Mack The Knife Is Back: Horton Books Rio Olympics 400 Battle In Cracking 3:41.65

Mack Horton and David McKeon , the next duel ahoy - courtesy of Swimming Australia

Mack Horton chucked a sizeable gauntlet into Olympic waters on the opening day of action at trials in Adelaide: 3:41.65 – 400m freestyle, his victory dominant and worth a moment of history gazing. David McKeon takes 2nd ticket to Rio in 3:45; Only Sun Yang* has swum faster than Horton since London 2012

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Mack Horton chucked a sizeable gauntlet into Olympic waters on the opening day of action at trials in Adelaide: 3:41.65 – 400m freestyle, his victory dominant and worth a moment of history gazing. David McKeon takes 2nd ticket to Rio in 3:45; Only Sun Yang* has swum faster than Horton since London 2012



Furry Curmudgeon’s toe in the water

M400IM: Nothing to send shivers around the world as neither TFH or Mahoney are likely to progress further than the heats in Rio. Lewis’ 4.16.58 for 3rd a pleasing sign for the future.

W400IM: Evans impressive, especially her back half. If she can drop to 4.34 or below in Rio then the final is not out of the question. McMaster earned herself a plane ticket but nothing to anything more.

M400free: All the media flatulence re Hackett proved, as expected, to be Much Ado About Nothing. McKeonD (shudders) earned himself yet another plane trip. McLaughlin’s 3.46.27 was impressive and due to the previously mentioned’s international CV, I was willing him to grab 2nd but alas. An undeniably outstanding time from Horton but let’s keep Kazan in our minds before we start writing down medal certainties. Oh yes, apparently he was ill …. yet he was still sufficiently healthy to grab bronze in the 800. A question mark, regrettably, is justified.

W100fly: McKeonE certainly looks very good in this one; notwithstanding that this is being magnified by the poor quality around her. Coutts will almost certainly grab the 2nd qualifying spot but it does look questionable whether she has much more to give than her 57.55. In all honesty, McKeon will need to be sub57 to be contending for the final in Rio. It would be nice to see that here; her semi swim indicates this as being possible but not a given thing.

M100brs: Packard has swum underneath the QT in both heats and semis and is a level above this field. Even if he does miss the QT in the final, he will get a plane ticket. Palmer is somewhat of a surprise and if he can hold on better coming home, he has some possibility of cracking the minute. Schafer – as good as he gets. Another PB from young Wilson and a positive omen for his 200; one can’t help thinking Rio is one year too early for him but if he can get somewhere near the 200 QT, he may get lucky.


Someone forgot to take their happy pill again this evening.. Comment reeking of negativity and doom and gloom as expected, on a night when 6 young swimmers made their Olympic dreams a reality..


Some people see the glass 1/2 full, others see it 1/2 empty, unfortunately for CW, someone stole his glass!!!!


Good results. But the problem with the Aussie team, is that they can’t repeat times overseas.


Horton negative split the race:
And he is now fourth on textile all time list, behind Thorpe, Yang and just behind Park (3:41.53)

The problem with Horton is that he doesn’t seem to be able to close fast. Here, his last split is 27.36
To beat someone like Yang, he needs to get it down to sub 27.


I think CW comments have always been on the cautious side, and often, his cautions turned out to be true.
Although I disagree with him re:TFH. I think TFH can make final in 400 IM.

And I think Emma can go sub 57.
I was right also about my not so optimistic predictions for Coutts and Hackett.


I have high hopes for Horton, especially cos the only other two who can win are under drug suspicions.

Emma mckeon might swim sub 57 but she’s so far from sjostrom it doesn’t really matter (although would give them a decent shot at the medley relay)

With Larkin and Packard swimming well, I wonder if mcevoy could swim 51 mid in 100 butterfly. If he could split under 51 with a fly start, he’d prob be 1.5-2s faster than d’orsogna has been swimming in relays and chalmers/magnussen could do the freestyle leg (they’d be maybe 1 second slower than mcevoy?)


