Cate Campbell 1st Under 53 in Olympic Year As McEvoy Holds Off Chalmers 48.4 to 48.6

Cate Campbell, courtesy of Swimming Australia
Cate Campbell, courtesy of Swimming Australia

Cate Campbell, with the first sub-53 two-lap freestyle among women in the world this year, an 8:19 from Jess Ashwood in the 800m free and a tight tussle between Cameron McEvoy and Kyle Chalmers produced the highlights of the first day of action at NSW Championships at the Sydney Olympic pool today

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Rafael

Commom what are your thoughts on the freestyle relay and mag situation?

Also Australia breaststroke problem for women side might be solved now and almost a jwr on 200 fly today

commonwombat

Rafael, Chalmers’ time is very positive in that it is now looking far more likely that AUS will have a 2nd individual qualifier in the M100free.

With regards to the M4X100, the fact that Magnussen continues to “splutter and misfire” like an old rustbucket is worrying as is the fact that the rest look firmly anchored in the 49mids or worse.

Whilst its certain that the collective time of the top4 at Trials will better the threshold of 3.16.24; if the 3rd/4th times aren’t significantly lower then whilst they should qualify for Rio, they would be battling to make a final thus giving selectors reasons to ponder NOT proceeding with this relay.

Clearly, they are playing it cautious with C2’s hip injury however McKeon’s sub53.5 time IS very pleasing. Other AUS times nothing to rave about but a number of other relay contenders did not start.

Bohl’s recent series of sub1.07s ARE certainly positive; it will be a matter of actually keeping this run through Trials and then doing it when it really matters but at least having someone swimming these times is a major improvement on the previous situation.

Ashwood’s consistency is another positive although Packard’s fall-away from heats to final would not be particularly pleasing to his camp.

paolo rubbiani

It’s fascinating for us, swimming fans, following these meetings before the first real test (for Aussies, trials at Adelaide on April from 7 to 14) because there are intriguing ups and downs.

Ups

Emma McKeon (53.48 in the 100 free with a strong back-half at 27.51, after a 26.08 in the 50 fly), Georgia Bohl (1.06.65 in the 100 breast, another improving-step in this season), Kyle Chalmers (48.68 with a back-half after 25″, splitting the race in a similar way like McEvoy did), Minna Atherton (2.08.90 in the 200 back very near to Wilson and in front at Hocking: the youngster is arriving..)

Downs

Mack Horton (3.49.94 is a little worrying a month before the trials, I’m afraid about his full recovery after the health issues before Kazan), Magnussen (for one who swam every meet under 48″, now is a real problem dipping under the 49″), the aussies flyers (4 japanese swimmers, and without the strongest, in front in the 200 fly)

Uhm..

Mitch Larkin has been overwhelming for months and months, in every competition. Today’s 25.23 in the 50 back looks a bit strange: the intriguing ups and downs during the training period with different workloads affecting also the best swimmers.

paolo rubbiani

Edit: Kyle Chalmers (48.68 with a back-half under 25″)

TommyL

Looking at Maggie’s time I think he will not secure the 2nd place at trials after McEvoy.

Chalmers is looking good and I expect him to be somewhere 48,00-48,20 at trials. That is amazing time for an 18 year old.

The Flying Dutchman swam 49,13 when he was 18 in Atlanta.

Rafael

Will Chalmers try to get the Jr World Record?

aswimfan

TommyL,

During the Aussie trials, Chalmers will still be 17 yo. He was born on 25 June.

commonwombat

Rafael, why ?? What is its particular significance with regards to his season’s goals ?? If it happens, well and good but these things happen …. when they happen and not as part of any set linear pattern.

Tommy. any time inside 48.49 will do so a new PB no matter the margin should get him on the plane given the pedestrian level of AUS sprinting outside himself and McEvoy.

Paolo, re Horton maybe there have been some longer term effects from that illness. Maybe his confidence also took a significant hit after not making key finals in Kazan.

You are also far kinder than I with regards to AUS Mfly; they’re prime material for a Lampoon movie.

Majer99

Horton went a similar time last year pre his 3:42 at nationals so don’t think it is panic stations as yet.

PB for Atherton in the 200 back. Looking forward to the 100 at this meet and obviously trials.

aswimfan

Isn’t it also a PB for Georgia Bohl?

Craig Lord

not quite, aswimfan: 0.02 out.

Yozhik

It looks like Emma McKeon is on high alert and is ready to take an action should one of Campbell sisters misfire at trials. However I wouldn’t expect her to go far beyond her personal best where she is wandering around for two years already. That pb is not a threat for Campbells. It will be interesting to see where she is at 200 with such fast 100.

commonwombat

Yozhik, her previous PB was at Japan Cup last year. If you are making comment about her 100free tracking then you have to say the same regarding her 200free which has been meandering 1.55mid-high over the same period.

With regards to the overall team; it may actually be more vital to see how her 100fly is progressing to any real degree given the decline of Coutts and lack of any other real quality in this event.

Yozhik

Emma’s five bests at 100:
53.32 — 23/5/2015
53.43 — 1/4/2014
53.48 — 4/3/2016
53.61 — 24/7/2014
53.68 — 7/4/2015
Maybe ‘wandering’ is not the right word to describe this pattern, but this is the best what I found in my poor vocabulary. Interesting to note however that most of good times were shown at northern spring time.

