For Aussies, Disappointment Doesn’t Come Without Redemption (Day 7 Oceania Recap)


Just two days ago, I had posted an article to highlight some of the struggles that the Australians were facing at this World Championship. I’m happy to say today that the article did not age very well, as some of the Aussies that I had mentioned in it went on to redeem themselves with incredible performances today.

McKeown Finally Gets A World Title

During the beginning of the meet, there was much discourse over whether Kaylee McKeown scratching the 100 back to focus on the 200 IM was worth it. She did end up earning silver in the 200 IM in 2:08.57, just 0.38 seconds off her best time. However, there were many who thought that a second-place finish wasn’t worth giving up a title in the event that she holds a world record in.  She also uncharacteristically got knocked off the podium in the 50 back, finishing fifth in a time of 27.45.

When she ran down McKeown in the last 50 meters of the 200 back semifinals, Phoebe Bacon was a favorite to win in the finals tonight. However, after trailing the American for the  majority of the race, McKeown came back with a 31.70 last 50 t0 overtake Bacon by 0.04 seconds to earn her first-ever World Championship title in her last individual event of the meet. She put up a time of 2:05.08, and while that’s still slower than her season best time of 2:04.68, her win was still a great way to finish off her individual racing at this meet after people had been doubting her all week.

Tomorrow, McKeown will likely have one more chance to prove herself in the 100 back when she leads off Australia’s 4×100 women’s medley relay.

Wilson and O’Callaghan Earn Relay Fulfillment

Considering that Emma McKeon, Shayna Jack and Cate Campbell all weren’t available, Australia didn’t have a full strength team coming into the 4×100 mixed free relay. Still, Jack Cartwright, Kyle Chalmers, Madi Wilson, and Mollie O’Callaghan blew past the field and earn gold in world record fashion, combining for a time of 3:19.38.

Read more about the world record here.

Especially for Wilson and O’Callaghan, this relay made up for their performances from two days ago. After both being off their best times on the 4×200 free relay, O’Callaghan and Wilson went on to produce the fastest and third-fastest female splits of 52.03 and 52.25 respectively on the mixed free relay, helping extend the lead that Chalmers gave them to secure victory. This is particularly impressive considering that neither of the two women were on Australia’s world-record setting 4×100 free relay last year. The fact that six different active Australia women have been on world-record holding 4×100 freestyle relays (and that doesn’t even include Shayna Jack, who has the second-fastest time in the world this year) just goes to show once again how deep the country is in the event.

Other Highlights:

  • Kiah Melverton earned her first individual world championships medal, finishing second in the women’s 800 free with a season-best time of 8:18.77. However, Lani Pallister, a medal favorite in the event, was forced to withdraw due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Meg Harris advanced to the finals of the women’s 50 free with a personal best time of 24.39, the third fastest in the semifinals. Isaac Cooper also advanced to the semifinals in his respective event, clocking a 24.60 to finish seventh in the men’s 50 back semifinals.

Medal Table:

Australia 6 8 1 15

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Big T
3 months ago

6 Golds for a meet they didn’t take seriously not bad.

Last edited 3 months ago by Big T
3 months ago

Strange this article has no comments and doesn’t appear to come up on the main front page. Not sure how I even stumbled on it.

Reply to  jamesjabc
3 months ago

I read it when it was posted this morning just didn’t comment because I commented on other articles.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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