2024 Australian Open Championships: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


Good morning (or evening, for some) and welcome to the first day of the 2024 Australian Open Championships.

As a reminder, this meet is NOT a selection meet for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Most elite-level swimmers will use this meet as a tune-up for the Olympic Trials, which are scheduled to take place from June 10-15 at the Brisbane Aquatic Center.

This first heats session will feature the men’s 100 breaststroke, women’s 200 IM, men’s 50 butterfly, women’s 100 freestyle, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 50 breaststroke, and men’s 200 backstroke.


  • World Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (2019)
  • Australian Record – 58.58, Brenton Rickard (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record – 56.88, Adam Peaty (2019)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 59.49

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Zac Stubblety-Cook (CHAND) – 1:00.33
  2. Ippei Watanabe (JPN) – 1:00.66
  3. Joshua Yong (UWSC) – 1:00.68
  4. Taku Taniguchi (JPN) – 1:00.90
  5. Darragh Greene (IRL) – 1:01.01
  6. Matthew Wilson (SOSC) – 1:01.13
  7. Sam Williamson (MVC) – 1:01.18
  8. Haig Buckingham (SOSC) – 1:01.29
  9. Joshua Collett (BOND) – 1:01.32
  10. Daiya Seto (JPN) – 1:01.35

The first (and fastest seeded heat) of the men’s 100 breast was highlighted by two non-Australians. Japan’s Taku Taniguchi (1:00.91) and Ireland’s Darragh Greene (1:01.01) led the charge with a 1-2 finish. Matthew Wilson, who held the 200 breast world record for about a day in 2019, checked-in at 1:01.13 for 3rd in the heat (and 6th overall). At last month’s New South Wales Championships, Wilson showed some promising signs in the lead-up to Olympic Trials. He posted a new best time in the 50 breast (27.30) in addition to solid in-season swims in the 100 (1:00.69) and 200 (2:09.87) distances.

The second heat saw Japan’s Ippei Watanabe (1:00.66) out-touch Australian Joshua Yong (1:00.68) by just 0.02. Watanabe recently won the Japanese Olympic Trials in the 200m breaststroke, where he produced a world-leading time of 2:06.94. Yong is on the verge of breaking the 1-minute barrier in this 100m sprint, as UWA West Coast representative recently clocked a lifetime best of 1:00.11 at the Japan Open in November.

The 2021 Olympic Champion in the 200m breaststroke, Zac Stubblety-Cook, won the final circle-seeded heat with the fastest time of the session (1:00.33). He’s coming off an altitude training camp, which was held in Flagstaff, Arizona over in the United States. He’s been as fast as 59.97 this season, which he put on the board at last month’s Vorgee Brisbane Senior Metropolitan Championships.

26-year-old Sam Williamson was 7th overall this morning with a time of 1:01.18. The Melbourne Vicentre athlete opened in 29.12 and closed in 32.06 to place 4th in the first heat. Williamson’s been on a mission over the past four months, where he’s put up times of 59.21, 59.26, and 59.35.

19-year-old Haig Buckingham, who trains with Wilson under coach Adam Kable, was 8th at the conclusion of prelims. He swam to a time of 1:01.29, which is just about a second shy of his best time (1:00.09) from earlier this season.

Tonight’s final will feature THREE of the top six performers in Australian 100m breaststroke history.

Top 6 Australian Men’s LCM 100 Breaststroke Performers:

  1. Brenton Rickard – 58.58, 2009
  2. Christian Sprenger – 58.79, 2013
  3. *Matthew Wilson – 59.17, 2019
  4. Jake Packard – 59.20, 2018
  5. *Sam Williamson – 59.26, 2023
  6. *Zac Stubblety-Cook – 59.51, 2022


  • World Record – 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (2015)
  • Australian Record – 2:07.03, Stephanie Rice (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record – 2:06.88, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (2016)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 2:10.62

