Aussie Ace Thomas Neill Rocks 3:38.00 SCM 400 Free World Junior Record


While competing on the final day of the 2020 Queensland Short Course Championships, 18-year-old Thomas Neill fired off a huge performance in the men’s 400m freestyle.

Hitting the wall in a time of 3:38.00 tonight in Brisbane, the versatile teen not only logged a lifetime best, but he established a brand new World Junior Record in the event. His time obliterates the current WJR of 3:39.17 that fellow Aussie Elijah Winnington put on the books at the 2018 Australian Short Course National Championships.

Entering this meet Neill’s personal best in this SCM 400 free rested at the 3:41.38 he threw down just last month at the Short Course Prep meet. Before that outing he hadn’t swum the event since the 3:54.47 he posted in 2017.

As such, Neill’s 3:38.00 result here enters an entirely new tier of elite swimming for the Rackley teen who has already embedded himself among the world’s best juniors via his trio of medals at the 2019 World Junior Championships (400m free silver, 800m free bronze, 1500m free silver).

The splits between Winnington’s previous WJR and Neill’s new mark are below, with Neill pushing some serious speed on the back end to overtake Winnington’s 3:39.17.

Name            Age Team              Prelims     Finals  FINA Points
2 WINNINGTON, ELI  18 BOND              3:41.93    3:39.17   908   30  
    r:+0.66  11.59        24.76 (13.17)
          38.31 (13.55)       52.03 (13.72)
        1:05.87 (13.84)     1:19.82 (13.95)
        1:33.68 (13.86)     1:47.63 (13.95)
        2:01.64 (14.01)     2:15.74 (14.10)
        2:29.91 (14.17)     2:44.13 (14.22)
        2:58.25 (14.12)     3:12.44 (14.19)
        3:26.32 (13.88)     3:39.17 (12.85)

Looking at the bigger picture, Neill’s 3:38.00 WJR tonight checks him in as Australia’s 5th fastest performer all-time, as Elijah Winnington was tonight’s open winner in 3:37.45.

Australia’s All-Time Performers in Men’s SCM 400 free

  1. 3:34.58 Grant Hackett 80 Miami July’02 Sydney
  2. 3:34.63 Ian Thorpe 82 SLC Aquadot Jan’03 Stockholm
  3. 3:37.63 Thomas Fraser-Holmes 91 Miami Nov’15 Sydney
  4. 3:37.45 Elijah Winnington 2020
  5. 3:38.00 Thomas Neill 2020
  6. 3:38.17 David McKeon 92 Chandler Nov’14 Singapore

Neill also sits just outside the list of top 25 all-time performers worldwide with his swim tonight.

Of note, Neill was among the ‘young blood’ infusions we pointed out entering season 2 of the International Swimming League (ISL). The Aussie was set to join the Aqua Centurions but his name no longer appears on the roster. He is one of nearly all Australians who have withdrawn from season 2 of the league due to travel restrictions.

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23 days ago

And nearly a world junior record in the 800. 7.36.10. Unbelievable. Congrats Tom

Reply to  Joel
23 days ago

Only missed by 0.10s! I wonder if he can take it down at national champs (if they happen)?

23 days ago

The Australian age group record for 16, 17 and 18 year old are faster than this 🙂

Reply to  ooo
23 days ago

Probably cause world junior records started later. So Thorpe and Hackett swam 3.36 and 3.35 at age 18 but it doesn’t count for world junior records. I think Thorpe swam 3.35 at age 16. Still incredible from Neill.

23 days ago

Neill is actually the 5th fastest Australian of all-time because Winnington went 3:37.45 today moving up to 3rd fastest Australian all-time.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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