WA’s Zac Incerti Tops The Qualifiers In Men’s 200m Freestyle As Big Names Bite The Dust

ZAC CAPS BIG NIGHT: WA's Zac Incert capped a big night onb the Gold Coast with the fastest heat swim in the men's 200m freestyle. Photo Courtesy WAIS

WA’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Zac Incerti was the big mover on the opening night of  the Australian Open Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast tonight

Incerti is the surprise fastest qualifier after swimming almost a full one-and-a-half second personal best time in the men’s 200m freestyle heats.

The 24-year-old from the UWA West Coast Team and coached by Mick Palfrey clocked a slick 1:46.89.

In an evening of shocks Olympic 400m champion Mack Horton (Melbourne Vicentre), the top seed Clyde Lewis (Bond University) and fifth-ranked Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) all missed the top 10 cut off for tomorrow morning’s final.

Lewis (1:49.85 ) was five seconds slower than his best time of 1:44.90 (the second fastest time by an Australian) and was 12th ; McLoughlin almost four seconds outside his best was 14th and Horton placed 35th in 1:52.62 – seven seconds off his best.

Lewis and Horton were members of Australia’s World Championship winning 4x200m freestyle relay team at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju while McLoughlin swam the heats.


TOP OF THE BLOCKS: UWA  West Coast’s Zac Incerti – the fastest qualifier into the 200m freestyle final. Photo Courtesy: Funky Trunks.

Incerti, 24, the Western Australian State champion broke Olympian Tomaso D’Orsogna’s WA Residential record in December with a time of 1:48.36 – 10th on the official entry list.

The boy from Broome left the Kimberley at age 13 to attend Perth’s Aquinas College and to kick-start a swimming career that saw him represent Australia at the 2017 World Championships in the 4x100m freestyle relay and as a backstroker in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where he won bronze in the 50m backstroke, despite a painful back injury.

The same injury forced him out of the 2018 Pan Pac Trials with Incerti only surfacing towards his best form at the end of 2020.

The Top 10 qualifiers for the 200m freestyle are:

Zac Incerti (WA) 1:46.89

Thomas Neill QLD) 1:48.02

Elijah Winnington (WA) 1:48.04

Kyle Chalmers (SA) 1:48.18

Alexander Graham (QLD) 1:48.24

Thomas Hauck (QLD) 1:48.75pb

Jack Cartwright (QLD) 1:49.24

Jacob Hansford (QLD) 1:49.50

Elliot Rogerson (VIC) 1:49.56

Josh Hertz (NSW) 1:49.63) Swim Off

James Koch (NSW) 1:49.63)Result unavailable.

In the women’s 200m freestyle Rio Olympic bronze medallist Emma McKeon tops the qualifiers from world championship silver medallist and Australian record holder Ariarne Titmus returning form a shoulder injury suffered in December the next fastest on 1:56.11 with five Rio Olympians McKeon, Madi Wilson, Leah Neale, Brianna Throssell and Tamsin Cook all in the top 10.


In the women’s 100m breaststroke, Southport’s rising star Chelsea Hodges continued her march towards the Olympic Trials, clocking a pb of 1:06.90 to top the qualifiers.


In the men’s 100m breaststroke it was Chandler’s World Championship finalist Zac Stubblety-Cook (1:00.23) who shaded Rio Olympian Jake Packard (1:00.44) and World Championship Mixed Relay gold medallist Matthew Wilson (1:00.70) to ensure a top gun shoot out in the final.


Photo Courtesy:

The women’s 50m backstroke final will see the heir apparents led by Kaylee McKeown (27.52) take on Australia’s most celebrated backstroker in Emily Seebohm (27.99) with Seebohm’s Australian records of 27.34 (Open) and 27.47 (All-Comers) both under siege.


While in the men’s 50m backstroke, “The Boss” Mitch Larkin’s 24.67 was only 0.04 outside his best and 0.13 outside Ben Treffers 2014 Australian record.


In the women’s 400IM two-time World Junior Championship team member Jenna Forrester (4:41.66) nudged out Commonwealth Games representative Meg Bailey (4:41.91) for the top spot.

W 400Im

While in the men’s 400IM, champion lifesaver Brendon Smith (4:17.69) is the top dog ahead of 18-year-old Gold Coaster Thomas Hauck (4:23.89) – qualifying for his second final of the night, after clocking the sixth fastest time in the 200m freestyle.

1 comment

  1. avatar

    Emma not swimming the 200 free final hope she ok?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.