Emma McKeon Joins 200 Scrum: 1:54.83 Comm’ Record As 100m Men Dance On Eggshells

Emma McKeon - courtesy of Swimming Australia

It has been a long time coming, steady increments season by season in keeping with long-term work tilted at excellence some the hour. Emma McKeon: 1:54.83, 200m freestyle on day 4 at Australian Championships in Adelaide. One more hot time for the pot simmering and set to boil in Brazil come August. Cameron McEvoy 48 flat – followed by a fair amount of nerves and/or tactics

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It has been a long time coming, steady increments season by season in keeping with long-term work tilted at excellence some the hour. Emma McKeon: 1:54.83, 200m freestyle on day 4 at Australian Championships in Adelaide. One more hot time for the pot simmering and set to boil in Brazil come August. Cameron McEvoy 48 flat – followed by a fair amount of nerves and/or tactics



Amazing time by mckeon. After her 56+ butterfly swim and now a 1:54+ freestyle she seems to be peaking at the right time. Should be in with a chance for a bronze medal (I feel either ledecky or sjostrom will take the gold). I wonder if mckeon can beat an injured C2 to take the second 100m spot? Personally I’d rather she concentrate on the other two as she could win a bronze in both of them


High possibility of Only Mcevoy swimming the 100 free.. Will Australia send the men 4×100 free relay?

Craig Lord

Yes, they will, Rafael.


Super time for Emma. I am sure she will be really pleased. Great second 50, she really swam a similar race to that of Alison Schmitt in London.

Great top 2 for Aus 200 Fly Men. That will get them a shot at a final. The 200 fly is turning out to be a highly competitive field. Come Rio, 1:55 will not be enough for top 5 i feel, so i hope they can push through and continue to improve.

The mens 100 free was a let down. Magnussen has, in the past, talked the talk after heats and semis, but is just not the same swimmer we saw in 2013. My money is on KC for the second berth. Great swim though for Matt Abood. I am sure he will want to get on that relay team. So far though Canada is looking stronger than the Aussies (who would have thought 4 years ago).

Pleased for Alicia Coutts for her contribution to the Aus Team come Rio, She will be important not only in the pool, but as a leader. 2:09 is not shabby at all, and she can continue to improve to get down to the 2:08 low mark.

Just a footnote, RSA trials start today. I would imagine there would be qualifying times from Myles brown and Cam VDB.

Here is the link for anyone interested



A very positive statement from Emma McKeon, but the 4×200 doesn’t look too good.
There can hardly be any worse feeling than missing out on an Olympic spot by by the smallest margin, so Grant Irvine must be feeling pretty damn good to be the other side of the clock.


Anon, Ledeckey will destroy all in the 200. Will be great scrap for minor medals, technically McKeon looks more and more like the Campbell girls.

RSA….the men’s 200fly is not great. Those guys cruised the heats and semis again saving all for final. At Rio they will have to swim close to that to semi and that’ll be the end of them, unable yet again to back up because they don’t practice it. Which is why I believe that having semis over 200 in not worthwhile at trials.

Going to be an incredibly tense 100 final tomorrow, Chalmers in 6 and what has to be a fragile Magnussen in 7 after nearly missing altogether. For me McEvoy 47.6, Chalmers 48.2

Craig Lord

I agree with that thought on semis, in general, felixdp: if you absolutely replicate what you’ll have to do come the big one, fine but very few do, even less so in China at trials in Fosham, semis like a training set for many of the swiftest and someone pointless. It touches on one of the reasons why virtual meet comparisons during trials don’t work, the conditions under which everyone is swimming somewhat different. Straight heats to finals in Britain, for example – and that makes sense, seems to me.


I will agree with felix re M200fly and 100free.

Sincerest congratulations to Morgan & Irvine
for pulling out those swims under pressure but Rio will require them to pull out those swims in heats just to progress …. and neither have demonstrated the capacity to back up.

M100free. Barring personal disaster between now and tomorrow night … or breaking; McEvoy wins this, probably somewhere in the 47.5-8 range. Chalmers has to be favoured for 2nd spot but he’ll need to pull out something to make the QT.

With regards to the realy; the composite times of top 4 finishers must better 3.16.20 in order for it to be “green -lighted” and a TT set to post a QT. Top four would be hoping they are sub49.

Magnussen may now have to just swallow his ego and just swim as fast as her can and hope he finishes top4. Abood’s time was a positive in my eyes. He’s no superstar but he IS a very reliable relay man; something that could not be said of Tommy the Tourist …. who is now no longer with us

Em was a very very pleasant surprise and I’m happy to be proven wrong re her time. Where she ultimately sits in the international pecking order of the event won’t be known until Trials season is fully played out, but it would be fair to suggest that she would at least be a finals contender.

