2024 Australian Open Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

2024 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2024 Australian Open Championships continue this morning on the Gold Coast. It’s day three of four, and 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 third heats session will feature the men’s 200 IM, women’s 200 breaststroke, men’s 50 freestyle, women’s 50 backstroke, men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 400 freestyle, men’s 100 backstroke, and women’s 50 butterfly.

MEN’S 200 IM – HEATS

  • World Record — 1:54.00, Ryan Lochte (2011)
  • Australian Record — 1:55.72, Mitch Larkin (2019)
  • Commonwealth Record — 1:55.28, Duncan Scott (2021)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:57.23

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. William Petric (NUN) – 2:00.35
  2. Lewis Clareburt (NZL) – 2:01.11
  3. Se-bom Lee (SOSC) – 2:02.44
  4. Gabriel Gorgas (KPSC) – 2:02.58
  5. Thomas Hauck (ALLSA) – 2:03.49
  6. Zac Stubblety-Cook (CHAND) – 2:03.49
  7. Marco Soesanto (MVC) – 2:04.13
  8. Brendon Smith (GUSC) – 2:04.26
  9. Jamie Mooney (MIAMI) – 3:04.58
  10. Will Sharp (NUN) – 2:04.71

New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt, who won the 400 IM World title in February, turned in the 2nd fastest performance of the session (2:01.11). He opened strongly through the fly leg with a split of 25.64 before hitting 30.80 on back, 35.18 on breast, and 29.49 on free. His best time is 1:57.27 from the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

William Petric, who specializes in IM as well as breast and fly events, was this morning’s fastest 200 IMer. He put his hand on the wall in 2:00.35 to clear the rest of the field by almost a full second. At last month’s New South Wales Championships, Petric hit the wall in 1:58.78 to dip under 1:59 for the first time in his young career. Entering that competition, Petric’s PB rested at the 1:59.29 notched at the 2023 World Championships Trials. His personal best ranks him just outside of the top 10 Aussie performers in history.

Earlier this week, the 19-year-old Nunawading representative showcased a big career best in the 100 breast. He stopped the clock in 1:01.37 to break the 1:02-threshold for the first time. He was also mighty close to his lifetime best in the 200m distance, as he placed 7th in 2:12.67, just outside his lifetime standard of 2:12.51.

23-year-old Brendon Smith, who trains at Griffith University under coach Michael Bohl, notched the 8th quickest mark of the day (2:04.26). The Tokyo 400 IM bronze medalist has been in the 1:58-realm on a few separate occasions, but has really honed in on the 400m distance for the majority of his career.

The 100 and 200 breast winner, Zac Stubblety-Cook, showed off his IM skills with a 2:03.49 showing. He qualified 6th for tonight’s A-final, largely due to his swift 32.91 breast split. He chopped 0.13 off his entry time of 2:03.62.

21-year-old Tommy Neill, who posted two 1:46.60 and 1:46.75 during yesterday’s 200 free races, did not show up for his heat. He won the event at this meet last year in 1:58.99. Swimming Australia has set the Olympic selection standard at 1:57.23 in this event, a benchmark that no active swimmer has met. The closest to date has been Neill who owns a PB of 1:57.51 from the 2023 Fukuoka World Championships.

WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – HEATS

  • World Record — 2:17.55, Evgeniia Chikunova (2023)
  • Australian Record — 2:20.54, Leisel Jones (2006)
  • Commonwealth Record — 2:18.95, Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 2:23.91

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Jenna Strauch (MIAMI) – 2:24.76
  2. Tara Kinder (MVC) – 2:27.56
  3. Matilda Smith (MIAMI) – 2:28.46
  4. Abbey Harkin (STPET) – 2:28.75
  5. Mikayla Smith (GUSC) – 2:29.40
  6. Ella Ramsay (CHAND) – 2:30.22
  7. Reidel Smith (NUN) – 2:31.71
  8. Zoe Deacon (NUN) – 2:32.01
  9. Ashleigh Oberekar (MIAMI) – 2:32.49
  10. Bianca Fuller (CRUIZ) – 2:33.11

27-year-old Jenna Strauch led the 200 breast prelims with her 2:24.76 from heat one. She’ll have the opportunity to double up on breast gold here on the Gold Coast, as she claimed the top spot in yesterday’s 100m event (1:07.37). Strauch won the silver medal in this distance at the 2022 Budapest World Championships and owns a best time of 2:22.22 from that same meet.

