Home » Superstar just 0.08sec off world record in pre-Olympics warning as Aussie gun surprised at trials

Superstar just 0.08sec off world record in pre-Olympics warning as Aussie gun surprised at trials

Night 2 of the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials saw a host of stars hit the pool at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre with spots on the line for the Paris Olympics.

Kaylee McKeown opened the night by narrowly missing the chance to break her own world record in the 100m backstroke.

The young superstar missed out by just 0.08 seconds, touching the wall with a 57.41 after turning 0.30 seconds ahead of record pace.

McKeown now has the seven fastest times in the history of the event.

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Mollie O’Callaghan was second with a blistering 57.88 but with a packed schedule she is thought to be unlikely to race in the event in Paris.

Iona Anderson, third with a 58.43, looms as the qualifier in her place. Emily Seebohm, the 32-year-old new mum seeking a fifth Olympic Games, finished seventh in a remarkable result.

Olympic swimming champion Emily Seebohm swimming with son Sampson. Picture: Lachie Millard.Source: News Corp Australia

Jenna Strauch narrowly earned her second Olympic appearance after winning the women’s 100m breaststroke with a 1:06.90, despite not meeting the qualifying time.

She will take Australia’s breaststroke place in the medley relays after the retirement of Chelsea Hodges, which unfortunately shapes as the team’s weakest leg.

Rising star Max Guiliani, the fastest Aussie in the 200m freestyle ever not named Ian Thorpe, clinched his first Olympics bid by storming home with a 1:45.83 to pip Thomas Neill (1:46.02, just outside the qualifying time).

Hayley Lewis’ son Kai Taylor finished second fastest in the heats but was fourth in the final, while 2022 400m world champ Elijah Winnington – who had already qualified for the Games via his pet event but was considering the shorter form – was only third.

The strong race overall will give Australia confidence heading into the 4x200m relay at the Games.

Aussie stars shine in Olympic Qualifying | 02:29

In the 100m backstroke, no Aussie men met the qualifying time as 50m world champion Isaac Cooper (53.46) faded late but held on to win from Bradley Woodward (53.53).

In his comeback from shoulder surgery, Mitch Larkin – attempting to become the first male Australian swimmer to race in four Olympics – was fourth with a 54.22.

“I wouldn’t be swimming like this if I didn’t wanna go to Paris. There’s obviously very much a big hunger still,” Larkin said.

“I love the sport. I love the whole concept of the Olympics, the whole pursuit of taking your body and trying to physically push it as far as it can and better yourself every day. That’s something that really excites me.

“My surgeon said ‘look, realistically, you might never see him again or you may never swim at the top level again. And that was pretty hard to hear. But I had some time to reflect and sort of ‘go, look, you’ve had a pretty good career.’

“But like I said, I love the sport. I’m fortunate enough that I’ve got other opportunities that are waiting for me. If I was to hang up the togs right now, I could sort of step into a full time role and start a career there.

“I never wanted to retire and just think, what would have happened if you had of going back to training and you potentially could have got that shoulder back to what it was capable of. So that’s what’s really driving me the last couple of months.”

“If I don’t make Paris, I’m not gonna have a tantrum. I’ll be obviously pretty upset. You know, four Olympics would be pretty impressive. And I think it’d be a really nice way to just finish off a pretty good career.”

Ariarne Titmus v the World Record | 00:59

AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC SWIM TRIALS

To qualify for the Olympic team, a swimmer must finish in the top two of the A final of their event, and meet Swimming Australia’s qualifying time.

The event is being held at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre and can be watched on Nine and 9Now, with the finals from 7:30pm AEST each night.

The final team will be announced on Saturday night.

Qualification times (men’s / women’s)

50m freestyle: 21.88 / 24.67

100m freestyle: 48.06 / 53.61

200m freestyle: 1:45.97 / 1:56.49

400m freestyle: 3:45.43 / 4:04.98

800m freestyle: 7:45.80 / 8:22.20

1500m freestyle: 14:54.29 / 16:01.95

100m backstroke: 53.21 / 59.62

200m backstroke: 1:57.28 / 2:09.74

100m breaststroke: 59.49 / 1:06.31

200m breaststroke: 2:09.50 / 2:23.91

100m butterfly: 51.17 / 57.17

200m butterfly: 1:54.97 / 2:07.72

200m individual medley: 1:57.23 / 2:10.62

400m individual medley: 4:12.50 / 4:38.53

World record times

50m freestyle: 20.91 / 23.61

100m freestyle: 46.80 / 51.71

200m freestyle: 1:42.00 / 1:52.85 (Mollie O’Callaghan)

400m freestyle: 3:40.07 / 3:55.38 (Ariarne Titmus)

800m freestyle: 7:32.12 / 8:04.79

1500m freestyle: 14:31.02 / 15:20.48

100m backstroke: 51.60 / 57.33 (Kaylee McKeown)

200m backstroke: 1:51.92 / 2:03.14 (Kaylee McKeown)

100m breaststroke: 56.88 / 1:04.13

200m breaststroke: 2:05.48 / 2:17.55

100m butterfly: 49.45 / 55.48

200m butterfly: 1:50.34 / 2:06.12

200m individual medley: 1:54.00 / 2:06.12

400m individual medley: 4:02.50 / 4:24.38