W4X200 will obviously be sent as they are already qualified but I suspect it will be de-prioritised with NO “relay only” relections; ie squad of McKeonE, Barratt, Groves, Cook with maybe fallback of Ashwood & Coutts.

Coutts qualification looked on the cards after her 2.09 at NSW last month and she essentially replicated. Its high ranked so far but will most likely be demoted a handful of places by the end of Trials Seasons. By no means a contender but finals may be in range. Not to be sneezed at after what she’s battled through.

Any other 200IM qualifiers “needed to go some” to get the 2nd spot and both Ngawati & Evans did go some. Congratulations to Ngawati. What she may do from here is in her hands,

A qualifier from M200BRS is still looking unlikely but maybe not as much of a forlorn hope as originally thought. Wilson dropped in a 2.10.68 which is still a second away from QT but at least it’s now in clear sight.

He may just do it but even if he just misses; if his time is somewhere around 2.10flat or better then he’d have made a worthy case for selection on the grounds of a young swimmer making significant leaps forward …. and being withing the FINA A time.

Dan smith

what,s up. I,ve been trying to log in but it seems my connection is off. The Internet connection over here is iffy.

Dan smith

I hope Matthew Wilson can qualify for the 200 breast. He has to drop his pb by one second. Am I right commonwombat.
I,m surprised Australia had 2 qualifiers in the 200 fly by a 1:55 in Rio might not cut it but David Morgan is young so who knows.

Commonwombat I,m beginning to agree with you. Based on Emma McKeon,s pb in the 200 free, she might just pip Bronte Campbell for a place in the 100 free. I see a sub 53 coming for Emma McKeon.

Craig Lord

All working well here Dan… must be your end… unless something in the middle, to use a technical term ๐Ÿ™‚

Dan smith

Craig i was meaning to ask you. Isn’t there any way some swimming races can be posted here like the upcoming british trials. That would be cool.


@RSASprinter: McKeon’s style at 200 is definitely not the Alisson Scmitt’s one who is the best example of middle distance swimmer. McKeon’s race was one-to-one Missy Franklin at Barcelona in 2013. Just 0.02 second off.

Dan smith

I have a feeling Madeline groves could still improve in the 200 free. She had the 200 fly prelims so was probably saving some energy in the 200 free finals. I expect her to drop some time too.


Dan, 2.09.64 would involve ANOTHER 1sec PB and whilst possible that may be somewhat of an ask given he couldn’t manage this in the 100. However if he get to say 2.10 or below they may give him a ticket …… and I’d have no issue with that. Given he has also made the Fina A mark for the 100, they may also enter him in that one.

Yes, the w100free qualification is now looking much more fluid that anyone really expected. Maybe sub53 from C2 or even 53flat will be enough but a sub53 from Em now has to be seen as a plausible scenario.


The difference between McKeon’s swim this time and all of her previous swims is that she had the guts to go out in a blistering 55.27. Very brave girl. I can’t remember anyone the last time anyone took 200 free out in faster split.

RSAsprinter was right, Mckeon’s tried to swim 200 like Allison Schmitt in London. Schmitt took it out in 55.38. It’s just that Schmitt had more endurance due to being mainly 200-400 while McKeon is exclusively a 100-200, but mostly a 100 sprinter. Franklin in Barcelona took it out even slower than Schmitt and had faster second half than mcKeon.

What mcKeon did is almost ideal for her. There is no one way or “best way” to swim 200. Mckeon is not going to split second half in 57+ just because she tries to slow down in her first 100 by 1 second. She is a sprinter and should use her speed advantage to a maximum.

Today the only one who can swim like Schmitt did in London is Sjostrom. She has speed endurance. But Sjostrom is too timid in taking out her races. Not only in 200 free, but also in 100 free, which baffles me big time.

Craig Lord

Only if they are freely available and there is no issue with embedding, Dan but that isn’t the case with live feeds unless they are on youtube, like the Aussie heats and then race highlights (and those are geoblocked so I don’t like using content that I cannot see for myself…) – and even then, when I can, only if I have time – it is quite busy writing, doing the rankings and fitting in the rest of the iceberg of life beyond swimming ๐Ÿ™‚ … if readers want to point out when trials martial is readily available on youtube, I’ll endeavour to embed it as and when I can. I will be at British trials and will see what’s available within rights etc.


If you add best times by Mcevoy, Magnussen, Chalmers and Abood is around 3:14.20, which is already more than 3 seconds faster than Argentina, currently the fastest time in 2015 of countries not yet in automatically qualified in Kazan (top 12).
So yes Australia will send men 4×100 free team and don’t listen to hysteria ๐Ÿ™‚

As for Australia only field mcEvoy in individual 100 free, that’s a hysteric reaction too. Even if Chalmers/Abood/Magnussen cannot get under Australian QT tomorrow, they’ve already registered their FINA A. So, since they will be in the relay team anyway, the second finisher will swim 100 in Rio.


