2024 Australian Open Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

2024 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Welcome to the fourth and final 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 final prelim session will include the men’s 100 freestyle, women’s 200 freestyle, men’s 400 IM, men’s 50 breaststroke, men’s 200 butterfly, women’s 200 backstroke, and women’s 100 butterfly.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE — HEATS

  • World Record — 46.80, Pan Zhanle (2024)
  • Australian Record — 47.04, Cameron McEvoy (2016)
  • Commonwealth Record — 47.04, Cameron McEvoy (2016)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 48.06

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Kyle Chalmers (STAND) – 48.08
  2. William Yang (SOSC) – 48.49
  3. Jamie Jack (STPET) – 48.76
  4. Jack Cartwright (STPET) – 48.80
  5. Kai Taylor (STPET) – 48.82
  6. Zac Incerti (USCS) – 48.84
  7. Flynn Southam (BOND) – 49.07
  8. Carter Swift (GUSC) – 49.45
  9. Cody Simpson (GUSC) – 49.45
  10. Maximillian Giulliani (MIAMI) – 49.73

2016 Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers made his presence known from the very first stroke in heat one. He flipped through the first 50m in 22.93 before closing strongly over the final lap in 25.15. His overall time of 48.08 held up for the fastest morning performance. It also represents a new season best time, eclipsing his previous (48.15) from November’s Japan Open.

Chalmers is having one of his best in-season meets ever here on the Gold Coast as he’s already notched best times in both the 50 free (21.98) and 50 fly (23.10). In addition to those lifetime best outings, the 25-year-old also split 51.12 on St. Andrews’ medley relay on night two, right on par with his best flat-start time of 51.37.

As a reminder, he recently changed up his training hub after his coach, Peter Bishop, had his accreditations revoked. Chalmers’ best time of 47.08 is just outside Cameron McEvoy’s Australian record of 47.04, so that’s a mark to watch for as we progress into June’s Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games, assuming Chalmers safely qualifies.

William Yang was 2nd overall this morning at 48.49, just off his season best time by 0.01 from last month’s NSW Championships. At the meet, Yang touched-out Chalmers in the final to steal victory.

St. Peters Western teammates Jamie Jack (48.78), Jack Cartwright (48.80), and Kai Taylor (48.82) also safely advanced to tonight’s final. The time from Jack was a new career best as he undercut his previous 48.97 time. Jamie is the brother of Shayna Jack, one of Australia’s fastest female sprint freestylers. Cartwright’s personal best is 47.84 while Taylor’s is 48.01.

25-year-old Cartwright holds the status of world record holder, as he helped Team Australia to 2023 World Championship gold in the mixed 4×100 free relay with a new world record time. Earlier this week, Taylor was 4th in the loaded 200 free (1:46.65) final. However, on the first night of action, he led-off St. Peters Western’s relay with a season’s best time of 1:45.89, which would’ve snagged individual gold if he replicated it in the individual final. He’s known for going out very quickly in the 200m distance, but he recorded a negative split race of 53.36/52.53 to come just 0.10 outside his best time of 1:45.79.

The only other man under 49 seconds in today’s heats was Zac Incerti. The longtime relay contributor put his hand on the wall in 48.84 to advance through in 6th place.

Chris Mooney-trained Flynn Southam, who represented the Green and Gold alongside Chalmers in this event at the 2023 World Championships, finished 7th quickest this morning a 49.07. He won the 200 free (1:46.11) in a best time to open the meet here on the Gold Coast. His swiftest 100m career mark rests at 47.77 from the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials last June. The 18-year-old Bond athlete won the Australian Age Championships at this same pool last week in 48.94.

2024 50 Backstroke World Champion Isaac Cooper did not show up for his heat.

WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – HEATS

  • World Record – 1:52.85, Mollie O’Callaghan (2023)
  • Australian Record – 1:52.85, Mollie O’Callaghan (2023)
  • Commonwealth Record – 1:52.85, Mollie O’Callaghan (2023)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:56.59

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Mollie O’Callaghan (STPET) – 1:56.60
  2. Shayna Jack (STPET) – 1:57.06
  3. Ariarne Titmus (STPET) – 1:57.52
  4. Lani Pallister (GUSC) – 1:57.79
  5. Jamie Perkins (STPET) – 1:58.12
  6. Brianna Throssell (STPET) – 1:58.31
  7. Kiah Melverton (STPET) – 1:58.71
  8. Meg Harris (RACKL) – 1:58.95
  9. Abbey Webb (CRUIZ) – 1:59.84
  10. Abbey COnnor (USCS) – 2:00.03

Similar to the women’s 100 free, the 200m distance is nothing short of deep at the Australian Open. World record holder Mollie O’Callaghan, Reigning Olympic Champion Ariarne Titmus, 2024 Worlds medalist Brianna Throssell, and 1:55 swimmers Shayna Jack, Lani Pallister, and Kiah Melverton are just a few names among the loaded field.

