Day 5 Prelims Live Recap

2022 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Tonight’s session of the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships, which serves as a qualifying competition for the 2022 FINA World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, will be the final prelims session of the meet. The heats of women’s 50 free, men’s 100 back, women’s 200 fly, men’s 50 breast, women’s 400 free and the women’s 200 IM will be contested.

We begin with the women’s 50 free where we have five sub-25 entrants: Shayna Jack, Meg Harris, Holly Barratt, Madi Wilsonand Mollie O’Callaghan. Jack and O’Callaghan finished 1-2 the 100 free, being the only two swimmers under 53 seconds in the race. In the 50, they will look to take the top two spots in another sprint freestyle event. They take on a big role of filling the shoes of Olympic champion Emma McKeon and Commonwealth Record holder Cate Campbellwho are not competing at this meet.

The men’s 100 back will be a showdown between top-seeded veteran Mitch Larkin and 18-year-old Isaac Cooper. Cooper currently has the hot hand, recently breaking the Australian record in the 50 back. 100 fly champion Brianna Throsell and Elizabeth Deckers are seeded just 0.05 seconds apart in the women’s 200 fly, making for a very close race. In the men’s 50 breast, 200 breast Worlds qualifier Matthew Wilson comes in as the top seed.

The final two events of the night might be the most anticipating ones. Ariarn Titmus scared the women’s 200 free world record earlier this meet to post the third-fastest time in history. In the women’s 400 free, will she establish a strong swim in prelims to break the world record later in finals? In the women’s 200 IM, we will see Kaylee McKeown take on the event that she dropped at the Olympics last year, but still ended up having the fastest time in the world for. Considering that she set a new personal best in the 400 IM, she could be primed for something big in the 200 as well.

Women’s 50 Free Heats

  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom – 23.67 (2017)
  • World Junior Record: Cate Campbell – 23.99 (2009)
  • Australian Record: Cate Campbell – 23.78 (2018)
  • Commonwealth Record: Cate Campbell – 23.78 (2018)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 25.04

Top 8:

  1. Shayna Jack – 24.23
  2. Meg Harris – 24.84
  3. Mollie O’Callaghan/Madi Wilson – 24.87
  4. Milla Jansen – 25.28
  5. Mia O’Leary – 25.43
  6. Chelsey Edwards (V) – 25.28
  7. Alexandria Perkins – 25.44
  8. Holly Barratt – 25.50

Shayna Jack cruised to a win in the first heat, winning the race in a blistering time of 24.23. She took over a tenth off her previous best time of 24.38 from back in 2019. Her time stands as the third-fastest in the world for the 2021-22 season, just behind Liu Xiang‘s 23.97 and Sarah Sjostrom‘s 24.06. Madi Wilson finished second in that same race with a time of 24.87.

2 Zhang
Yufei
CHN 24.29 09/26
3 Sarah
Sjostrom
SWE 24.31 11/04
4 Yujie
Cheng
CHN 24.41 09/26
5 Shayna
Jack
AU 24.42 05/03

View Top 19»

In the second heat, Mollie O’Callaghan matched Wilson’s time to win her race. Meg Harris won the third heat in a slightly faster time, qualifying as the second-seed behind Jack in a 24.84.

15-year-old Milla Jansen qualified for finals in fifth with a time of 25.28, dropping 0.23 seconds from her previous lifetime best of 25.51 from December 2021.

Holly Barratt, who came in with an entry time of 24.51, was off her best time and would have missed the finals, finishing 9th in a time of 25.50. However, since fifth-place qualifier Chelsey Edwards is from New Zealand and is not eligible to swim in finals, Barratt will be bumped into the top 8.

Men’s 100 Back Heats

  • World Record: Ryan Murphy – 51.85 (2016)
  • World Junior Record: Kilment Kolesnikov – 52.53 (2018)
  • Australian Record: Mitch Larkin – 52.11 (2015)
  • Commonwealth Record: Mitch Larkin – 52.11 (2015)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 54.03

Top 8:

  1. Bradley Woodward – 54.44
  2. Joshua-Edwards Smith – 54.61
  3. Mitch Larkin – 54.96
  4. Isaac Cooper – 55.15
  5. Ty Hartwell – 55.20
  6. Thomas Hauck – 55.83
  7. Thomas Neill – 55.93
  8. Nathan Foote – 55.94

In the first heat of the men’s 100 back, Mitch Larkin won with a time of 54.96. He was challenged by Ty Hartwell throughout the race and was actually trailing him after the first 50 meters.

Isaac Cooper led the second heat from start to finish, winning in a time of 55.15. Thomas Neil finished behind him in 55.93, dropping a significant amount from his lifetime best of 56.68 that he set in March 2022.

The top time in the heats came from Bradley Woodwardwho won the third heat in a 54.44. Joshua Edwards Smithwho was closing in on Woodward towards the end of the race, took the second seed in a 54.61.

No men got under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 54.04 in this prelims session.

Women’s 200 Fly Heats

  • World Record: Liu Zije – 2:01.81 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Jiao Liuyang – 2:04.72 (2008)
  • Australian Record: Jessicah Shipper – 2:03.41 (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: Jessicah Shipper – 2:03.41 (2009)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:09.21

Top 8:

  1. Brianna Throsell – 2:08.64
  2. Abbey Connor – 2:09.04
  3. Elizabeth Dekkers – 2:09.16
  4. Brittany Castelluzzo – 2:11.12
  5. Bella Grant – 2:13.04
  6. Laura Taylor – 2:13.06
  7. Kayla Hardy – 2:13.52
  8. Jessica Madden – 2:15.10

Brianna Throsell dominated the first heat, winning with a time of 2:08.64 and being under the FINA ‘A’ cut. Her time is ranked 11th in the world so far this year. Britanny Castelluzo came behind her in second, clocking at 2:11.12.

