BREAKING: Olympic hopeful Lani Pallister sets Australian 800m freestyle Short Course Record of 8 minutes 11.71

PLENTY TO CELEBRATE: Lani Pallister, pictured here with coach, mum, Olympian Janelle Elford and Olympic legend Dawn Fraser.Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

BREAKING: Australian Olympic hopeful Lani Pallister clocks Australian 800m freestyle Short Course Record of 8 minutes 11.71


RECORD BREAKER: Lani Pallister off to a flying start with a new Australian record in the 800m freestyle.Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

Sunshine Coast Olympic hopeful Lani Pallister has today smashed the Australian Open and All-Comers records in the 800m freestyle at the 2020 McDonald’s Queeensland Short Course Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

The 18-year-old clocked a sizzling time of 8 minutes 11.71 (58.32; 2:00.03; 4:03.82; 5:05.93; 6:08.06; 7:10.50) to clip 0.61 off the 12-year-old Australian mark of 8:12.32 set in 2008 by Beijing Olympic finalist over the distance and 4x200m freestyle gold medallist Kylie Palmer. 

The time was also under Palmer’s Queensland State 18 years and 19 years and over record.

And the Fina World Junior champion over 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle also took 0.84 off Katie Goldman’s Australian All-Comers mark of 8:12.65 set in this pool in 2010.

Swimming against a solid field, including 2019 World Championship team members TSS Aquatic pair  Maddy Gough and Kiah Melverton and Tokyo Olympic 10km marathon qualifier Kareena Lee (Noosa), Pallister went straight to the lead and was never headed over the 32 lap short course journey.

Pallister, coached by her mother and Seoul Olympian Janelle Elford, went through the first 100m in 58.32, the 200m in 2:00.03 and the 400m in 4:03.82 and swam away over the second 400 to beat Lee (8:14.03) which was also a very impressive pb and the 6th fastest time by an Australian and Gough a solid (8:16.73) and marginally outside her best.


SETTING THE WORLD ON FIRE: Jack Ireland sets a new WR in the Multi-Class 50m freestyle. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

And in keeping with the records, Paralympic star Jack Ireland  (UQ) claimed a world record in the Multi-Class 50m freestyle, clocking an outstanding time of 24.37 to continue his climb to the top of the world rankings, with the Tokyo Paralympics in his sights.

And while Pallister stole the show in the women’s 800m it was another budding young Queenslander in Sam Short, who continued to take chunks out of his personal best times.

Just two weeks after clocking a 10 second pb in the 800m freestyle – of 7:43.85 the 16-year-old now under Damien Jones at the Rackley Centenary Swim Club in Brisbane did the same over 1500m, clocking 145:43.68 (1:53.35; 3:50.75; 7:47.53) – to become the eighth fastest all-time Australian.

Short went stroke for stroke with John Rodgers’ trained Olympic 10km aspirant Nick Sloman (Noosa) over the first 700 before Short put the hammer down to open up a winning lead over the next 200m and swam strongly to the finish with Sloman another encouraging 1500 in 14:52.43 with Thomas Raymond (Nudgee College) third on the day in 15:11.81.

And Short’s swim comes just 24 hours after Short was named among 38 neew members of the 2020 MLC National Flippers Squad by Olympic legend Duncan Armstrong.

Flippers and Duncan 2

NEW WAVE: Sam Short pictured here with his fellow Flippers and Duncan Armstrong yesterday. Short is actually standing directly behind Armstrong. Photo Courtesy: Hanson Media.

Swimming World spoke to Sam yesterday  at the official launch at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and this is what he had to say about making the squad, the champions who have gone before him and his future.

“It’s great to make this Flippers Squad, good for myself and for everyone who works hard all the time, good recognition, a pathway and a good opportunity to train (in the National Camp in January) with other people like us, and who work just as hard and are as good as us. When good athletes who are like-minded people train together its pretty special,” said Short.

I’m now training under Damien Jones and I’ve seen tremnendous improvements, dropping 10 seconds over 800m a fortnight ago and hopefully some more (drops) this weekend.

“Chasing people like Tommy Neill (Fina World Junior Championship silver over 15400m is getting the best out of is exciting…..

“It’s being part of the future really, we are building a really good distance squad inside Brisbane, I love it.

“There is a tremendous history in Australian distance swimming – the record books are filled with legends in the distance events like Hackett, Perkins, Kowalski, Horton and to look up to them, I love it..Knowing that it definitely motivates you to keep going and strive for more,

It’s a hard slog the 1500..I’ve got a good balance with school and they support me and makes it as easy as possible for’s just balance really….”

And the future?

“I’ll keep training training towards the Queensland Long Course Championships (in December) and hope to bust out some good times…drop some time and then onwards to Open Nationals and Olympic Trials…I’m only young…but I’ll be ready for whatever happens.”

In other events:

Minna Atherton AUS, 100m Backstroke Final, 18th FINA World Swimming Championships 2019, 23 July 2019, Gwangju South Korea. Pic by Delly Carr/Swimming Australia. Pic credit requested and mandatory for free editorial usage. THANK YOU.

ARCHWAY: Minna Atherton shows the start that makes her one of the best in the world. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Minna Atherton (Moreton Bay) held on to beat Emily Seebohm (Griffith University) in a tightly fought women’s 200m backstroke – Atherton leading all the ay to win in 2:03.323 to Seebohm’s 2:03.42 with Molly O’Callaghan (St Peters Western) third in 2:10.88. O’Callaghan later set a new Queensland 16 years record of 24.58 – taking 0.15 off Olympian Emma McKeon’s 2010 time of 24.73.

Her St Peters Western club mate Meg Harris also joined the list of record breakers – clocking 24.76 to take down Shayna Jack’s 2017 time of 25.15

Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) wrapped up a solid double – winning the men’s 200m backstroke in 1:52.46 from Ty Hartwell (Chandler) 1:54.22 with Thomas Hauck (All Saints) third in 1:54.23 in the second session after earlier in the day taking out the 400IM in 4:06.26.

But his young challengers Hauck (4:08.84) and Neill (4:08.93) both set new Queensland Age record for 17 and 18 year-olds respectively.


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1 year ago

Janelle Pallister WOW! Huge congratulations to Lani !!

1 year ago

Fantastic! Only 7 seconds behind Ledecky’s LONG course WR of 8:04.

1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Young

Scott Young great job after the recent covid shutdown-don’t you agree?

1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Young

Mark E Fellner no doubt! It was a brilliant swim!

1 year ago

Congratulations Janelle!

1 year ago

Sometimes Scott Young just a congratulations is all that is needed. PB is a PB. It’s a shame mocking gets in your way.

1 year ago

Big clap for outstanding performance

1 year ago

Congrats Lani