Matthew Temple Joins 49-Second Club In Men’s SCM 100 Fly


The full results from sessions 2 and 3 have now been published by Swimming Australia, which means we’re able to determine the overall event winners from across the 5 virtual locations of these Short Course National Championships.

As a reminder, due to the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time in history, the Australian Short Course Swimming Championships are taking place virtually. Contested as 4 sessions of timed finals, the virtual competition spans Brisbane (Chandler), Sydney (Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre), Hobart (Hobart Aquatic Centre), Perth (HBF Stadium) and Melbourne (MSAC subject to COVID restrictions).

19-year-old Chelsea Hodges was already victorious in the women’s 50m breast but the Southport Olympic swimmer doubled up with a win in the 100m sprint as well. Splitting 30.57/34.43, Hodges narrowly defeated Jenna Strauch of Bond, who hit the wall a fingernail behind in 1:05.02. The women represented the only two racers to get under the 1:06 threshold, as Leiston Pickett rounded out the top 3 in 1:06.33.

For Hodges, this 1:05.00 result marks just the 2nd occasion she’s been under 1:06 in her own right, owning a personal best of 1:05.56 from the Queensland SC Championships this past September. Hodges’ winning effort here now checks the teen in as Australia’s 7th fastest performer all-time.

Olympic medalist and relay world record holder Emma McKeon already dazzled with a big-time win in the 100m free at these Virtual Championships, but the 26-year-old Griffith star was just as formidable in the fly events.

In the 50m sprint, McKeon hit a mark of 25.33 to slice .02 off of her own PB of 25.35 from 5 years ago. Fellow fly girl Brianna Throssell nabbed silver in the only other sub-26 second time of the field, posting 25.97 as runner-up. She owns a PB of 25.56 from season 1 of the International Swimming League (ISL).

The same pair were back at it in the 100m fly, with McKeon situated at the top once again. Splitting 26.41/29.26, McKeon fired off a winning effort of 55.67 to beat the field by over 2 seconds. The next closest competitor was that of 32-year-old Holly Barratt of Rockingham, who hit a time of 57.78 for 2nd.

For McKeon, here time here represents the 2nd fastest of the versatile athlete’s career, sitting only behind her 55.39 produced last year as a member of ISL season 1. Behind McKeon and Barratt, Throssell wound up 3rd in this 1fly race, logging 58.22.

McKeon was also successful in the women’s 200m free, producing a wicked-fast mark of 1:51.83 to fall just short of her lifetime best. That standard sits at the 1:51.66 she hit at this same meet, in-person, 5 years ago. As such, McKeon’s time here is just her 2nd outing ever under 1:52.

26-year-old Marion ace Madi Wilson finished nearly a second behind McKeon but blew her previous PB out of the water with her silver medal-worthy 1:52.77. Splitting 54.68/58.09, Wilson dipped under the 1:53 barrier for the first time of her career, laying waste to her previous career-quickest of 1:53.60 from just this past July.

Other 200m free competitors of note included the following: Leah Neale 1:54.45 for 3rd, Brianna Throssell 1:56.20 for 4th, Lani Pallister 1:57.79 for 6th, Mikkayla Sheridan 1:57.37 for 11th, Laura Taylor 1:59.15 for 15th and Maddy Gough 1:59.86 for 16th. Back in just her 2nd meet in about 3 years, Tamsin Cook placed 46th in 2:05.60.

The men’s 200m free saw Alex Graham get it done for gold in a big way, touching the wall in a time of 1:41.40. That shaved .18 off of his previous PB and managed to beat out the likes of Clyde Lewis and Elijah Winnington who finished in 1:43.07 and 1:44.07 for silver and bronze, respectively.

Other 200m free competitors of note on the men’s side included the following: Jack Gerrard 1:44.57 for 4th, Louis Townsend  1:44.79 for 5th, Cameron McEvoy 1:45.51 for 6th, Zac Incerti 1:45.86 for 8th, Thomas Neill 1:45.87 for 9th, Alex Grant 1:46.42 for 11th, Thomas Fraser-Holmes 1:48.73 for 20th, Mack Horton 1:50.18 for 28th.

Along with McKeon, Matthew Temple was a multi-butterfly winner as well, cleaning up across the 50m and 100m events in sessions 2 and 3. The 21-year-old posted a time of 22.75 in the former event and 49.32 in the latter to snag double gold, with both outings representing big-time personal bests.

The Nunawading swimmer’s previous PB in the 50m fly rested at the 23.18 posted at the 2018 FINA World Cup stop in Tokyo, while his 1fly PB was over the 50-second mark at 50.60 from that year’s stop in Singapore. As such, these Virtual Championships mark the first time the ever-improving ace has hit a sub-23 50m and a sub-50m 100m in the fly discipline.

In fact, his 49.32 100m fly here makes Temple Australia’s 2nd fastest performer all-time, falling only .01 shy of David Morgan‘s 49.31 national record produced at the 2016 FINA World Short Course Championships. Temple’s stellar performance here ranks the Aussie just outside of the world’s top 10 performers ever in the SCM 100m fly.

Racing the men’s 400m free event, 20-year-old Elijah Winnington nearly matched the lifetime best he logged just this past September at the Queensland Championships to take gold at this virtual meet. Hitting the wall in a time of 3:37.71, Winnington’s effort fell just .26 outside of the 3:37.45 from QLD.

Behind Winnington here was 18-year-old on-the-rise Rackley ace Thomas Neill, with Neill touching in 3:41.02, while 800m free Age Record-setter Sam Short rounded out the top 3 in 3:41.81.

Additional Winners:

  • Mitch Larkin took the men’s 200m IM in a time of 1:53.38 ahead of runner-up Thomas Fraser-Holmes who touched well back in 1:58.26. Larkin owns a personal best of 1:52.21 in this event, which ranks him as the 2nd fastest Aussie ever behind the late Kenneth To’s 1:52.01.
  • Brad Woodward denied Larkin the top prize in the men’s 50m back, as the Mingara Aquatic athlete touched in 24.08 to Larin’s 24.14.
  • On-fire Kaylee McKeown snagged the victory in the women’s 50m back, posting a time of 26.00 ahead of 16-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan‘s 26.31. Both women produced personal bests in the race. Minna Atherton was in the mix as well but fell to 3rd in 26.34.
  • Meg Bailey was the fastest women’s 400m IMer, with the Hunter racer nailing a time of 4:33.50 to top the virtual podium. It was All Saints’ 17-year-old Thomas Hauck who did the same on the men’s side, posting 4:11.08 for the win.

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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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