QLD Champs, Finals Day 4: Max Giuliani’s 1:44.79 leadoff Spearheads Miami Swim Club To A New Australian Club Record in the 4x200m Freestyle

JUST FOR THE RECORD: Max Giuliani, Alex Grant, Alexander Graham and James Koch with coach Richard Scarce after setting a new Australian Club record in the 4x200m freestyle relay. Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan Photography.

QLD Champs, Finals Day 4: Max Giuliani’s 1:44.79 leadoff Spearheads Miami Swim Club To A New Australian Club Record in the 4x200m Freestyle

 A 20-year-old 1.95cm Tasmanian powerhouse, who left home to chase his Olympic dream at Miami on the Gold Coast last year, has tonight become the third Australian to break 1:45.00 for 200m freestyle – with only the legendary Ian Thorpe swimming faster – and he did in leading off his Miami relay team to a new Australian Club record in front of a supportive crowd at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

FLYING START: Max Giuliani. Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan Photography

Max Giuliani, who only made the move from Hobart to Miami last year, clocked a time of 1:44.79 to set a new Queensland and Queensland All-Comers record in a lead off swim for the ages in the Miami Club’s 4x200m freestyle relay challenge.

Miami was the only team in the pool as they set out to break the record held by the Grant Hackett led 2015 Miami team that also included Olympians Dan Smith and Thomas Fraser-Holmes who were joined by Jordan Harrison, under super coach Denis Cotterell.

And with the packed grandstand right behind them, cheering them on the Miami Class of ’23  lowered Australian Club Record by almost a full second.

Miami Head Coach Richard Scarce had set his team the target to break the  mark set eight years ago and he banked on Giuliani giving the team a flying start and the reigning 200m Queensland champion delivered in spades – improving his time by half-second in two days!

And a last minute order change saw Scarce put another new comer in James Koch from NSW into the anchor role -and the former Central Coast surf lifesaver brought the house down when he touched the wall.

They almost lifted the roof off the Brisbane Aquatic Centre as new kid Giuliani showed nerves of steel to explode off the blocks, handing over to Tokyo relay bronze medallist Alexander Graham powered to 1:46.23, then Alex Grant( 1:50.98) lifted after a tough week and finally anchor man James Koch who himself only arrived into the Miami system from NSW earlier this year – brought the team home in 1:47.29 – faster than he has ever swum in his life – to sneak under the 2015 mark of 7:10.24 – by 0.95secs and when the scoreboard stopped at 7:09.29 the crowd erupted.

For Giuliani to break Ian Thorpe’s individual 200m All-Comers record of 1:45.09 that had stood since 2002 and Clyde Lewis’ Queensland record of 1:44.90 was set at the World Championships in 2019 is a fair indicator of his progress over the past 12 months and his sights on next year’s Olympics.

Thorpe is the only Australian to have swum faster than “Miami Max”– his 2001 World Championship winning time of 1:44.06 – still stands as the Australian record.

The time would have placed Giuliani fourth in this year’s World Championships in Fukuoka and lifts him from relative obscurity into the Top 20 Performers in history over 200m.

It will be a night to be remembered in the storied history of Miami Swimming, put on the international map by coach Cotterell and a night that could well rocket Giuliani and the Miami boys into contention for places on the 2024 team for Paris.

Photos Courtesy Wade Brennan Photography

NERVOUS ENERGY (L-R) James Koch, Alex Grant, Alexander Graham, Max Giuliani. 

CHEER SQUAD: Team Miami….

MY TURN: Alexander Graham takes over from Max Giuliani.

LET’S GO JIMMY: Alex Grant and Alexander Graham cheer on James Koch.

CHANGING PLACES: Alex Graham to Alex Grant.

OFF TO A FLYER: Alex Grant to James Koch.

Miami 4x200m free crowd

LET’S GO BOYS….bring it on home…

Miami 4x200m freestyle relay new Australian Club records holders

YES JIMMY: James Koch congratulated by Max Giuliani, Alex Grant and Alexander Graham.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Max Giuliani (Class off ’23)  and coach Richard Scarce (below)

congratulated by Tom Fraser Holmes (Class of ’15).

MASTER STROKE: Richard Scarce with James Koch, Alex Grant and Max Giuliani.

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