2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
- Full Aquatics Schedule
- How To Watch
- Psych Sheets
- Meet Central
- Live Results
- Day 6 Finals Heat Sheets
Add 18-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan to the long list of Australian women who have had major international success in the women’s 100 free, as she joins a category with stars such as Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell, and Bronte Campbell following her World Championships title in the event today. The Australians have now won the women’s 100 free at the World Championships on five different occasions, tying East Germany as the most successful country in the event.
Countries With The Most Women’s 100 Free World Titles:
- Australia/East Germany – 5
- United States – 4
- China/Netherlands/Finland/Belarus/Denmark – 1
List Of Australian Women’s 100 Free Gold Medalists At The World Championships:
- Jodie Henry (2005)
- Libby Lenton (2007)
- Cate Campbell (2013)
- Bronte Campbell (2015)
- Mollie O’Callaghan (2022)
This achievement only adds onto Australia’s reputation as the best women’s sprinting country in the world. They haven’t lost the women’s 4×100 free relay in five years, and out of the 25 women who have been under 53 seconds in the 100 free, a whopping eight are Australian. But what makes O’Callaghan’s victory so special were the extraordinary circumstances that came with it.
Prior to the race, O’Callaghan said she had suffered a leg cramp, and was extremely nervous during warm up. But despite the pressure, she still pulled through, winning with a time of 52.67. Another unique thing about her win was the way she paced her swim. Opening in 25.96, she flipped in sixth at the 50-meter mark, but then charged home in a closing split of 26.71 to take the victory. And if you thought that back half was fast, you should check out her semifinals swim, where she nearly even split her race 26.42/26.43 and recorded the fastest 100 free back half in history.
The way O’Callaghan races is nothing like the way her 100 free predecessors did. McKeon, Cate Campbell, and Bronte Campbell all opened their fastest races in sub-25.5 times, and then closed around 1.5+ seconds slower. O’Callaghan seems to be the only out of the great Aussie sprinters who tends to go out conservatively and backhalf her race rather than frontload it, which is what makes her stand out amongst champions from the past. She holds a best time of 52.49, from when she split 25.92/26.57 to win the event at Australian trials.
McKeon vs. Campbell vs. Campbell vs. O’Callaghan (personal best times):
|Emma McKeon||Cate Campbell||Bronte Campbell||Mollie O’Callaghan|
Other Day 6 Highlights:
- Zac Stubblety-Cook won Australia’s first-ever title in the men’s 200 breast, swimming to a time of 2:07.07—just over a second slower than his World record time of 2:05.95. Like O’Callaghan, he closed his race extremely fast, being in last at the halfway point and coming home in a 31.98 to take victory.
- In the women’s 200 breast, Jenna Strauch took the silver medal with a time of 2:23.04, although her best time of 2:22.22 from semifinals still stands. Having set personal bests in both the 100 and 200 breast this week, she is likely to be in strong shape to swim breast on the women’s 4×100 medley relay.
- The quartet of Elijah Winnington, Zac Incerti, Samuel Short, and Mack Horton took silver in the men’s 4×200 free relay, putting up a 7:03.50. This came after just making the finals by 0.2 seconds. Incerti had a huge redemption moment, throwing down a 1:45.51 just days after going 1:49.12 in the individual 200 free. This is a positive turnaround for the 25-year-old that had suffered illness prior to Worlds.
- Kaylee McKeown qualified in second in the 200 back semifinals, and will have one last opportunity to earn gold in an individual event tomorrow night.