Rising Australian swimming star Mollie O’Callaghan is reeling from her breakthrough silver medal, while Shayna Jack’s triumphant return from a doping ban continued at the world championships.
O’Callaghan, the 18-year-old ranked Australia’s next big thing in swimming, won a silver medal in the 200m freestyle in Budapest on Tuesday night – her first individual medal at a major competition.
Jack won a silver medal as part of the Australian mixed 4x100m medley relay team with Kaylee McKeown, Zac Stubblety-Cook and Matt Temple.
Jack, who was suspended for two years after testing positive for a banned substance just before the 2019 world championships, also won the 4x100m freestyle relay gold on the opening night in Budapest.
“We put it all together and came home with a silver medal that I think we’re all very, very proud of,” Jack said after the Australian medley team finished about two seconds behind. and a half of the victors on the run from the United States.
“Everyone loves being part of the relays. It’s a rare opportunity in an individual sport to enjoy that moment together.”
O’Callaghan was also a member of the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team which saluted on the opening night of the competition.
In the 200m freestyle final, O’Callaghan completed the second-fastest 50m final of the field to push the winner, China’s Junxuan Yang, towards the wall.
The calm and collected teenager entered Budapest as arguably the only Australian in the swimming community with low expectations.
Last year O’Callaghan won two golds and a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics for being a heat swimmer in the relays, but he now basks in the individual spotlight.
“I didn’t expect much going into the competition,” she said.
“Winning a medal in this race is pretty cool.”
O’Callaghan finished just 0.3 seconds behind Yang while her Australian teammate Madi Wilson was fifth.
McKeown’s medley relay silver medal came after she placed third in the 50m backstroke semi-final – she was sixth fastest in the final.
Lizzy Dekkers, making her senior international debut, was the sixth-fastest qualifier in the 200m butterfly final, but fellow Dolphins rookie Abbey Connor missed the medal chase.
And Australia’s Se-Bom Lee also missed out on a spot in the 200m medley final after finishing 14th in the semis.