In Case You Missed It: Main Takeaways From 2022 Australian Trials

Last week, the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships, which served as a qualifying meet for both the 2022 FINA World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, took place. If you missed it, do not worry. This article will tell you what you need to know about the meet and what its results mean for the fate of Australian swimming this year.

Relay Check-In

Before this meet, we did an article on all of the Australian relays and how they would fare without some of their biggest stars (Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, the Campbells, to name a few) at worlds. Now that we know who will most likely be on these relays at worlds, we have a better idea of which relays look good and which relays might be in trouble.

First off, it seems like the women’s free relays will be just fine. The top four women in the 100 free, Mollie O’Callaghan (52.49), Shayna Jack (52.60), Meg Harris (53.09), and Madi Wilson (53.19), have times added up to be over three seconds faster than the top four in United States and Canada. 

The loss of Ariarne Titmus might hurt the 4×200 free relay, but O’Callaghan (1:54.94), Wilson (1:55.86), Kiah Melverton (1:55.94), and Leah Neale (1:56.28) all look strong. I don’t think they are quite the favorites in this relay, as China still has two 1:54-low caliber swimmers in Tang Muhan and Yang Junxuan, and Canada has defending Olympic bronze medalist Penny Oleksiak and teenage sensation Summer McIntosh. However, I do think the Aussies are in good shape to at least medal.

Here’s how the women’s free relays compare to other countries after their trials:

Women’s 4×100 Free Relay:

Australia United States Canada
Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4
Mollie O’Callaghan – 52.49 Torri Huske – 53.35 Kayla Sanchez – 53.68
Shayna Jack – 52.60 Claire Curzan – 53.58 Penny Oleksiak – 53.70
Meg Harris – 53.09 Erika Brown – 53.59 Taylor Ruck – 53.99
Madi Wilson – 53.19 Natalie Hinds – 53.65 Rebecca Smith – 55.21
3:31.17 3:34.17 3:36.58

Women’s 4×200 Free Relay:

Australia United States Canada China
Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4 Season-Bests
Mollie O’Callaghan – 1:54.94 Katie Ledecky – 1:55.11 Summer McIntosh – 1:55.39 Tang Muhan – 1:54.26
Madi Wilson – 1:55.86 Claire Weinstien – 1:57.08 Penny Oleksiak – 1:57.01 Yang Junxuan – 1:54.58
Kiah Melverton – 1:55.94 Leah Smith – 1:57.44  Taylor Ruck – 1:57.60 Lao Lihui – 1:57.27
Leah Neale – 1:56.10 Hali Flickinger – 1:57.53 Kayla Sanchez – 1:57.61 Qiu Yuhan – 1:57.39
7:42.84 7:47.16 7;47.61 7:43.40

The men’s free relays, however, are another story. In the 100 free, only three men were under 49 seconds, and third-place finisher Flynn Southam (48.76) won’t be going to Worlds in favor of Junior Pan Pacs. Most likely, William Yang (48.55), Zac Incerti (48.65), Jack Cartwright (49.04), and Matt Temple (49.11) will be on the 4×100 free relay in Budapest. We saw promising drops from swimmers like Yang, who took a good amount off his previous best time of 49.23, and we know Incerti is capable of 47.5 relay splits. However, just that is not going to be enough for a medal in Budapest.

In the 200 free, things look a bit more promising for the men. Incerti (1:45.80), Elijah Winnington (1:46.01), Mack Horton (1:46.70), and Samuel Short (1:47.35) add up to be stronger than any other country aside from the United States and Great Britain, giving them a shot at the podium even without fourth place finisher Southam (1:46.82). However, they do miss out on Thomas Neill, who split 1:44.74 anchoring their relay in Tokyo but was well off his best times at trials, finishing all the way down in 12th with a time of 1:49.41.

One thing that both free relays could benefit from would be Kyle Chalmers, who decided that he would go to worlds after all after he said he most likely wouldn’t. He split 46.44/1:45.35 on the relays last year, and would be a huge boost to his Aussie teammates. However, at trials, he only swam the 50/100 fly, meaning we don’t know how much he’s trained for the freestyles this season.

