Chalmers Fires Sub-48 World Championships Warning Shot At NSW C’ships


Where to begin on day 1 of the 2019 New South Wales State Open Championships, as World Championships shots were fired by the Aussies on several levels. With powerhouse athletes to the tune of Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton in the water, there was sure to be a feeding frenzy of energy as each performance builds off the previous, as was the case at SOPAC tonight.

It was 2-time reigning World Junior Record holder Elijah Winnington who got things started off on a speedy note, with the 18-year-old crushing a time of 3:48.68 to take the men’s 400m freestyle. His time tonight checks-in as the 4th fastest of his young career, with his personal best resting at the 3:45.98 set at last year’s Pan Pacific Championships Trials. He more recently put up another impressive outing with the 3:47.44 produced at the Queensland Championships last December.

Winnington’s effort tonight was able to hold off the aforementioned Horton, who settled for bronze in 3:50.94. Olympic champion in this event, Horton is biding his time to make the ultimate strike at next month’s Australian Nationals.

Splitting the Aussies in the race was visiting Malaysian National Record holder Welson Sim. Sim chased the Aussie all the way to a new national standard en route to silver, ultimately snagging silver in a time of 3:49.29. That slid under Sim’s old NR mark of 3:49.48 set almost 2 years ago on the 2017 Mare Nostrum Tour.

18-year-old Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Lewis Clareburt earned the win in the men’s 200m fly in 1:57.91. That’s the swimmers’ fastest time to-date, beating out the 1:57.36 he threw down at last year’s Pan Pacific Championships for 8th place.

Nunawading’s Jess Hansen was already on the board world rankings-wise with a 100m breaststroke result of 1:07.62 from last month’s Vic Open. But Hansen surged under the 1:06-threshold tonight to punch a mark of 1:06.91, taking gold in a new NSE State Record. The old mark stood at 1:07.04 set by Samantha Marshall back in 2010.

Hansen now sits as the 3rd fastest swimmer in the world in the event this season.

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Finishing strongly behind her was 27-year-old Leiston Pickett, who picked up silver in 1:07.84, good enough for 10th in the world, while Jenna Strauch rounded out the top 3 in 1:10.12. Olympic finalist in the 200m breast, Taylor McKeown, finished 5th in 1:10.53.

Pan Pacific Championships wrecking ball Cate Campbell took the women’s 100m freestyle by half a second in a winning effort of 53.21. That’s the 26-year-old’s fastest this season and puts her in the #2 spot in the world rankings just above Sarah Sjostrom’s 53.29. C1 took this event last year in Tokyo in a scorching 52.03, an Oceanic Record.

Emma McKeon was another sub-54 second swimmer tonight, clocking 53.73 for silver, while Bronte Campbell took bronze in 53.81. Of note, Madi Wilson produced a very solid 53.92, as the Olympic backstroke finalist looks to be fully transitioning to freestyle as her primary stroke now.

The men’s 100m free saw the world’s first 47-point time of the season, as Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers showed no remorse in hitting the wall in a wicked-fast 47.89. Splitting 23.10/24.79, Chalmers had clean water the whole way, as the next fastest swimmer was Somerset’s James Roberts who touched in 49.60.

The fastest textile 100m freestyler ever, Cameron McEvoyalso made it onto the podium with a 49.72 mark for bronze.

For Chalmers, tonight’s outing represents the 2nd fastest time of the young man’s career. His only swifter mark was represented by the 47.58 time that garnered the South Australian the Olympic gold medal. Chalmers now represents the only sub-48 second swimmer in the world this season.


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Teenager Kaylee McKeown already put up a solid 200m back outing at the Queensland Championships, where her 2:09.47 produced there renders her the 4th fastest athlete in the world this season. But the 17-year-old was just as close tonight, produced a winning time of 2:09.49 to easily stand atop the podium in the event by almost 4 solid seconds.

Additional Winners:

  • The men’s 50m back saw William Yang of Ravenswood reap the win in 25.11. That’s a big-time personal best, shaving .27 off his previous career-fastest.
  • Kiah Melverton, Australian Open Water National Championships runner-up, took the 800m free tonight in 8:37.54.
  • Visiting Czech swimmer Barbora Zavadova was successful in the women’s 400m IM, earning gold in 4:46.11. That was just .40 faster than runner-up Sophie Caldwell, who touched in 4:46.51 as the fastest Australian.
  • 31-year-old racing mainstay Holly Barratt won the women’s 50m fly in a mark of 26.08. That fell just .06 off of the NSW record of 26.02 held by Libby Trickett since 2009. McKeon finished in 26.29 for silver, while Yolane Kukla also took a medal in 26.71 for bronze.
  • Matthew Wilson beat the men’s 50m breast field, clocking 28.10 for the win.

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2 years ago

I’m pretty sure it was 200m butterfly and not 200 IM that was swum tonight by the kiwi swimmer you mentioned .. therefore the rankings and record you wrote about may be incorrect

2 years ago

Going to be an awesome race in summer. Chalmers will be finishing stronger in all likelihood, can Dressel get enough gap to hold him off?

Reply to  Togger
2 years ago

Dressels back half has been good lately I think he can

Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

True, that is a filthy back half from Chalmers though when not fully tapered, quicker than Dressel split on the 47.17 (back in 24.86). If Chalmers comes back in 24.4 or something it’s going to be all on.

Be cool to see two guys break 47 together.

Reply to  Togger
2 years ago

You know how hard the Gators train in season right?

Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

I know they’re huge taper swimmers, but that 47.1 with a 24.8 back half was from the World Champs final, not some Pro Swim.

Dressel is a world class 50/100 guy, Chalmers is a world class 100/200 guy. Predictably that means Caeleb usually goes out quicker on 100, Kyle comes home harder. I don’t think it’s any slight on either to say that, and it should make for exciting racing.

Reply to  Togger
2 years ago

If you saw his SC swims at world cup stops, Kyle has improved lot on his speed and underwaters. He was 21.0 at 50 free SC. If thats a good indication, we will see him going faster in early part of the race compares to his previous swims.

Reply to  Togger
2 years ago

Well Dressel has never beaten Chalmers and based off this performance I don’t think he will.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Fangsanno8
2 years ago

Tru dat.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Togger
2 years ago


Reply to  Togger
2 years ago

CD’s last 10 meters are insane. Go watch the last 10 at 2017 and 2018 worlds

2 years ago

Madi Wilson adopting her boyfriend’s back-end race strategy. Splits were 26.26 – 27.66, seems to be a good move for her.

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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