ThereaLuigi

Let’s see what Mag does in the 50 free. If he goes sub 22, we will know he still has the base speed and may hope it is just a matter of building endurance for the double lap. The 100 free is a “sprint” race only relative to most other free events, in truth it is a circa 50 second maximum effort that requires a lot of stamina. He might have it all figured it out last-minute at the Trials.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, makes little difference but you’re missing one: she’s done 53.61 twice, 2014 and 2015, making 53.68 her 6th best on a list of 14 sub-54s.

commonwombat

Therea, add the 0.7 generally added for a flying start and his 50 is only a 22.4. Given he’s only rarely been below 22sec when fit, I’d wouldn’t be putting too much cash on a sub22 here.

With regards to Trials, he’s still needing a drop of at least 0.75sec to get to the AUS QT in the 100free and it looks like Chalmers currently has a better shot. It may well be that Magnussen MIGHT be up and fully firing by Rio ….. but I think selectors would like to see him below 49sec to seal the argument for proceeding with the M4X100.

ThereaLuigi

Wait CW why are you mentioning flying start, what did I miss?

Also, do you seriously believe selectors would consider not competing in the 4×100 relay, even if they get the QT?

Yozhik

Thanks Craig. I’ll correct my records.

commonwombat

Therea, the flying start is relevant because this split was part of a mixed club 200free (4×50) relay.

Why take a relay that is not even likely to make a final ? By screwing up in Kazan and not automatically qualifying for Rio, its has opened up the possibility of selectors discretion entering the equation.

There is a very sound argument to be made for not sending a team if the spread of times are such that there is a significant fall away from the top 2 finishers and it is considered they are unlikely to make the final. Plenty of countries have the balls to make such calls, why should AUS continue to stamp tourist’s passports ?

Whilst one hopes this doesn’t happen, at this point there IS a significant drop when you look past McEvoy & Chalmers and Magnussen is looking questionable. Beyond that, the quality/international records are debateable at best.

ThereaLuigi

Ok about the split, CW. I knew nothing about the 4×50 relay. Obviously a 21 high on a flying start does not bode well for the solo 50 free but let’s see what happens.

I would not like to see a 4×100 final in Rio without the Aussies, and I believe you are being a tad extreme. But again, we will see.

paolo rubbiani

@ThereaLuigi: Magnussen has swum a 21.70 (with a fast 0.04 flying start) in the second leg of the mixed 4×50 free relay, after the individual 100 free.
In my opinion, at the moment, McEvoy and Chalmers are the favorites for the two individual spots in the 100 free, with Magnussen and Roberts (the two twins James) in troubles approaching an Olympic trials after the stellar trials of 4 years ago (Magnussen at 47.10, Roberts 5 tenths of a second behind).
I hope that, beside McEvoy and Chalmers, the two twins-James will gain the Olympic berth at least for the relay and who knows that at Rio the Aussie team, as a dark-horse, will obtain more than in London, where it was the hot favorite..( in the last Olympics never won the favorite squad: France was the favorite in Beijing and lost to Usa, Australia was the favorite in London and lost to France and Usa).

commonwombat

Therea, I’m not being extreme but rather very cold-blooded in my assessment. It is highly likely post Rio that AUS Swimming and almost every other AUS Olympic sporting body will facing the reality of slashed funding and having to be much more stringent in their selection policy for future Games given the likelihood of Rio producing poorer overall results than London ….. and being outperformed by NZL (another 1984 scenario) !!

It’s a 95% certainty they will qualify for Rio and this relay will go but unless the top four finishers are sub49 then they’re going to battle to make the final.

Paolo, the prospects for this relay basically revolve around Magnussen. Firing or even at 95%, they should make the final. Misfiring Maggie ….. they’re battling.

Roberts …… has never performed internationally …. there’s nothing in his recent results to suggest he’s any “magic bullet” for this relay. The one reliable relay option in recent years has been Abood but he has no real times on the board this season.

This may be controversial ….. or sacrilege to some … but it would not be a surprise if NO AUS male relay medals in Rio. The M4X200 will be a much tougher race in Rio ….. and the 4XMED was saved by a total WTF split from McEvoy. This, too, is likely to be significantly tougher than Kazan.

paolo rubbiani

@Commonwombat: I agree that Magnussen will be pivotal for Aussie 4×100 free relay hopes.
I think that both McEvoy and Chalmers will perform greatly. Nobody expects that Magnussen will swim at his best, but it could be enough a solid split (47 high with a flying start, not impossible for August) to keep Australia in the mix for medals (and even for the gold medal).
And if that happens, why excluding a fourth swimmer capable of a 48 low-48 mid (Roberts, Abood, To or someone other) ?
Nothing extraordinary.., just the right shape at the right moment.

commonwombat

Paolo, that is an ideal scenario but its a long way from being a certainty. You would want to see some clear evidence that Magnussen IS tracking in that direction.

At this point, there is negligible evidence this is happening. For all we know, what we’re seeing now may be his performance “ceiling” post operation. Similarly with the others, the selectors would want to see times far more competitive than we have currently seen.

The scenario that I painted (of not sending a team) is not one that I want to see however the “not yet qualified” status AND the potential uncompetitiveness of swimmers 3&4 (let alone any alternates) have brought it into calculations.

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