Top 5 Women’s Races To Watch At 2024 Australian Open Championships


  • Wednesday, April 17th – Saturday, April 20th
  • Prelims at 10am local (8pm previous night ET), Finals at 6pm local (4am ET)
  • Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Queensland, Australia
  • LCM (50m)
  • Non-Olympic Qualifying Event
  • Meet Central
  • Final Start List
  • Live Results
  • Livestream

The 2024 Australian Swimming Championships are nearly upon us with most of the nation’s biggest stars heading to the Gold Coast for high-octane action.

Although the 4-day competition is a non-Olympic selection event, the performances will give us glimpses into where key athletes are at along their journey to June’s Australian Olympic Trials.

But Aussies aren’t the only ones diving in beginning on Wednesday, as the green and gold will be sprinkled with athletes from Korea, Japan, New Zealand and beyond.

Let’s take a look at five must-see races on the women’s side as we count down to the first heats session.

#1 100 Free

As is typical at an Australian competition, the women’s sprint freestyle events are stacked with world-class talent.

The 100m free alone will see 5 of the 10 fastest performers in history worldwide, including Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell, Mollie O’Callaghan, Bronte Campbell and Shayna Jack.

Already these women have put up impressive performances on the season, wreaking havoc on the world rankings despite not having raced at the 2024 World Championships.

Current Aussie Women LCM 100 Freestylers Season Rankings

#3 – Shayna Jack – 52.76, 2023 Queensland Championships
#4 – Mollie O’Callaghan – 52.82, 2024 NSW Championships
#6 – Emma McKeon – 53.00, 2024 Vic Open
#7 – Meg Harris – 53.03, 2023 Queensland Championships
#12 – Cate Campbell – 53.23, 2023 Queensland Championships
#15 – Bronte Campbell – 53.30, 2024 SA States

When it comes time for Trials, these competitors have proven that the 53.61 Swimming Australia Olympics QT won’t be a problem. Instead, it will be a question as to which 2 swimmers get their hands on the wall first and then who will get there right after in order to snag a coveted 4x100m free relay spot.

#2 100 Breast

The women’s 100m breaststroke field is slated to be intact for this competition, with Jenna StrauchAbbey Harkin and Chelsea Hodges all among the pack.

Strauch and Hodges are still on the rebound from having dropped out of last year’s World Championships due to injuries.

They’ve been steadily improving, with Strauch owning a season-best of 1:07.30 and Hodges posting 1:08.80 last September.

However, 15-year-old Sienna Toohey is on the move, with the Albury Amateur Swim Club teen registering a time of 1:07.97 at NSWs to get under 1:08 for her first time ever.

Flash forward to the Age Championships which just concluded and Toohey ripped an even quicker mark of 1:07.72 as the #2 Aussie 15-year-old girl ever, sitting only behind Olympian Leisel Jones’ age record of 1:07.49.

She’ll need to have a major time drop between now and when Trials come about in order to approach the 1:06.31 QT but she’s putting in the racing to try to make it happen.

#3 200 Freestyle

Just as it is with the 100m free, the women’s 200m free battle is about to begin on the Gold Coast both for individual and relay positions on the Olympic roster.

World Record holder O’Callaghan leads the charge while we’ll see Harris, Jack, Lani Pallister, Ariarne Titmus and Brianna Throssell all among the field as well.

MOC enters this meet ranked highest worldwide among the Aussies, having put up a time of 1:54.36 at December’s Queensland Championships. Titmus and Pallister have been as quick as 1:55.81 and 1:55.92, respectively, both posted at the NSW Championships in March last month.

28-year-old Brianna Throssell is carrying a newly minted personal best as momentum, notching 1:56.00 at the World Championships for bronze in Doha.

Kiah Melverton, Tamsin Cook and Leah Neale lurk among the field, ready to pounce on the possibility of making the relay.

#4 100 Fly

The Swimming Australian Paris 2024 nomination time in the women’s 100m fly stands at 57.17, a threshold under which just 3 active swimmers have delved.

National record holder Emma McKeon is the one to beat with her lifetime best of 55.72 and most recent performance of 56.40 at February’s Vic Open.

But there is no outright shoe-in for the potential 2nd roster spot as several women have thrown their hats into the qualification ring.

There were 2 Aussies in the final at this year’s World Championships as Throssell notched a time of 56.97, her quickest in nearly 2 years. Alexandria Perkins finished 6th in 57.68 although the USC Spartan’s personal best sits at 57.48 from the Queensland Championships.

21-year-old Lily Price owns an entry time of 57.64 while Isabella Boyd, 2023 World Championships silver medalist in the 200m fly, Elizabeth Dekker, and 2016 Olympic medalist Maddie Groves are also in the hunt.

#5 400 IM

Although the women’s 400m IM field isn’t particularly deep, we’re scheduled to be treated to performances by the #2 and #3 Aussie swimmers of all time.

22-year-old Kaylee McKeown has the 4IM among her lineup of events, with the Griffith Olympic medalist owning a lifetime best of 4:31.68. That was put on the books at the 2023 Sydney Open so all eyes will be on the megastar to see what she can throw down a year later.

Jenna Forrester is set to make a comeback of sorts after having pulled out of this year’s World Championships and also bypassing the NSW Championships.

The 20-year-old owns a PB of 4:32.30 and is a leading contender to make the grade for Paris once Trials roll around.

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1 month ago

Hasn’t Leah Neale retired?

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  swimswimaus
1 month ago

she swam at a couple of brisbane meets last month, and swam at 2023 trials missing the finals. I expect she’ll retire by the end of paris

1 month ago

Will a livestream be available for overseas viewers?

Reply to  Phil
1 month ago

9Now app maybe with a VPN

Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

Yeah this will be your best bet. Almost certain it wouldn’t actually be streaming properly internationally

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Ok thanks both of you

1 month ago

I’m sure if Kaylee put in abit of work she would make the Olympics for 100 breast too.

Reply to  tashswam
1 month ago

kaylee could have any olympic event if she wanted to

1 month ago

“2016 Olympic Silver Medalist, Maddie Groves, are still in the hunt”

Correct me if im wrong, but hasn’t Maddie Groves retired? When was the last time she posted any swims of note? Or she’s been toiling away somewhere and haven’t seen her in any aus champs in the last 5 years from my memory.

Reply to  WillisAlexander
1 month ago

No, she hasn’t retired. But she won’t make the Olympic team.

Reply to  WillisAlexander
1 month ago

She isn’t retired. She swam at NSW States last month. She won’t be anywhere near qualifying in any event though.

1 month ago

does anyone else always think “USC Trojans” when you read “USC Spartans” or is it just me

Reply to  jeff
1 month ago

It’s not just you

1 month ago

Will they get 4×100 spots here? Isn’t trials separate?

Sacre Bleu!
Reply to  Swimguy94
1 month ago


This is not Olympics trials.

Australia Olympics trials is in June, just like the USA.

Reply to  Swimguy94
1 month ago

Trials are June 10-15 and they determine the whole team. Nothing outside of trials counts.

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Yes that’s what I was thinking but the article mentioned relay spots up for grabs

1 month ago

I think there are about 17 top women’s races I will be watching.

Last edited 1 month ago by Oceanian
Sacre Bleu!
Reply to  Oceanian
1 month ago


1 month ago

Also have Meg Harris competing in the 50/100/200 free I believe

Reply to  HelloAus
1 month ago

Meg is awesome

Reply to  Danpitameyer
1 month ago

I saw her at the tennis on Saturday but didn’t have the courage to say hi haha. Didn’t want to disturb her with her friends

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