Australian Championships Day 1, Men’s 400m Freestyle: Elijah Winnington Turns It On To Win The Battle of the World Champions

TURNS IT ON: Elijah Winnington wins the battle of the world champions on the Gold Coast. Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia /

Australian Championships Day 1, Men’s 400m Freestyle: Elijah Winnington Turns It On To Win The Battle of the World Champions

Elijah Winnington (St Peters Western, QLD) saved his best till last to win the battle of the 400m freestyle world champions in one of the races of the night on day one of the four-day Australian Championship meet on the Gold Coast.

The 2002 world champion winner from Budapest powered off the final turn like a “super sub” to catch 2023 world champion Sam Short (Rackley Swim Team) – clocking 3:41.41 to Short’s 3:41.64 with 2024 winner from Doha, Korea’s Woomin Kim third in 3:45.12.

Both Winnington and Short’s times bettered Kim’s winning time of 3:42.71 – swum when he beat Winnington and German’s Lukas Martens in February this year.

Kim led narrowly through the first 100m in  54.40, from Winnington 53.43 and Short 53.63 before Short hit the front at the 200m, in 1:49.44 – before powering down the fifth lap – and leading comfortably by almost a full second at the 300m mark.

But Winnington’s turns, especially the final turn, were the difference in the end and Winnington split 26.76 to Short’s 27.56 down the final lap to out-touch a dogged Short in a thrilling finish.

The  newly engaged Winnington said he  couldn’t be happier with “his second ever best time” and at this stage of his preparation for Paris – two months out from the Australian Trials in June and 100 days from the start of the Games.

“Sam and I have some great battles but to have Woomin here makes it world class…it could not be better” said Winnington, who gave his fiancee Eve a shout on the television interview with two-time Olympian Meagen Nay.

In other highlights:

Olympic and World 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers (St Andrews, QLD, Coach Ashley Delaney) in 23.10, upset noted butterflyers Cam McEvoy (Somerville House, QLD; coach Tim Lane) 23.35 and Isaac Cooper (St Andrews, QLD, Coach Ashley Delaney) 23.52 in the 50m butterfly final.

Olympic 200m breaststroke champion Zac Stubblety-Cook (Chandler, QLD, Coach Vince Raleigh) 59.85 produced his trade-mark back end to win the men’ 100m breaststroke – fresh from an altitude camp in Flagstaff, Arizona. WA’s Joshua Yong, (UWA West Coast, WA, Coach Ben Higson) 1:00.16 finished second ahead of Japan’s Ippei Watanabe 1:00.42.

The 200m backstroke saw Korea’sJuho Lee (1:56.97) hold on to beat local boy Bradley Woodward (Mingara, NSW, Coach Adam Kable) 1:57.67 with Josh Edwards Smith (Griffith University, QLD, Coach Michael Bohl) third in 1:59.08.

Paralympic gold medallist Benjamin Hance (St Andrews, QLD) nudged the world record in the 50m butterfly clocking 24.65; world record holder Timothy Hodge (ACU Blacktown, Coach Misha Payne) was impressive in winning the 400m freestyle in 4:15.36 and Jack Ireland (Uni of QLD; Coach David Heyden) won the 200m freestyle in 1:53.86  in some impressive swims from an Australian para swimming group, also hunting for gold in Paris at the Paralympic Games.


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1 month ago

World Record at the Aussie Olympic Trials?
I think its a strong possibility. Definitely should go at or by the Paris games!

1 month ago

These boys could probably train through the trials (as I presume they may have done) here as they probably don’t have any competition for the two Olympic spots. The WR can wait until Paris. Hopefully no relatively-unknown North Africans come out of the woodwork.

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