Australian National Team Competes in Surprise Relay Meet

With no prior notice to prepare for the meet, some of Australia’s top swimmers competed in a relay meet, titled Relay Blitz, on Thursday at the Bond University Pool. The goal of the relay meet was, according to Taylor, to prepare athletes for the Olympic Games environment where they will be tired and uncomfortable. The meet was held in short course meters.

Full Relay Blitz Event Schedule

  1. Men’s 8x50m Free Relay
  2. Women’s 8x50m Free Relay
  3. Women’s 5x300m Free Relay
  4. Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay
  5. Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay
  6. Men’s 5x300m Free Relay
  7. Women’s 8x100m Free Relay
  8. Men’s 8x100m Free Relay
  9. Mixed 300m IM
  10. Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay

In the first women’s event of the day, the 8x50m free relay, Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon stood out while both serving as the 4th and 8th legs of their respective relay teams. On their first swims of the event, Campbell touched with a split of 23.16, while McKeon was just behind her in a time of 23.45.  Also dipping below 24 on her relay split was Madi Wilson, who touched in 23.88.

Campbell had to say of the opportunity to compete:

“It feels great. Most of us have really, really missed competing. It’s that little bit extra that keeps you motivated throughout the year. To be able to stand up and see where you are this early in the season on short notice is a nice surprise. Expect the unexpected. We have had things thrown at us and it is about adapting and coping. It’s a wonderful initiative and a great opportunity to get some friendly rivalry within the team and it makes everyone excited looking forward to Tokyo. As long as the Olympics are on, that is all we care about. If there is a swimming pool, a starting block and a starter, that’s honestly all we need. I think the world will need an Olympics after the couple of years we’ve had.”

Another unique event that took place during the meet was the 5x300m freestyle relay however, instead of a team swimming the event, all five of the legs were swum by the same athlete. Each 300 was on an interval of 4:30, making the event a broken 1500m race.

The 400 medley relays featured a trio of fast swims from Mitch Larkin, Kaylee McKeown, and Emma McKeon. Larkin led off one of the men’s relays, finishing with the fastest backstroke time of 51.61. His time was only just over a second off of his best, a 50.48 from a virtual meet last fall.

Joining Larkin with an impressive backstroke leg was Kaylee McKeown. McKeown beat out the current world record holder in the event, Mina Atherton, to finish with the fastest time of 56.47. That time is less than a second off of her 55.68 from last fall, which stands as the second-fastest time in the world currently.  McKeown was recognized as SwimSwam’s Female Swimmer of the Year for 2020.

McKeon rounded out the impressive swims from the 400 medley relay with a 55.00 fly leg.  She later added a 55.29 split in the 100 fly as part of a mixed 400 medley relay.

The entire meet video can be found here.

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gator
7 months ago

AAWWWSOMME!!

Gheko
7 months ago

Emma McKeon had split 55.00 and 55.29 in two quick succession 100m butterfly swims in the 4x100m mixed and then 4x100m women’s medley relay – both swims faster than she’s ever swum before.

Robbos
Reply to  Gheko
7 months ago

I think Emma is going have a very good Olympics.

Torchbearer
Reply to  Robbos
7 months ago

Yes, she is looking at 4 relay medals for starters…that would give her 8 Olympic medals already….plus a couple more.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Robbos
7 months ago

Hoping so, for her & for the sake of swimming too.

Joel
7 months ago

They were actually told the morning of the meet, not the day before.

torchbearer
7 months ago

The Australian teams are doing intensive relay training, in a Covid free country in the same time zone as Tokyo…their preparation is going to be the gold standard- watch out!

kevin
7 months ago

Like the way Taylor goes about his business thank god sailor boy and the dutchman have been ditched

Verram
Reply to  kevin
7 months ago

The Dutchman is a well respected coach who introduced welcomed changes and cohesion after london 2012.. the current coach learned from him

Aussie Crawl
Reply to  Verram
7 months ago

The Dutchman can carry the burden of relay selection of Kazan 2015.
Also bizarre relay selection and who
Goes 1-4🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

Verram
Reply to  Aussie Crawl
7 months ago

Xenophobic much? I’m sure Aussie coaches make relay blunders as well… don’t pin it on the Dutchman and excuse the aussies …

Aussie Crawl
Reply to  Verram
7 months ago

Xenophobia wow….
You named him the Dutchman
In your previous reply sport.
Any Head coach has to take it
On the chin for poor results.

Verram
Reply to  Aussie Crawl
7 months ago

I suggest you Read the original post that I replied to “sport” and see who referenced “the Dutchman” first … and get some common sense while you’re at it so let’s hear your critical views on aussie coach Leigh nugents “leadership” during 2012 london games compared to the Dutchman at rio games since you’re not xenophobic as you claim

Last edited 7 months ago by Verram
Verram
Reply to  Aussie Crawl
7 months ago

And are you blaming the Dutchman for the Stillnox six and toxic London squad as well, led by Aussie Leigh Nugent??

Last edited 7 months ago by Verram
Aussie Crawl
Reply to  Verram
7 months ago

Actually I’m not at all.
At the end of the day any bad results
Falls with the head coach. Leigh Nugent
Is back at the helm steering the ship
So wait and see.

Verram
Reply to  Aussie Crawl
7 months ago

You’re quite critical when it comes to foreigners taking on the role and quite forgiving and silent when it comes to Aussie coaches at the helm .. double standards much .. hardly heard anything critical about aussie coaches from you

Aussie Crawl
Reply to  Verram
7 months ago

Yes the stilnox six, Nugent knew about that champ. I don’t know how he
Got back in favour with Swimming Australia after eight years.
Does this make you feel better now,
That I’ve criticised an Aussie coach.?

Coach Mike 1952
7 months ago

BTW, Beryl Gastadello has a picture above, but she is not mentioned in this story. An oversight?

Last edited 7 months ago by Coach Mike 1952
SwimFR-AUS
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
7 months ago

Freudian slip peut-être, elle est française – vous le sais, oui?