Faster Than An Olympic Final: Watch The Aussie Women’s 100 Free From Trials



Something magical happened on the pentulatimet night of the 2019 Australian World Swimming Trials, as the women’s 100m freestyle final saw 8 fierce females throw down times that rival that of an Olympic final.

Led by Aussie swimming icon and one of the best sprinters in the history of the sport, Cate Campbell, the final saw 3 sub-53 second times and 2 53-point efforts, giving the world a scary glimpse into the kind of 4x100m freestyle relay the green and gold may bring to the table at next month’s World Championships.

C1 clocked 52.12 for the fastest time in the world this year, while Emma McKeon produced a new lifetime best, her 2nd of these Trials, with a silver medal mark of 52.41 to add this to her World Championships repertoire.

Bronte Campbell, C2, put up a super solid mark of 52.84 after having taken a post-Commonwealth Games break and still battling recurring injuries, while Shayna Jack took 4th in a new lifetime best of 53.18.

Factor in Madi Wilson (53.60, new PB), Brianna Throssell (54.25, 3rd fastest of her career), Holly Barratt  (54.67, first time ever under 25…at 31 years of age!) and Leah Neale (54.94, first time ever under 55) and the women brought down the house in this final to kick-off day 5’s session.

For fun, below is tonight’s final from Australia compared to that of the 2017 World Championships, as well as that of the 2016 Olympic Games just to demonstrate how truly special the top performances were this evening in Brisbane.

Women’s 100 free Finals
2019 Australian World Trials 2017 World Championships 2016 Olympic Games
Cate Campbell 52.12 Simone Manuel 52.27 Penny Oleksiak 52.70
Emma McKeon 52.41 Sarah Sjostrom 52.31 Simone Manual 52.70
Bronte Campbell 52.84 Pernille Blume 52.69 Sarah Sjostrom 52.99
Shayna Jack 53.18 Mallory Comerford 52.77 Bronte Campbell 53.04
Madi Wilson 53.60 Ranomi Kromowidjojo 52.78 Ranomi Kromowidjojo 53.08
Brianna Throssell 54.25 Penny Oleksiak 52.94 Cate Campbell 53.24
Holly Barratt 54.67 Bronte Campbell 53.18 Abbey Weitzeil 53.30
Leah Neale 54.94 Emma McKeon 53.21 Jeanette Ottesen 53.36

As originally reported:


The women’s 100m free tonight simply looked like an Olympic final, hands down, with the top 3 swimmers all hitting sub-53 second markers.

Cate Campbell led the field with a menacing 52.12, laying waste to the stiff Aussie-mandated Worlds QT of 53.20 and crushing her previous season-best of 52.35 from Aussie Nationals in April.

C1’s time tonight, which was composed of splits of 25.44/26.68, represents the 6th fastest 100m freestyle performance in history. The Simon Cusack-trained star already is on the all-time performances list with her 52.03 from Pan Pacs last year and 52.06 stunner from the 2016 pre-Olympic Grand Prix.

52.03 Cate Campbell AUS 2018 Pan Pacific Championships 8/9/2018 Tokyo
52.06 Cate Campbell AUS 2016 Swimming Australia Grand Prix 7/2/2016 Brisbane
52.07 Britta Steffen GER 2009 World Champs 7/31/2009 Rome
52.08 Sarah Sjostrom SWE Meeting International de Canet-en-Roussillon 6/18/2017 Canet
52.22 Britta Steffen GER 2009 World Champs 7/26/2009 Rome

Hitting the wall .29 later was on-fire Emma McKeon, who just produced her 2nd lifetime best of these World Trials. After already snagging the 200m free and 100m fly World Championships qualification, with a PB of 1:54.55 in the former, the Griffith University Olympic medalist cranked out a huge 52.41 in this women’s freestyle tonight to take silver.

So far this season McKeon has been as quick as 52.84, the time that gave her silver behind C1 at Aussie Nationals. That itself was just .04 off of her lifetime swiftest of 52.80 hit at the Aussie Olympic Trials in 2016, so McKeon entered new territory tonight to hack almost .4 off of that PB to take silver and put her name in the mix for an individual medal in Gwangju.

McKeon’s outing tonight is among the top 20 performances of all-time and the 25-year-old has just become the 6th fastest performer ever in the event.

52.03 Cate Campbell AUS 2018 Pan Pacific Championships 8/9/2018 Tokyo
52.07 Britta Steffen GER 2009 World Champs 7/31/2009 Rome
52.27 Simone Manuel USA 7/28/2017 Budapest
52.27 Bronte Campbell AUS 4/5/2018 Gold Coast

Bronte Campbell may have finished 3rd and out of individual qualification in this 100m free, but her time of 52.84 is her first sub-53 second outing since last year’s Commonwealth Games.

After battling injuries and taking some time off, C2’s time here tonight is tremendous, inserting her among the top 8 performers in the world this year.

St. Peters Western star Shayna Jack also reaped her 2nd lifetime best of these Trials for 4th tonight.  This morning she threw down a solid 53.21 for the 3rd seed, only .01 off of the time she clocked at Aussie Nationals that marked a PB.

Behind the Campbell sisters and McKeon, Jack held her own, flying to the wall in 53.18 to get nearer to that 53-second barrier and add her name to the women’s 4x100m free relay.

Marion’s Madi Wilson finished 5th in 53.60, but is continuing to look dynamite her in terms of personal victories. She already logged a new PB this morning of 53.88 and the 25-year-old hacked that down to 53.60, most likely enough to get a nod on the relay as a prelims swimmer in Gwangju.

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1 year ago

Yes, but… Rio 2016 and London 2012, women 50 free and 100 free… no medal

Reply to  Paolo
1 year ago

And… Rio 2016: Oleksiak 52.70, Manuel 52.70, Sjostrom 52.99

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Paolo
1 year ago

Lol I literally the typo in the post and went “NO! NO I SAW IT I WAS THERE! NO!”

Reply to  Paolo
1 year ago

Yeah pretty routine at this point…they do well at Worlds the year before the Olympics….a year later they win the 4×100 and then its all downhill from there

Reply to  Ervin
1 year ago

hopefully , they will bring the A Game in Tokyo and no avoid chocking this time around …

1 year ago

Whilst the depth is strong, seem to remember Cate Campbell breaking world record at a similar time in 2016 and then bombing in 100free at Olympics, and Bronte been reigning world champ in 2015 and bombing also…. its looking very good for the women’s 4×100 relay, gold and world record on the cards perhaps, as for individual it wouldn’t surprise me if no Australian female medaled individually.

Reply to  Skoorbnagol
1 year ago

Fair to say C1 bombed in Rio, probably a bit harsh on C2 who was far from fully fit and was basically only 52.9/53flat shape …. and that’s what she produced. C1 HAS certainly continued to tighten up when challenged on the “way home”, whether this race is a signal of something different or just a once off we cannot know at this point. I would agree that none of the potential front liners from AUS are necessarily sure medal bets; be it C1 (tightening up in last 25m), C2 (the strongest “competitor” of the 3 but still with major shoulder issues) or McKeon (a heavy program catching up on her) but neither can you disregard them from calculations. Going… Read more »

Reply to  commonwombat
1 year ago

As she said it was the tactics.

Reply to  Skoorbnagol
1 year ago

Lots of questions surrounding Cate’s temperament, but Bronte has guts; She has achieved far more than anyone could have expected. If anything she consistently outswims expectations.

1 year ago

“Faster than they were at the Olympics” is the life story for most Aussies

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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