Men’s 100 Free – Final
This is the swim that all have been waiting for from James Magnussen. In the finals of the men’s 100 free on Monday, he officially put the World Record on notice, when he swam a 47.10. That’s easily a textile best (bettering his 47.4 from last year’s World Championships), within .05 of Eamon Sullivan’s Australian Record, and just .19 from Cesar Cielo’s World Record. He now becomes the 4th-best 100 freestyler in history, regardless of attire.
It doesn’t quite get the Australian Record; however, it does break the Australian All-Comers Record, meaning the fastest time ever swum on Australian soil.
Magnussen was out in a 22.7 and back in a 24.4. This shows what his huge training focus has been since July – his opening 50. He knew he’d never get close to that World Record opening in a 23.10 like he did in Shanghai. In this race, his closing 50 was almost identical to that at last year’s Worlds, but his opening 50 was 4-tenths faster, and that was the big difference maker in this swim. Now, if he can shave another tenth off of each half, then this record will be his.
He is now drawing comparisons to former American sprinter Gary Hall Jr. for his outspoken, confident nature (he even came out looking a bit like the infamous Hall shot with his hood on. After the race, Magnussen said that “I’m going to be doing everything within my power to break that world record, because I do want to be considered the fastest man in history.”
He also told media that he was pleased to be swimming with Roberts, and that the two would be “giving it to the rest of the world” in the 400 free relay. In that relay though, he wasn’t as quick to shoot down the chances of the rest of the world, saying that though they’d probably win a relay tomorrow, there was still time for the rest to catch them.
And not to be overshadowed, was his now-Olympic-teammate James Roberts took 2nd in 47.68. He, like Magnussen, is also only 20-years old. That gives Australia definitely the best young duo in the world, and at least temporarily the best sprint duo period in the world. The Australians now have the two fastest swimmers in textile ever, and both are only 20-years old. Every other sprint relay in the world is going to have to seriously pull out some amazing splits, or else they don’t stand a chance.
The other members of the top four to automatically receive Olympic bids were Matt Targett in 48.32 for 3rd, and the aforementioned Eamon Sullivan in 48.53.
The relay alternates will be Cameron McEvoy in48.58, and Tomasso D’Orsogna in 48.64. That means that Matthew Abood (48.81 – 7th) who was on both the prelims and finals relays at last year’s World Championships has missed the lineup.
Women’s 200 Fly – Final
Jessicah Schipper continued the blazing-fast day on Monday in Adelaide with a 2:06.93 win in the 200 fly, meaning that she now will have a second Olympic individual event (100 and 200 fly) for London. That’s the 4th-best time in the world this year. That’s the best time she’s swum at this point of her season (aka before the year’s big international championship) since 2009. She started this race aggressively, going out in a 1:00.4, but had no trouble finishing just as well.
The runner-up was Samantha Hamill in 2:08.92, which by .03 books her trip to London as well.
Men’s 200 Breast – Final
For the first time of this meet, the Australians have qualified only one swimmer for an event. Brenton Rickard won the 200 breaststroke running away in 2:11.03. That’s faster than the time with which he won this event last year, but without anything in the way of competition, it was slower than he swam in the semi-finals. Without Christian Sprenger swimming the 200, this Australian breaststroke group is very thin; with the pair sitting at 28 and 26 years old, respectively, that’s very worrisome for the Australians.
Looking further down these 200 rankings, there’s no ultra-young prodigy types who might be ready to take over, but a pair of 20-year olds (that seems to be the magic number for the Australian men this year) went 2:12.76 (Jeremy Meyer) and 2:12.96 (Nicholas Schafer).
Women’s 100 Free – Semi-Final
If you thought that the men’s 100 free was competitive (or the women’s 200 for that matter) – check out the times from this 100 free semifinal. There were 13 women who were 54.7 or better in the 100 free in just the semi’s. Even more stunningly, it was Emily Seebohm in 54.49 who snuck in as the 8th-qualifier for the final, leaving Bronter Campbell’s 54.54 and Kelly Stubbins’ 54.61 outside of the final race for relay spots. All 13 of those swimmers are now in the world’s top 30.
The top seed headed into the final is 19-year old Cate Campbell in 53.84, followed by Melanie Schlanger in 53.91. That’s the same two who led the prelims, though by no means are they guaranteed to lead the final. Alicia Coutts (54.11) and Brittany Elmslie (54.13) are nipping at their heals.
Other finalists include comeback queen Libby Trickett (54.19), Emma McKeon (54.24), and Yolane Kukla (54.32).
Women’s 200 Breast – Semi-Final
Leisel Jones has added this 200 breaststroke back to her Nationals schedule, but there’s no certainty that she’ll get the chance to return to it in her Olympic schedule. She was better in the semi’s than she was in the prelims, but still only sits 5th in 2:29.21. Word is that she hasn’t been feeling great this week, and after taking 2nd in the 100 breaststroke, she really needs to find her stroke before this final.
Meanwhile, Sally Foster will have the middle lane in 27.92, still outside of the Olympic A-time. 16-year old Taylor McKeown also went a very good 2:28.61 for 2nd, tied with the veteran Sarah Katsoulis. It wouldn’t seem that Jones has yet given all she’s got (she’s closed in 40’s in both rounds so far), but this whole field will really need to be much faster on Tuesday.
Men’s 200 Back – Semi-Final
The two young 19-year olds, Matson Lawson (1:58.53) and Joshua Beaver (1:59.03) took control of this 200 back in the semi’s, though nobody hit the Automatic Qualifying time. Last year’s two World Championship qualifiers Ashley Delaney (1:59.20) and Mitch Larkin (1:59.33) are just behind them, and both swam times already faster than they were in Shanghai. Based on splitting, however, it’s not clear that either has a whole lot more time in them to drop. That leaves it to the still-developing Lawson and Beaver to take these spots (Lawson was within .05).
Men’s 200 IM – Semi-Final
Three cleared the Olympic qualifying time in this semi-final, with Jayden Hadler taking the top seed in 1:59.69. He was followed by another pair of 20-year old’s in Daniel Tranter (1:59.88) and Thomas Fraser-Holmes (2:00.12). Fraser-Holmes won the 400 IM earlier in this meet, and based on the splits we saw in that race, he’s going to be at least a 1:58 in the final, so that will push the pace.