Top 5 Races to Watch at 2024 New South Wales Championships

Top 5 Races to Watch at 2024 New South Wales Championships

The 2024 New South Wales State Open Open Championships will be a non-selective event, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some must-see action as the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Center is packed with stars.

The official heat program has been released. So, as a prelude to June’s Australian Trials, we take a look at five must-see races taking place this weekend.

1. Women’s 100m Freestyle

Veterans and newcomers will compete in the women’s 100m freestyle. Reigning Olympic champion Emma McKeon will lead the way. Despite this, the 29-year-old will be competing with 200m freestyle world record holder Molly O’Callaghan, 400m freestyle world record holder Arialne Titmuss and race mainstay Bronte Campbell. You will be competing against.

St Peter’s Western’s Shayna Jack is the highest ranked Australian this season (52.76) but will not be competing here. Next up for her is McKeon, who ran a season-best 53.00 seconds at last month’s Victoria Open Championships.

MOC and her C2 went head to head with the former achieving her season best of 53.27 in this match and the latter achieving her 53.30.

O’Callaghan topped the podium at the 2023 Australian World Championships with a time of 52.48 seconds. McKeon was close behind with a time of 52.52 seconds. The 2023 Australian World Championship Trials requires a minimum score of 54.44 to place in the top eight, proving just how impressively large Australia’s women’s sprint freestyle field really is.

2. Men’s 200m Freestyle

Five of Australia’s all-time top 16 men’s 200m freestyle athletes will take part in this weekend’s event. Among them is Maximilian Giuliani, a 20-year-old from Miami who has established himself as one of the best 200m freestylers in Australia, or even the world.

With a time of 1:44.79 from the Queensland Championships in December, Giuliani is the top Australian this season and ranked #2 in the world by less than two seconds.

Following Giuliani in the all-time rankings is Alex Graham, whose personal best in 2021 is 1:45.22, making him fifth on the Australian all-time list. The 28-year-old brought home two bronze medals in the relay from Tokyo and helped Australia win bronze in the 4x200m in Fukuoka last year.

However, this weekend’s field is also home to Flynn Southam, Zac Incerti, and Kyle Chalmers.

3. Women’s 200m Backstroke

Since both the women’s 100- and 200-meter backs are packed with powerful weapons, They questioned whether to include them in this preview.

The clear favorite for gold in both distances is Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown, the current world record holder in all three backstroke events.

Griffith University’s McKeown, 22, set a season’s best time of 2:04.81 in the pairs swim at the World Aquatics World Cup in Budapest last October.

Since then, American Regan Smith has gotten even faster, setting a world-best time of 2:03.99 at last weekend’s Westmont Pro Swim Series.

McKeown will aim to regain her ranking title, but she will have to face off against challengers MOC, Hannah Fredericks, and Cruiz’s Abbey Webb in this national tournament.

In fact, McKeown was in a race against time and set her current world record in this event, her 2:03.14.

4. Men’s 100m Butterfly

Chalmers will compete in the 100m fly against Cody Simpson, for example.

The Australian head coach Rohan Taylor has reportedly tipped Simpson as a serious possibility for an Olympic berth, which will further increase Simpson’s self-assurance in the face of a blistering field.

Both players have shown their skills at this tournament, but it remains to be seen whether 24-year-old Matt Temple can match the same pace of 50.25 seconds he set at the Australian Open and Oceania Open in December. will attract attention.

Interestingly, Clyde Lewis, Australia’s third all-time runner in the 200m free, will not be participating from this event, but is instead in this group.

The 26-year-old Western Olympian from St. Peters set a best time of 53.53 seconds in 2018.

5. Women’s 200m Freestyle

The women’s 200m freestyle, like the 100m sprint, has outstanding depth as a harbinger of challenges to come.

Current world record holder MOC leads the field but will also be joined by reigning Olympic champion Titmus, as well as Casey and Lani Pallister.

In June, coveted positions will be determined in the women’s 4x200m free relay as well as individual starting spots in the 200m freestyle.

McKeown has competed in this event several times and appears to have thrown her hat into the ring to secure a broadcast spot.

At the Queensland Championships, McKeown set a new lifetime best of 1:56.14, only the second time in history to break the 1:57 mark. That time would have placed her fourth at the 2023 World Championship Trials, beating Maddie Wilson’s time of 1:56.68.

Wilson has been out of competition since announcing his pregnancy in January. If McKeown actually aims to qualify for the relay, he will have one less competitor to eliminate.

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