really enjoy that they include the para trials in the main event. I’m not sure why other countries don’t do this more. I don’t want to minimize their achievements at all by saying this, but the added emotional component is such a draw for the “normal” (i.e. non-swimming) crowd. And I know we’re all nerds and get annoyed when the commentators pander to the “normies”, but the sport cannot grow if it’s not exciting for people who don’t know what any of these times mean other than “fast”. We need the spectators and I think including the para events in meets like this is… Read more »

Joel
Reply to  FST
11 days ago

It’s been a regular thing in Australia at many meets. I know Qld championships in December have included the multi-class swimmers since at least 2011. Probably much earlier. As they should.

BairnOwl
11 days ago

The men really have not impressed so far (Williamson was a nice surprise but his time was not internationally competitive). Let’s hope there are some good swims over the next few days.

Sub13
Reply to  BairnOwl
11 days ago

Sam and Josh both better than expected in 100 breast which was a nice surprise. 400 free a bit slow but Short has been sick and was never going to taper for this, not sure about Winnington. 200 free a dud and then 100 back as expected. Overall pretty close to expectations so far

SwimStats
Reply to  Sub13
11 days ago

The race was a bit disappointing but Short and Winnington will perform when it matters in Paris.

Joel
Reply to  SwimStats
11 days ago

Love how 3.43 is disappointing. I disagree. It’s all they needed to do.

Swordfish
11 days ago

If only based on times (those stellar ones logged in UK trials) on paper, the dust settles for Britons to secure the M 4×200 free relay gold. The rest aspirants, e.g. the US, AUS, CHN, KOR reduce to be contending for podium and there isn’t a single side coming to the fore in the contention at moment.

Jason
Reply to  Swordfish
11 days ago

US has all the pieces to potentially stage an upset: 2 lifetime 1:44s (Smith/Hobson), a 1:43 split (Foster), and a 1:45.0 (Kibler). IMO it’s a battle for bronze behind UK for gold and USA for bronze

Swordfish
Reply to  Jason
11 days ago

People could be upbeat or offbeat.

The US side’s splits in Fukuoka: 7:00.02

HOBSON Luke 1:46.00
FOSTER Carson 1:44.49
MITCHELL Jake 1:45.06
SMITH Kieran 1:44.47

AUS 7:02.13

In Doha, CHN – 7:01.84, KOR – 7:01.94

From the splits/overall times above-mentioned, it doesn’t seem like the US side should get a distinct edge to lock silver.

Sub13
Reply to  Swordfish
11 days ago

Australia was never challenging in this. It’s the Americans you need to watch out for so maybe wait a week until their trials before you make that conclusion. But I agree GB seem heavy favourites for now.

BairnOwl
11 days ago

If Alex Graham doesn’t make the 4×100 relay, would they take him for the 4×200? 1:47 is not fast.

Josh
11 days ago

Everyone asked why there wasn’t a bunch of articles and attention on every event like for US trials. This is why. There was one maybe two good events today and the expected outcome was what happened.

Jeah
Reply to  Josh
11 days ago

Australians think the swimming universe revolves around them. If they were so important you think they would have at least their own website lol.

BairnOwl
Reply to  Jeah
11 days ago

Australians don’t have the population for that. But that’s what makes the fact that they’re the second-best swimming country in the world so impressive.

Jeah
Reply to  BairnOwl
11 days ago

They don’t have the population for their own swimming website?

Oceanian
Reply to  Jeah
11 days ago

I think (it’s hard to work out what he’s saying..) he means AUS doesn’t have a swimming-CHAT website as a 5yr old could locate the Swimming Aus website.

BairnOwl
Reply to  Oceanian
11 days ago

It was the same commenter both times. He’s just trying to rile us up.

Sub13
Reply to  Josh
11 days ago

Literally no one said this. I think people just wanted a cursory analysis of some of the big events. The women’s 100 free in Australia will be the best trials race of any country in the world and it didn’t get an article. But there was a whole article about how it’s slightly hotter than usual in Indianapolis

RealCrocker5040
11 days ago

The battle for the second spot behind Cameron McExtremeSprinter will be very interesting

Chalmers, Cooper, Nowakowski, and maybe even Armbruster are all up there

Hank
11 days ago

Same names at the top then a bunch of 2nd tier swimmers who can’t meet the OQTs. Pretty boring trials meet.

Joel
Reply to  Hank
11 days ago

Troll

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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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