Second fastest this morning was Melbourne Vicentre’s Tara Kinder, who glided into the wall in 2:27.56. She was particularly strong on the 2nd and 4th 50s where she split 37.33 and 37.68.

19-year-old Matilda Smith checked-in at 3rd overall with a time of 2:28.46. Smith swam a best time of 2:24.34 at the Japan Open in November, which inserted herself into the conversation to make the Olympic team in June. St. Peters Western’s Abbey Harkin, who was 2nd in yesterday’s 100 breast (1:07.71), posted a time of 2:28.75 for the 4th qualification spot.

19-year-old Ella Ramsay touched the wall in 2:30.22 for the 6th quickest mark of the morning. The Chandler representative is on fire this week, as she’s already notched new lifetime bests in both the 200 (2:10.71) and 400 IMs (4:36.94). She has been as quick as 2:24.28 in this 200m breast, which she put on the books at the Queensland Championships in December. Ramsay trains under the tutelage of experienced coach Vince Raleigh, and the training group is coming off an altitude training camp over in the United States.

15-year-old Sienna Toohey, who’s been surging in the 100m distance, was 13th this morning in 2:35.48.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – HEATS

  • World Record – 20.91, Cesar Cielo (2009)
  • Australian Record – 21.06, Cam McEvoy (2023)
  • Commonwealth Record – 21.06, Cam McEvoy (2023)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 21.88

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Ben Armbruster (BOND) – 22.09
  2. Yuchan Ji (KOR) – 22.10
  3. Thomas Nowakowski (USCS) – 22.20
  4. Cameron McEvoy (SOMAQ) – 22.24
  5. Kyle Chalmers (STAND) – 22.30
  6. Isaac Cooper (STAND) – 22.44
  7. Joshua Conias (SOMAQ) & William Yang (SOSC) – 22.47
  8. Carter Swift (NZL) – 22.49
  9. Jamie Jack (STPET) – 22.52

2023 World Champion Cameron McEvoy was touched-out in the first heat by Thomas Nowakowski. McEvoy touched in 22.24 compared to Nowakowski’s 22.20. Kyle Chalmers notched a 22.30 for 3rd in the heat. Nowakowski’s best time is 21.81 from the 2023 TYR Pro Championships.

Australian record holder McEvoy showcased a strong start before getting caught on top of the water. He holds the fastest time in the world this year at 21.13, a time he posted during the heats of the World Championships two months ago. He ultimately walked away with a silver medal there, courtesy of his 21.45 clocking in the final. The 29-year-old touched the wall 2nd (23.52) in the 50 fly final on the first night of this meet. He was a much faster 23.26 during prelims of the one-lap fly sprint event.

21-year-old Ben Armbruster won heat two in the swiftest morning effort. He sprinted to the wall in 22.09 for a new career best. Korea’s Yuchan Ji nearly beat his time in the final heat, but came just short at 22.10.

Isaac Cooper, who won the world title in the 50 back two months ago, advanced through in 6th (22.44). Cooper has been as fast as 21.65 in this distance, which he posted during the semifinals of the 2023 World Championships. He then proceeded to finish 4th in the final at that meet (21.70) before clocking-in at 5th (21.77) at the 2024 Worlds in February.

16-year-old Joshua Conias, who blasted a swift 22.35 at last week’s Age Championships, finished close to that benchmark with an outing of 22.47 this morning. He safely qualified in 7th for the A-final.

Jack Cartwright (22.79), Dylan Andrea (22.79), Flynn Southam (22.86), and Kai Taylor (22.89) all missed out on the final. Southam has been as fast as 22.29 at World Juniors last September.

Tonight’s final will be an early preview for Olympic Trials in June, where McEvoy will start as favorite. The second spot will be interesting though, as Cooper and Nowakowski have best times that are only separated by 0.16. Armbruster just inserted himself into the conversation too, courtesy of his newly-minted best time of 22.09.

WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE – HEATS

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Kaylee McKeown (GUSC) – 27.32
  2. Mollie O’Callaghan (STPET) – 27.45
  3. Bronte Job (RACKL) – 27.89
  4. Iona Anderson (BRW) – 28.19
  5. Jaclyn Barclay (STPET) – 28.32
  6. Hannah Fredericks (STPET) – 28.40
  7. Stephanie Au (HKG) – 28.40
  8. Ainsley Trotter (BOND) – 28.87
  9. Elizabeth Gan (SYDU) – 29.08
  10. Olivia Lefoe (NUN) – 29.12

World record holder Kaylee McKeown proved too fast for the rest of the female backstrokers this morning. She scorched a prelim time of 27.32 to qualify 1st for tonight’s final. Earlier in the meet, McKeown posted the following sensational performances:

Besides this 50m sprint, McKeown only has one more entry for this meet: the 200m backstroke. That event is scheduled for tomorrow, and she holds the world record at 2:03.14 from the NSW Championships in March of 2023.

McKeown did not swim the 100m back here on the Gold Coast as it conflicted with the 400 IM on Thursday’s schedule. However, she’s competed in the event on several occasions over the past several months. She busted out a world record at the Budapest World Cup stop last October (57.33) and has since swam to marks of 57.79 (Queensland Championships in December) and 57.57 (NSW Championships in March). At that same meet in Budapest, McKeown sprinted to a new world record in this 50m event (26.86), which made her the world record holder in all LCM backstroke distances.

Mollie O’Callaghan, the 200m free world record holder, qualified 2nd for the final with a time of 27.45. She’s been as quick as 27.38 at the 2023 NSW Championships in Sydney. She ripped a massive best time of 58.09 en route to gold in yesterday’s 100 back, which elevated her to the 2nd fastest Australian in history.

Speaking to interviewer Meagen Nay after last night’s race, O’Callaghan said the following: “I would have liked to go 57 but I’ll take the 58.0 and I definitely want to swim backstroke at Trials.” She went on to emphasize that she doesn’t really train backstroke much, but races it because she finds it pressure-free and fun.

Rackley’s Bronte Job was the only other competitor under 28 seconds in 27.89. Worlds medalist Iona Anderson put her hand on the wall in 28.19 for 4th place status. Anderson threw down her current best of 27.45 at February’s World Championship meet.

O’Callaghan’s training mate, Hannah Fredericks, 21, advanced to the final in 6th. She glided into the finish with a time of 28.40, which undercut her entry time by 0.21. Fredericks had a breakthrough in last night’s 100 back final where she placed third in 59.69, her first ever sub-60 swim.

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – HEATS

  • World Record – 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • Australian Record – 50.25, Matthew Temple (2023)
  • Commonwealth Record – 50.25, Matthew Temple (2023)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 51.17

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Matthew Temple (MARI) – 51.67
  2. Shaun Champion (ABBT) – 51.82
  3. Ben Armbruster (BOND) – 51.88
  4. Cody Simpson (GUSC) – 52.36
  5. Jesse Coleman (BOND) – 53.22
  6. Enoch Robb (ALLSA) – 53.33
  7. Jack Carr (STAND) – 53.59
  8. Thomas Nankervis (GUSC) – 53.61
  9. Alex Quach (SOSC) – 53.78
  10. Joseph Hamson (KPSC) – 53.94

Matthew Temple, who posted a big-time Oceanic record (50.25) last November, was 51.67 to claim the top 100m fly seed. Shaun Champion (51.82) and Ben Armbruster (51.88) dipped under 52 to advance in the 2nd and 3rd spots. Champion represented the Green and Gold at the 2023 World Championships in this very event. Armbruster will have a double tonight as he already posted the fastest 50 free of the morning a few minutes earlier.

27-year-old Cody Simpson was 4th quickest during today’s heats with his 52.36 winning effort from heat two.

Armbruster’s training mate at the Spartans, Jesse Coleman, was 5th overall at 53.22. Champion, Armbruster, Simpson, and Coleman have all posted 51-second times during their careers.

This 100 fly is shaping up to be one of the deepest men’s fields at the upcoming Olympic Trials. Armbruster, Champion, Coleman, and Simpson have a reasonable shot to make the Olympic team in this distance come June. Temple is the clear favorite 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 four previously mentioned swimmers are in a tight battle for that slot.

