Emma McKeon Career-High 57.2 ‘Fly, Larkin & Madison Lead Show Of Smoothness & Skills

Emma McKeon by Patrick B. Kraemer

The smoothness and control in a 57.27 career high from Emma McKeon in the 100 ‘fly; a 1:55.16 200m back beyond a 1:59 200IM from Mitch Larkin; and 59.22 from Madison Wilson in the 100 back at Victoria State titles in Melbourne provided a glimpse of the summer speed building Down Under on the way to Olympic Trials in April and the Rio 20126 Olympic Games beyond.

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The smoothness and control in a 57.27 career high from Emma McKeon in the 100 ‘fly; a 1:55.16 200m back beyond a 1:59 200IM from Mitch Larkin; and 59.22 from Madison Wilson in the 100 back at Victoria State titles in Melbourne provided a glimpse of the summer speed building Down Under on the way to Olympic Trials in April and the Rio 20126 Olympic Games beyond.


Bad Anon

A very decent IM effort from Larkin. World class backstroke swimmers almost always have a decent IM in them. Wilson’s 59.22 complements her 2.07 very well. Michael Bohl knows how to make Olympic champions, Steph Rice his most decorated olympian to date. Rio will see Bohl’s class of Olympic champions getting bigger

paolo rubbiani

Many ups and a few downs for Australian Swimming


1) Mitch Larkin at a strong double 200im-200back at this point of the season. Swimming 1.59.3 in the 200 im and 1.55.1 in the 200 back is a remarkable effort and a first sign of a future all-around swimmer. The final free-split of 27.64 in the 200 im suggests that Larkin could be an important addition to aussie 4×200 free at Rio (I think that Larkin will swim a saub-1.47 in the 200 free at trials).
2) Emma Mckeon PB in the 100 fly with a “Sjostrom-esque” back-half of the race. Splitting 29.9 the last 50m is really impressive.
3) Youngster Georgia Bohl, after yesterday sub-1’07” in the 100 breaststroke, at a solid effort also in the 200 breast. Promising, together with McKeon PB in the fly, for women’s Australian medley relay.
4) Maddy Wilson a consolidated force in the backstroke, with clear signs of improvement in the 200.


1) Mack Horton and David McKeon: two different situations with different troubles. We know well about McKeon’s difficulty to perform at his best in the main event of the year on international stage. About Horton we haven’t the same evidence, but, unfortunately, a certain frailty is there in a young swimmer with a huge potential.


Thoughts on the session:

Interesting that Larkin gave himself a work-out in the 200IM to start the session. Despite this being a weak event on AUS male side, I suspect he will not race this at Trials and follow his successful blue-print from 2015 of concentrating on backstroke.

If ever a 1.55 M200back looked easily, Larkin managed it tonight. Others may snag the 2nd AUS qualifier spot but they will be working damned hard.

Probably the best swim in a couple of years from Barratt in the W400free. Maybe she’s not out of the picture to qualify in this event although we can never know which Bronte we will get from one day/one event to another.

A Larkinesque performance in the W100back from Wilson. It may be interesting to see whether she & Seebohm push each other more than a little below 59sec at Super Series. As it is, this swim sends out a message to her international competitors that she’s starting this years very nicely thank you, and intends being a major factor in Rio.

Bohl looked very good for about 170m before the full Steinway concert grand dropped from a great height allowing McKeown to pass her in the final strokes. Having said that, the AUS QT of 2.23.06 does look possible for both.

Packard was a no show in the M100BRS after a somewhat pedestrian heat swim. Wilson was the most impressive in what was a mediocre field. One suspects Rio may be a couple of years to early for him with regards to the 100 whereas the 200 may still be interesting.

M200free was pedestrian with Dan Smith looking the strongest for the bulk of the race before tying up somewhat coming home.

Classy and dominating as Larkin & Wilson were, my most impressive swim of the evening was McKeonE in W100fly. Without a doubt the best fly swim I have seen from her, it will be very interesting to see what she may show at Super Series & maybe NSW titles leading into Trials. It may also give her a nice kick of confidence which may’ve taken a knock after the medley relay in Kazan.