I think it’s a bit premature to have celebration party for Tommy the Tourist. He can still waltz his way into Rio’s carnival in 100 fly.



Thanks for the RSA link! and please do keep us informed of what’s happening in there as well.


Rafael/ASF; the SAL benchmark for the relay is basically only as a fall-back for them to use should some event be really inordinately slow.

In the case of the 4×100, its just the box to be ticked for them to green-light the TT to set the damned time. There is little doubt they will do so. As to their inevitable level of competitiveness; only Rio will tell.

Re 2nd AUS qualifier, ASF is correct in surmising that they will fall back on the FINA A time and select the 2nd placed man as long as he’s faster than 48.99


ASF, whilst that is technically true; its usually the case that when TTT’s free is good, his fly is of the same level. Given he wasn’t exactly tripping the light fantastic in the 100free; and the fact he’s facing a significant PB hike in the 100fly; its not looking good for him


26.93 -…-…- 29.76 Franklin 1:54.81
26.55 -…-…- 29.95 McKeon 1:54.83

27.18 -…-…- 29.26 Schmitt. 1:53.69
I don’t know what angle was used in search of style similarity betweenMcKeon and Schmitt.
When I look at McKeon’s and Franklin’s races I see how sprinters are approaching 200m distance (you will win if you don’t die at the end ๐Ÿ™‚ ). The Franklin’s story well suggests that for McKeaon this is the end of the road. I’m not sure that if even she manages to repeat this time in Rio it will be sufficient for the podium.


McKeon: 55.27 – 59.56 1:54.83

Schmitt: 55.38 – 58.23 1:53.61

Franklin: 55.56 – 59.25 1:54.83

As I said, no one since Schmitt tried to take the race out as fast or faster than Schmitt. Only mcKeon did and she even took it out faster. I also said, the difference is that Schmitt was 200-400 swimmer and thus able to hold her pace, mcKeon is a sprinter.
And as I said also, the race is almost ideal for mcKeon, and nowhere I suggested mcKeon will get any faster.
I also don’t see any angle of style similarity between mcKeon and Franklin as McKeon clearly took the race out much faster than Franklin.


Must be tough for Magnussen. Had he improved his time in the semi, he could have looked at the final with confidence, but now?
I guess if he does not take the second spot or the relay spot, he will give everything he has in the 50 and who knows, might surprise us there.


This is what I envision as an ideal swim for Sjostrom in Rio:

55.00 – 58.50 for 1:53.50


The McKeon’s training strategy is hard to understand. She didn’t have much of competition at her core individual races to be selected for Olympic team. Nevertheless she began to show very fast times at intermediate meets back in beginning of March. That suggested to many that was already tapered (rested, whatever..)
Now when there is some possibility that she can compete for the Olympic spot at 100 freestyle she swims for no clear reasons very fast and very energy consuming race at 200 freestyle. She either not going to fight for the right to compete at individual 100 fs in Rio, or she is very confident with her current abilities, or whatever she does is silly mistake of her coach. I don’t understand this approach. If it proves to be successful then it something very untraditional. I saw something similar from Hosszu – tempting fate.


She started dropping in fast times in both 200free and 100fly at BHP meet in Perth early Feb. Some quick times but not any where near this quick a month ago in Sydney.

Hard to know what her program is. She’s under Bohl at SPW; and some of his charges have been showing the capacity to be fast in season (Larkin and this season, his daughter and Wilson). Maybe he’s got her on a similar program ?

The W100free and semis are tomorrow; she will not have to extend herself at all to make semis and probably not much more to make the final.

As regards C2, she too will not have to extend herself to make the final as she’s already proven this season that 53.3 is within her means. The question of whether she is sufficiently compromised to endanger her qualifying for the 100 will only really be seen in the final unless McK or C1 decide to give it a little gas in the semis.


Luigi, he’s still fronting Chalmers for the 2nd qualifying spot in the 50. The QT of 22.02 is no gimme for either of them.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I think you’re forgetting the hemispheres – Australians have made quite a tradition of putting in fast times between January and April, year in year out…it’s summer…



Of course McKeon is fully tapered and fully rested. What made you think she is not?
If you are trying to insinuate that McKeon/Australia Olympics qualifications is the same as Heemskerk/the Netherlands olympics qualifications, clearly you are mistaken.

1. McKeon is gunning for individual spots in 100 fly/free, 200 free. Even when she’s fully tapered and rested, there’s no guarantee that she can secure the 100 free spot. Do you think Mckeon (or schlanger or anyone else) swim the 100 just to get relay alternate?
Also Mckeon’s spot in Australia’s 100 fly and 200 free is NOWHERE is easy/guaranteed as Heemskerk’s 100/200 free in the Netherlands. To state otherwise is to deny reality. Australia has much more depth.

