No Shortage of Storylines at Australian Olympic Swimming Trials

15/06/2024
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Olympic Swimming Trials Exuding Drama for Fans

World Records have fallen and countless Aussies have booked their tickets to Paris as the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials near their end

News Insights

  • Titmus finds a World Record.
  • Kaylee McKeown dominates backstroke events.
  • Shayna Jack completes her redemption arc.
  • Emma McKeon won’t be defending her Olympic 100m freestyle title.

Australia’s bid to outshine the Americans in the pool at the Paris 2024 Olympics all starts with the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials which are now five days in. The usual suspects have excelled, winning multiple events while others have booked surprise tickets to Paris.  

Titmus Looks Primed for Another Big Olympic Showing 

Ariarne Titmus is coming off a two-gold medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics and looks primed to defend her titles with impressive showings at the Olympic Trials.  
 
After scorching the competition on day one to qualify for the 400m freestyle, Titmus one upped her performance on day three.  
 
Racing against world record holder Mollie O’Callaghan, it was well known that whoever won the race was going to have to put forth a superhuman effort. As it turns out, they both did just that.  
 
It was O’Callaghan who was ahead by the narrowest of margins at the first turn, but Titmus caught her on the second 50 and held a fractional lead for the rest of the race.  
 
The pair glided side by side over the final 100m, clearly outpacing the world record set by O’Callaghan last year.  
 
In the end, the record was throttled by both women, with Titmus touching first in 1:52.23. O’Callaghan came in at 1:52.48.  
 
With the win, Australia will be sending the two fastest women in 200m freestyle history to Paris.  
 
Titmus also punched her ticket in the 800m freestyle, where she claimed a silver medal in Tokyo. Her time of 8:14.06 puts her at third in the world this season.   

McKeown Owns the Backstroke 

Kaylee McKeown nearly replicated Titmus’ World Record result in her own 200m backstroke final.  
 
The 22-year-old was just 0.16 seconds off her own world record, clocking a time of 2:03.30 as she looks to defend her Olympic Gold from Tokyo.  
 
Alongside her going to Paris for the event will be Jaclyn Barclay, who narrowly finished second.  
 
This wasn’t the first time McKeown flirted with a world record at the trials as in the 100m back, she was even closer, finishing just 0.08 seconds off of her world record set last year.  
 
Her 57.41 is the fastest time this year and second fastest in the history of the event.  
 
Mollie O’Callaghan put up a massive personal best in the race, touching in 57.88 to join McKeown in Paris looking for a 1-2 for Australia.  

Chalmers Fights Through Injury to Top the Men’s 100m Free 

Kyle Chalmers led from the outset of the men’s 100m freestyle and never looked back, pacing the field on his way to a time of 47.75.  
 
The 25-year-old looked great in the pool and was just 0.12 seconds off his best time this year of 47.63. The fact that he was able to put a race like this together was surprising given what he revealed post-race. 
 
He had received four cortisone injections earlier in the week to help deal with an ongoing back issue. The nagging injury is certainly something to keep an eye on as Paris fast approaches for a man with his sights set on gold.   

Women’s 100m Freestyle Produces Fireworks 

The women’s 100m freestyle was expected to be one of the marquee races of the Trials given the star-studded field.  
 
Amongst those competing in the event included defending Olympic Champion Emma McKeon, young gun Mollie O’Callaghan, and Shayna Jack.  
 
It was O’Callaghan who stole the spotlight with a time of 52.33, to add her third individual event to her Paris slate.  
 
In somewhat of a surprise, it was Jack claiming the other spot in Paris, touching in 52.72. It’s a huge accomplishment for Jack who missed out on the last Olympics due to serving a two-year doping ban.  
 
Olympic Champion Emma McKeon was left on the outside looking in, finishing sixth in the final, highlighting the depth of the Australian field.  

The Australian Swimming Trials are nearing their end, and the team that Australia will send to the Paris looks like one of the strongest in recent memory. With Olympic champions and world record holders abundant, the Aussies look poised to dominate in the pool.  

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