2016 100 free Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers ended up not swimming this event. On night one of this meet, 25-year-old Chalmers got to the wall 1st in the 50 fly with a best time of 23.10. That 23.10 erased his previous PB of 23.21 notched at the 2022 edition of this competition. He recently made the move to train under Ashley Delaney after his coach, Peter Bishop, had his accreditations revoked.

30-year-old Olympian David Morgan touched the wall in 55.53 for 25th place.

WOMEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – HEATS

  • World Record – 3:55.38, Ariarne Titmus (2023)
  • Australian Record – 3:55.38, Ariarne Titmus (2023)
  • Commonwealth Record – 3:55.38, Ariarne Titmus (2023)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 4:04.98

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Lani Pallister (GUSC) – 4:06.45
  2. Ariarne Titmus (STPET) – 4:06.52
  3. Eve Thomas (NZL) – 4:09.16
  4. Kiah Melverton (STPET) – 4:10.12
  5. Jamie Perkins (STPET) – 4:12.05
  6. Abbey Connor (USCS) – 4:12.45
  7. Chelsea Gubecka (YERPK) – 4:14.20
  8. Leah Neale (CHAND) – 4:14.23
  9. Amelia Weber (STPET) – 4:15.43
  10. Tiana Kritzinger (RACKL) – 4:16.22

21-year-old Lani Pallister stamped her control on the 400 free heats with the fastest morning performance (4:06.45). World record holder Ariarne Titmus won the first heat in a marginally slower 4:06.52. On day one of the competition, Titmus (8:17.80) grabbed gold over Pallister in the 800 free (8:19.38). It’s shaping up to be another great race in tonight’s final. 

As a preview for this final, here’s a split comparison from last month’s NSW Championships, where Titmus and Pallister finished just 0.26 apart at the finish. This might be particularly helpful because both swimmers nearly matched their NSW times in the 800 free (Titmus 8:17.80 at this meet, 8:17.87 last month / Pallister 8:19.38 at this meet, 8:19.23 last month) earlier in the week, which seems to indicate that the race could once again be quite close. 

Ariarne Titmus At The NSW Championships in March: Lani Pallister At The NSW Championships in March:
50m 28.09 28.10
100m 58.07 (29.98) 58.74 (30.64)
150m 1:28.74 (30.67) 1:29.25 (30.51)
200m 1:59.65 (30.91) 2:00.01 (30.76)
250m 2:30.75 (31.10) 2:30.75 (30.74)
300m 3:01.94 (31.19) 3:01.82 (31.07)
350m 3:32.84 (30.90) 3:32.68 (30.86)
400m 4:02.39 (29.55) 4:02.65 (29.97)

New Zealand’s Eve Thomas (4:09.16) was 3rd this morning while Kiah Melverton (4:10.12) and Jamie Perkins (4:12.05) were 4th and 5th. All three train with Titmus at St. Peters Western, which means Dean Boxall-coached swimmers comprise four of the top five times. 19-year-old Perkins won the World Junior title in this event last September with a best time of 4:05.72.

2:06.59 200 butterflier Abbey Connor (4:12.05) registered a 6th place showing while Open Water phenom Chelsea Gubecka (4:14.20) sits in 7th.

MEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – HEATS

  • World Record – 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (2022)
  • Australian Record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin (2015)
  • Commonwealth Record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin (2015)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 53.21

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Juho Lee (KOR) – 54.44
  2. Thomas Henderson (BGRAM) – 55.25
  3. Bradley Woodward (MING) – 55.26
  4. Mitch Larkin (CHAND) – 55.61
  5. Mark Nikolaev (SOMGC) – 55.86
  6. Kalani Ireland (SOMAQ) – 55.90
  7. Lewis Blackburn (STAND) – 56.11
  8. Ty Hartwell (RACJ|KL) – 56.24
  9. James Bayliss (CHAND) – 56.42
  10. Matthew Magnussen (STPET) – 56.47

The 200 back winner from night one, Korea’s Juho Lee, was the fastest 100m backstroker in the pool this morning. He touched the wall in 54.44 to win heat one. Australian record holder Mitch Larkin, who now trains under Vince Raleigh at Chandler, punched a time of 55.61 for 2nd in heat.

