HomeNews ArticlesNight 1 Finals: Australian Swimming Trials
Australian Dolphins | 11 June 2024

Night 1 Finals: Australian Swimming Trials

AN emotional Lani Pallister, a fearless Ariarne Titmus, a disbelieving Josh Yong and a stroke-for-stroke tussle between Sam Short and Elijah Winnington all featured on the opening night of finals at the Australian Swimming Trials.

The crowd at Brisbane Aquatic Centre was treated to a night that saw Titmus (3:55.44) go within 0.06 seconds of breaking her own world record in the 400m freestyle.

And then Kaylee McKeown (2:06.63) followed up with a Commonwealth record in the 200m individual medley, a gruelling event she is adding to her program at the Paris Olympics.

Titmus said: “I took it out and I was quite fearless. Trials is a bit of a free shot for me.”

“I don’t have to worry about getting under the qualifying time so if I stuff up I have the luxury that I’d probably still be on the team. So it’s about trying new things.”

For Pallister, who finished second behind Titmus in 4:02.27 and under the SA Olympic qualifying time, it was a moment to share on pool deck with mum Janelle Pallister, a 1988 Olympian, and godmother Dawn Fraser.

In other results, Emma McKeon all but secured her ticket to Paris in the 100m butterfly.

“The pressure is always on at Olympic trials. It’s just crazy,” said McKeon, who has freestyle sprints to come later in the six-day meet.

“Everyone is always going to be very nervous so I am glad I have got my first one out of the way.”

McKeon clocked 56.85 while second placegetter Alex Perkins finished in 57.33.

In the men’s 400m freestyle final Elijah Winnington, the 2022 world champion in the event, and Sam Short, the 2023 world champ, continued their rivalry with a stroke-for-stroke battle.

Winnington (3:43.26) pipped Short (3:43.90) with a last-gasp burst.

In the men’s 100m breaststroke, Sam Williamson’s (pictured) winning time of 58.80 ensured his ticket to Paris and Joshua Yong placed second in 59.48, one-hundredth of a second inside SA’s Olympic qualifying time.

Veteran Brenden Hall is eyeing off a fifth Paralympics after holding off young guns Harrison Vig and Tim Hodge in the S9 400m freestyle.

“I feel like you can’t really put it into words. When I finally told my mom I cried a little bit when Ellie told me that I’m going to become an Olympian, I cried. Going from three years ago where I quit swimming to now where, I get to go to my first Olympics. It’s just incredible.”

“I think for the past three or four final 400m freestyles we’ve been on together it’s been like point three or something apart every single time. We always fight and we always race each other… tonight was ultimately about just getting the box ticked and making the [Olympic] team.

“Sam, so much younger than me, and he’s pushing me all the time and like I said, we’re within .2 or .3 of each other every single race we do so. I know when I’m at training, I’m thinking about Sam and making sure I’m pushing myself and I’m sure that Sam does the same.

“I think that’s why Thorpie and Hackett were so good… because they were then pushing each other all the time and they kept making each other better.”

“We’ve got six weeks of work, six weeks to just try and get a right because it’s not a slow time [posted] by any stretch of the imagination, but knowing what some of those guys are throwing down to the rest of the world, there’s still a lot of work we can do.”

“It’s still surreal, I think. I guess every swimmer that’s [make an Olympics] is why we get into the water every morning to reach this goal, I guess to see it finally come to fruition, it’s surreal.”


“There’s been ups and downs towards going through it all. But it’s definitely paid off for me [move to St Andrew’s] and I’m training better than ever. ”


No one wants to see the old guy win the race, so it is kind of my little stick it to the young guys,” he joked.

“When it comes time for competition that inner mongrel comes out”.