AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS 2024

We’re ready to rock on day two of the 2024 Australian Olympic Trials. Speculation and prediction are running rampant as we’ll see the men’s and women’s 100m back, women’s 100m breast and men’s 200m free unfold during tonight’s exciting session.

That means the likes of Mollie O’Callaghan, Kaylee McKeownIsaac Cooper, Jenna Strauch, Maximillian Giuliani, Elijah Winnington and more will be in the pool to qualify for their first Olympic event or add a second swim to their repertoire for Paris.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK – FINAL

GOLD – Kaylee McKeown57.41 *OLY Qualification
SILVER – Mollie O’Callaghan, 57.88 *OLY qualifying
BRONZE – Iona Anderson, 58.43

This women’s 100m backstroke was simply incredible, with two swimmers breaking the 58 second mark.

Reigning world record holder and Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown was under the world record pace in the 50 meters, touching 28:00 before falling off her pace just at the end.

The 22-year-old superstar from Griffith University still ran a huge time of 57.41, just .08 more than her WR of 57.33 from last year.

Her time represents the second-best 100m backstroke ever and she still holds 8 of the 10 fastest performances in history.

Additionally, McKeown’s time set a new All Comers Record, taking her 57.45 from 2021.

  1. McKeown – 57.33, World Cup 2023 Budapest
  2. McKeown – 57.41, 2024 Olympic Trials AUS
  3. McKeown – 57.45, 2021 Olympic Trials AUS
  4. McKeown – 57.47, 2020 Olympic Games (2021)
  5. McKeown – 57.50, 2023 AUS World Trials
  6. Smith – 57.51, Nova Speedo Grand Challenge 2024
  7. McKeown – 57.53, 2023 World Championships
  8. Smith (USA) – 57.57, 2019 World Championships and McKeown – 57.57, 2024 NSW State Open
  9. McKeown – 57.63, Sydney Open 2021 & McKeown – 57.63, Athens World Cup 2023

However, McKeown wasn’t the only one under the 58-second threshold as a 20-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan joined her and achieved a huge personal best of 57.88.

Competing in this competition, multi-Olympic medalist O’Callaghan’s PB achieved odds of 58.09 at this year’s Australian National Championships, making him the #2 Australian performer ever.

History of the World: MOC’s standout performance now enters slot #4, becoming just the 4th swimmer ever to break the 58-second barrier.

Top 5 LCM 100 Women’s Backstroke Performers of All Time

  1. Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 57.33, 2023
  2. Regan Smith (USA) – 57.57, 2019
  3. Kylie Masse (CAN) – 57.70, 2021
  4. Mollie O’Callaghan (AUS) – 57.88, 2024
  5. Kathleen Baker (USA) – 58:00, 2018

Not to forget, reigning silver medalist at the World Championships Iona Anderson checked in at 58.43, dropping .10 from her newly minted PB of 58.53 set at the WA Season Opener last month.

After the race, McKeown said: “I was a little disappointed with that. Some improvements are possible. I’m happy to have another swimmer in the 57 club.” McKeown qualified last night by winning the 200m IM in a new national and Commonwealth record.

O’Callaghan said: ‘That really hurt. Touch in 57.8 is just amazing. More to come this week, nervous for sure, but a great way to get started.

Take note, new mom Emily Ziebohm rose from 8th place in the heats to 7th place, clocking a time of 1:01.14. The world record holder in the SCM 100 back, Minna Atherton, came 8th in 1:01.22.

WOMEN’S 100 BREAST – FINAL

  • World record – 1:04.13, Lilly King (USA), 2017
  • Australian record – 1:05.09, Leisel Jones, 2006
  • Oceanic record – 1:05.09, Leisel Jones, 2006
  • Commonwealth record – 1:04.82, Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 2021
  • Swim Australia OQT – 1:06.31

GOLD – Jenna Strauch, 1:06.90
SILVER – Ella Ramsay, 1:06.94
BRONZE – Sienna Toohey, 1:07.01

Although no woman was able to meet Swimming Australia’s stiff Olympic qualifying time of 1:06.31, veteran Jenna Strauch sealed her comeback after missing last year’s championship season with a knee injury.

