Rio Tickets For Jess Ashwood, Tamsin Cook, Emma McKeon, Maddy Groves & Jake Packard

Jess Ashwood celebrates with Tamsin Cook after the 400m final - courtesy of Swimming Australia

There were Rio 2016 tickets for Emma McKeon, Madeline Groves, Jess Ashwood, Tamsin Cook and Jake Packard at Australian Championships in Adelaide, where the semis set up much anticipated backstroke battles and brought to an end the last Olympic campaign of Grant Hackett 16 years after he claimed the first of his two golds over 1500m freestyle at home in Sydney.

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There were Rio 2016 tickets for Emma McKeon, Madeline Groves, Jess Ashwood, Tamsin Cook and Jake Packard at Australian Championships in Adelaide, where the semis set up much anticipated backstroke battles and brought to an end the last Olympic campaign of Grant Hackett 16 years after he claimed the first of his two golds over 1500m freestyle at home in Sydney.



Furry Curmudgeon’s read

McKeonE: had looked the class throughout and the interest lay with what time she would swim given sub57 looks to be the significant threshold this year with regards to what will be needed to progress in Rio. 56.89 ticked that box.

Groves: although she was 2nd last year, she was perhaps a surprise 2nd qualifier given she has not broken 58 in either heat or semi. 57.08 is a significant PB and a creditable swim but producing fast swims at Nationals has not been her issue but rather replicating this performance internationally. This is her 3rd year on the senior team and she’s got a plane ticket to Rio; time to deliver MsGroves

Coutts: a 0.27 drop from her semi however a poor finish cost her dearly. She still, however, has the 200IM as a route to individual selection & the 4×100 to potentially qualify for. The fact that she has swam fast at this meet should give her some confidence that these are attainable.

Bohl: the advance steadily continues and it is impressive that she has attacked every race seriously. Barring something unforseen, she wins this one comfortably. Predictions of sub 1.06 are a tad premature for this meet but another incremental drop would not surprise. If this progression can continue at the big O then she may find herself progressing further than expected.

Larkin: 52,48 is quite an emphatic message to his international competitors that he’s not going away. Again he’ll be swimming in clear water (against himself) in the final; he may be quicker but I think any talk of WRs is highly optimistic.

Beaver at 53.75 in semis has an outside shot at the 2nd qualification spot but this would require a drop in the order of 0.4sec so a 2nd qualifier looks unlikely

Packard: mission accomplished and plane ticket booked at 59.65. No one else under QT or under 1min so unless someone performs something truly spectacular in the 200, he will be the sole male breaststroker

Hansen: somewhat of a surprise packet. Was looked upon a season or so back as a coming force but her previous season wasn’t as expected and she had produced nothing of note this season before tonight. A very significant PB.

Ashwood: her extra gear over the final 75m was the deciding factor over Cook. Her 4.03.70 essentially on par with her bronze time from Kazan and places her very strongly amongst the hungry pack scrapping for the minors behind Ledecky. My only concern is whether she will be this switched on in the Rio heats.

Cook: with Barrett not competing, the 2015 World Junior Champ was probably the most likely suspect for the 2nd qualifier spot and she acquitted herself admirably “trading blows” with Ashwood for nearly 350m. Her time of 4.06.30 is on par with her World Juniors time and whilst he will probably need to drop to 4.04 at least to progress in Rio; if she swims like tonight she should give herself a chance. Her 200 may be interesting as only a slight drop in PB may see her in 4×200 calculations. The 2nd 800 berth looks open although she would need a 5sec drop in PB to make QT, although if she’s 2nd and near the mark she may get the swim in Rio given she’s already on the team.

Seebohm/Wilson/Atherton: the expected order re-asserted itself in semis but not necessarily conclusively. Atherton conclusively won SF1 whilst Seebohm/Wilson were significantly quicker in SF2. Seebohm looks the likely winner and Wilson has to be favoured for 2nd berth but both will probably need to be more than a tic below 59 to ensure that.

M200free: pretty meh. McEvoy visibly slowed down in SF2 whilst TFH was comfortable but less “easy” in SF1. They were the only sub 1.47s and whilst the QT of 1.46.45 looks well within McEvoy, TFH may be have to “go some”. Smith the only real potential intruder but only an outside bet. Horton & McKeonD 4th & 5th qualifiers and given they’re already on the team, this five look the likely 4×200 squad with Smith looking the only “relay only”. Hackett … brave but reality trumps fairy tales 99 times out of `100.


Elijah Winnington with 2 huge 200 frees. 1:49.3 as a 15 year old is amazing. just makes you shake your head at how good Thotpe was that he was 3 sec quicker at the same age.

