SWIMMING AUSTRALIA OLYMPIC TRIALS
- Saturday, June 12th – Thursday, June 17th
- South Australia Aquatic & Leisure Centre, Adelaide, Australia
- Sole Olympic-Qualifying Opportunity
- 2021 Swimming Australia Olympic Nomination Criteria
- Meet Site
- Final Start List
- Live results
- Qualifying Criteria
- Day 1 Finals Heat Sheets
- Day 1 Finals Live Stream (Amazon Prime required)
Day 1 of the Swimming Australia Olympic Trials wrapped up today in South Australia with a handful of swimmers’ names being etched onto the roster for Tokyo, Japan.
Among them were Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin, the pair who finished 1-2 in the men’s hotly-contested 400m freestyle event. St. Peters Western’s Winnington powered his way to the wall in a big-time 3:42.65 for his first outing ever under 3:43, while veteran McLoughlin snagged silver in 3:43.27, also scoring a new best time.
This means that the reigning Olympic champion in the event Mack Horton was shut out, being rendered to 3rd place in a final result of 3:43.92. His time easily dipped under the Swimming Australia-mandated qualification time of 3:46.34, however, the 25-year-old Melbourne Vicentre will instead watch this race from the sidelines.
Horton’s time here ranks as the 8th fastest of his career, with his resume boasting a lifetime best of 3:41.55 at the 2016 Olympic Games. In fact, the top 4 finishers in this Trials would have all landed in that Rio final, with 19-year-old Tommy Neill logging a swift 3:44.51 for 4th place.
Entering this meet, Horton was seen as a question mark, with our meet preview detailing how the man hadn’t been under 3:50 since 2019 in this event.
On his performance today, Horton said, “I was just on the wrong side of the pool, breathing the wrong way, I literally gave it everything,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “Every time you turn in the 300m, you always question if there is another 100m in there. That was the same today, clearly not enough.”
Horton continued, “Very happy for the boys. Jack works his arse off, and he’s been working his arse off for years and Elijah’s obviously super talented and coming up through it, so hopefully they can keep creating the 400 legacy for Australia.”
There was some speculation that Horton wasn’t entirely rested for this meet, but we have not been able to confirm this. He still can try and qualify individually in the 200m free or as a relay swimmer for the 800m free relay, and has entries in the 800 and 100 freestyles individually as well.
As for Winnington, the Dean Boxall–trained ‘animal’ said post-race, “I had a little moment with Mack … and I pretty much told him that he’s my hero.”
“He’s an incredible swimmer and always will be an incredible swimmer so it means a lot that Mack would speak that highly of me. It means everything to me, I dreamt of this moment as a kid.
“It’s going to be a competition and I know that if you make it in the team in the 400 in Australia you are very much in contention for an Olympic medal, let alone an Olympic gold,” he said.
“So, I’m going to be doing everything and that’s sort of my focus now I’ve made the team and now my shift is to improve on that and see what I can do for Australia.” (ABC)
As for just how excited coach and mentor Boxall was with his protege, the embedded video excerpted from the Amazon Prime live stream should give you some idea.
Dean Boxall doing his best Laurie Lawrence.
“THE ANIMAL!” pic.twitter.com/DshCPqyAoz
— swimnerd (@SwimNerds) June 12, 2021