2024 Australian Open Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2024 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

We’re entering the penultimate night of action at the 2024 Australian Open Championships, a non-Olympic selection competition.

Refresh often for updates as the events unfold with the likes of Kyle Chalmers, Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown taking to the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre pool.

MEN’S 200 IM – FINAL

  • 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 QT – 1:57.23

GOLD – William Petric, 1:58.43
SILVER – Lewis Clareburt, 1:58.73
BRONZE – Se-Bom Lee, 2:00.90

The men’s 200m IM final was a little on the underwhelming side as just one Aussie dipped under the 2:00 threshold.

19-year-old William Petric of Nunawading got to the wall first, registering a gold medal-worthy 1:58.43. He managed to hold off New Zealand’s national record holder Lewis Clareburt who touched just under half a second behind in 1:58.73 while 2020 Olympian Se-Bom Lee rounded out the podium in 2:00.90.

Petric’s result improves upon the 1:58.78 personal best he logged at t last month’s New South Wales Championships, a time which represented the strong breaststroker’s first-ever foray under the 2:00 barrier.

His result this evening now inserts Petric into the list of all-time Aussie performers in slot #8 with a nice upward trajectory heading into June’s Olympic Trials. Splits for his performance included 25.78/30.86/33.55/28.24.

All-Time Aussie Men’s LCM 200 IM Performers

  1. Mitch Larkin – 1:55.72, 2019
  2. Leith Brodie – 1:56.69, 2009
  3. Tommy Neill – 1:57.41, 2023
  4. Daniel Tranter – 1:57.55, 2013
  5. Thomas Fraser-Holmes – 1:57.88, 2014
  6. Clyde Lewis – 1:58.06, 2017
  7. Justin James – 1:58.35 – 2013
  8. William Petric – 1:58.43, 2024
  9. Brendon Smith – 1:58.57 – 2021
  10. Kenneth To – 1:58.72, 2013

As for Clareburt, the 24-year-old reigning 400m IM world champion recently posted a mark of 1:57.36 to qualify for this year’s Olympic Games and rank 9th in the world on the season.

Additional finalists this evening included Brendon Smith hitting 2:00.08, well off his personal best of 1:58.57, while the double breaststroke winner here, Zac Stubblety-Cook registered 2:02.06 for 5th place (including a 32.03 breast split).

As a reminder, 21-year-old Tommy Neill did not show up for his heat this morning, thus not vying to defend his title from last year. Neill is the fastest Australian thus far this season with the 1:57.41 notched at December’s Queensland Championships.

The Rackley swimmer did race in the 200m free on night 1, finishing 3rd in 1:46.60, the 6th-best time of his career.

The Swimming Australia-mandated 2IM qualification time for Paris sits at a stiff 1:57.23, a threshold under which just 2 swimmers have ever delved.

It was a little surprising visiting Japanese swimmer Daiya Seto didn’t stick around to race this 2IM, the event in which he qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Seto did contest the 10om breast (1:00.96, 10th place), 200m breast (2:10.22, 4th place) and 100m fly (54.05, 13th place) earlier in the meet.

WOMEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL

  • World Record: 2:18.95, Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • Australian Record: 2:20.54, Leisel Jones (2006)
  • Commonwealth Record: 2:18.95, Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021)
  • Australian Olympic QT – 2:23.91

GOLD – Jenna Strauch, 2:23.33
SILVER – Matilda Smith, 2:24.89
BRONZE – Abbey Harkin, 2:26.11

Jenna Strauch of Miami was the quickest women’s 200m breaststroke performer this evening, carrying her momentum from holding the top seed of the morning by nearly 3 seconds.

In the heats, 27-year-old Strauch clocked 2:24.76 to land lane 4 and managed to drop another 1.43 to bring it home tonight in 2:23.33.

Splitting 33.67/35.50(1:09.17)/36.73/37.43(1:14.16), Strauch held off teammate Matilda Smith who checked in with 2:24.89 for silver.

St. Peters Western’s Abbey Harkin rounded out the podium in 2:26.11.

Strauch is continuing to look back to form after having dropped out of last year’s World Championships season due to injury. She already won the 100m breast last night in 1:07.37 and tonight’s 2breast result is within striking distance of the season-best 2:22.83 she posted at the Budapest stop of the 2023 World Aquatics Swimming World Cup.