Craig Lord

Yes, stunning… going to be fascinating to see what happens next, Majer


Majer, with due respect the safest bet is to take note of the name and then see if he’s still swimming AND progressing the next year. Hopefully he will be, regrettably the majority of touted age-groupers around these ages don’t for whatever reasons.


Craig could that be the 2nd fastest time to a 15 yr old? It’s 2nd in Australia and from US second for under 16 and top of the list I am sure was done by at 16 yrs of age.

Not sure on some of the other traditionally junior strong holds like Japan and China if someone quicker. Maybe Agnel as well.


Agree CW doesn’t mean anything if not jmproved upon. Alex Graham is a prime example 1:47.1 at 17 and hasn’t looked like touching that since. Although he was much better today than past couple of years.



If Winnington’s time (1:49.35) is Australian second fastest time after Thorpe for 15 yo, it’s likely to be also the second fastest 15 yo worldwide.

You are talking only textile times right?

It’s highly unlikely Agnel was that fast as 15 yo (in 2007). As 17 yo, he won 2009 euro junior in 1:47.02, but that was in supersuit.

But then, I had a feeling about Kosuke Hagino’s age group times who were extremely fast (he swam 4:03 as 13 yo, faster than Thorpe), so I checked with Japanese age record, and he swam 1:49.25 to set Japanese high school record as 15 yo in January 2010.

So, Winnington’s time might likely be the third fastest for 15 yo after Thorpe and Hagino.

How astounding is it that as 15 yo, Thorpe went 1.46.70, only 0.01 second off Lambertti’s WR, swimming in speedo briefs.
That would be like asking Winnington to swim 1:43 today.

Craig Lord

I’ll look deeper when I get a chance Majer… it is likely to be thereabouts… Kosuke Hagino was v fast at that age but it was in his 17th year that he dropped from 1:50 to 1:48.52… will do a deeper search … from 16 to 17 Pieter VD Hoogie went from 1:52.47 to 1:48.78… Hackett on 1:53 at 16… Antti Kasvio 1:53.11 at 17…Evgeny Saydovyi 1:51.20 at 17… Park Taehwan at 16 1:49.70 (tragic outcome, hugely talented)



Have a look at this Japanese Junior record:

There, on the 200 free record, it’s 1:49.25 by Kosuke Hagino on 17 January 2010.
Hagino was born on 15 August 1994 which means on 17 January 2010 when he set that time, he was still 15 years and 5 months.

Craig Lord

Quite right, aswimfan… i had a top 20 search limit on for each swimmer…

here is is: at No 21 🙂 good spot

18 1:47.41 924 JPNNAT15 H Hagino, Kosuke 1994 JPN LCM2015
19 1:47.93 917 JPNNTS13 H Hagino, Kosuke 1994 JPN LCM2013
20 1:48.52 909 JPOPNMAY F Hagino, Kosuke 1994 JPN LCM2012
21 1:49.25 899 JPNTOG10 F Hagino, Kosuke 1994 JPN LCM2010

Personal Best

aswimfan – regarding Angel, I do seem to remember that during the whole supersuit debacle, he openly shunned the suits and opted to swim in briefs.

I did read articles on his stance and his desire not to receive the artificial boosts from the suits. I would guess whatever times he set during that period where in suits which are approved today.

That is one of the reasons I wished him major success.

Of course, I could also be completely wrong; I’m just going by memory here.

Craig Lord

PB, you remember correctly… coach Fabrice Pellerin also insisted that juniors should not wear such suits, the need to feel water and swim essential to them learning their skills. I quoted Fabrice on that in 2009. He clocked 1:52 high at 15-16 (would have to check swim date and birth date… not now 🙂 At 17 years and 1 month, he swam 1:47.02 at Euro juniors… textile brief 1:48

Personal Best

That’s right, I remember now his coaches stance; thanks.
I think that is very impressive and perhaps one of the reasons, as a junior, he was able to navigate the ‘dark’ years and come out progressing his times when the suits were banned.

Also, I made an embarrassing typo in my previous post: ‘where’ should ‘were’.



Wasn’t that Amaury Laveux who refused to wear supersuit after the 2008 euro SC debacle?
Or were they both coached by Pellerin?

paolo rubbiani

Memories from the past..

