Mollie O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack Blast Big Times at Australian Championships; Cody Simpson Pops in 100 Fly

Mollie and Shayna
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Mollie O'Callaghan (right) and Shayna Jack embrace after an emotionally charged women's 100m freestyle at the Australian Championships. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr Swimming Australia.

Mollie O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack Blast Big Times at Australian Championships; Cody Simpson Pops in 100 Fly

In an emotionally charged opening night of exceptionally fast swimming, established and shooting stars, returning stars and pop stars all booked their places on the Australian Swim Teams for Budapest and Birmingham in Adelaide tonight.

It was the start of the five-day Australian Swimming Championships to behold at the city’s SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre – with stunning performances all round as the “Battle From The Blocks” raged on for the World Championship and Commonwealth Games teams.

Mack splash

MACK’S SPLASHBACK (Photo Courtesy): Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Established stars Mack Horton (Griffith University, QLD) and Mitch Larkin (Chandler, QLD) were joined by shooting stars Mollie O’Callaghan (St Peters Western, QLD) and Lani Pallister (Griffith University, QLD) and emerging stars like backstroking’s Josh Edwards-Smith (Griffith University, QLD) and freestyle sprint find Thomas Nowakowski (Somerset, QLD).

With returning star Shayna Jack (St Peters Western, QLD) –producing an emotional Australian Championship comeback after fighting a two-year doping ban.

It was in a world class women’s 100m freestyle final with O’Callaghan improving her heat swim in another personal best time of 52.83 to 52.49 (25.92/26.57) – to confirm her ranking as world number one with Jack a close up second also in a personal best of 52.60 (#2 in the world) from Meg Harris (Marion, SA) right in the mix in 53.09 for third (#3 in the world).

Live Results

And to think this was an Australian championship final without Tokyo Olympic champion Emma McKeon, Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Cate Campbell and her former World Champion sister Bronte Campbell– who have steered the Dolphins to so many golden glories in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Shayna and Mollie hug 2

WHAT A RELIEF: Ariarne Titmus comforts Shayna Jack. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

But no need to worry girls, the next generation are more than keeping your lanes warm – in fact they are red hot.

Jack’s is remarkable story of mental toughness that typifies all the strength and tenacity it takes to overcome two years of hell – finishing second to an 18-year-old O’Callaghan who has arrived in a a world of her own to claim an individual 100m freestyle spot in style.

“That’s something that I really, really wanted and to do that with Mollie who did an amazing time and for me to come away with a personal best like that – I’m just so proud of myself,” said Jack who said she just wanted to get behind the blocks, hold her head high and swim the race of her life.

“I had so many emotions going through my body, I was just glad to swim that time and get myself back on the team.”

Before an encore from pop star Cody Simpson (Griffith University, QLD) who again took centre stage, living up to all the hype that a chart topping singer brings to the pool – and doing his thing.

The 24-year-old was right on song, finishing a gallant third in the 100m butterfly, something he knew he was capable of – but maybe not just yet – to qualify for his first National teams.

Simpson (Griffith University, QLD) finished behind Marion, SA Olympians Matt Temple 51.50 and Kyle Chalmers in 51.96, which equalled the Selection Qualifying Time which he had bettered in his heat – swimming 51.79But Head Coach Rohan Taylor confirmed with Giaan Rooney on Amazon Prime Video that with Chalmers unavailable for World’s that Simpson would be named and nominated on the teams for both Budapest and Birmingham.


LAUNCH PAD: Codie Simpson prepares for takeoff in Adelaide. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia),

“It is a dream come true, I’ve made so much progress from last year….and I have trained so hard all year,” said Simpson, who clocked a qualifying time in the heats and equalled the time in the final.

“It’s amazing to see results like this pay off; I was hoping to swim a little bit faster but it’s a real dream.

“I had no idea it would happen at this meet; I only started training a little under two years ago…..with Paris 2024 as my dream.”

The women’s 800m freestyle saw another world class swim from former three-time World Junior champion Pallister who swam away with the second fastest time by an Australian (Olympic silver medallist Ariarne Titmus) in 8:17.77.

It comes 12 months after illness forced her out of the Olympic Trials – crushing her Tokyo dream.

F“It’s been a very long journey to get back to these Trials – happy to be back on deck, racing and being healthy again and being my normal self,” said Pallister who payed tribute to her coach Michael Bohl and her mother and coach, 1988 Olympian and 1987 and 1988 Australian champion Janelle Elford.

Lani smile

STARS ALIGNING for Lani Pallister. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Horton and Larkin dug deeper than ever before to show they ain’t done with yet – Horton booking an individual spot on the Australian teams for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games in the 400 freestyle and Larkin in the 200m backstroke – his sixth World’s team.

Both boys were happy to finish second – Horton (3:44.06) grabbing silver on the touch  behind Tokyo team mate Elijah Winnington (St Peters Western, QLD) 3:43.10 with a brave Sam Short (Rackleys Swim Team) 3:44.34pb a fingernail away in third – his time rocketing him into the Australian all-time top ten.