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Kaylee McKeown (GUSC) – 2:08.66
  2. Ella Ramsay (CHAN) – 2:11.98
  3. Kayla Hardy (CRUIZ) – 2:15.57
  4. Isabella Boyd (NUN) – 2:15.79
  5. Tara Kinder (MVC) – 2:16.07
  6. Jenna Forrester (STPET) – 2:16.37
  7. Lucy Dring (SCGS) – 2:16.72
  8. Xiandi Chua (PHI) – 2:17.01
  9. Lexi Harrison (ACUB) – 2:18.47
  10. Sophie Martin (SOMAQ) – 2:18.81

Michael Bohl-trained Kaylee McKeown was simply dominant in the women’s 200 IM this morning. She cruised through the first 100 in 1:02.72, splitting 29.14 on the fly leg and 33.58 on backstroke. McKeown then proceeded to increase her pace significantly over the final 100 meters, highlighted by a massive 35.52 split on the breast leg. She closed in 30.42 for a final time of 2:08.66, which was the fastest time of the session by over three seconds. Her swim also checks-in as the fastest performance that she’s ever posted in a morning heat.

Chandler’s Ella Ramsay, who trains under the tutelage of veteran coach Vinge Raleigh, was 2nd fastest overall at 2:11.98. It was a near lifetime best for the 19-year-old, as she sits less than a second off her 2:11.07 from the TYR Pro Championships last July. Like McKeown, Ramsay’s breaststroke split (36.86) this morning was a clear highlight.

St. Peters’ Jenna Forrester, 20, was 6th overall at 2:16.37. Forrester’s performance was significant, as it represents her first swim so far this season. She was 4th in this event at the Fukuoka World Championships last July where she hit the wall in a new best time of 2:08.98. At that same meet, she walked away with a silver medal in the 400 IM (4:32.30) with yet another career-best.


  • World Record: 22.27, Andriy Govorov (2018)
  • Australian Record: 22.73, Matt Targett (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: 22.73, Matt Targett (2009)

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Cameron McEvoy (SOMA) – 23.26
  2. Kyle Chalmers (STAND) – 23.74
  3. Isaac Cooper (STAND) – 23.80
  4. Shaun Champion (ABBT) – 23.81
  5. Ben Armbruster (BOND) – 23.84
  6. Matthew Temple (MARI) – 23.87
  7. Yuchan Ji (KOR) – 23.93
  8. Cody Simpson (GUSC) – 23.98
  9. Enoch Robb (ALLSA) – 24.04
  10. Alex Quach (SOSC) – 24.09

29-year-old Cameron McEvoy (23.26) recorded the fastest 50 butterfly time of the morning by 0.48. He recently won the bronze medal at the Doha World Championships a few months back, which is where he also bagged a silver in the 50m free event.

St. Andrews training mates Kyle Chalmers (23.74) and Isaac Cooper (23.80) notched the 2nd and 3rd swiftest times of the session. The Ashley Delaney-coached duo were both about a half second shy of their respective entry times, but will have the opportunity to enter the 23-low range tonight. Cooper recently competed at February’s Doha World Championships, where he placed 4th in 23.12. Cooper won the gold medal in the 50m backstroke at those same championships.

Chalmers recently made the move to train with Cooper after his coach, Peter Bishop, had his accreditations revoked. More known for his 100 and 200 freestyle prowess, Chalmers is known to swim the sprint butterfly events during in-season competitions.

Chris Mooney-trained Ben Armbruster turned in the 5th fastest effort (23.84). He’s been a speedy 23.05 in this particular distance. Matthew Temple, who posted a big-time Oceanic record (50.25) in the 100m distance last November was 23.87 for 6th place status. Shaun Champion (23.81) and Cody Simpson (23.97) qualified 4th through 8th for the final.

