Minna Atherton Advances Again: Into World Top 10 With 59.37 Aussie Age Mark

Minna Atherton - another new standard - courtesy of Swimming Australia

Minna Atherton’s breakthrough to the realms of senior pace in junior waters continued apace with a 59.37 victory for the World Junior champion in the girls’ 15 years 100m backstroke at Queensland State titles in Brisbane

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Minna Atherton’s breakthrough to the realms of senior pace in junior waters continued apace with a 59.37 victory for the World Junior champion in the girls’ 15 years 100m backstroke at Queensland State titles in Brisbane



Atherton is, indeed, somewhat unfortunate in that for almost every other swimming nation than AUS; she would either be a certain selection or extremely favoured to gain selection.

Sadly, she’s the third Australian at a time when the AUS no1 & 2 are the international pacesetters in this event. Regrettably her 200, whilst advancing well, has not yet caught up with her rate of advance in the 100 and she is some 2-3 seconds shy of the likely placegetters at Trials.

Bad Anon

The women’s 100back is shaping up to be a very fierce contest come Rio. 59.00 has become the new minute mark and anyone aiming for a podium finish should be capable of 58.50 or better. In 2015 we saw :
Seebohm 58.26, Wilson 58.7, Hosszu 58.7, Nielsen 58.8, Fu 59.0 , Coughlin 59.0
(Dark Horse~ Franklin 59.4). Minna’s 59.3 very promising. She’ll need a big swim at trials to qualify and one of the big guns to slip up


So wombat you are already writing her off and bad anon you think one of the top 2 needs to slip up….Seebohm will win trials and the Olympics. Atherton a huge chance of taking a big chunk off that at trials, she has the speed, she trains alongside Seebohm every day. She could definitely make the Olympic team. Franklin a dark horse for a Bronze is as far as I would go in the 100.


Atherton is at the age where dropping off chunk of times are the norm. Therefore it’s not hard to imagine that she will go under 59 next year in the trials.
As an illustration, at the same age, Franklin went from 59.18 in 2011 to 58.33 in 2012

It is also not hard to imagine that even going under 59 will be enough for her to qualify.


Craig, are you aware of Brazilian Trials that started yesterday? Already we had a wicked fast time, but if you are following it I won´t keep posting the results here to spoil you work.


Felix, I’m not writing her off (thank you so much for reading something that I DID NOT write). She COULD make the team but the facts are that her path to but merely stating the facts that her path to selection would be much easier had her nationality been different.

The facts ARE:

– barring serious illness or injury; Seebohm is a certain selection in both 100 & 200.

– Wilson proved at Worlds that her sub 59 at 2015 Trials was no one-off fluke. Her 59flat at Qld Trials evidences that she is starting off this season in good form. Whilst Atherton may certainly drop another slice from her PB, there’s no guarantee Wilson is going to sit still waiting for her to pass her.

– In the 200, Hocking potentially enters the equation. Wilson screwed up this race at 2015 Trials to miss Kazan qualification and has started the season with a PB. Whilst Atherton could most certainly drop a chunk of time; at best that is likely to bring her on/ close to par with her competition for 2nd spot ……. and there’s no guarantee they’re going to just “roll over” for her.

I certainly think she could go sub 59 at Trials but that may not be enough to qualify in the 100. I also think she might go a 2.07 in the 200 but it’s likely to need a 2.07low/2.06 to qualify.

Craig Lord

Thanks Rafael.. yes… will catch up soon… spent 30 hours travelling in past 40 or so 🙂


It’s ok for Minna even if she doesn’t make the Olympics next year. She’s still so young.
Even the great Nathalie Coughlin didn’t qualify for Sydney Olympics when she was 17 (finished third in the trials I think).

Not everyone can be like Egerszegi, Franklin or Seebohm who qualified for their first Olympics at the age of 15 or younger.


ASW, I will agree re Atherton. Whilst it would be nice for her to make Rio; it’s unlikely to be a killer blow.

Rio will be Seebohm’s 3rd Olympics and I have considerable doubts she will go again for another full cycle given she looks to be hitting her “peak” for Rio. I suspect CG in 2018 on the Gold Coast may see her “send in her notice”.

Also give considerable credence to your Rio/BRA scenario. They haven’t the depth or “spread” to compete “across the board” but if they can “hit” those events where they are major contenders; they could walk away with some “coin”, maybe even a big one. By no means a done deal but certainly a plausible outcome.


For me, Mie Nielsen is the biggest threat to Emily Seebohm. Her 58.8 aged 18 in Kazan was really under-appreciated. She will only be 19 in Rio so is still in a great position to drop a chunk of time. Dropping even .2 or .3 from her 58.8 base will really put pressure on Seebohm to deliver a near perfect swim.


Its great for women’s backstroke in Australia having three of the best in the world to push each other on to maybe the world record at trials, whoever gets the top two places will be tough to beat in Rio!

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