Here’s how the men’s free relays compare to other countries after their trials (without Chalmers):

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay:

AUSTRALIA USA CANADA ITALY GREAT BRITAIN
Top 4 Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4 Trials
William Yang – 48.55 Caeleb Dressel- 47.79 Josh Liendo- 48.35 Alessandro Miressi- 47.88 Lewis Burras- 47.88
Zac Incerti – 48.65 Brooks Curry- 48.04 Ruslan Gaziev- 48.41 Lorenzo Zazzeri- 48.45 Tom Dean- 48.06
Jack Cartwright – 49.04 Ryan Held- 48.18 Yuri Kisil- 48.80 Manuel Frigo 48.50 Jacob Whittle- 48.24
Matt Temple – 49.11 Drew Kibler/Hunter Armstrong- 48.25 Javier Acevedo- 49.12 Leonardo Deplano- 48.68 Matt Richards- 49.20
Aggregate time- 3:15.35 Aggregate time- 3:12.26 Aggregate time- 3:14.68 Aggregate time- 3:13.43 Aggregate time- 3:13.38

Men’s 4×200 Free Relay:

AUSTRALIA USA GREAT BRITAIN
Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4 Trials Top 4
Zac Incerti – 1:45.80 Kieran Smith- 1:45.25 Duncan Scott- 1:45.54
Elijah Winnington – 1:46.01 Drew Kibler- 1:45.32 Tom Dean- 1:45.73
Mack Horton – 1:46.70 Carson Foster- 1:45.66 James Guy- 1:46.44
Samuel Short – 1:47.35 Trenton Julian- 1:46.69 Joe Litchfield- 1:47.66
Aggregate Time- 7:05.86 Aggregate Time- 7:02.92 Aggregate Time- 7:05.37

But the thing that both the men and women have in common is that neither of their medley relays are looking very good for Budapest. 

The women, who won Olympic gold in the 4×100 medley relay last year, were already at a disadvantage without Emma McKeon on the butterfly. However, the fact that Chelsea Hodges finished third in the 100 breast and didn’t make the Worlds team (despite breaking the Australian record in the 50 breast, a non-selection event) hurts them even more. Hodges split 1:05.57 on Australia’s Tokyo relay, and was a crucial part of their victory. The breaststroke spot will likely go to either Jenna Strauch (1:06.69) or Abbey Harkin (1:06.88), depending on whoever is in better shape on race day. In addition, since Brianna Throssell (57.31) was the only one under the FINA ‘A’ cut in the 100 fly, she’s likely going to be on both the prelims and finals relay. For now, don’t expect them to be defending their Olympic title.

The men’s relay has a similar problem. Mitch Larkin, Australia’s primary backstroker since 2014, didn’t hit the ‘A’ cut this meet in the 100 back. He was beaten out by 18-year-old Isaac Cooper, who won the race in a time of 54.02. And although Cooper is a promising talent, having broken the Australian record in the 50 back in 24.44, his 100 back time is still far away from his best time of 53.43 or anything competitive for a medley relay. 100 breast winner Zac Stubblety-Cook (59.60) and 100 fly winner Matt Temple (51.50) will likely be racing those respective strokes, while the freestyle is going probably to go to either Yang or Incerti, depending on who does better in Budapest.

On the mixed medley relay, the fastest combination of swimmers will likely be female-male-male-female, with three out of the four swimmers (Kaylee McKeown, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Temple) being on last year’s relay. The only change would be swapping Emma McKeon with most likely Mollie O’Callaghan on freestyle.

Here’s how the medley relays compare to other countries after their trials:

Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay:

AUSTRALIA USA CANADA
Top Swimmer At Trials Top Swimmer At Trials Top Swimmer At Trials
Back Kaylee McKeown – 58.49 Regan Smith– 57.76 Kylie Masse– 58.41
Breast Chelsea Hodges – 1:06.69 Lily King- 1:05.67 Sophie Angus- 1:07.60
Fly Brianna Throssell – 57.31 Torri Huske- 56.28 Maggie MacNeil- 57.13
Free Mollie O’Callaghan – 52.49 Claire Curzan– 53.58 Kayla Sanchez- 53.68
Aggregate Time 3:54.98 3:53.29 3:56.82

Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay:

AUSTRALIA USA Great Britain Italy
Top Swimmer At Trials Top Swimmer At Trials Top Swimmer At Trials Top Swimmer At Trials
Back Isaac Cooper – 54.02 Hunter Armstrong – 52.20 Luke Greenbank – 54.58 Thomas Ceccon –52.99
Breast Zac Stubblety-Cook – 59.60 Nic Fink – 58.37 James Wilby –  59.17 Nicolo Martinheighi – 58.57
Fly Matt Temple – 51.50 Caeleb Dressel – 50.01 James Guy – 51.69 Piero Codia – 51.65
Free William Yang – 48.55 Brooks Curry – 48.02 Lewis Burras – 47.88 Alessandro Miressi- 47.88
Aggregate Time 3:33.67 3:28.60 3:33.32 3:31.09

Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay:

Australia USA China
Top Swimmer At Trials Top Swimmer At Trials Season Bests
Back Kaylee McKeown – 58.49 Regan Smith– 57.76 Xu Jiayu – 53.36
Breast Zac Stubblety-Cook59.60 Nic Fink – 58.37 Yan Zibei – 58.87
Fly Matt Temple – 51.50 Caeleb Dressel – 50.01 Zhang Yufei – 56.24
Free Mollie O’Callaghan – 52.49 Claire Curzan– 53.35 Yang Junxuan – 53.42
Aggregate Time 3:42.08 3:39.49 3:41.89

What’s Next For The Superstars

Zac Stubblety-Cook

Stubblety-Cook torched Anton Chupkov’s mark of 2:06.12 to break the 200 breast world record in a time of 2:05.95, becoming the first man to ever go under 2:06. Not only was the overall time incredible, but his last 50 was as well, considering that he closed in a lightning-fast split of 31.63.

With his swim, Stubblety-Cook establishes himself as the clear favorite in the 200 breast in Budapest. Last year, he was the Olympic champion, but raced in a field where many big-name swimmers were off their personal bests. However, with Shoma Sato and former world record holder Ippei Watanabe not going to worlds, and Chupkov (who is Russian) being banned, the only person who would be remotely competitive with Stubblety-Cook is Arno Kamminga. And even Kamminga only has a best time of 2:06.85, which is far and away from Stubblety-Cook’s time at trials. In addition, Stubblety-Cook thinks that he can go even faster than his world record if he improves on his front half.

Stubblety-Cook also established himself as Australia’s top 100 breastroker as well, winning that race in a time of 59.60. He was the only man under a minute, and will most likely be the one swimming breaststroke on the men’s and mixed medley relay at Budapest, just like he did at the Olympics. 

Ariarne Titmus

Having decided that she wasn’t going to worlds, Titmus still delivered race after race this meet. First, she finished fifth in the 100 free with a personal best time of 53.68, which is pretty impressive considering how competitive Australia’s 100 free is and that this is like, her fourth-best event. 

Then, she scared Federica Pelligrini’s 200 free world record (1:52.98) by posting a time of 1:53.31, just letting that World Record line escape her in the last few meters of the race. It was still the third-fastest performance in the history, and faster than anyone else in a textile suit aside from herself (her personal best time is a 1:53.09 from last year’s Olympic trials). But most importantly, it increased speculation that she could break Katie Ledecky’s world record in the 400 free later in the meet.

And that’s exactly what Titmus did. After swimming a relatively pedestrian 4:06.25 time in prelims, she took down Ledecky’s world record in 3:56.40. With a long course world record under her belt, Titmus can clearly establish herself as the best middle-distance swimmer in the world. The question is: what’s next for her? At the Commonwealth Games, the 200 free is gonna be on the first day of the meet, giving her another chance to wipe out the oldest women’s world record in the books. In addition, she also has the potential to lower her own 400 free world record by a greater margin at that meet as well. 

In terms of racing strategy, we saw Titmus change her style up in the 400 free. Although she’s known for closing her race very fast, having run down Katie Ledecky and Siobhan Haughey in the 400 and 200 respectively in Tokyo, she actually took out her world record swim very fast before slowing down at the end. She outpaced Ledecky’s time on her first 200, splitting a blistering 1:56.99, but then was out-split by Ledecky on her back half. Is she going to keep this strategy in the future, or was this race a fluke out of her many back half-heavy swims?

Kaylee McKeown

Out of all of the major stars at this meet, Kaylee McKeown probably has the most crowded schedule out of them all. She won the 100 back (58.49), 200 back (2:05.31), 200 IM (2:09.15), and 400 IM (4:31.74), but was well off her best times in all of her events aside from the 400 IM. That being said, she’s well ahead of the rest of her competitors in all of these events, meaning she didn’t have to be at her best to win. 