En route to silver, Smith’s mark of 2:24.89 represents a near-personal best for the 19-year-old. It beat the 2:25.48 turned in just last month at the NSW State Championships and was just outside her career-quickest 2:24.34 from the Japan Open late last year.

Strauch and Smith are putting the Olympic QT of 2:23.91 on notice with the former already clearing the benchmark.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – FINAL

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

GOLD – Cameron McEvoy, 21.93
SILVER – Kyle Chalmers, 21.98
BRONZE – Thomas Nowakowski, 22.08

2023 World Championships gold medalist and silver medalist this year in Doha Cameron McEvoy led the men’s 50m free charge, producing a winning effort of 21.93.

The Somerville House Aquatics’ star was well off the 21.45 scored for silver behind winner Vladyslove Bukhov of Ukraine in Doha but was enough to get to the wall first tonight.

Behind McEvoy was Kyle Chalmers who produced his first-ever sub-22-second outing. Chalmers touched in 21.98 to overtake his previous personal best of 22.07 from the 2019 version of these championships. He sneaks into the list of all-time Aussie performers in slot #10 with tonight’s performance.

23-year-old USC Spartan Thomas Nowakowski checked in with 22.08 as tonight’s bronze medalist. His best time remains at the 21.81 from the 2023 TYR Pro Championships.

Ben Armbruster placed 4th in 22.11 and 50m back world champion Isaac Cooper earned 5th in 22.18. Cooper is the 5th-fastest Aussie in history, courtesy of the 21.65 registered in the semi-finals of last year’s World Championships.

18-year-old Flynn Southam made the C-Final (22.86) but was disqualified for a false start.

WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE – FINAL

GOLD – Kaylee McKeown, 27.07 *All Comers Record
SILVER – Mollie O’Callaghan, 27.16
BRONZE – Iona Anderson, 27.75

After already heroic performances here where she established new Australian national records in the 200m IM (2:06.99) and 400m IM (4:28.22), 22-year-old Kaylee McKeown wowed once again with a 27.07 in this women’s 50m back.

McKeown’s effort puts a new All Comers Record on the books, erasing the 27.16 she hit in 2021. All Comers Records are akin to U.S. Open Records where they represent the fastest time ever produced in Australian soil by a swimmer from any nation.

McKeown’s lifetime best remains at the World Record 26.86 she crushed last year.

Mollie O’Callaghan, the 100m free and 100 back winner here busted out a monster personal best of 27.16 for silver.

20-year-old O’Callaghan of St. Peters Western had been as fast as 27.38 in her career but she hacked .22 off that effort to become the #2 Australian performer in history. She matched the previous All Comers Record this evening.

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.

Top 5 Australian Women’s LCM 50 Backstroke Performers in History

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 26.86, 2023
  2. Mollie O’Callaghan – 27.16, 2024
  3. Emily Seebohm – 27.37, 2017
  4. Iona Anderson – 27.45, 2024
  5. Minna Atherton – 27.49, 2016

Iona Anderson bagged bronze in 27.75, a time .3 outside her lifetime best of 27.45 from when she took silver in this event at this year’s World Championships.

34-year-old new mom Emily Seebohm captured the C-Final victory in a mark of 28.94

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

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

GOLD – Matt Temple, 50.80
SILVER – Shaun Champion, 51.28
BRONZE – Ben Armbruster, 51.88

National record holder Matt Temple commanded this men’s 100m fly from start to finish, cranking out a head-turning time of 50.80.

The 24-year-old Marion swimmer split 24.07/26.73 to earn another sub-51-second outing and already handily cleared the Swimming Australian-mandated qualification time of 51.17.

Temple powered his way to a new Australian Record of 50.25 at last year’s Tokyo Open to rank #2 in the world on the season as well as the 6th-swiftest performer in history.

24-year-old Shaun Champion of Abbotsleigh just threw his hat into the potential Olympic qualification ring, firing off a new lifetime best en route to silver.

Champion clocked 51.28 comprised of splits of 24.15/27.13. That shaved .26 off his previous career-quickest 51.54 from the 2022 U.S. National Championships.

Just like that, Champion now ranks as the 4th-best Australian performer in history.

