King Kyle 1:45.7 200 Free, Larkin Fastest 1Back Since 2015 At Aussie Trials



Despite entering this 6-day meet as the top seed and veritable shoe-in for a slot on the Gwangju roster in both backstroke events, World Champion and Olympic medalist Emily Seebohm finished way back in 4th in the women’s 100m back tonight.

Establishing herself as the 2nd seed in a time 1:00.26, Seebohm missed breaking the minute mark tonight, despite having done so more than an almost unfathomable 60+ times in her career. Seebohm wound up hitting the wall in 1:00.29 in the final here in Brisbane.

Taking the meet title was her 19-year-old teammate in Minna Atherton, the 50m back World Junior Record holder who has been making steady improvements over the last year. Atherton took gold tonight in 59.20, slicing .14 off of her previous lifetime best of 59.34 hit just this past April for the Aussie national title, with her outing this evening bumping her into the #3 slot among all-time Aussies in the event.

Atherton’s time clears the 59.82 Aussie-mandated QT needed to make the World Championships roster, as does runner-up Kaylee McKeown.s mark of 59.28. This 100m back is 17-year-old McKeown’s 2nd event for Worlds already, as the teen already nailed qualification in the 200m IM on night 1.

All-Time Aussie Women Performers in the 100 Back

  1. 58.23 Emily Seebohm 1992 London 28.07.12
  2. 58.75 Madison Wilson 1994 Kazan 04.08.15
  3. Minna Atherton – 59.20
  4. 59.25 Kaylee McKeown 2001 Tokyo 09.08.18
  5. 59.29 Belinda Hocking 1990 London 30.07.12

Seebohm’s situation echoes the fate of Mack Horton in the men’s 400m free from night 1, as the Olympic champion missed qualification in that event. Seebohm still has the 200m backstroke event to contest here in Brisbane.

Of note, finishing in 6th in the race was 15-year-old Mollie O’Callagh of St. Peters Western. With her time of 1:01.12 tonight the young swimmer becomes the 4th fastest backstroker ever for her age.


Just 1 man made the mark in the 100m back tonight, but it was a big one. 2015 double World Champion Mitch Larkin crushed his fastest time since that year, hitting the wall for gold tonight in 52.38.

That time easily clears the 53.76 needed to make the World Championships roster, as well as puts Larkin only behind China’s Xu Jiayu in the season’s world rankings.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 100 BACK

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Post-Rio, Larkin dabbled around in different training groups, first landing on Simon Cusack, then at Commercial, prior to returning back to St. Peters Western to give Dean Boxall a try. Boxall has been making magic happen for freestyle ace Ariarne Titmus and the, by all accounts, unconventional coach has been helping Larkin get back to form.

Larkin was already 53.73 at Aussie Nationals where he took home yet another title, but tonight’s sub-53 mark is a terrific indication of what we may see from the 25-year-old in the 200m IM as well.


The women’s 100m breaststroke field couldn’t keep the World Championships qualifying streak alive, as winner Jessica Hansen fell shy of the stiff 1:06.81 qualification mark set by Swimming Australia.

Hitting the wall tonight in 1:07.06, Hansen shaved .25 off of her morning effort 1:07.33, but well off her personal best of 1:06.20 logged in Tokyo last year for Pan Pacs silver. Her fastest thus far in 2019 was the 1:07.48 that earned her silver behind Abbey Harkin at Nationals in April.

Harkin’s time there in Adelaide was 1:07.83, while the St. Peters Western athlete touched the wall in 1:09.08 to claim the 5th seed this morning. She wound up taking bronze this evening in 1:07.93.

22-year-old Bond athlete Jenna Strauch, the woman who snared bronze at Nationals in a time of 1:07.79, a lifetime best, tied that outing this evening for silver.

Both Georgia Bohl and Taylor McKeown were well off the podium in positions 5th and 6th, respectively, in tonight’s final. Bohl has proven she’s capable of that QT type of time, holding a PB of 1:06.12, although it was from the 2016 Nationals.

She wrangled up bronze last year on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games, but mustered just a 1:07.22, a mark about a half a second outside the QT needed for Gwangju. Bohl most recently was 1:08.59 in April for 4th at Nationals.


The men’s 200m free lived up to its billing, with a thrilling battle between Australian National Champion Kyle Chalmers of Marion and Clyde Lewis of St. Peters Western.