Reigning World Champion and world record holder O’Callaghan put her underwater skills on full display in the first heat. She touched the wall fastest this morning in 1:56.60 and showcased her usual race tactics with the following splits: 27.60, 29.92, 30.13, and 28.95. She won the 100 free on Wednesday in 52.27, which checks-in as the 3rd fastest time in the world so far this season. Over the past two days, she won the 100 back (58.09) and placed 2nd in the 50 back (27.16) with new personal records.

Jack was second quickest in the heats with her time of 1:57.06. We usually see Jack take the race out hard through the first 100, but she showcased a really strong closing 50 of 29.54. She recorded her best time (1:55.37) at the meet last year and has a season best of 1:56.80 from February’s World Championship meet.

The third place swimmer this morning was Titmus. She punched an effort of 1:57.52 to win the second heat with splits of 27.46, 29.75, 30.48, and 29.83. Training partners Throssell (1:58.31) and Jamie Perkins (1:58.12) were close behind to advance through at 5th and 6th.

Pallister also broke 1:58 in today’s heats with an outing of 1:57.79. She broke 1:56 for the first time at last month’s NSW Championships where she posted her best time (and season best) of 1:55.92. She was 2nd to Titmus in the 400 (4:01.75) and 800 (8:19.38) frees earlier in the meet.

Rackely-trained Meg Harris was 8th this morning in 1:58.95. The 22-year-old is two-for-two in the personal best times department at this meet, as she popped new standards in both the 50 (24.28) and 100 (52.59) free races.

Kaylee McKeown, who’s been on fire this week on the Gold Coast, did not enter this event. She’s opting to focus on the 200 back later in the session, where she is the world record holder. McKeown does own a best time of 1:56.06 to her name in this 200m free, which puts her name into the top-6 conversation for June’s Olympic Trials, where the coveted relay spots will be on the line.

Of note, Dean Boxall’s St. Peters Western team will comprise 6 out of tonight’s 10 A-finalists.

MEN’S 400 IM – HEATS

  • World Record – 4:02.50, Leon Marchand (2023)
  • Australian Record – 4:09.27, Brendon Smith (2021)
  • Commonwealth Record – 4:08.70, Lewis Clareburt (2022)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 4:12.50

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Daiya Seto (JPN) – 4:17.50
  2. Lewis Clareburt (NZL) – 4:18.96
  3. William Petric (NUN) – 4:25.40
  4. Joshua Staples (STPET) – 4:25.64
  5. Marco Soesanto (MVC) – 4:28.67
  6. Callum Thomas (THIL) – 4:30.91
  7. Jack Gurrie (NUN) – 4:36.89
  8. Evan Chee (NUN) – 4:37.54
  9. Zackery Tay (SGP) – 4:37.66
  10. Tyler Theodore (CGAQ) – 4:45.42

Daiya Seto, who represents Japan but is training under Michael Bohl in Australia, touched in 4:17.50 to lead all qualifiers in the men’s 400 IM. The 13-time World Champion split 56.77 (fly), 1:06.40 (back), 1:13.14 (breast), and 1:01.19 (free) on the four legs en route to winning heat one.

2024 World Champion Lewis Clareburt was 2nd swiftest this morning in 4:18.96. His season best is still the 4:09.72 that he clocked at the World Championships in February. Although he won the world title, he currently ranks 4th worldwide this season as Max Litchfield, Alberto Razzetti, Ilya Borodin are slotted ahead in the lower 4:09 range. Clareburt’s best time and New Zealand national record is 4:08.70 from the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

200 IM winner William Petric was 4:25.40 for 3rd overall. Petric has been having a breakthrough season in this Olympic year. Earlier this week, the 19-year-old Nunawading representative posted 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. He also outright won the 200 IM last night in another best time of 1:58.43.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Brendon Smith did not show up for his heat. Following the Olympics back in 2021, he moved to work under the guidance of Michael Bohl after his longtime coach, Wayne Lawes, retired. Smith’s season best is 4:13.59 from October’s Berlin World Cup stop. The Australian record holder’s best time is 4:09.27 from the heats of the Tokyo Olympics.

MEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE — HEATS

  • World Record — 25.95, Adam Peaty (2017)
  • Australian Record — 26.32, Sam Williamson (2024)
  • Commonwealth Record — 25.95, Adam Peaty (2017)

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Sam Williamson (MVC) – 27.07
  2. Taku Taniguchi (JPN) – 27.79
  3. Joshua Yong (UWSC) – 27.88
  4. Matthew Wilson (SOSC) – 27.99
  5. Cameron Jordan (BDE) – 28.06
  6. Haig Buckingham (SOSC) – 28.23
  7. Calvin Reed (PROP) – 28.24
  8. Darragh Greene (IRL) – 28.29
  9. Joshua Anderson (BGRAM) – 28.42
  10. Zac Stubblety-Cook (CHAND) – 28.43

Newly-minted World Champion Sam Williamson snagged the top seed in this 50m breast sprint with a time of 27.07. He holds the Australian record of 26.32 from the 2024 World Championships where he walked away with gold. Japan’s Taku Taniguchi qualified 2nd in 27.79.

Matthew Wilson was 4th overall with his 27.99 clocking. 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. At this meet, Wilson was a slightly slower with efforts of 1:01.04 and 2:11.42.

22-year-old Joshua Yong hit the wall 3rd (27.88), just off his entry of 27.59. He’s having a big week on the Gold Coast, as he posted a near lifetime best in the 100 (1:00.16) breast and destroyed his 200 mark (2:08.54).

Zac Stubblety-Cook, who claimed gold in the 100 and 200 distances earlier in the week, touched 10th to qualify for the A-final. His time of 28.43 was 0.38 outside his entry time of 28.05.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY — HEATS

  • World Record — 1:50.34, Kristof Milak (2022)
  • Australian Record — 1:54.46, Nick D’Arcy (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record —  1:52.96, Chad Le Clos (2012)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 1:54.97

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Bowen Gough (GUSC) – 2:00.46
  2. Lucas Humeniuk (CHAND) – 2:01.42
  3. Caio Gallo (IONA) – 2:02.05
  4. Alex Fahey (IONA) – 2:02.18
  5. Silas Harris (NUN) – 2:02.98
  6. David Morgan (TRINI) – 2:03.00
  7. Matthew Temple (MARI) – 2:03.16
  8. Ruan Van Der Riet (USCS) – 2:03.18
  9. Reece Caddy (HUNT) – 2:03.68
  10. Sean Alcorn (SHILD) – 2:03.85

The first heat was claimed by 25-year-old Bowen Gough in 2:00.46. The Michael Bohl-coached swimmer put his hands on the 100m wall in a controlled 57.77 before finishing in 1:02.69 over the final 100. Gough represented Australia at both of the major meets in 2022, the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, before missing the standard in 2023.

Gough will not only have to be back at his best (1:55.88) to qualify for Paris this year, but he’ll have to reach the 1:54.97 benchmark time set by Swimming Australia at the Trials.

Matthew Temple, who posted a massive Oceanic record (50.25) in the 100m distance last November, was 7th at 2:03.16. He was well off the pace for the first three lengths with splits of 27.73, 32.67, and 32.77 but roared back with a 29.99 on the final 50.

400 IM Australian record holder, Brendon Smith, missed tonight’s A-final. He clocked-in at 2:07.43 for 19th.

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE — HEATS

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Kaylee McKeown (GUSC) – 2:09.19
  2. Iona Anderson (BRW) – 2:11.84
  3. Jaclyn Barclay (STPET) – 2:11.88
  4. Hannah Fredericks (STPET) – 2:12.28
  5. Bella Grant (TRGR) – 2:13.36
  6. Minna Atherton (BOND) – 2:14.20
  7. Emily Seebohm (STMAR) – 2:14.95
  8. Olivia Lefoe (NUN) – 2:15.32
  9. Ella Ramsay (CHAND) – 2:15.57
  10. Xiandi Chua (PHI) – 2:15.85

To no one’s surprise, world record holder Kaylee McKeown was the fastest female backstroker of the morning. She finished in 2:09.19, a time that cleared the field by over two seconds. For comparison’s sake, McKeown was 2:10.89 during prelims at the 2023 NSW Championships, just hours before she set the current world record (2:03.14) in the event. It’s just a fun fact to be aware of as the final approaches, but she’s typically around that range during her preliminary efforts. At last month’s NSW Championships she was 2:10.24 before notching 2:04.21 in the final. At the Budapest World Cup stop in October, she hit 2:10.64 in the heats before dropping a 2:04.81 in the final. At the 2023 World Championship Trials, McKeown stopped the clock in 2:10.44 during prelims before posting a winning time of 2:03.70 in the final.