About Agnel (1992): he wore for the first time the 50% poly Speedo Lzr leggins at Eurojuniors in Prague (July 2009), where he won both the 400 free and the 200 free, the latter race in 1.47.02.., great race vs Danila Izotov who, a month later, swam that “dream 200 free” at Worlds in Rome (with Arena 100% poly leggins) gaining the bronze behind Biedermann and Phelps, and exactly considering the young age of Izotov and the fact he wore “just” the Arena leggins, in many swimming fans’ predictions Izotov was “the real deal” for the future of 200 free.
Not at all..

@Aswimfan: Amaury Leveax swam huge SC WRs in Rijeka with a 100% poly suit. I don’t understand what do you mean..

paolo rubbiani

Correction: Leveaux

Craig Lord

No, aswimfan…Amaury definitely wore the full monty in Rijeka, tailored for speed…

Personal Best

The other confusing thing regarding times in those dark days: in Australia, the supersuits were banned in national junior competitions.

I am however unsure if a junior swimming in open competitions/international competitions was allowed to wear the boosters or if they had to swim in today’s approved suits.

It makes comparing times/progress for these swimmers a little difficult.

Personal Best

The Women’s 400 free was a little lackluster beyond the winner/top two.

In that field were swimmers who previously swam as fast as 4:06/4:07 and yet none of them were able to get inside 4:10. I wonder if, for Neale for example, it’s just an off year, or if some were put off by the bolting start of Cook and Ashwood.

I suspected McKeon would be able to go under 57 seconds (the writing’s been on the [pool] wall, especially her progress in her other events).
This should bode well for her 200 free; she’s been showing consistency or improvement in at least one of her events for the past years.

Craig Lord

PB, the shiny suits were worn at Eur juniors and other junior events far and wide. Some opted not to, many opted in – and it did them no favours when they had to swim again, apart from learning what it felt like to swim with an improved angle of buoyancy…


With MeKeon again proving that outside of Sjorstram, she is amongst the best in the world at Butterfly & Bohl, showing the way in the breaststroke, think she can still go faster, low 1.06s, the Aussie Women 4X100 looking stronger without a weak link & 2 outstanding legs.
With Packard, getting up there, if somehow a fly swimmer fell from the sky the men’s team would also be competitive.


Great swims by Groves, looking good for 200 fly & also Cook, for the 200 relay & even the future.


… and I shall say nothing of Maddison Elliotts performances other than how good it is that the ‘mult-class’ heat and final events are being streamed.

I can not think of a word with a similar meaning to CWs ‘tourist’ that would apptly describe her performances.


CL and Paolo,
Yes, I know that Leveaux wore the supersuit in 2008 Rijeka, leading to that ridiculous 44 seconds WR. I just thought that he refused to wear supersuit in 2009 in protest that he couldn’t wear his TYR bodysuit.

Speaking about Leveaux and the French Olympics team, I wonder if the same swimmer that was mentioned in Leveaux’s book for snorting cocaine off the breast of a press officer in 2012 London is going to continue his partying ways in Rio.

After all, London holds no candle to Rio when it comes to partying, right?


Brad, I did not coin the term tourist. It is one that has long been used by AUS Olympic officials, and SAL officials amongst them, to describe those athletes/swimmers who perform brilliantly in domestic competition to make them team ….. but never perform in the big time.

Whatever sins that may be committed or have been committed by Elliott/her handlers; her international CV truly makes such a tag utterly inappropriate !

Rob, we’ll need to see how the complete W100fly picture looks after all the Trials are completed but I totally agree than Em’s advance is a significant positive.

Bohl’s approach to the entire event has been very impressive; particularly her racing every race hard. It WILL be interesting to see what her final time may be. Here’s hoping this continues in Rio.

Groves, however, is one where we have to sound a note of caution. Her record, unfortunately, mandates it.

She swam excellent times (particularly in the 200) in both 2014 & 2015 but failed to get near those times when it counted. She hasn’t yet sealed her “tourist pass” but another year of this pattern would essentially do so. I sincerely hope she does so; I like to see people succeed and its not pleasurable bestowing that ironic tag.

Craig Lord

Heavens … I would imagine the press officer would be busy enough, let alone the swimmer 🙂

There was an argument about the suit in 2009 (will have to look back) but I think it was linked to the moment FINA banned several models (only to reverse that a few weeks later in a flip flop that mean one of Bernard’s records could not be ratified even though it was as legitimate as anything else pertaining to the circus and farce of it all)


I stand corrected CW, you are of course right. One usually tours for pleasure after lots of hard work. My mistake. Nothing else to add.


Brittany McLean’s finals swim from a few nights ago at Canadian Olympic Trials seems to be missing from the 400 free rankings? I think she is ranked 3rd, also on a 4:03.

Craig Lord

Cechols, red light switched to green – and Taylor R in at No29, too

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