Thoughts on the live stream: Its early days for such a venture in AUS swimming and thus a learning experience. One of the golden rules of commentary is to NOT strive to fill every second on air with “yap” but the guests they brought in were very informative. Along with Craig, I feel this can have a very positive effect in not only widening the base watching the stream but widening their understanding.

They stated on “chat” that they were wanting the news to get around so that they can operate this at other major meets. I did mention that their stream has been getting positive comment on a major international swim page (this one !)


I agree with Commonwombat, I hope larkin doesn’t even think of adding 200 IM back into his repertoire.

200 IM was actually always in Larkin’s events until last year where he dropped IM to concentrate on backstroke, to a successful results. I hope he doesn’t even think of swimming it in the trials.


I am quite surprised with Chalmers’ already gone 1:48.61 in 200 free. In January. Also when I thought his program is strictly sprints (50/100 free, 200 fly)
On the other hand, his 50 free was not too hot.

Is he now tryong to focus on 100-200 free antistiuran.


I sorry I meant Chalmers’ program is strictly sprints (50/100 free,100 fly).

Please ignore the last patagraph above.

Shoud have read: Competition fo r4x200 berth is fierce: mcEvoy, favif mc Keon, thomas fraserl holmes, Daniel smit, mackhorton,

I guess gurttign into the


AS, what was that? Now maybe Larkin will swim the 200 free for relay spot, there is quite some aweseome depth in the 4×200, as much as the serial tourist (McKeon) is in individual, his times at int’l level are not bad for 4th 200 simmer in relay. But yes McEvoy, Fraser Holmes, both has potential to take it even higher, Daniel Smith the comeback kid, Mack Horton, Chalmers, Larkin & of course Hackett.


One truly wonders WHY Roy feels he must strive to derail so many threads onto topics completely irrelevant to the text of the article.

Going by their general superficiality & inanity, it would appear that he hasn’t bothered to actually read these proposed guidelines otherwise at least some of his hyperbole would be straight out the window.


Ah, they’ve been removed whilst I way typing mine. Please feel free to remove these comments of mine as well !


Now you got me really intrigued to know what Roy wrote in his deleted comment.
It’s not about Ledecky, is it? LOL.

Can anyone confirm what happened to Jake Packard? Without him, Australia can say bye bye to any chance of Medley relay medal. Andrew Wilson is progressing too slowly to become substantial replacement.

There’s a chance Magnussen may not make it in the individual if Chalmers’ 200 free progress is any indication of what his 100 free will be come trials.


Sorry I meant Matthew Wilson.

Craig Lord

Happy to leave your comments CW, as they explain why I removed Roy’s latest attempt to link things without us noticing… as if 🙂 I haven’t written on the subject raised and don’t feel a need to until any moment when it might be relevant. Your suggestion to read Olympic guidelines (on all topics, including transgender athletes) is the best advice for Roy.


Maybe Packard & camp just decided to pull the plug on this competition as they may have already got enough of a read on his current state from the 50 & 100 heats. Maybe I’ll ask that question on the Live Stream !!

Wilson may be an interesting conundrum for the AUS selectors. He is clearly a major prospect but his 100 is still 12-18 months away from nudging 1min, so he clearly is NOT an option for the medley relay.

However, his 200 is further advanced and the FINA A time IS certainly within touching distance even if the AUS QT in the 2.09 is not. Should he swim a FINA A time and into the 2.10sAT Trials, will they select him for experience or say “no AUS QT, no plane ticket ?”

Craig Lord

Saw your question on that one yesterday, CW – good question – what does the policy say on that?


Well they’ve now got Packard as guest on Live Stream so lets see if she dares ask any such question ? He DID drop in a 59.94 a month ago at Qld titles so it may be just a different point in his preparation.