Rising backstroke stars Iona Anderson (2:11.84) and Jaclyn Barclay (2:11.88) finished just 0.04 apart to advance 2nd and 3rd. Anderson won two individual medals at the 2024 World Championships in the 50 and 100m distances. Barclay punched her current personal and season bests at those same Worlds (2:07.03) en route to silver.

Barclay’s teammate, Hannah Fredericks, hit the wall in 2:12.28 for 4th overall. She had a breakthrough in Thursday’s 100 back final where she placed 3rd in 59.69, her first ever sub-60 swim.

Bella Grant was 5th this morning in 2:13.36, and won bronze in this event at September’s World Junior Championships. She also claimed a silver medal in the 200 fly at that same meet.

The short course world record holder in the 100 back, Minna Atherton, touched 6th in 2:14.20. Australian legend and new mom, Emily Seebohm, put her hand on the wall in 2:14.95 for the 7th qualification spot.

WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – HEATS

  • World Record – 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (2016)
  • Australian Record – 55.72, Emma McKeon (2021)
  • Commonwealth Record – 55.59, Maggie MacNeil (2021)
  • Australian Olympic Qualifying Time – 57.17

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Emma McKeon (GUSC) – 57.06
  2. Alexandria Perkins (USCS) – 57.71
  3. Brianna Throssell (STPET) – 58.18
  4. Rikako Ikee (JPN) – 58.23
  5. Isabella Boyd (NUN) – 58.57
  6. Lily Price (RACKL) – 58.58
  7. Elizabeth Dekkers (CHAND) – 58.92
  8. Bella Grant (TRGR) – 59.11
  9. Abbey Connor (USCS) – 59.25
  10. Kayla Costa (STHPT) – 59.65

The first heat saw veteran Emma McKeon score victory, as the 29-year-old Commonwealth record holder hit a prelim mark of 57.06. She opened in 26.76 before closing in a fast 30.30, and will have the opportunity to challenge her season-best 56.40 that she threw down at February’s Victorian Championships. Alexandria Perkins (57.71) was 2nd to McKeon in the opening heat to scare her personal best time of 57.48.

Japanese record holder Rikako Ikee (58.23) also safely advanced to tonight’s final in 4th. She won the 50 fly yesterday in 25.33.

Brianna Throssell (58.18) and Lily Price (58.58) two of the other top contenders for this event at the upcoming Olympic Trials, were 3rd and 6th. 21-year-old Price, who trains under Damien Jones at Rackley, punched a new best time of 57.64 at in early March.

Earlier this week, Throssell checked-in with new bests in the other two fly distances: 50 (25.92) and 200 (2:06.98).

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Peter
1 month ago

The Chinese are a country of systematic drug cheats. Are they to be banned from Paris?

CY~
1 month ago

Are the finals supposed to be live streamed on YouTube without VPN necessary?

Troyy
Reply to  CY~
1 month ago

Day one was streamed live on YouTube but that was probably a mistake. The other sessions have been made available there after the live broadcast has ended.

Fast and Furious
1 month ago

No MOC 2back 🙁

Octavio Gupta
1 month ago

Australia Men’s 200 fly 🤣🤣🤣

RealCrocker5040
Reply to  Octavio Gupta
1 month ago

USA Men’s 400 free

RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

The washed Mitch Larkin needs to retire

He is never getting back to 2015 form

Boxall's Railing
1 month ago

Kyle setting up to go sub-47 this summer (and I think 1-2 other swimmers will join him there)!

Troyy
Reply to  Boxall's Railing
1 month ago

Paris setting up to be the fast games ever in so many different events.

CheersAusSwim
1 month ago

Anyone know what club BRW is abbreviated from? Haven’t seen it.

Troyy
Reply to  CheersAusSwim
1 month ago

Breakers WA

Peter
1 month ago

Has China been kicked out of this year’s Olympics. Systematic doping can’t be tolerated

Robbos
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

I don’t know, but the kangaroos jumping in & out of my back garden is causing havoc as I cook my Shrimps on the Barbie.

Leoyu
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

Keep dreaming

Sub13
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

Why are you commenting this here? It’s got its own article.

Stingy
Reply to  Peter
1 month ago

What systematic doping? WADA and World Aquatics said they were contaminated and I don’t see you offering evidence to suggest otherwise