The final tonight will serve as a fun preview for Friday’s 100 fly, where Armbruster, Champion, and Simpson are in with a chance to make the Olympic team come June. Temple is the clear frontrunner to win the Australian Olympic Trials in the 100 meter distance, as he’s broken through over the past few months with multiple sub-51 swims. Behind Temple though, the three previously mentioned swimmers (in addition to Jesse Coleman) are charging for that 2nd spot.


  • World Record: 51.71, Sarah Sjostrom (2017)
  • Australian Record: 51.96, Emma McKeon (2021)
  • Commonwealth Record: 51.96, Emma McKeon (2021)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 53.61

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Meg Harris (RACKL) – 52.60
  2. Mollie O’Callaghan (STPET) – 52.94
  3. Shayna Jack (STPET) – 53.31
  4. Emma McKeon (GUSC) – 53.58
  5. Cate Campbell (CHAND) – 53.86
  6. Brianna Throssell (STPET) – 53.96
  7. Milla Jansen (BOND) – 54.10
  8. Bronte Campbell (CRUIZ) – 54.13
  9. Neza Klancar (SVN) – 54.39
  10. Alexandria Perkins (USCS) – 54.56

Rackley’s Meg Harris scorched a massive best time of 52.60 to win the first heat, which held up for the fastest time of the morning. She opened in 25.32 before closing in 27.28, and the swim marks her second-ever time dipping under 53-seconds. Her best time was was previously 52.92, which she put on the books at the 2021 Australian Olympic Trials. The 22-year-old left coach Peter Bishop at the beginning of this season to train under Damien Jones, and the new training environment looks to be paying off just months before the Olympic Trials.

Harris competed at last month’s Brisbane Metro Championships, where she clocked times of 53.17 and 53.31 in this same event. She wasn’t the only athlete to swim under 53 in today’s heats, as two-time 100 free World Champion Mollie O’Callaghan was 52.94 for runner-up status in heat one. O’Callaghan opened in 25.63 before finishing in 27.31 over the final 50 meters. 

Reigning Olympic Champion Emma McKeon, who is the only Australian to ever swim under 52-seconds, clocked-in at 53.58 for the 4th seed. Her best time of 51.96 ranks her as the 2nd fastest swimmer in history. Cate Campbell (53.86) and Brianna Throssell (53.96) joined McKeon in sub-54 territory to make it six under that barrier in prelims. Cate’s sister, Bronte, ranked 8th after the heats with her 54.13 clocking. B. Campbell won the world title in this 100m sprint in 2015 while C. Campbell claimed the same honor in 2013.

Though a bit overshadowed by the 52-second swims, rising junior star Milla Jansen (54.10) finished just 0.02 outside her best time. At just 17 years of age, she opened in 26.38 over the first 50 before closing in 27.72.

Distance specialist Lani Pallister (54.64) touched in a new career best time for 11th place. Breaststroker Abbey Harkin also punched a new best time (55.58) to finish 14th overall.

Of note, tonight’s final will feature FIVE of the top ten performers in global history.

Updated Australian 100m Freestyle 2023-2024 Season Rankings:

  • #3 in the World — Meg Harris — 52.60, 2024 Australian Open
  • #4 in the World — Shayna Jack — 52.76, 2023 Queensland Championships
  • #5 in the World — Mollie O’Callaghan — 52.82, 2024 NSW Championships
  • #7 in the World — Emma McKeon — 53.00, 2024 Victoria Open
  • #13 in the World — Cate Campbell — 53.23, 2023 Queensland Championships
  • #16 in the World — Bronte Campbell — 53.30, 2024 South Australian States


  • World Record – 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (2009)
  • Australian Record – 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe (2002)
  • Commonwealth Record – 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe (2002)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 3:45.43

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Kim Woomin (KOR) – 3:44.75
  2. Elijah Winnington (STPET) – 3:44.77
  3. Samuel Short (RACKL) – 3:46.12
  4. Hoe Yean Khiew (MYS) – 3:51.54
  5. Benjamin Goedemans (STPET) – 3:51.83
  6. Alexander Graham (3:53.18)
  7. Joshua Staples (STPET) – 3:53.50
  8. Zac Incerti (USCS) – 3:53.79
  9. Noah Kamprad (RACKL) – 3:53.96
  10. Brendon Smith (GUSC) – 3:54.57

