Clyde Lewis, Kaylee McKeown and Lani Pallister joined by a host of internationals for Queensland State Championships

Janelle Elford, 1988 Olympic swimmer for Australia, and daughter Lani Pallister, World Junior Champion - Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia


The appearance of rising stars Clyde Lewis, Kaylee McKeown and Lani Pallister, a host of Olympians and a record number of internationals will highlight the up-coming 2019 McDonald’s Queensland State Swimming Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre (December 14-20).

The Open, Age and Multi-Class meet will kick-start on Saturday with the Club and Region Relays before the first individual events start on Sunday morning with the first finals session featuring the men’s and women’s 200m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and 100m backstroke, that night.


Clyde Lewis; Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

Dual World Championship relay gold medallist Lewis and backstroking silver medallist McKeown were among the stars of Australia’s Gwangju World Championship team and head 10 members of that 27-strong team who will start their Olympic season in earnest.

Lewis (St Peters Western) tops the rankings in the opening 200m freestyle with his World Championship semi-final time of 1:44.90 – which stands as the second fastest time in the world this year and the second fastest time by an Australian behind the legendary Olympic champion Ian Thorpe – the only two Australians to have swum under 1:45.00.

The Dean Boxall coached Lewis will also start favourite in the 100m freestyle and line up in the 100 and 200m butterfly – after encouraging butterfly swims from the former Imer in the ISL season.

The butterfly will see Rio team mates David Morgan (TSS Aquatics) and Grant Irvine (UWS West Coast) re-united on the starting blocks after Irvine moved to WA with his fiancée, with the pair having their eyes on Tokyo 2020.

Morgan recently contested the US Open in Atlanta, Georgia, finishing second in the B final to world’s No 1 male sprinter in Caleb Dressell in the 200m butterfly.

GWANGJU Kaylee McKeown reaction

Kaylee McKeown Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

McKeown (USC Spartans), who continued to shine with her stunning 200m backstroke silver in Gwangju, will line up in the 100 and 200m backstroke, 200 and 400 IM, 100m freestyle and the 100m breaststroke.

Pallister, a three-time individual gold medallist over 400,800 and 1500m freestyle at this year’s Fina World Junior Championships, has only just returned from Europe with the all-conquering Australian Life Saving team.

There will be no rest for the girl from Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast who will run into some of her main opponents in TSS Aquatic trio Kiah Melverton, Maddie Gough and the club’s latest recruit Moesha Johnson and also the first Australian swimmer named on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic team, open water marathon representative Kareena Lee (Noosa) in the women’s middle distance and distance freestyle events.

The women’s 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle will be amongst the most hotly contested of what promises to be non-stop week of racing.

Golden smile from TSS Aquatic's Kiah Melverton and a hug for silver medal winning teammate Moesha Johnson.

Kiah Melverton (right) and Maddie Gough. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Melverton has already started her long course racing campaign up against US superstar Katie Ledecky at the US Open, recording some encouraging results to again declare her intentions coming into the Olympic selection year.

The World Championship finalist finished second to Ledecky in the 1500m (16:05.95) and the 800m (8:26.08) freestyles, with Johnson ninth in the 1500 (16.30.81) and seventh in the 800m (8:34.91).

The meet will also see the return of Griffith University’s dual Olympian David McKeon after a long rehabilitation from shoulder surgery, who will swim in the 100 and 200m freestyle.

While it may be missing meet poster girl and reigning World Champion Ariarne Titmus, who is on International Swimming League Grand Final duties in La Vegas (Dec 20 and 21), with a host of Australian stars, it has still attracted huge interest from throughout Queensland and Australian clubs from almost every Australian State.

But it is the record entries from overseas that will create enormous interest with teams from New Zealand (69), Japan (33), Singapore (22), Hong Kong (20), Czech Republic (11), China (10), Great Britain (3), Papua New Guinea (2), Cook Islands (2), South Africa (2) and Indonesia, Samoa, Sweden, Thailand, Philippines and Scotland (1) that has created enormous interest.

Included in the internationals are Japanese breaststroke guns, London Olympic silver and bronze medallist Satomi Suzuki and dual Pan Pac champion Yasuhiro Koseki (ranked 12th in the world in 2019 for 200m breaststroke) and rising Kiwi medley star, World Championship and Commonwealth Games 400IM bronze medallist Lewis Clarburt (Capital Swim Club, Wellington).

Jul 30, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Satomi Suzuki (JPN) reacts after finishing in third in the women's 100m breaststroke finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Koseki will go head to head with Queensland’s own Zac Stubblety-Cook (Chandler Aquatic) who holds down the fourth-fastest 200m breaststroke time in the world this year of 2:07.36 to Koseki’s 2:08.05.

Stubblety-Cook is one of 10 members of this year’s Australian World Championship Team entered in the meet, and will be joined by with Lewis, McKeown, Tom Fraser Holmes (Griffith University), Jack McLoughlin (Chandler Aquatic), Melverton, Morgan, Leah Neale (USC Spartans) and Jenna Strauch (Bond University).


Zac Stubblety-Cook. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This year’s co-poster girl for these Championships, Paralympic and World Champion and Paralympic Program Swimmer of the Year Lakeisha “Lucky” Patterson (Belgravia Swim Team), will also be joined by a host of her Paralympic team mates, including Rio gold medallists Brenden Hall (Belgravia) and Rachael Watson (Chandler).

It’s a huge promotional rewards for Patterson, who shares the poster with fellow World Champion Ariarne Titmus with Swimming Queensland rewarding the two girls for their outstanding years throughout 2019.

The State Championship posters that adorn the corridors of the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, purposely built for the 1982 Commonwealth Games, have featured the who’s who of Queensland swimming’s legends –from Kieren Perkins, Suzie O’Neill and Samantha Riley, to the Campbell sisters.