This morning, King Kyle produced an easy morning swim of 1:46.35, splitting 51.95/54.40 to claim the 2nd seed in 1:46.35. Tonight, King Kyle threw down the 2nd fastest outing of his young carer, blasting a mark of 1:45.76 to qualify for next month’s World Championships in both the individual event, as well as a member of the Aussie men’s 4x200m free relay.

Chalmers’ splits tonight include 52.06/53.70. His time inserts Chalmers into the season’s world rankings at #7 this season, with runner-up Lewis right behind in slot #8.

1:46.30 is what the Marion Olympic champion threw down for the Aussie National title back in April, one of four he would win in addition to the 100m free, 100m fly and 50m free there in Adelaide.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 200 FREE

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Versatile Lewis swam the race of his life tonight to claim the 2nd individual roster spot. Entering this meet,the 21-year-old’s personal best rested at the 1:46.54 established at Pan Pacs last year, so tonight marks his first time ever under 1:46.

This morning it was 24-year-old Alex Graham who surged to the top of the prelims pack in a mark of 1:46.14, a new personal best for the Bond athlete. Graham finished 6th in this event on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games, finishing with a mark of 1:47.01 in the final.

Tonght Graham earned bronze in 1:46.25, just .11 off of that aforementioned PB.

4th place this evening went to Jack McLoughlin in 1:46.82, which means that both Olympic medalist Mack Horton and reigning World Junior Record holder Elijah Winnington are shut out of relay spots.


  • GOLD – Maddie Gough 15:56.39 *Worlds QT
  • SILVER – Kiah Melverton 15:56.46 *Worlds QT
  • BRONZE – Lani Pallister, 16:06.84 *Worlds QT

The top 5 women all cleared the 16:20.98 World Championships qualification mark set by Swimming Australia but all eyes were on the top 2 swimmers tonight as Maddie Gough and Kiah Melverton drew the almost 16-minute race down to the touch.

Gough got the victory in 15:56.39, while Melverton hit the wall just .07 behind in 15:56.46. Both times check-in as personal bests for the pair, with the duo also shaking up the all-time Aussies list.

All-Time Women’s Aussie Performers in 1500m Free:

  1. 15:52.17 Jessica Ashwood 1993 Kazan 04.08.15
  2. Maddie Gough, 15:56.39 tonight
  3. Kiah Melverton, 15:56.46 tonight
  4. 16:00.14 Kareena Lee 1993 Adelaide 30.06.18
  5. 16:01.53 Melissa Gorman 1985 Irvine 21.08.10

Gouth now ranks 3rd in the world, while Melverton moves into the 4th slot. Gough originally committed to swim for the University of Wisconsin, but decided to stay home and train under Chris Nesbit at TSS Aquatics, a move that seems to be agreeing with her.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 1500 FREE

USA 15.45.5901/12
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Additionally, 3-time Junior Pan Pacs gold medalist Lani Pallister of Cotton Tree became the fastest 17-year-old Aussie ever in the event, hitting 16:06.84 to clear the previous Age Record of 16:10.11 set by Janelle Elford way back in 1987.

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Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
3 years ago

Congratulations to Kyle on his coronation! I must have missed the story when it happened. Wonder if he was crowned as a part of some coup, or whether his dad, the former king, expired and passed on the mantle of king.

Reply to  Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
3 years ago

Kyle Chalmers was crowned on August 10 2016….the coronation was fast, it only took 47.58 seconds…he achieved his status at such a young age by performance on the battle field, a swimming pool in Rio!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

On the same day Mr. Dressel finished 6th.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

The crown will be recontested in fight to the death on July 28 2020 in Tokyo…Mr Dressel is one of the pretenders to the throne.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

So if he loses this summer do we keep up this ruse that he’s a king? Would the winner then get the crown?

Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 years ago

It’s just a nickname . No big deal . Mountains out of molehills

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 years ago

Depends who wins . I think you have to have a monarchy or its fake king surely.

Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 years ago

Nah, can’t be dethroned until Tokyo.

Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 years ago

Who was the king of the 100 free when Nathan Adrian won in 2012 surrounded by Maggie’s double world champs in 2011 & 2013?

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
3 years ago

The reigning monarch can be a Queen . There is one poor chap who has been waiting decade after decade after decade for the bell .

There have been some very bizarre pics from the Palace recently , Some orange guy seems to be making a move!

Reply to  Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
3 years ago

Must have been sleeping!!!

Here Comes Lezak
3 years ago

Shrimp on the Barbie!

3 years ago

Australia doesn’t take top 6 for the relay? Is this confirmed and how it’s always been done in the past?