Gentlemen/ladies/others; the core question that I pose is “are they likely to be competitive ?” Just how well do these times stack up against the rest of the world or how well are they likely to stack up ?

Some at these trials have proven their capacity, and more, in big time competition. Others have proven themselves after numerous opportunities to do so inadequate in this respect. With others, the jury is still out or the evidence is inconclusive either way.

Those are the glasses through which I’m viewing.

Verram, there were a number of positives in what I wrote. You merely chose not to read them.

ASF, whilst I would agree that TFH COULD make the 400IM final; I think that it looks unlikely unless he’s swimming a lot better than he has been. Re Emma, there’s grounds for confidence but I don’t see it as a certainty that she will do so tomorrow night.


M100 breast was a big surprise multiple PBs and most backed up again in the evening session. Matt Wilson could pull the 200 QT out of the bag after a 1 sec PB from his time in the 100 today.


Even if Wilson doesn’t meet the AUS QT in 200 breast, I feel that the selectors should take him to Rio as long as he meets FINA A, because he’s young, on the continuous upward improvement, and so he needs Olympics experience. I’d say take him instead one of the proven “tourists” if money is tight.


Majer, that very thought re Wilson did go through my mind watching his 100semi. Whilst I still think it rather unlikely; it is now at least a more plausible scenario.

ASF, he’s very close to the FINA A time as it is but realistically 2.11 and a bit is nowhere near a competitive time. I have zero issue with selection generosity being extended to someone young and clearly progressing quickly but I feel he’d need to be 2.10 very low (minimum) for this to be defensible.


Given I can’t see anyone other than Packard going the AUS QT in the 100 best case would be Wilson comes 2nd. I can’t see anyone being near him in the 200 and then gets picked as the relay alt but able to swim individually as under FINA QT.

What I like about Wilson is he performs on the international stage. World juniors, junior pan pacs and even before that at a junior carnival in Japan he takes chunks of time off what he swims domestically.


The scenario that you have laid out is one that I’m certainly happy to go along with.

If he ran 2nd in the 100, hopefully with another PB (sub minute would probably seal it) and won the 200 with a time that’s close enough to the QT; then I’d certainly sign off on his selection and to race both.

Its a scenario that I’d really like to see play out and he is giving us some grounds to think it’s achievable …. unlike some that are being propounded.

Personal Best

Sure, some might see Hackett’s placement as him under performing, but those times are impressive for a 35 year old. He’s 16 years older than his competitors.
His position at the 200m mark bodes well for the shorter race (hopfully).

The coverage was a bit of a worry (actually, a complete worry, Channel 7).

At 350m, Horton was 0.01 sec under WR pace (almost under WR pace the whole race), and at the 350m turn the camera focused on Hackett.
Even knowing who came before him and their last lap efforts, it would have been nice to focus on Horton at that last turn. You know, just saying.


Do the Australian media claim Hackett’s swim as underperforming?
Then they need to read Swimvortex more often! 🙂
After the prleims yesterday, I wrote that Hackett’s prelims swim was incredible for 35 yo guy, but being realistic I also wrote that I would be very surprised if he can go more than a second faster in the final.
I also like Libby Trickett commentary in the prelims but it seemed she was replaced in the finals by another guy along with the other same guy whose voice put you to sleep.

Craig Lord

🙂 aswimfan – 3:47 at 35 – if that’s underperformance, we all need to wear deep wellies as we trundle through life’s big barn 🙂


I think Australia needs a second breastroker in Rio in case the only rep is having a down meet … Would literally crash the medley relay

Personal Best

aswimfan – I meant some commentators on some websites… but also all the hype surrounding it.

Daniel Madden

Great night for Australian Swimming.
400 IM was never a medal opportunity and many wondering if we would even send a swimmer.
Well done to Evans and TFH with some good solid swims.Yeh,they need to step up to make a final,but not a bad result.
As for Mack,WOW…3.41!
He was unwell in Kazan,and Im sure he will perform in Rio.
His back end was fantastic.
Cannot wait to see his 1500m
A sub 14.40 on the cards?

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