Top 10 Australian Men’s LCM 100 Butterfly Performers All-Time

  1. Matt Temple – 50.25, 2023
  2. Andrew Lauterstein – 50.85,2009
  3. Grant Irvine – 51.00, 2017
  4. Shaun Champion – 51.28, 2024
  5. Kyle Chalmers – 51.37, 2020
  6. David Morgan – 51.47, 2019
  7. Jayden Hadler – 51.66, 2015 & Jesse Coleman – 51.66, 2023
  8. Chris Wright – 51.67, 2012 & Ben Armbruster – 51.67, 2023 & Cody Simpson – 51.67, 2022

Nearly straight off his 50m free event, Bond’s Armbruster found himself on the podium with bronze in this 100m fly, clocking 51.88. That matched his prelims time exactly to maintain 3rd place. He owns a lifetime best of 51.67 from last year to rank as the 9th-swiftest Aussie all-time performer.

Cody Simpson wrangled up 4th place in 52.32 and 19-year-old All Saints swimmer Enoch Robb earned a new PB of 52.40 to overtake the 52.56 he nabbed at the Queensland Championships.

WOMEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – FINAL

GOLD – Ariarne Titmus, 3:59.13
SILVER – Lani Pallister, 4:01.75
BRONZE –Kiah Melverton, 4:06.95

Reigning world record holder and Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus looked sharp as usual in this women’s 400m free but I’m not sure anyone expected her to drop under the 4:00 barrier at this point in the season.

But the 23-year-old St. Peters Western superstar rarely doesn’t impress as she hit 3;59.13 to take the gold tonight.

Her outing represents the 8th-best performance of her already-prolific career and rockets the Dean Boxall-trained athlete to the top of the world rankings. Titmus takes the crown from former world record holder Summer McIntosh of Canada who previously held the best time in the world this season of 3:59.42 from last November.

McIntosh, New Zealand world champion Erika Fairweather and now Titmus are the only swimmers worldwide to have delved under the 4:00 barrier thus far this season.

On-deck after the race, Titmus commented this was her first sub-4:00 performance ‘in work.’

2023-2024 LCM Women 400 Free

SummerCAN
McINTOSH
05/13
3:59.06
2Ariarne
Titmus
AUS3:59.1304/19
3Erika
FAIRWEATHER
NZL3:59.4402/11
3Katie
LEDECKY
USA3:59.4405/16
5Bingjie
LI
CHN4:01.6202/11
View Top 31»

Just over 2 seconds behind for silver tonight was 21-year-old Lani Pallister. The Griffith ace just ripped a new lifetime best of 4:01.75 to dip into the 4:01-zone for the first time in her career.

Entering this competition, Pallister’s PB rested at the 4:02.07 turned in at the Berlin stop of last year’s World Cup series. She remains the #2 Australian performer in history and the 13th-best performer ever worldwide.

All-Time Aussie Women’s LCM 400 Free Performers

  1. Ariarne Titmus – 3:55.38, 2023
  2. Lani Pallister – 4:01.75, 2024
  3. Kiah Melverton – 4:03.12, 2022
  4. Jessica Ashwood – 4:03.34, 2015
  5. Kylie Palmer – 4:03.40, 2012

Titmus’ clubmate Kiah Melverton rounded out the podium in 4:06.94 and New Zealand’s Eve Thomas nabbed 4th in 4:06.95, just off the 4:06.41 Olympic-qualifying time she scored at this month’s New Zealand Trials.

MEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – FINAL

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

GOLD – Mark Nikolaev, 54.61
SILVER – Lee Juho (KOR), 54.64
BRONZE – Bradley Woodward, 54.74

26-year-old Mark Nikolaev put up the fastest 100m back tonight, getting to the wall first in 54.61.

That got the edge over visiting Korean national record holder Lee Juho who settled for silver just .03 behind in 54.64.

Bradley Woodward rounded out the top 3 with 54.74 for bronze in the only other-sub-55-second result of the pack.

The men continue to chase the tall order of the Olympic qualification time of 53.21, a threshold under which just 3 swimmers have ever delved.

2015 world champion Mitch Larkin is the national record holder in 52.11, however, he placed just 6th tonight in 55.50. That’s on par with the performances he’s been struggling with since finishing 7th in this event at the Tokyo Olympic Games (52.79).