In the backstrokes, she’ll face the usual challengers of Regan Smith and Kylie Masse, as well as the emerging threat of Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White in the 200 back and potentially Claire Curzan in the 100. Although McKeown holds the second-best time in the 100 back (58.31) and the top time in the 200 back (2:04.64) this year, neither of them being set at trials, it’s worth noting that her performances at trials would have placed third in both backstrokes at U.S. trials. She’s going to need to be significantly faster in Budapest in order to stay on top of the throne in her main events.

For McKeown, the IMs are new territory, considering that she didn’t swim either race at the Olympics to focus on the backstrokes. She ended up deciding not to swim the 400 IM at Worlds, meaning she’s only swimming the 200 IM in Budapest and possibly both IMs in Birmingham. Either way, she has one major rival in both events: Alex Walsh in the 200 IM, and Summer McIntosh in the 400 IM.

McKeown’s best time of 2:08.19 in the 200 IM would have been fast enough to win Olympic gold last year. However, Walsh has already bested that mark this year, winning U.S. trials in 2:07.84. Even though the American is a few tenths faster than McKeown’s best time, if McKeown can go faster at worlds, they could be in for a very good race. Walsh’s strongest stroke is breaststroke, whereas McKeown’s best stroke in the IM is turning out to be that as well, considering that she split a very fast 1:15.74 breaststroke in her 400 IM.

The 400 IM, however, is another story. At the Commonwealth Games, the heavy favorite remains the 15-year-old McIntosh, who has the fastest time in the world at 4:29.12. However, what’s interesting is that although McKeown’s best time is almost three seconds slower than McIntosh’s, she was actually faster than McIntosh by a similar margin at her respective trial, as the Canadian went 4:34.86 at Canada’s trials meet.

Rising Newcomers

Lani Pallister

Lani Pallister likely qualified for worlds in four events, finishing sixth in the 200 free (1:56.28), second in the 400 free (4:02.21), and winning both the 800 (8:17.77) and 1500 free (15:55.40). She set personal bests in all four events. In the 400 free, she became the second-fastest Australian ever in the event, just behind Ariarne Titmus’s world record. In addition, her 800 free time is third in the world behind Americans Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith.

This meet was a big bounce back meet for Pallister, as she didn’t make the Olympic team last year. In addition, she was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), a condition that forced her to undergo surgery. After getting surgery, she also experienced an eating disorder that negatively impacted her swimming last year. However, according to her, she is now seeking professional help and “back and better than ever”.

Flynn Southam

After sitting out of last year’s Olympic trials to focus on his mental health, Flynn Southam made his mark on Australian swimming by finishing third in the 100 free and fourth in the 200 free. Although his times would have been competitive on the Australian freestyle relays, Southam instead opted out of World Championships to compete at the upcoming Junior Pan Pacs meet.

A decision like this makes sense for Southam, as he wouldn’t qualify to race individually in Budapest. Racing at Junior Pan Pacs will allow him to gain more experience doing individual events on an international level and help him more in the long run leading up to Paris 2024, something he mentioned in his Instagram post explaining his decision. In addition, he’s not the first swimmer to make this type of choice before. Maggie MacNeil opted to race at Junior Pan Pacs over senior Pan Pacs in 2018, which ended up boding well for her when she won the 100 fly at 2019 World Championships a year later.

Shayna Jack

World Championships is a bittersweet meet for Shayna Jack, considering that the last time the event was held in 2019, she was sent home just days before the meet started due to a positive doping test. She later ended up receiving a two-year ban from the sport, and Budapest 2022 marks her first international meet back since being banned.

Jack established herself as one of her country’s top sprinters, taking second in the 100 free (52.60) and first in the 50 free (24.14). She holds the second and third fastest times in the world in those events respectively.

Mollie O’Callaghan

18-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan is exactly what we hoped of her and more. She proved to us at this meet that her World Junior Record  in the 200 free from last summer was not a fluke, swimming her way to become the fastest on her 4×100 and 4×200 free relays in Budapest. In addition, her 52.49 made her the eighth-fastest of all time in the women’s 100 free. She came home that race in a 26.57, which is the fastest back half ever in the women’s 100 free.

In addition to her freestyle performances, O’Callaghan also proved to be a very strong backstroker. She finished first in the 50 back (27.46), and as well as second in the 100 (59.12) and 200 back (2:08.48). With those performances, she cements herself as an elite swimmer in two strokes, and helps build the depth in Australian women’s backstroke behind Kaylee McKeown.

USA vs. Australia: Who’s Actually Better?

