2021 Australian Championships – Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2021 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The first finals session of the Australian Swimming Championships will commence with the 200 freestyle, followed by the 100 breast, 50 back, and 400 IM and we will end things off with the 4×200 freestyle relay. Among those matchups that will surely make for a solid race will be Zac Stubbletly-Cook against Jake Packard and Matthew Wilson in the men’s 100 breast.

While this meet doesn’t constitute Australia’s selection meet for the Tokyo Olympics, we’ll be sure to see some fast racing as Olympic hopefuls get in one last chance to chance on the national scene before June’s Olympic Trials. Follow along below to stay up to date as we provide live results and analysis of the 2021 Australian Swimming Championships.

Women’s Open 200 Freestyle – Final

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 2:06.17
  • Australian Record: 1:54.27 – Ariarne Titmus (2019)

Top 3

  1. Ariarne Titmus – 1:55.43
  2. Madi Wilson – 1:56.26
  3. Brianna Throssell – 1:57.29

Ariarne Titmus opened up the women’s 200 freestyle final with a 56.55 100 split and managed to keep her lead throughout the back half, ultimately touching with a 1:55.43 to take gold. That’s nearly within a second of Titmus’ PB and national record in the event of 1:54.27. The swim for Titmus overtakes Emma McKeon’s 3rd ranked time in the event this season of 1:55.56 from March. McKeon qualified to swim the final as top seed but decided to scratch.

2 Yang
Junxuan
CHN 1:54.70 03/06
3 Ariarne
Titmus
AUS 1:54.43 04/15
4 Emma
McKeon
AUS 1:55.56 03/21
5 Siobhan
Haughey
HKG 1:55.81 03/21

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Madi Wilson got within a second of Titmus’ winning time as she touched in a 1:56.27 to slightly improve upon her prelim swim of 1:56.50. Brianna Throssell, Leah Neale, and Kaylee McKeown all managed to get under 1:58 in the final as they hit 1:57.29 for 3rd, 1:57.67 for 4th, and 1:57.76 for 5th respectively.

Notably, Meg Harris posted a 1:58.80 from the 19-20-year-old final which would have placed 8th in the Open final.

Men’s Open 200 Freestyle – Final

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 1:54.22
  • Australian Record: 1:44.06 – Ian Thorpe (2001)

Top 3

  1. Kyle Chalmers – 1:47.03
  2. Alexander Graham – 1:47.47
  3. Elijah Winnington – 1:47.55

Kyle Chalmers was just a bit over his own PB of 1:45.56 to win the men’s 200 freestyle in a 1:47.03. The race came down to a stroke for stroke battle between Chalmers and Alexander Graham who touched within half a second of Chalmers with a 1:47.47. Chalmers raced the event for Australia at the 2019 World Swimming Championships where he placed 6th in a 1:46.21.

Chalmers’ co-competitor in 2019 was Clyde Lewis who hit a 1:45.78 for 6th in Gwangju. Lewis was also present in the event and after nearly missing out on the A final in the event, fell to 10th place in the field with a 1:50.78.

Elijah Winnington collected the bronze medal in the 200 freestyle final with a 1:47.55 while Thomas Neill also dipped under 1:48 with a 1:47.61 for 4th.

Women’s Open 100 Breaststroke – Final

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 1:14.34
  • Australian Record: 1:05.09 – Leisel Jones (2006)

Top 3

  1. Chelsea Hodges – 1:07.14
  2. Abbey Harkin – 1:07.27
  3. Jessica Hansen – 1:07.41

Hodges was slightly slower than her prelim swim of 1:06.90 to earn gold in the women’s 100 breast with a 1:07.14, holding off Australia’s defending champion in the event Abbey Harkin who was a 1:07.27 for silver. Jessica Hansen managed to move up from her 5th place finish in prelims of 1:08.47 to claim bronze in the finals with a 1:07.41. Jenna Strauch also managed to get under 1:08 in the event with a 1:07.70 for 4th.

Both Tessa Wallace and Zoe Deacon trailed the top four, posting 1:08.31 and 1:08.32 for 5th and 6thm respectively.

A tough battle is certainly brewing for the women’s 100 breast at Trials but contestants will need to hit the 1:06.97 selection cut as set by Swimming Australia in order to book their flight to Tokyo. One notable absence from tonight’s final who will be in the mix come June is 2016 Olympian Georgia Bohl who scratched the event prior to prelims due to a knee injury.

In a post-race interview, Hodges commented on the morning finals format, mentioning that she enjoyed the fact that she got a full night’s sleep in between prelims and finals.

Men’s Open 100 Breaststroke – Final

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 1:05.72
  • Australian Record: 58.58 – Brenton Rickard (2009)

Top 3

  1. Zac Stubblety-Cook – 59.87
  2. Matthew Wilson – 1:00.27
  3. Jake Packard – 1:00.81

Defending Australian champion in the men’s 100 breast Matthew Wilson didn’t quite have what it took to repeat his victory in the 2021 final as Zac Stubblety-Cook cracked the 1-minute mark to take gold in 59.87. Wilson opened it up faster with a 28.16 50 split to Stubblety-Cook’s 28.84 but faded in the back half, touching with a 1:00.27 for silver.