Woodward’s lifetime best rests at the 53.38 notched at the 2023 World Championships so if the Mingara athlete can get into that type of zone in June he may just have a shot.

WOMEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY — FINAL

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

GOLD – Rikako Ikee (JPN), 25.33
SILVER – Emma McKeon, 25.70
BRONZE – Alexandria Perkins, 25.90

In a big confidence boost leading up to the Paris Games, 23-year-old Rikako Ikee of Japan beat Australia’s most decorated Olympian of all time Emma McKeon in this women’s 50m fly.

Ikee posted a winning effort of 25.33 to set herself apart from the field, while McKeon got to the wall next in 25.70 followed by Alexandria Perkins in 25.90.

Ikee’s time represents a nice new season-best, moving her up the world rankings to now take over position #4. She had been as quick as 25.76 from last December’s Queensland Championships.

Ikee and Daiya Seto have been training under Bohl at Griffith since last fall.

McKeon’s time establishes a new lifetime best, improving upon the 25.86 produced at February’s Vic Open.

4-time relay medalist at this year’s World Championships, Alexandria Perkins, also landed on the 50m fly podium this evening in 25.90, a new PB by .02

MEN’S 800 FREE – FINAL

  • World Record: 7:32.12, Zhang Lin (2009)
  • Australian Record: 7:37.76, Sam Short (2023)
  • Commonwealth Record: 7:37.76, Sam Short (2023)
  • Australian Olympic QT – 7:45.80

GOLD – Elijah Winnington, 7:43.08
SILVER – Sam Short, 7:43.98
BRONZE – Kim Woomin (KOR), 7:49.69

The exact same podium finish we saw in the men’s 400m free on night 1 appeared again in this 800m free.

23-year-old St. Peters Western swimmer Elijah Winnington turned in a time of 7:43.08 to earn the gold, holding off Sam Short who settled for silver in 7:43.98.

Reigning 400m free world champion Kim Woomin of Korea collected bronze in 7:49.69.

Winnington held the lead through about the 600m mark when Short started to creep up. Winnington’s last quartet of 50 splits included 30.10/29.45/28.68/27.31 to Short’s 29.60/29.29/29.55/27.66 to keep the race close all the way to the wall.

Winnington’s result was within striking distance of his lifetime best of 7:42.95 put up for silver in this event at this year’s World Championships.

Short is the 800m free Australian national record holder, courtesy of the 7:37.76 he nabbed for silver at the 2023 World Championships.

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Meow
1 month ago

If you asked me if Mitch Larkin had retired already I would have definitely said yes.

Sub13
1 month ago

With one day to go, biggest takeaways from the meet so far:

Positive
-Kaylee 200/400IM PB and very close to her 50 BK: She’s got endurance and her speed hasn’t suffered. A clear triple gold threat in Paris. Hoping for a 2:02 tonight
-Mollie 50/100 BK PBs and 52.2 100 free: I suspect she’s a little rested but this puts her on amazing track to repeat Fukuoka results
-Short/Winnington times while unrested: Both looking like huge threats!
-Kyle 50 free/fly PBs: Last time he set a 50 Free PB he also set a 100 PB so LFG!
-Temple 50.80 unshaved unrested looking like a medal threat and solidifying Aus as outside gold threat in mixed… Read more »

Gheko
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Have you seen the SPW line-up in the women’s medley relay? MOC, Harkin, Throssell Jack, Could probably medal at the Olympics with that team!

BairnOwl
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Nice summary. I agree with pretty much everything you said, but I’m not counting Emma out of individual medals in Paris even after a down year last year, if she qualifies at Trials of course.

Madge
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

I’m going to back Sam Williamson to drop a 58 high at trials, but men’s 100 back is toast.

petriasfan
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

I hope officials are looking carefully at MOC’s 100m back time and are seriously considering using her (assuming she qualifies for Olympics) as the lead off leg on the medley relay, allowing McKeown to swim the breaststroke leg.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago

the W 4 free is going to be good in Paris

Robbos
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago

Race of the century.

Sub13
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Nah. I think Ledecky will be out of it. A few other races that will be more exciting

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

possibly but 100 free W and M, 2IM W, and 50 free W and M will be top watched and rated races.

phelpsfan
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago

50 free women will most likely be Sjostrom not that interesting

nuotofan
1 month ago

Australian training works very well also for Josha Salchow who swam 47.85 (after a 48.23 in the heats) in the 100 free final at Berlin Swim Open

Sub13
Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

That’s a big PB for him. Who does he train with?