Seriously strange to see no Horton, McEvoy, or Fraser-Holmes if that’s the case. They’ve been staples on that relay.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 years ago

If Fraser-Holmes qualifies in the 400im, he’ll get the relay berth

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 years ago

Top 4 are definites. If those others that you name qualify for the team in other events they its likely they may be drafted for heats. Its likely they will try and steer away from “relay only” selections wherever possible. Graham is probably the only one of the top 4 finishers who may not qualify individually but its quite likely he will finish top 4 in the 100. Finishing 5/6th is always going to be precarious for selection if other finalists qualify in other events and there is scant difference in times.

3 years ago

Wow only three events tomorrow .. could have packed this into 5 days maybe

3 years ago

200 free: i remember 1.43.14 in London, 2012, by Yannick Agnel. That’s incredible.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Paolo
3 years ago

And then he was Bowman’d.

Reply to  Paolo
3 years ago

Yup, at this rate, it won’t be broken in many years.

Reply to  Philip
3 years ago

Dean Farris

Reply to  Tm71
3 years ago

He will come ….soon

3 years ago

What do you mean by Boxall being an unconventional coach by all accounts? What should we know about him and his coaching style?

Reply to  Retta Race
3 years ago


3 years ago

Clyde Lewis (20) first sub-1.46 is a great news for Australia. Graham is very solid and considering Winnington and Cartwright, beside, obviously, Chalmers (terrible that pic’s angle at the start) there’s future for Aussie 800 free relay

Reply to  nuotofan
3 years ago

The 4X200 certainly looks the strongest of the AUS men’s relays however it has to be acknowledged that this is probably the most open/competitive of the men’s relays ….. and I wouldn’t be inking in any medals just yet. Having said that, it looks to be the case that the previous generation who promised a lot for this relay but were erratic in delivery (McEvoy/TFH/McKeon) look to have been replaced in the pecking order by a new batch/generation who may hopefully prove more consistent.

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

Russia a little ahead of aus now 0,3 summing up trials
USA must be on the same league
Gbr 2 seconds behind bra 3 unless they flop or Brazil get a surprise like last SC world or gbr throw down a 2017 like result Aus is safe this year at last

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

Australia will be in contention for winning minor medal….USA is the favourite to win gold.

Reply to  Shibly
3 years ago

Russia usa and aus seems pretty much on the mix
Gbr a little behind then Brazil then China and Japan

Reply to  Rafael
3 years ago

U got to Put Brazil in the mix for a medal …they are very dangerous since Pan pacs last year . Usa / Russia / Uk / Brazil / AustRALIA , i beleive those 5 will battle hard this summer and next for the medals . Its wide open as COMMONWOMBAT has underlined so well .

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

In Rio, two of the trio you keep maligning actually delivered. TFH led the off in a smart 1.45.81 while McKeon split 1.45.63. Australia were in line for silver but a painfully slow 1.47.37 third leg from Smith meant that a pretty smart anchor leg split of 1.45.37 from Horton was only good enough for fourth. It’s still a mystery as to why McEvoy was not selected to swim in either the heats or the final of that relay. It definitely cost Australia a medal.

Reply to  straightblackline
3 years ago

Yes, 3 legs DID swim well in Rio but my point is that the likes of McEvoy (esp with this relay), McKeon & to a lesser degree TFH were often unreliable performers on this relay. McEvoy never split any faster than a 1.46 despite a 1.45 slat start PB and was just as liable to drop a 1.48. Rio was probably the 2nd time in his career that McKeon actually delivered a performance for this relay. Yes, they Could’ve brought in McEvoy for Smith in the Rio final and he MAY’ve swum the house down …… my point is that he was no secure bet and we not know until after he retires the backstory as to why he didn’t… Read more »

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

You are really under estimaring what TFH has done in this relay over the past few years. He was the only reliable 200 free swimmer that Australia had over the past decade.

Reply to  DRAMA KING
3 years ago

I WILL reconsider my initial point and remove TFH from the relay “unreliables” list. However, your contention re “only reliable 200 free swimmer” only holds true up to and including 2014 when we are talking about the individual event. Missed individual qualification for 2015 Worlds and failed to make final in Rio. Hasn’t been sighted since then until this meet.

3 years ago

Larkin’s 100 back PB (52.11) was swum in the fall 2015. At Worlds2015 in Kazan Larkin won in 52.40, two hundredths slower than today.

Reply to  nuotofan
3 years ago

He actually swam a 52.43 for 4th in Rio

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Mike
3 years ago

Won’t medal at Worlds either.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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