The previous three World Champions highlighted the men’s 400 freestyle heats. Kim Woomin, who won the 2024 World title, touched in 3:44.75 for the fastest qualifying time. His swim was faster than he went during the heats of the 2024 World Championships (3:45.14). 2022 World Champion Elijah Winnington (3:44.77) out-touched 2023 Worlds gold-medalist Sam Short (3:46.12) in the first heat. It should be a fun, intense battle in tonight’s final. See a splits comparison for the three World Champions in this morning’s prelims:

Splits Comparison:

Kim Woomin Elijah Winnington Sam Short
50m 25.74 26.10 26.22
100m 53.81 (28.07) 54.50 (28.40) 54.58 (28.36)
150m 1:22.29 (28.48) 1:22.84 (28.34) 1:22.74 (28.16)
200m 1:50.85 (28.56) 1:51.20 (28.36) 1:51.10 (28.36)
250m 2:19.16 (28.31) 2:19.64 (28.44) 2:19.97 (28.87)
300m 2:47.68 (28.52) 2:48.25 (28.61) 2:48.84 (28.87)
350m 3:16.49 (28.81) 3:16.75 (28.50) 3:17.32 (28.48)
400m 3:44.75 (28.26) 3:44.77 (28.02) 3:46.12 (28.80)

19-year-old Benjamin Goedemans advanced to the championship final in 5th, courtesy of his 3:51.83 preliminary effort. The St. Peters Western representative notched a lifetime-best 3:50.94 at last month’s New South Wales Championships. He trains under the guidance of Dean Boxall, where 2nd seeded Winnington also trains.

Goedemans was outpaced this morning by Hoe Yean Khiew (3:51.54), who claimed the 4th seed. Junior standout Joshua Staples, who also trains with Boxall, finished with a time of 3:53.50 to qualify 7th. Staples has been as swift as 3:48.36, which he posted en route to snagging gold at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships.

200 free specialist Alexander Graham, who trains at Miami under his longtime coach Richard Scarce, finished 6th at 3:53.18. Freestyle relay contributor Zac Incerti contested this event and touched 8th overall (3:53.18). 400 IM Olympic bronze medalist Brendon Smith also lined-up behind the blocks, turning in a time of 3:54.57 to sneak through in 10th.


  • World Record – 29.16, Ruta Meilutyte (2023)
  • Australian Record – 30.05, Chelsea Hodges (2022)
  • Commonwealth Record – 29.72, Lara van Niekerk (2022)

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Jenna Strauch (MIAMI) – 31.25
  2. Sally Hunter (CAQ) – 31.59
  3. Talara-Jade Dixon (SHILD) – 31.77
  4. Abbey Harkin (STPET) – 31.80
  5. Sienna Toohey (ALBU) – 31.93
  6. Mia O’Leary (BOND) – 32.00
  7. Tilly King (BOND) – 32.10
  8. Tara Kinder (MVC) – 32.13
  9. Lanihei Connolly (COK) – 32.13
  10. Emily Nobbs (CRUIZ) – 32.16

Richard Scarce-coached Jenna Strauch led the way in the women’s 50 breast heats. She put her hands on the wall in 31.25 to lead the field by nearly four tenths. The 26-year-old won a pair of silver medals at the 2022 World Championships: the 4×100 medley relay and 200 breaststroke.

39-year-old Sally Hunter will move into finals with runner-up status, as she roared to a 31.59 to win the 2nd heat. She won a gold medal in the 4×100 free relay at the 2007 World Championships, but is best known for her 200 breast performances at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Tokyo Olympics relay gold medalist, Chelsea Hodges, did not show up for her heat. She has battled injuries ever since her Olympic debut nearly three years ago. She still holds the Australian record, courtesy of her 30.05 bronze medal winning-time from the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

15-year-old breaststroking ace Sienna Toohey (31.93) was 5th overall, a bit outside her 31.34 best time.