Throughout Australian trials, there was a lot of banter in our comments over who was the better swimming nation: the United States or Australia. Because of this discourse, we decided to compare their times from trials side by side, for both men and women. We took the winning time from each event, as well as the time that it took to finish eighth, and highlighted the faster time.

Women’s Events:

USA – 8th Place Time USA – Winning Time Event AUS – Winning Time AUS – 8th Place Time
25.22 24.50 50 Free 24.14 25.28
54.55 53.35 100 Free 52.49 54.93
1:58.22 1:55.11 200 Free 1:53.31  1:56.82
4:13.63 3:59.52 400 Free 3:56.40 (WR) 4:14.81
8:36.85 8:09.27 800 Free 8:17.77 8:48.01
16:36.06 15:38.99 1500 Free 15:55.40 17:10.98
28.44 27.12 50 Back 27.46 29.06
1:00.48 57.76 100 Back 58.49 1:02.16
2:10.92 2:05.08 200 Back 2:05.31 2:15.42
26.53 25.49 50 Fly 26.02 27.18
58.86 56.28 100 Fly 57.31 1:00.53
2:10.70 2:06.35 200 Fly  2:07.62 2:14.71
31.82 29.76 50 Breast 30.15 32.61
1:09.36 1:05.67 100 Breast 1:06.69 1:09.02
2:29.78 2:21.19 200 Breast 2:23.26 2:31.62
2:17.62 2:07.84 200 IM 2:09.15 2:18.79
4:50.07 4:36.17 400 IM 4:31.74 4:51.71

Overall, on the women’s side, Australia’s winning times were faster than the Americans in five events, and they had two eighth place finishes that were faster than Americans. When you only account for freestyle races, Australia had four faster winning times (out of six), and one faster eighth-place time.

These results make sense, considering that Australia is missing top-end talent like Emma McKeon and the Campbell sisters, and Kaylee McKeown wasn’t on her best times in a lot of her races. In addition, the Aussies are better known for their top-end women’s freestyle talent, while Americans tend to have more depth (especially in the stroke and IM races).

Men’s Events:

USA – 8th Place Time USA – Winning Time Event AUS – Winning Time AUS – 8th Place Time
22.35 21.29 50 Free 21.86 22.59
48.52 47.79 100 Free 48.55 49.34
1:47.99 1:45.25 200 Free 1:45.80 1:47.96
3:53.50 3:46.61 400 Free 3:43.10 3:52.41
8:04.65 7:43.32 800 Free 7:45.30 8:04.92
15:27.21 14:45.72 1500 Free 15:05.55 15:33.87
25.10 23.71 (WR) 50 Back 24.44 25.90
54.15 52.20 100 Back 54.02 55.79
1:58.80 1:55.01 200 Back 1:56.71 2:02.20
24.33 22.84 50 Fly 23.21 24.31
52.69 50.20 100 Fly 51.50 52.70
1:57.09 1:54.10 200 Fly  1:56.49 2:03.00
28.50 26.52 50 Breast 27.05 28.25
1:01.38 58.37 100 Breast 59.60 1:01.28
2:15.04 2:08.84 200 Breast 2:05.95 (WR) 2:17.39
1:59.83 1:56.21 200 IM 1:58.59 2:02.82
4:21.75 4:09.33 400 IM 4:11.88 4:26.24

On the men’s side, the Aussies only had a faster winning time in two events: the 200 breast and the 400 free. However, in five different events, the Australian men had a faster eighth-place finisher than the Americans. This is significantly more than what the Australian women have, which is surprising, considering that the women’s team is widely regarded to be more successful internationally than the men’s team is right now.

Possible explanations for this could be a pool of young age group talent being developed in Australia, with the likes of Flynn Southam, Isaac Cooper, and Dylan Andrea turning heads at trials. In addition, many college stars on the men’s side were also miss at U.S. trials this year, which could also account for the discrepancies.

In This Story

70
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
70 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nick
2 months ago

I think Ariarne is proving that not only can she race alone and swim fast but she can also race against tough competition and win. This is Katie’s weakness, she has probably swum most of her career unchallenged and as soon as she is challenged at the end of a race it breaks her. E.g Budapest and Tokyo 400s.