The second heat was tight at first, but Elizabeth Deckers pulled ahead of the field in the third 50, going a time of 2:09.16 to also get under the ‘A’ cut.

Leading from start to finish, 17-year-old Abbey Connor also went under the ‘A’ cut to go 2:09.04, being the third woman under 2:10 in the heats. She dropped nearly a second off her best time of 2:09.98 set a month ago. This year, her lifetime best jumped over three seconds a 2:12.15 to a 2:09.04.

Men’s 50 Breast Heats

  • World Record: Adam Peaty – 29.95 (2017)
  • World Junior Record: Nicolo Martinenghi – 26.97 (2017)
  • Australian Record: Christian Sprenger – 26.74 (2014)
  • Commonwealth Record: Adam Peaty – 29.95 (2017)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 27.33

Top 8:

  1. Samuel Williamson – 27.49
  2. Grayson Bell – 27.71
  3. Joshua Yong – 27.72
  4. Nash Wilkes – 27.75
  5. Josh Hardess – 27.91
  6. Jack Packard – 28.00
  7. Cooper Van Der Laan – 28.05
  8. Zac Stubblety-Cook – 28.09

Samuel Williamson won the first heat by over half a second in a time of 27.49, while 200 breast world record holder Zac Stubbltey-Cook came in second with a 28.09 to barely squeeze into finals. Top-seed Matthew Wilson scratched this event, and did not swim in these heats.

In the second heat, Joshua Yong and Nash Wilkes swam times of 27.72 and 27.75 respectively, to be the second and third men under the 28-second barrier. Grayson Bell took the second seed out of heat three, swimming at a time of 27.71 to win his race and become the fourth under 28.

Josh Hardess was the fifth and final swimmer sub-28 in this prelims session, qualifying in fifth with a 27.91 when he won the fourth heat.

The finals of the men’s 50 breast will be very tight, as the second, third, and fourth place qualifiers are only separated by 0.04 of a second. However, no man is below the FINA ‘A’ cut yet.

Women’s 400 Free Heats

  • World Record: Katie Ledecky – 3:56.46 (2016)
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky – 3:58.37 (2014)
  • Australian Record: Ariarn Titmus – 3:56.69 (2021)
  • Commonwealth Record: Ariarn Titmus – 3:56.69 (2021)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 4:10.57

Top 8:

  1. Ariarn Titmus – 4:06.26
  2. Lani Pallister – 4:08.87
  3. Jamie Perkins – 4:12.28
  4. Kiah Melverton – 4:12.64
  5. Maddy Gough 4:12.89
  6. Leah Neale/Kareena Lee – 4:12.98
  7. Tiana Kritzinger – 4:14.94

The first heat of the women’s 400 free was a tight race between Ariarn Titmus and Lani Pallister, with Titmus flipping at the 200 mark in 2:01.35 compared to Pallister’s 2:01.98. Titmus pulled ahead of her in the back half of the race, qualifying comfortably for finals in a 4:06.26. That’s significantly off her season-best time of 4:00.03 from the New South Wales Championships, but good enough to be the top seed. Pallister ended up finishing second behind Titmus with a time of 4:08.87. Jamie Perkins qualified as the third seed with a 4:12.28.

Four out of the eight women in the first heat scratched the race, including Tasmin Cook, the Tokyo Olympic ninth-place finisher in this event. She was originally seeded in third with her entry time of 4:04.10.

The second heat was a four-woman race between Kiah Melverton, Maddy Gough, Leah Nealeand Kareena Lee. Melverton, who just set a best time of 4:03.43 at the New South Wales meet this year, had a slight lead over the rest of her competition and won the heat with a time of 4:12.64. Gough finished second in 4:12.89, while Neale and Lee tied for third with a time of 4:12.98.

All of the women qualifying for finals were significantly slower than their best times in prelims, and Titmus was the only one under the ‘A’ cut.

Women’s 200 IM Heats

  • World Record: Katinka Hosszu – 2:06.12 (2015)
  • World Junior Record: Ye Shiwen – 2:07.57 (2012)
  • Australian Record: Stephanie Rice – 2:07.03 (2009)
  • Commonwealth Record: Stephanie Rice – 2:07.03 (2009)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:12.98

Top 8:

  1. Jenna Forrester – 2:14.14
  2. Kaylee McKeown – 2:14.15
  3. Abbey Harkin – 2:14.70
  4. Ella Ramsay – 2:15.30
  5. Mya Rasmussen – 2:17.77 (V)
  6. Lexi Harrison – 2:17.86
  7. Rebecca St. Vincent – ​​2:17.99
  8. Francesca Fitzhenry – 2:18.38
  9. Carla Buchanan – 2:18.66

In heat one, there was a close battle between defending trials champion Kaylee McKeown and Abbey Harkin, who made the Worlds team in the 100 and 200 breast. Harkin led after the butterfly, before McKeown gained a body length lead in the backstroke. Harkin caught up in the breaststroke and stayed close with McKeown on the freestyle leg of the race, but McKeown ended up out-touching her by 0.55 seconds to take the second seed headed into finals with a time of 2:14.15.

McKeown was well off her best time of 2:08.19, but that shouldn’t be a concern considering her trend of dropping significant time from prelims to finals at this meet. Her splits were 29.25/33.62/38.75/32.53 while Harkin’s splits were 28.85/35.73/37.43/32.63.

Ella Ramsay won the second heat in 2:15.30, while 400 IM runner-up Jenna Forrester dominated the third heat with a time of 2:14.14, which is faster than McKeown’s time and puts her as the top seed headed into finals. Her swim was a new best time, an improvement from the 2:14.40 she swam at Olympic trials last year.

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