Horton saying: “The move to the Gold Coast (and Michael Bohl) has been so refreshing it’s something different (that I needed)….but very happy to knock that spot off and enjoy the rest of the week.”

While Winnington too, disappointed with his Tokyo performances, saying: “I’ve been through a lot of mental preparation and I really struggled mentally coming off Tokyo,

“I really had to work with psychologists to build up my mind and not so much put together a swim like that but more so get up and stand behind the blocks and be confident in myself….I’m just happy I got another title.”

Elijah breath 2

ELIJAH RIDING THE CREST OF A WAVE. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Larkin also admitted he doubted a week ago he would make the team and it didn’t look positive after his average heat swim either, but he has now given himself a chance at a third Commonwealth Games gold in the 200m backstroke – 10 years after first winning the event at the 2012 Olympic Trials.

The 28-year-old, now at Chandler under Vince Raleigh, hung on grimly for second to young gun Edwards-Smith, formerly from WA, who linked up with Gold Coast-based super-squad under Michael Bohl in the 200m backstroke.

“I haven’t had the best prep but Vince has been able to tweak and tailer it for me and I’m just stoked to get away with that and a week or so ago I was worried about making the team but we got there and I’m pretty stoked,” said Larkin.


Australian Championships

Day One Results

2022 Australian Swimming Championships

Men’s 400m freestyle

  1. Elijah Winnington (St Peters Western, QLD) 3:43.10 Q
    2. Mack Horton (Griffith University, QLD) 3:44.06 Q
    3. Samuel Short (Rackley Swim Team, QLD) 3:44.34pb Q (8th fastest Australian)

Women’s 100m breaststroke

1. Jenna Strauch (Miami, QLD) 1:06.69 Q
2. Abbey Harkin (St Peters Western, QLD) 1:06.88 Q
3. Chelsea Hodges (Southport, QLD) 1:06.94 Q

Men’s 100m Butterfly

1. Matthew Temple (Marion, SA) 51.50 Q
2. Kyle Chalmers (Marion, SA) 51.67 Q
3. Cody Simpson (Griffith University, QLD) 51.96 Eq Q (51.79pb heat swim under the QT)

Women’s 100m freestyle

  1. Mollie O’Callaghan (St Peters Western, QLD) 52.49pb #1 in the world; 4th fastest All-time Australian
    2. Shayna Jack (St Peters Western, QLD) 52.60pb #2 in the world; 5th fastest all-time Australian
    3. Meg Harris 53.09 (Marion, SA) #3 in the world

Men’s 200m backstroke

1. Joshua Edward -Smith (Griffith University, QLD) 1:56.71pb Q (improved his own 8th fastest All-Time Australian time)
2. Mitch Larkin (Chandler, QLD) 1:56.79 Q
3. Bradley Woodward (SOPAC, NSW) 1:57.38

Men’s 50m freestyle

1. Thomas Nowakowski (Somerset, QLD) 21.86pb (6th fastest All-Time Australian)
2. Grayson Bell (Somerset, QLD) 22.08pb
3. Isaac Cooper (Rackley Swim Team, QLD) 22.33

Women’s 800m freestyle

1. Lani Pallister (Griffith University, QLD) 8:17.77pb Second All-Time Australian.
2. Kiah Melverton (St Peters Western, QLD) 8:22.54
3. Moesha Johnson (Griffith University, QLD) 8:26.35

Australian Championships in Pictures

Jenna Strauch 1

WINNING STROKE: Jenna Strauch (Miami, QLD) Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Josh Edwards Smith 2

MAGIC MOVE: Former WA boy Josh Edwards-Smith (Griffith University) Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Kyle fly

UP CLOSE:  With Kyle Chalmers Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Mollie and Dean

HUGS FOR MOLLIE: From coach Dean Boxall. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Shayna nails

NAILED IT: Shayna Jack is back on the Australian team.  Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Temple No 1

HI FLYER…Matt Temple No 1 in the 100m butterfly Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Thomas Nowakowski splash

TOMMY GUN 1: Somerset’s Thomas Nowakowski is a happy camper after winning the 50m freestyle. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Thomas Nowakowski happy

TOMMY GUN 2: In case you missed it the first time, this boy is happy. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.




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2 years ago

Let’s not re-write the story of Shayna Jack into one of “mental toughness, strength and tenacity”. She went to swim for SPW, she received a doping ban, and Mr. Hanson you served as her public relations advisor from the outset (which should be disclaimed in this article).

2 years ago
Reply to  Phil

This Aussie agrees. The swim DOES deserve due credit however there’s more than a little “whitewashing’ going on regarding the Jack affair. Whilst its highly debateable that she engaged in systematic doping, she was clearly very careless with regards to use of dietary supplements. Given top line AUS sportspeople receive clear education with regards to “what they put in their bodies; carelessness can only ever be a mitigating factor not a defense.

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