Swimmerj
2 months ago

This article is excellent.

jamesjabc
2 months ago

A number of takeaways from this article:

1 – No sane, reasonable Australian adult has ever said that if you line up USA and Australia side by side in each event that Australia would win more events or have more depth. It’s basically just trolls who like to bait the Americans (who, in fairness, get baited and have meltdowns very easily). I am planning to fly to Sydney for Duel in the Pool but I expect Aussies to get slaughtered. You have USA, who have the third biggest population in the world, the most interest in swimming in the world and who outspends every other country in the world by a country mile vs Australia who has a population smaller… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by jamesjabc
Robbos
Reply to  jamesjabc
2 months ago

Totally agree with your point no1. Australia won 9 golds in Tokyo, this was our greatest achievement in the pool ever.
Every Aussie swimming fan was stoked with this return.
If the US won 9 golds at the Olympic swim meet, this would be regarded as poor to just ok in the US.
The US has always been the top dog & by a fair way in swimming, the only times it’s been challenged has been by the East Germans 70s & 80s & the Chinese for a short period in 90s both in the women’s & there was a reason for that.
Currently we are very strong in women’s freestyle & Backstroke, OK but lacking… Read more »

Joel
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

In 2001, Australia won 13 gold and USA won 9. But I get your point.

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

Haha came to say the same thing. But the exception proves the rule.

Not only did Aus have generational talents in that team, from memory, that also coincided with one of the shallowest US teams ever. And even then, they still had a meet anyone, including Aus would have been thrilled with.

Joel
Reply to  Fraser Thorpe
2 months ago

I reckon Australia’s junior team this year will go well at junior pan pacs. And would have done well compared to USA at world juniors last year.

Troyy
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

I think we’ll do better in the relays this year than we would’ve last year. I hope they will have a decent stream for the meet.

Robbos
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

I was talking Olympics, that was World championships with all those rubbish 50s of the other strokes. Not real events in my eyes.
That was also the last big big meet before a certain Michael Phelps took over.

Mark
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

In 2001 Australia only won one 50 m form stroke event (Huegill 50 m fly). It was a clear overall win to Australia over the US (but I agree with the commenters who say it was the exception that proves the rule). In reality, the gold medal tally should have been 14-8 in Australia’s favour, because Australia won the women’s 4*200 relay, only to be disqualified for swimmers jumping into the pool after they had finished but a split second before the 8th placed team finished. After various protests, US were also disqualified for an early changeover but after video evidence was looked at the end result was both US and GB received gold medals. But Australia won the race,… Read more »

Joel
Reply to  Mark
2 months ago

The Japanese cameraman told them to jump in.

commonwombat
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

You’ve said everything I wished to say. Tokyo, as was the case with 2001 Worlds, will most likely remain an outlier for both AUS & USA for the reasons you’ve stated.

Indeed, history shows that the so-called rivalry has, in reality, only truly existed in two periods (1956-72) and off-on post 2000 where they have banked the majority of their Olympic medals. Outside these times, they have always produced outstanding performers but as a whole, an upper 2nd level team.

Am largely on same page as James re Budapest outcomes. Given the reduced strength team; 4-5 golds is probably a “break even”.

  • W4X100 & ZSC look the strongest chances
  • McKeown to most likely “bat” 1/3 for golds,
… Read more »

Mark
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

The rivalry existed from 1995-2008, when at most major meets (Olympics, worlds, Pan Pacs) it was US first Australia 2nd on the gold medal tally (with Australia winning in 2001). Australia almost beat the US at 95 and 99 PPs and 2005 worlds, and in 98 worlds and 2004 Olympics Australia won 7 golds each time. But since 2008 until last year the rivalry was one sided, with exception of 2015 worlds (8-7 golds).

commonwombat
Reply to  Mark
2 months ago

Whilst AUS may’ve been 2nd on the golds list or total medals; only occaisionally has it been the case that its been competitive or anything other than one side.

The one area where it can be said that a legitimate rivalry HAS developed has been relays. Prior to 1996, AUS only rarely put any major emphasis on relays and any such successes or even relay medals were rare. Since then, its been the case that major stars ‘bought into” relays and, especially with the women, its passed on from on generation to the next.