Adrian
Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

With Chalmers and Temple at Adelaide before Bishop got suspended, now only with Temple according to this article (https://www.dsv.de/schwimmen/aktuelles-schwimmen/lesen/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=7310&cHash=da065054773d5509d8c28020ca361f2c)

Troyy
Reply to  Adrian
1 month ago

I’m glad the coaching change didn’t affect him too much. Would be nice to see more international swimmers based in Australia and having success.

snailSpace
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

So that rumour has already been debunked since then (or close to 99% debunked), but I would love to see Milak train for a few years in Australia after Paris. I bet it would work wonders on his freestyle.

John26
1 month ago

Elijah Winnington’s instagram post caption exudes a lot of confidence

Rob
Reply to  John26
1 month ago

Lukas Märtnes just swam a 3:41:98 and Oliver Klemet a 3:42,81. Those times are not as fast as the Australians, but the Germans have their main meet next week in Berlin. Also märtens is already qualified for Paris, so hey wie gehts might Mit be (fully) rested

Last edited 1 month ago by Rob
96Swim
1 month ago

Can one of the Aussies explain where the best Australian swimmers are likely to be training-wise at this meet? Some of the times (winnington/short/McKeown in particular) that the swimmers are fully rested (or close to it). Is that likely the case, or are we just going to see some crazy fast swims out of Australia in Paris? It seems odd to me to hold this meet so close to trials and Olympics if they are fully resting, but maybe there is still plenty of time in their training plans to work more and come down again.

BairnOwl
Reply to  96Swim
1 month ago

It seems likely that the swimmers are untapered or close to untapered, but people react to taper differently and there are swimmers (McKeown in particular) who swim just as fast untapered as they do tapered.

tea rex
Reply to  96Swim
1 month ago

I think MOC swam like her 3rd-fastest 100 free ever and said she was a little disappointed in her time, which makes me think she expected to be hitting PRs two months out from trials? Seems confusing to me, because I don’t think she can afford to train through Trials.

bigNowhere
Reply to  96Swim
1 month ago

For the longer events like the 800, I think it is very unlikely they are tapered. I remember seeing an interview with Chris Thompson (Olympic Bronze in the 1500 in 2000), where he stated that “distance swimmers don’t really taper”. They just back off slightly.

Otherwise the loss of fitness is bigger than the gains they get from resting. But, that was at least 20 years ago; maybe the taper philosophy for distance swimmers is different now. But I kind of doubt it.

snailSpace
Reply to  bigNowhere
1 month ago

There are massive taper swimmers among distance freestylers (Hafnaoui, Bobby Finke most notably), who are very slow in season, and much much faster with a proper taper – so maybe that’s a thing of the past?

Last edited 1 month ago by snailSpace
Robbos
Reply to  snailSpace
1 month ago

This is exactly right, some swimmers like Ledecky are able to produce world class times tapered or untapered. McKeown is exactly the same as is Regan Smith.

Sub13
Reply to  96Swim
1 month ago

Winnington’s times suggest he is at least partially rested. Short’s do not. Kaylee tends to swim similar times whether tapered or not so it doesn’t really matter. MOC’s times also suggest a partial taper.

It’s hard to say. Certainly none of them have come out and said they’re fully in for the meet, while the majority of event winners have said they’re unrested. It would be very strange to fully rest for this meet so I can’t imagine anyone planning to go to Paris is fully tapered.

Steph
Reply to  96Swim
1 month ago

I reckon some SPW swimmers have done a drop taper. The rest are probably training through this meet though and Kaylee always swims faster regardless of a taper

Hank
1 month ago

Free broadcast of the W400FR here
https://fb.watch/ryjKBy4mfD/?mibextid=v7YzmG

Check yourself before you wreck yourself
1 month ago

World record for 200M LC breaststroke (women’s) is mislabelled here as Schoenmaker. Whether we choose to believe it or not, it is now “officially” 2:17.55 by Chikunova from Russia.

Last edited 1 month ago by Check yourself before you wreck yourself

About Retta Race

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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