The 27-year-old from Miami hit the ball in 1:06.90 and took the gold (31.74/35.16), albeit just above the number two Ella Ramsay who scored silver in 1:06.94. Ramsay already qualified for Paris last night in the 200m IM for women.

15 years old Sienna Toohey put in a smashing performance for bronze, clocking a monstrous new personal best of 1:07.01.

She shot a fast opening half of 31.01, itself a faster break than her own Australian age record of 31.34 in the 50m breast that she set at the NSW State Championships last March.

Toohey’s overall time dropped over half a second from her previous personal best of 1:07.72 at this year’s Australian Age Championships. She now overtakes the legendary Olympian Leisel JonesAustralian Age Record, which stood at 1:07.49 for almost 24 years.

Most likely, Strauch will be selected for the Australian Olympic team as she will be needed for the medley relay.

MEN’S 100 BACK – FINAL

  • World record – 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 2022
  • Australian record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin2015
  • Oceanic record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin2015
  • Commonwealth record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin2015
  • Swim Australia OQT – 53.21

GOLD – Isaac Cooper, 53.46
SILVER – Bradley Woodward, 53.53
BRONZE – Enoch Robb, 54.14

There were also no more individual qualifiers in the men’s 100m back, as St. Andrews’ Isaac Kuiper reached the wall in a time of 53.46. That was just 0.03 off his lifetime best, a mark that stands at the 53.43 turned in at the semi-finals of this event at the 2020 Olympics, where he placed 12th.

25 years old Bradley Woodward was just beaten by Cooper to settle for silver in 53.53, also within reach of his personal best of 53.38 from the 2023 World Championships.

Finally 19 years old Enoch Robb set a striking personal record on his way to bronze. The All Saints swimmer clocked a time of 54.14, overtaking the 54.38 he recorded at last year’s World Junior Championships

30-year-old national record holder and Olympic silver medalist of this event in Rio, Mitch Larkin, set a time of 54.22 and came 4th tonight. He was aiming for a fourth Olympic spot and would have been the first Australian man to accomplish the feat.

As with Strauch, Cooper will most likely be brought to Paris as a backhitter for the men’s medley relay.

MEN’S 200 FREE – FINAL

  • World record – 1:42.00, Paul Bidermann (GER), 2009
  • Australian record – 1;44.06, Ian Thorpe, 2001
  • Oceanic record – 1:44.06, Ian Thorpe, 2001
  • Commonwealth record – 1:44.06, Ian Thorpe, 2001
  • Swim Australia OQT – 1:45.97

GOLD – Maximillian Giuliani, 1:45.83 *OLY qualifying
SILVER – Tommy Neill, 1:46.02
BRONZE – Elijah Winnington, 1:46.08

The men’s 200m free was set up as the race of the night, but only one man managed Swimming Australia’s mandatory Olympic qualifying time of 1:45.97.

Maximilian Giuliani was that swimmer, who posted a Paris 2024-worthy time of 1:45.83.

Giuliani sat on the outside in lane 6 and saw Zac Incerti burned towards the front of the pack until about 150 yards before the field closed in on the Olympian.

Tommy Neilbringing smoke from outside lane 1, overtook Incerti and stopped the clock in 1:46.02 to take 2nd ahead of last night’s 400m freestyle winner, Elijah Winnington3rd captured in 1:46.08.

Giuliani pulled off the swim of a lifetime at last year’s Queensland Championships, producing a career-fastest 1;44.79 to become Australia’s No. 2 performer of all time behind Olympic icon Ian Thorpe‘s 1:44.06 from 2001.

Neill’s PR remains at 1:45.70 from the 2021 Olympic Trials, while Winnington remains at the 1:45.53 he scored at the 2022 World Championships.

With the men’s 4x200m free relay in mind, here were the other results from these 2free men:

4th – Kai Taylor, 1:46.26
5th – Zac Incerti, 1:46.83
6th – Alex Graham, 1:47.11
7th – Flynn Southam, 1:47.29
8th – Brendon Smith, 1:47.53

We’ll see how the overall Australian roster will develop as the week progresses, but history tells us that the country will most likely take the top six swimmers from this event.