  • World Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Piersol (2009)
  • Australian Record: 1:53.17, Mitch Larkin (2015)
  • Commonwealth Record: 1:53.17, Mitch Larkin (2015)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:57.28

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Juho Lee (KOR) – 1:58.34
  2. Bradley Woodward (MING) – 1:59.81
  3. Mitch Larkin (CHAND) – 2:00.44
  4. Ty Hartwell (RACKL) – 2:00.97
  5. Thomas Henderson (BGRAM) – 2:01.17
  6. Se-bom Lee (SOSC) – 2:01.37
  7. Joshua Edwards-Smith (GUSC) – 2:01.41
  8. Marius Boll (CARL) – 2:01.71
  9. Matthew Magnussen (STPET) – 2:01.86
  10. Will Sharp (NUN) – 2:02.93

29-year-old Korean Juho Lee (1:58.34) was the fastest backstroker in the pool during the heats session. He opened his race with intention, splitting 26.93 and 29.86 on the first two 50s to hit the halfway mark in 56.79. He recorded spluts of 30.75 and 30.80 on the final two lengths to qualify 1st by about 1.5 seconds.

Sub-1:56 swimmer Bradley Woodward was the only other competitor under the 2-minute threshold. The 25-year-old checked-in at 1:59.81, which was 3.86 seconds outside of his entry time. He won this meet last year in 1:57.42 before winning the World Championship Trials two months later (1:56.04).

Griffith’s Joshua Edwards-Smith finished in 2:01.41 for 7th place status. Edwards-Smith, who trains alongside world record holder Kaylee McKeown under Michael Bohl, has been as quick as 1:55.42 in the event. Edwards-Smith missed out on making the World Championship team in 2023, despite that 1:55.42 clocking earlier in the year. He was 2nd to Bradley Woodward at the Trials, where he finished in 1:57.29.

Commonwealth record holder Mitch Larkin (2:00.44) is situated in 3rd position as the final approaches.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

I know part of the reason that was even possible was that she slept through the first 100, but a 35.5 breast leg during an IM is f*ck*ng disgusting, Mom, pick me up, I’m scared.

1 month ago

Kaylee is listed in the final’s program…

Reply to  Daniel
1 month ago

Bronte Campbell is not.

Reply to  Daniel
1 month ago

Hope it’s nothing too serious 😟

Just Keep Swimming
1 month ago

The top 4 combined times from the 100 free heats are faster than the 4 fastest times of any other country this season from any meets

Boxall's Railing
1 month ago

That breaststroke split by McKeown though 😲…

Hooked on Chlorine
1 month ago

Is 9Now going to upload a replay of this morning’s heats, or does it only do that for the finals?

No sign of the heats on YouTube at the minute.

Reply to  Hooked on Chlorine
1 month ago
1 month ago

Forrester must be feeling OK to roll out for the 800m. Genuine shot in 3 events at trials, but could miss out in all of them too. Hopefully she finds her form.

Reply to  Daniel
1 month ago

The fact that she’s swum the 800 here (very much an “off” event) suggests she’s “swimming through” this meet/in heavy work. As to why given this is a somewhat different pattern to 2023; you may need to ask her or Mr Boxall …..if they wish to divulge.

Reply to  Daniel
1 month ago

Her program at this meet is huge. I just can’t imagine her racing such a huge program if something is wrong.

Reply to  Daniel
1 month ago

She seemed like she was in a good mood on screen after the 200IM swim. Hopefully just part of the plan!

1 month ago

Henderson came home like a train there. Hope he nabs a finals spot.

1 month ago

Commentator overuses the word “propel”.

Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

At least Kate has stopped talking

Reply to  Oceanian
1 month ago

Oopes – I jinxed it 🙁