Australian Swimming Olympic Trials have been a constant show of skill, speed and strength of character, over the first four days, and there are so many great stories coming out of the Trials.
Scooter and Ahmed steal the show
Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson and Ahmed Kelly (both SM3) stole the show, and the hearts of all those watching, when they swam the multiclass individual 150m medley. Each posted a qualifying time, giving them a chance of booking their second and third Paralympic spots respectively.
Whilst their times don’t guarantee them a spot on the plane to Tokyo, due to the nature of Paralympic qualifying, each have been inside the qualifying time in multiple events.
Regardless of the results, the profile of Paralympic hopefuls has been raised, with Patterson, Kelly and Katja Dedekind (S13 – 50m free) swimming elite qualifying times and Dedekind with a new Australian record.
New Women’s event looks the goods to bring 15 minutes of fame
The women’s 1500m freestyle has been added to the Olympic program, and straight away, it brought some young women to the floor. Maddy Gough (15:46.13) rewrote the Australian Record by almost six seconds, set in 2015. Young Kiah Melberton also swam a qualifying time of 15:57.14, sending both girls on the plane to Tokyo.
The event is no longer the longest event on the swimming program (that falls to the marathon swim), but watching the women swim the endurance event that has such history in Australian swimming is exciting for the future.
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Aussies fire warning shots to the record books
Zac Stubblety-Cook (200m breaststroke) and Ariarne Titmus (200m freestyle) each clocked the second-fastest time in history in their sports. Titmus in particular has shown that her battle with Katie Ledecky, will be the drag race we are all waiting for.
Titmus has the second-fastest swim in the 200m freestyle, and the 400m freestyle. In both cases, the fastest woman ever is Ledecky. It’s not yet clear which events Ledecky will race (USA Trials are next week), but it’s certain that watching the two women go at it will be a sight to see.
Men’s 100m free sees the return of Olympiads past
Kyle Chalmers won the Men’s 100m freestyle, securing his place to defend his Olympic gold medal from Rio 2016. Cameron McEvoy finished third, so he won’t swim the individual race, but will be a part of the 4x100m freestyle relay.
After previously representing Australia at London 2012, and Rio 2016, he was down in form recently. His return to form is a welcome sign for all those with fond Olympic memories.
Odd Man out in the 200 Butterfly
The 200m butterfly is one of the most difficult and draining events in the pool. At this year’s trials, it was also one of the most hotly contested, as the top 3 finishers were split by just 0.63s.
Only Matthew Temple and David Morgan qualify, with Bowen Gough the desperately unlucky man. Ike Martinez, just 14 years old, finished 4 seconds off the pace, showing that he has a bright future.
Gough, Temple, Morgan and Cody Simpson will be ones to watch on the last day of the Trials in the 100m butterfly.
Trials continue until 17 June 2021.
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