Wilson won the event at Australia’s 2016 Olympic Trials but missed the Olympic cut and was therefore left off the team. Should he or Stubblety-Cook hope to race the event for Australia in Tokyo this summer, it will take a 59.21 at the upcoming Trials in June.

Jake Packard touched exactly one second after Stubblety-Cook with a 1:00.87 for silver. A trio of 1:01s came in behind Packard as Daniel Cave (1:01.38) was fourth, Liam Hunter (1:01.45) took 5th, and Joshua Young (1:01.97) came in 6th.

Women’s Open 50 Backstroke – Final

Top 3

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 27.45
  2. Emily Seebohm – 27.94
  3. Madi Wilson – 28.13

Kaylee McKeown powered her way to a 27.45 victory in the women’s 50 backstroke final to out-swim current Australian record holder in the event Emily Seebohm who was a 27.94 for silver. Seebohm’s national record currently sits at a 27.37 which she swam at the 2017 World Swimming Championships in Budapest.

Seebohm was just over her current season-best in the event of 27.38 which she swam in January to get within 0.01 seconds of Seebohm’s record. That 27.38 for McKeown stands as the second-fastest worldwide this season.

2 Kaylee
McKeown
AUS 27.38 01/22
3 Kathleen
Dawson
GBR 27.63 03/12
4 Mollie
O’Callaghan
AUS 27.75 12/16
5 Anastasia
Fesikova
RUS 28.00 04/03

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Madi Wilson picked up her second medal of the session after her 200 freestyle silver with a 28.13 for bronze while Holly Barratt was a 28.50 for fourth place.

Men’s Open 50 Backstroke – Final

Top 3

  1. Mitch Larkin – 24.75
  2. Andrew Rice – 25.87
  3. Jye Cornwell – 26.00

National record holder in the 50 backstroke Mitch Larkin swam to victory by over a second with a 24.75 to get within 0.21 seconds of his 2015 NR. Larkin’s time in the finals was actually slower than the 24.67 he swam during the prelims which was fast enough to claim the second rank in the world this year behind Kliment Kolesnikov’s 24.25.

2 Mitch
Larkin
AUS 24.67 04/15
3 Grigory
Tarasevich
RUS 24.76 04/03
4 Mewen
Tomac
FRA 24.80 12/13
5 Michele
Lamberti
ITA 24.90 12/18

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Andrew Rice got down from a 26.24 in the prelims to a 25.87 for silver in the final while Jye Cornwell went from a 26.21 prelim swim to a 26.00 for bronze.

The rest of the field was incredibly close to each other to the touch as 4th – 10th place was only separated by 0.66 seconds. Tristan Hollard placed fourth in a 26.13 and was followed by Jack Carr (26.26), Travis Mahoney (26.29, Nathan Foote (26.52), Shaye Booth (26.57), Tom Jeffries (26.76), and Joshua Edwards-Smith (26.79) for 5th through 10th, respectively.

A number of entrants in the 18-19 and 20-21-year old finals would have placed in the top 10 of the open final in the form of 20-year-old Jack Hendy who won the 20-21 final with a 26.46 and Ben Armbruster who won the 18-19-year-old final with a 26.25, among others.

Women’s Open 400 IM – Finals

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 5:04.03
  • Australian Record: 4:29.45 – Stephanie Rice (2008)

Top 3

  1. Jenna Forrester – 4:39.46
  2. Meg Bailey – 4:39.59
  3. Blair Evans – 4:48.73

After they both posted 4:41 swims during the prelims, Jenna Forrester and Meg Bailey returned for a head-to-head battle in the finals and wound up finishing just 0.13 seconds apart. It was Forrester who took the win with a 4:39.46 to set a new 17-year-old age group record while Meg Bailey came in with a 4:39.59 for bronze.

Both Forrester and Bailey are now well within range to hit Australia’s Olympic qualifying time in the event of 4:38.53 that they’ll need in order to book a flight to Tokyo.

Blair Evans trailed the leading duo with a 4:48.73 for bronze while Barbora Zavadova claimed 4th place in a 4:50.51.

Jenna F 17-year-old age category

Men’s Open 400 IM – Final

  • 2021 Australian Trials Qualifying Time: 4:38.21
  • Australian Record: 4:10.14 – Thomas Fraser-Holmes (2013)

Top 3

  1. Brendon Smith – 4:15.48
  2. Elliot Rogerson – 4:21.09
  3. Thomas Hauck – 4:21.17

Brendon Smith established an early lead in the men’s 400 IM final, opening with a 57.95 butterfly split, and maintained the lead throughout the race, ultimately posting a 4:15.48 to collect gold. Smith improved upon his prelims swim of 4:17.69 while trailing his seed time of 4:14.91 which represents his best time in the event.

Smith was within inches of the 4:15.24 it will take at Australia’s June Olympic Trials to qualify for the country’s Olympic squad. Hasn’t been under the cut since he swam his current PB of 4:14.91 in April 2019.

Making for a solid race to the silver medal, Elliot Rogerson came in with a 4:21.09 for silver while Thomas Hauck claimed bronze in a 4:21.17.

Women’s 4×200 Freestyle – Final

  • Australian Record: 7:41.50 – Titmus/Wilson/Throssell/McKeon

 

Men’s 4×200 Freestyle – Final

  • Australian Record: 7:00.85 – Lewis/Chalmers/Graham/Horton (2019)