Aussie World C’ships Roster: Surprise Swimmers Not Making The Cut


  • Sunday, June 9th – Friday, June 14th
  • Brisbane Aquatic Centre
  • LCM
  • Live Results

The thrilling 6-day Australian World Swimming Trials concluded tonight in Brisbane, with a subsequent announcement by Swimming Australia of the 27 swimmers named to the roster for Gwangju. The roster is qualified as ‘initial’, as the organization’s announcement states, “possible additions in either Olympic or non-Olympic events will be decided in the next few weeks.”

However, knowing the names as they stand today, we can identify a few surprises, both good and bad, in terms of qualification for Worlds from this island nation. Below are the surprises among those who did not make the World Championships roster.

Emily Seebohm Couldn’t Find Her Groove

  • The 27-year-old veteran just didn’t have it this meet, falling short in her specialty 100m and 200m backstroke events. Instead, teenagers Mina Atherton and Kaylee McKeown took the reins, relegating Seebohm to 3rd in the 200m back (2:08.58) and 4th in the 100m (1:00.29).
  • Seebohm has made the Australian World Championships squads the past 12 years, so the veteran knows what it takes to get it done; something was just off for this meet and the Brisbane Grammar star just never gained traction.
  • Her absence means that the world will see a new 200m backstroke world champion in Gwangju, as Seebohm has claimed the title the past 2 World Championships.

Elijah Winnington‘s Nightmare 

  • Winnington wound up with the bronze in the 400m free (3:48.45), but missed the main goal of Gwangju qualification. The 400m free is an event in which the 19-year-old Bond athlete took the Aussie National title just 2 months ago in the now-5th fastest time of the world in 3:44.68. This seemed to rattle Winnington who never found his footing as the meet went on.
  • Despite owning the World Junior Record with his lifetime best of  1:46.13 registered at the Queensland Championships last December, Winnington clocked a mark of 1:47.86 here in the final, relegated to 8th place.
  • Winnington scratched the 800m free and the 200m fly, but gritted out swims in the 50m free, 100m free and 100m fly finishing in respective places of 14th, 13th, and 13th.
  • The Bond athlete won gold as a member of the men’s 4x200m free relay on the Gold Coast at last year’s Commonwealth Games, throwing down the 3rd fastest split of the entire finals field in a big-time 1:45.97.

Jack Cartwright Pulled Out of the Meet

  • As we reported, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Cartwright had all but withdrawn from the Australian World Swimming Trials, having only entered arbitrarily in the 1500m free.
  • His St. Peters Western coaching staff confirmed to swimSwam that the 20-year-old had been struggling with shoulder pain for some time and is currently swimming as part of rehab, following a cautious plan to keep him healthy for his journey to Tokyo 2020.

Taylor McKeown Misses the Mark

  • McKeown was an Olympic finalist in Rio in the women’s 200m breast, but fell short at these Championships, with no woman making the grade.
  • The 24-year-old Griffith University athlete hit a time of  2:24.95, over a second outside the 2:23.81 QT.
  • McKeown did improve upon her previous season-best of 2:27.65 from the Sydney Open last month, but still has some work to do to get back to her 2:21/2:22 days.



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1 year ago

Grant Irvine as well .. (51.00 PB in Budapest wc 2017)

Reply to  swimfan_00
1 year ago

Irvine is a bit unfortunate. He wasn’t far off QT in both 100 & 200 and had he finished 2nd in the 100, his selection would’ve been near automatic (ostensibly as fly back-up for 4XMED but in reality swimming both 100 & 200) but unfortunately Temple finished ahead of him in the 100 and therefore undermined his case.

Reply to  Kelsey
1 year ago

I just realised last night that Seebohm was at the Gwangju not long ago after watching Michael Andrew’s Vlogs. I didn’t know that she got food poisoning there but I already expected that she definitely wasn’t feeling 100%, especially after recovering from a busy time there.

Meanwhile Atherton actually tapered for the trials, at least according to what she said at the interview after the 200 back. It’s not that I think that she wouldn’t do well at Worlds, I have faith that her and McKeown can pull out amazing performances and have super bright futures ahead of them!

1 year ago

Just generally across the board, I’m not sure if having trials 5 weeks out of World Champs is the best idea for Australia. It might work for the US and other countries but I think there is no one size fits all. This year, Australia has done it quite differently. We had the ‘Australian Swimming Championships’ in April, where it was broadcasted on TV. Then the trials were a whole separate thing. For someone who’s followed Australian swimming for a very long time, this initially confused me a little. It probably would have been a shake up for swimmers themselves, and they each would have taken a different approach in their preparation for the two. For example, Winnington probably had… Read more »

Reply to  BlueCheeseMouse
1 year ago

They also had trials close to Pan PACs last year . I just wish they’d combine it all into one event

Reply to  Samesame
1 year ago

BlueCheese, they did something similar last year. Due to CG being at the usual time for Nationals, they moved them to Feb and then had a selection meet around this time last year for Pan Pacs. The old system wasn’t really working. The number of AUS swimmers who DON’T need to peak for selection meets can generally be easily counted on one hand and the gap between Nationals/selection meet in Apr and the major intl meet (usually in the Jul/Aug/Sep bracket) is such that swimmers need tp have another prep then taper. Its been the case that maybe half the team/sometimes more have failed to manage this. However Swimming AUS, rather than making a clean break and having the AUS… Read more »

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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