The most consistent Australian backstroker over the past two years, Bradley Woodward, was the 3rd fastest performer of the session. The 25-year-old was 2nd in heat two to Thomas Henderson (55.25), who posted the 2nd fastest outing as we head into finals. Henderson clocked 55.20 earlier in the meet leading off Brisbane Grammar’s victorious 4×100 medley relay, so his prelim time puts him right on par to challenge that mark.

Mark Nikolaev won the third heat in 55.86 for the 5th quickest time. He split 27.08/28.78 en route to victory but was 1.68 seconds shy of his entry time.

Despite owning a sub-54 second best time, 2024 50 back World Champion Isaac Cooper did not enter this event.

WOMEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY — HEATS

  • World Record — 24.43, Sarah Sjostrom (2014)
  • Australian Record — 25.31, Holly Barratt (2019)
  • Commonwealth Record — 25.20, Fran Halsall (2014)

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Rikako Ikee (JPN) – 25.71
  2. Alexandria Perkins (USCS) – 26.02
  3. Brianna Throssell (STPET) – 26.08
  4. Emma McKeon (GUSC) – 26.14
  5. Lily Price (RACKL) – 26.33
  6. Madeline Groves (COMM) – 26.78
  7. Neza Klancar (SVN) – 26.89
  8. Josephine Crimmins (SOMAQ) – 26.95
  9. Isabella Boyd (NUN) – 26.98
  10. Kayla Costa (STHPT) – 27.01

Japanese national record holder Rikako Ikee scorched a swift 25.71 to win heat one. It held up for the fastest time of the morning and the only sub-26 clocking. Alexandria Perkins was 26.02 for 2nd seed status as the final approaches in a few hours time.

Brianna Throssell touched-out Australia’s most-decorated Olympian Emma McKeon in heat three, 26.08 to 26.14, for the 3rd quickest mark.

Rackley’s Lily Price stormed to the 5th fastest time in 26.33. The 21-year-old who trains under Damien Jones punched a new best time of 57.64 at last month’s Brisbane Metro Championships. Known to be more of a taper swimmer, Price looks to be on track to challenge for an Olympic team spot come June. This 50m fly is a non-Olympic event, but she’ll face tough competition in the form of McKeon, Throssell, and Perkins in the 100m event. 

2016 Olympic silver medalist, Madeline Groves, touched in 26.78 for the 6th fastest effort of the morning. The former 200 butterfly specialist has shifted to the more sprint orientated races since 2018.

In This Story

120
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

120 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

Wow Rikako’s fly is just as fast as her free

56 tomorrow 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

Sacre Bleu!
1 month ago

Day 3 is a meh after euphoric first two days

peter
1 month ago

Where is that lazy 50 metre swimmer. Australia needs a backstroker.

Verram
1 month ago

I hope Mark Nikolaev can have his citizenship sorted .. it’s weird how Kayla Sanchez is now able to swim for Philippines after swimming for Canada back in Budapest 2022 less than two years ago and yet Mark is still awaiting to hear

Oceanian
1 month ago

The most underwhelming session so far. Tonight should be better but not expecting the fireworks of D1 & D2.

Troyy
Reply to  Oceanian
1 month ago

Tomorrow should be good with M100FR, W200FR and W200BK.

Verram
Reply to  Oceanian
1 month ago

That’s coz all of Australia’s weakest events got lumped on the third day it seems

Troyy
1 month ago

25.71 with a glide for Rikako in the 50 fly.

JimSwim22
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Bit of an overstatement to call that time ‘scorching.’ kind of looking saying a 49mid in the 1Fr for guys is scorching

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  JimSwim22
1 month ago

no one said it was

Robbos
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
1 month ago

Thought I had a problem reading when I read his comment.

Sub13
Reply to  JimSwim22
1 month ago

A 25.71 would be ranked 37th all time in the 50 fly. A 49.3 would be ranked outside the top 500 for 100 free.

That’s not really a good comparison at all.

Quokka
1 month ago

Nice swim from Thomas Henderson. Here’s hoping he has a little more improvement in him prior to trials. Swam a 55:20 in the medley relay the other night.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quokka
Robbos
1 month ago

How poor are we in the 100 back?

Troyy
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Meanwhile on the women’s side …

Robbos
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Sorry of course I meant in the men’s.

commonwombat
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

Pls note only applicable to the men !

Last edited 1 month ago by commonwombat