2. Australian olympics qualifications is DO or DIE. Everyone get only ONE opportunity: at the trials.
Meanwhile, for the Dutch (in this case Heemskerk, because it is clear you are still unsatisfied that Craig and I both think Heemskerk is not fully tapered in Eindhoven open), they have MORE than one chance. If Heemskerk couldn’t get qualified in Eindhoven, they can go on fully tapered and try again in Euro champs. Such thing does NOT exist for the Australians.



very true. This is also why many people could not understand why many Australians swim faster in the trials than in worlds/olympics:
Worlds/Olympics are normally held during Australian winter, so they are actually disadvantaged.


Yes Craig, that would be probably it – hemispheres. As I told ones to asf, what you can expect from people who are walking upside down ๐Ÿ™‚


at least, Australians will be at home in Rio.It’s pretty common to be near 40C in August.The big problem is weather variation, when MAX temperature drops almost 20C and a ton of cold and flu emerges.


Aw c’mon folks, it’s not like the Aussies have to exit hibernation before the Olympics and are still half asleep.



What I meant by comparing the two was not necessarily the proportions in their times, but rather the manner in which the race was swum. Get to the front, and stay ahead. Normally we see that second 50 drop off, while swimmers tend to build that second 100.

In the case of Emma, she is using that upfront speed as suggested by asf. It really worked out well for her. Sure I agree that the last 50 was nothing like AS.

But the first 150 was, the splits balancing out in AS favour at 150.

That is what I meant. Sorry the comment was written hastily.

ASF as for the RSA nationals, I believe there were QTs in the mens 400 IM, 400 free and 100 breast, VDB slipping under 60 in the heats (only needed 65 to progress)


Even though the Aussies do not have to exit hibernation before the winter (the obvious champions would be Emperor penguins which are the only living thing staying on Antarctica during winter with an average temperature of -40 degree Celsius), we cannot deny that our body internal metabolism etc changes during seasons.

Craig Lord

๐Ÿ™‚ I note that I wasn’t suggesting that, Ger… but no question that the history of world records and results shows that Australians advance fair in their summer in a place of outdoor swimming and long traditions/patterns of competitions and lifestyle. Only natural. (And they have had to travel an awful lot more than many others to keep in touch ๐Ÿ™‚

Craig Lord

๐Ÿ™‚ It must be terrible, Yozhik, all that blood rushing to the head…

Craig Lord

It does indeed, aswimfan


๐Ÿ™‚ Well Craig, ASF, there are too many conditions and variables to draw conclusions. Coriolis effect anyone? ๐Ÿ™‚


Noting comments further up; it’s a pity the British trials are not on TV especially after the performances in Kazan. At least there will be a live feed available.


Am sure all the Aussies will have their flu shots, Brisbane summers can be hot as well, they train all year round here usually in outdoor pools so are used to climate change!

Craig Lord

๐Ÿ™‚ Gheko – Until those who don’t live in Melbourne arrive in places like Manchester and its damp and cold and chucks down for 10 days non stop ๐Ÿ™‚

Personal Best

The depth in some events this year seems to be lacking.

The women’s 200 and 400 frees for instance have not had the usual flurry of fast times behind the winners (a heap of 4:06s and 4:07s, or 1:56s and 1:57s).

There have been a few retirements in the past year and perhaps the new generation is slowly building.


Indeed Craig, we are not called the lucky country for nothing!


aswimfan, why would it be cause for celebration if Tomasso D’Orsogna failed to qualify? Celebrating other people’s disappointments is sad. Get a life.


I’m not suggesting the celebration for TTT not qualifying.


RSASprinter, you donโ€™t have to be sorry. If I made you feeling this way then, please excuse me. Sure we can compare swimmers by different aspects of the race. With some things they can be similar and at the same time can have nothing in common with other details of the race. To illustrate better my position please look at the charts below.
What I meant was that McKeonโ€™s and Franklin’s splits look like twins. Does it mean anything? It does to me. But some other observer can come up with completely different conclusion about similarity in style between Franklin and McKeon and will not jump into generalization that Franklinโ€™s style can be used as predicator of McKeon future performance.
By looking at the chart you can also notice how distinctly different Schmittโ€™s style is and what a strange approach was undertaken by Sjostrom. It is a weird combination of sprinting start with saving resources for the spurt at the finish. Nobody (who doesnโ€™t consider 200m a long distance ๐Ÿ™‚ ) swims 200m like she does. It looks like Sjostrom has plenty of room to optimize her style. But the only change she does so far this season is slowing down the start. I donโ€™t count Ledecky who came from long distance and actually is leaning now to Schmittโ€™s style.

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