Craig Lord

It isn’t relevant Roy because we have no swimmers in the elite realm to which this applies (and no, don’t start speculating on the back of no knowledge nor evidence, please). If that changes, it’ll be worth looking at it.


I think Chalmers should focus on 100 free/fly (a la Michael Klim). I think he holds Australia’s 100 fly NAG record for 14 yo. He might turn out quite good in fly, and considering the dearth of decent male flyers (both 100/200), he may even have a chance for 100 fly berth, but maybe this year is too soon.

Or Australia should hope that Jayden Hadler can still continue to improve, considering he holds all butterfly age group records.

Craig Lord

aswimfan – your comments removed because: no discussion of that entirely off-topic topic, please. Totally irrelevant for swimming as things stand. As far as I am aware this has no application to a single elite swimmer in the world right now. If it ever should, then it becomes relevant and discussion can be had beyond the realms of petty speculation inherent in the kind of comments left by Roy. End of topic, for everyone. Thanks


Picks of the night:

Bohl’s 30.92 in W50BRS. Non Olympic event but certainly a nice indicator of present speed.

1.56.29 from McKeonE & 1.56.66 from Barratt in W200free. Nice signposts, especially for Barratt who has been a tad disappointing in recent years. A slight cautionary note re EMcK is that she was also swimming these times in state meets last year but there was negligible time drop at Nationals. Madi Wilson laid down a 100free time trial of 54.22 which indicates she wants a piece of the W4X100 action.

Magnussen 22.51 in M50free. Solid enough. Rio qualification in this event will be no easy matter for ANY AUS hopeful.

Larkin 52.85 M100back, enuff sed.

Coutts 2.12.05 ahead of fast finish from Evans 2.12.58. AUS QT of 2.11.39 within reach but little sign that Coutts is likely to reacquaint herself with her previous times.


Even if Coutts qualify for Rio, the w200 IM has elevated since London/Barcelona. Not only Hosszu, but I was extremely impressed with Watanabe. I think Watanabe can get sub 2:08 this year, and bronze definitely will be 2:08low or faster.

Best chance for Coutts to medal in Rio if she can get her 200 free back again at her best: 1:56low to be put in the 4×200 relay. But then again, these days, Australia is not guaranteed medal in 4×200 when THREE swimmers shockingly split 1:58 like in Kazan.

Coutts always had huge prpgram, so MAYBE there’s silver lining in swimming only one individual and one relay that afford her to swim close to her PBs.

Personal Best

Well, from my memory of previous Victorian State titles, they aren’t usually the most competitive. It’s still relatively early in the season, with the Super Series now a more attractive affair, then the NSW State titles following.

I think these are pretty impressive times, and it’s probably too early to read into them.


He’s a 49sec man for 100free. He may look to thrown down a 200free “marker” in heats at NSW titles (early Mar) or even at Nationals as an indicator of interest for the 4X200 but a sub 1.47man ? One wonders on what you have based that supposition.

Chalmers and 200free ? Whilst he has raced this and was part of the 4X200 at World Juniors, his track record has been one of running out for juice going home. I’m not sure he’s any game changer, or even a viable heats option, for a relay that is (admittedly) very short on quality.


I wonder if St Peter’s Western (Michael Bohl) swimmers are at the end of their training block and rested. All of their swimmers are swimming fats in this meet: Larkin, Madi Wilson, Emma McKeon, Barratt, Georgina Bohl, etc.


Well, yes, Aussie Rules is far more lucrative than swimming, especially if you are in Adelaide like Chalmers (because there’s no rugby to compete with).

an Illustration how popular Aussie Rules is:
When I was studying in living in Australia, one day I was flying from Melbourne to Adelaide, and even before the plane took off, there were deafening non-stop screams from a group of girls in the plane because we had in the plane an Aussie Rules team traveling for a match. I can’t remember the names of the players, but one of them was called ‘Buddha”, and another “God” or something. I am not joking.

Unless you are super elite top swimmers with multiple olympics golds (like Ian Thorpe were), it’s much better financially to be an Aussie Rules player.

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