Mark
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

Nonsense that it was one-sided between US and Australia between 1995 and 2008. As I said in my first post, just about every major meet in that period had Australia challenging the US – in a number of cases (1995 & 1999 PPs, 2005 WC), the US only finished ahead by 1 or 2 gold medals. In 2001, as has been discussed, Australia clearly won the gold medal tally. In 1998 WC, 2004 Oly and 2008 Oly the margin ended up being 5 or 6 gold medals, but it was only in the last day or so of each meet that the margin extended. In 2008 Phelps was the difference. The rivalry faded after 2008, but it was back last… Read more »

12 plus gold in budapest
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

why do so many aussies assume the 200im is basically a lock? Walsh went 2:07 last month

Troyy
Reply to  12 plus gold in budapest
2 months ago

Comment doesn’t even mention the 200 IM.

commonwombat
Reply to  12 plus gold in budapest
2 months ago

Never mentioned it ? TBH; I see it as the least likely of McKeown’s individual events and I don’t see her as a “lock” in any.

jamesjabc
Reply to  12 plus gold in budapest
2 months ago

They literally said they expect Kaylee to win 1/3, the most likely of those being the 200 back. Can you read?

Fean Darris
Reply to  jamesjabc
2 months ago

You would not be talking in this back-footed tone if the Stillnox-6 era was today, can’t pick a fight with a beast and then just play possum.

Sub13
Reply to  Fean Darris
2 months ago

I literally have no idea what this sentence is supposed to mean lol. There is no context and it doesn’t make sense

Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Canada is my favorite in the 4×200 FR IMO.

Prediction:
Ruck 1:55.95
Sanchez 1:55.75
McIntosh 1:54.16
Oleksiak 1:54.08
7:39.94.

The US on the other hand isn’t looking as good as it was last year.

Prediction:
Weinstein 1:56.98
Flickinger: 1:56.79
Smith: 1:56.09
Ledecky: 1:53.69
7:43.55

jamesjabc
Reply to  Sherry Smit
2 months ago

I agree. I think Canada is way faster than their trials suggest. I would say gold is between China, Aus and Canada with USA a close 4th. That’s not to say the USA won’t medal, because they were well might depending on how things play out, but their ceiling feels lower than the other 3.

commonwombat
Reply to  jamesjabc
2 months ago

CAN probably do have the biggest “upside” from their Trials. USA will be better than their Trials suggest but other than Ledecky, it doesn’t really look a vintage year. Still leaning CHN

Cali
2 months ago

Do we see Ledecky getting her 4FR record back?

jamesjabc
Reply to  Cali
2 months ago

Doubtful. She hasn’t been anywhere near her WR for 6 years. The closest she got was Tokyo last year where she was 0.9 away. Obviously never say never, but the evidence certainly isn’t pointing in that direction. And she also appears to be prioritising the longer events.

I don’t foresee Ledecky swimming another WR. However, she IS Katie Ledecky so if anyone was going to swim a surprise WR it’s her.

Cali
2 months ago

Honestly, I really have my eyes set on Pallister. I really do believe that she will get herself on the podium in the 800. With no Titmus and a recent 8:17.7, I see her getting a top 3 finish in that race. I also think her 1500 can come down in a major way by the end of the summer

jamesjabc
Reply to  Cali
2 months ago

I agree. I don’t see her getting any gold but she is ranked 3rd in the 400, 800 and 1500 this year (if you exclude Titmus in the 400 who won’t be there).

Robbos
Reply to  jamesjabc
2 months ago

Pallister is looking long term Paris 24. Any colour medal in any of those events would be huge for her, especially 400 or 800.
Very hard to get Gold in those events when you have K Ledecky in the lineup.

Last edited 2 months ago by Robbos
commonwombat
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

Concur 100%. Making finals in her individual events and performing to at least/approximate “par” with her Trials times should be her “pass mark”. Quite likely that she will pick up a relay medal via 4X200; any individual medal this year should be seen as a bonus.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
2 months ago

I seriously doubt Regan Smith will swim the 4 x 100 meter mixed medley relay with the semifinals of the women’s 50 meter backstroke and the semifinals of the women’s 200 butterfly prior to the final of the 4 x 100 meter mixed medley relay.

https://www.fina.org/news/2510322/fina-announces-the-competition-schedule-for-the-fina-world-championships-budapest-2022

Admin
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
2 months ago

She swam a triple at Pac-12s, and was faster in the 400 medley relay at the end than she was in the 100 back at the beginning. She swam an even tougher triple at Pac-12s and finished the session with a 47.7 rolling start in the 100 free on a relay (her flat-start best is 48.07 from 2019, though she was 47.4 at Pac-12s.

So, two relevant data points. Though short course is different than long course.

I think that’s at least enough evidence that ‘if others aren’t swimming well,’ it’s something for the coaches to consider.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

There is only one event between the semifinals of the women’s 200 meter butterfly and the final of the 4 x 100 meter mixed medley relay.

olivy
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

200 fly long course is a different animal, and it’s just two events ahead of the relay.

