2023 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- April 17 – 20, 2023
- Marine Parade, Southport, Queensland
- Gold Coast Aquatic Centre
- Long Course Meters
- Meet Central
- Entry Sheets
- Prelims at 10 a.m. AEST / 8 p.m. EST; finals at 6 p.m. AEST / 4 a.m. EST
- Day 1 Prelims Recap
- Day 1 Finals Recap
- Day 2 Finals Recap
- Live results
Mollie O’Callaghan became the third-fastest Australian woman in history in the 100 backstroke by posting a 58.42 in the final at the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships. The time is an improvement upon her former best of 58.86 from Olympic Trials in 2021. She formerly held the #5 position all-time in the Australian rankings and has now jumped Minna Atherton and Madi Wilson to hit the #3 spot.
All-time 100 Backstroke Rankings – Australian Women
- Kaylee McKeown – 57.45 (2021)
- Emily Seebohm – 58.23 (2012)
- Mollie O’Callaghan – 58.42 (2023)
- Minna Atherton – 58.60 (2019)
- Madi Wilson – 58.76 (2015)
- Belinda Hocking – 59.29 (2012)
O’Callaghan took silver here to world record holder Kaylee McKeown who dipped under 58 seconds with a 57.90, which is one of the fastest times in history. It trails, however, her season-best of 57.84 from March and her world record of 57.45 from 2021.
This 58.42 from O’Callaghan gets her into the top three worldwide for the 2022-2023 season, behind McKeown and former world record holder Regan Smith who notched a 57.90 last week. O’Callaghan out-swam the top two performers at Canadian Trials, Ingrid Wilm (58.80) and Kylie Masse (59.00).
O’Callaghan has primarily been a sprint freestyler on the international stage, but the 100 backstroke becomes an increasingly viable option for her. Few women in history have swum a 58-low 100 backstroke and if she can sneak into the 57 range, she will certainly be a medal threat on the world stage. The only three women to have hit a 57 thus far are McKeown, Smith, and Kylie Masse who holds a 57.70 and used to hold the world record at a 58.10. O’Callaghan’s time makes her the 11th-fastest woman in history, getting in between Claire Curzan‘s 58.39 from 2022 and Rhyan White‘s 58.43 from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Other active swimmers who have been quicker than 58.42 include Kathleen Dawson (58.08, 2021) and Olivia Smoliga (58.31, 2021).
We will have to wait and see until later this year at Australian Trials to see if O’Callaghan will go for a spot on the 2023 World Championships team in the 100 backstroke.
Mollie O’Callaghan raced to gold last year in the 100 freestyle at the 2022 World Championships, hitting a 52.67, and took silver in the 200 freestyle with a 1:55.22. She made her major international breakthrough at the Olympics in 2021 when she contributed as a relay swimmer on the women’s 4×100 free, 4×200 free, and 4×100 medley relays. Notably, O’Callaghan swam a 1:55.11 world junior record-breaking 200 freestyle opening leg in Tokyo prelims but wasn’t selected to race in finals where she would have been one of the fastest splits if she could replicate her prelims speed.