Calvin
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
2 months ago

But if you use Armstrong or Murphy, you won’t be able to use Dressel, which is a no brainer. And Regan does well with doubles, let’s not doubt her.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Calvin
2 months ago

I prefer fresh swimmers for the relays:

MMFF

Armstrong/Murphy
Fink/Andrew
Huske
Curzan

No doubles let alone triples in the evening session.

Troyy
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
2 months ago

Dressel really is a difference maker but Smith’s 200 fly really ruins it.

52.20 58.37 56.28 53.58 = 3:40.43 Hunter Fink Huske, Curzan
58.39 58.37 49.50 53.35 = 3:39.61 Curzan Fink Dressel Huske
57.76 58.37 49.50 53.35 = 3:38.98 Smith Fink Dressel Huske

All trials times except Dressel.

olivy
Reply to  Calvin
2 months ago

Why is it a no brainer? The head coach should give priority to the team as a whole rather than giving Dressel more gold medal chances. And it’s not a double for Smith. It’s a TRIPLE, including a 200 fly in it.

Calvin
Reply to  olivy
2 months ago

I say it’s a no brainer considering how ahead of the competition he is. He’s capable of 49 flat splits, which has at least a 1 second advantage against countries like GB and James throwing a 50 flat split. It would be dumb to leave him off the relay but I get where you’re coming from. They can use Claire or Rhyan, but I think it’s a bad idea to leave him off the relay considering Hunter isn’t way ahead of his competition. If he’s on fire (as he was during Trials), they can use him but I really don’t know. It’s a difficult decision and we know how bad the coaches are with these decisions.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Calvin
2 months ago

Substitute Claire Curzan or Rhyan White for Regan Smith.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Calvin
2 months ago

It’s not a double for Regan Smith, it’s a TRIPLE during the evening session.

Samuel Huntington
2 months ago

Disagree that the Aussie women’s medley relay is not “looking very good”. Probably going to get the silver medal. An off leg by the Americans and the Aussies are right there for the gold.

jeff
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
2 months ago

Over Canada? MacNeil is still swimming relays right? I would think that the Canadian medley team still has an advantage over the Aussies

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

It comes down to the breaststroke between the Australians and Canadians.

olivy
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

Canadian breaststroke is a big hole to fill.

commonwombat
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

Backstroke = par
Breaststroke = both significantly weaker than USA but AUS has a significant gap over CAN
Fly = McKeon absence weakens AUS, McNeill can bridge the majority of gap
Free = IF Oleksiak is “on” then this is close otherwise Adv AUS

Troyy
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

MacNeil could feasibly outsplit Throssell by a second and a half or more completely erasing the breaststroke gap.

Miss M
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

Could, although MacNeill was only 0.18 faster than Throssell at trials.

commonwombat
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

IF McNeill is at Tokyo level … and she has had a recent injury.

It may depend on which Throssell turns up … and the race situation handed to her by the breaststroker. She IS capable of a 58 shocker … or given she can produce 57low flat start, she could produce a 56mid. Certainly a clear Adv CAN leg but the extent is not set in stone.

Miss M
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

On trials times, Australia is 1.91 seconds faster than Canada!

McKeown slightly faster than Masse
Strauch a second faster than Angus
Throssell only slightly slower than McNeill
O’Callaghan over a second faster than Sanchez/Oleksiak

Last edited 2 months ago by Miss M
12 plus gold in budapest
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

they don’t really have a breastroker and what makes you think Macneil isn’t slower than last year

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
2 months ago

The Australian women’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay has a greater chance of an off leg in the breaststroke and butterfly.

Troyy
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
2 months ago

Canadians are favoured for silver because Australia has two weak legs to Canada’s one and no one is beating the USA with a weak breast leg.

commonwombat
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

CAN can win IF both McNeill & Oleksiak are in Tokyo level form and AUS BRS is no better than CAN BRS.

Barring a break or missing the bus to the pool, USA isn’t losing this one.

Troyy
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

If MacNeil is on Tokyo level then the breast doesn’t even need to be on par because MacNeil could erase the whole breaststroke gap and then some. I’ll be very surprised if Throssel splits faster than 57+. I really hope Throssell puts all of her focus on training 100 fly between trials and WCs.

Last edited 2 months ago by Troyy
Miss M
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

Throssell swam a 57.31 at trials. It would be a surprise if she didn’t split at least a 56 high.

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 …

Read More »