World Championships: Mollie O’Callaghan Times It To Perfection To Win The 100 Free; Sjostrom & Huske On Podium

Mollie O'Callaghan
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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World Championships: Mollie O’Callaghan Times It To Perfection To Win The 100 Free; Sjostrom & Huske On Podium

Mollie O’Callaghan claimed her second gold medal of the World Championships with a perfectly-timed victory in the 100 free at the Duna Arena.

O’Callaghan, who won three relay medals at Tokyo 2020, was sixth at halfway in 25.96 behind Sarah Sjostrom before the Australian went ahead in the final 10m to win in 52.67.

She becomes the fifth Australian women to win the 100 free after Jodie Henry, Libby Trickett (nee Lenton) and sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell.

The 18-year-old was a member of the Australian quartet that won the 4×100 free title on the opening night and she also took silvers in the 200 free and 4×200.

Sjostrom was second in 52.80 as she claimed her fifth world medal in the 100 free, four silver and one bronze, the world record-holder still searching for her first title.

Torri Huske was third in 52.92 for her fourth medal of the meet so far.

O’Callaghan said:

“It’s certainly weird at the moment to think that I’m a world champion.

“I just finished my last individual and won my first gold, so yeah, it’s very crazy.”

O’Callaghan suffers from nerves ahead of her races although coach Dean Boxall believe they help the teenager.

Of how she felt ahead of the race, O’Callaghan said:

“Shocking, it was bad, the worst ever.

“I was panicking in warm-up, I had a little bit of a cramp in my leg.

“I was just feeling dizzy, I just felt out of it in warm-up and I started to panic a little.

“But I had teammates there – I had Madi Wilson, I had the whole team and especially Dean (coach Dean Boxall) supporting me so I guess that kind of uplifted me for this race.”

O’Callaghan is coached by Boxall at St Peters Western in Indooroopilly, Brisbane, in Queensland.

She counts Ariarne Titmus – double Olympic champion and 400 free world record-holder – and Shayna Jack among her training mates.

While known and respected for years among swimming circles, Boxall shot to international recognition as he celebrated Titmus’ Olympic title in Tokyo last year.

O’Callaghan laughed when asked about what Boxall said before the race, saying:

“Sometimes he is a little bit too close to my face but that’s okay.

“Maybe I won’t tell anyone because that’s between Dean and I but yeah, he’s very supportive and always makes sure that I am alright and to calm me down because i get irritated by the little things and I get very angsty.

“He’s definitely there to calm me down even though he is a bit crazy.”

Of her execution, she said:

“I had to just trust myself and focus on myself especially for my back end, that is definitely my strongest point, my front end not so much.

“I was more thinking try and stick with the girls, try and execute Dean’s race plan as best as I can and at the end of the day it’s about experience, it’s not so much about my time.

“So I think just gaining that experience has been just enough for this week.”

Sjostrom is the first female 100 free world record-holder to have not won a world title but she said:

“I’m feeling so good, this is my seventh silver – still, I’m so, so happy with one like never before because I’m competing against such young ladies around me so here in the final I’m the most experienced one.

“That was a great competition, I continue swimming and see how my body reacts and what the future holds for me.”

Huske, who added bronze to her 100 fly gold, added:

“I’m really happy with the podium as it was a field of fast people.

“To be able to race with the best, makes me happy and makes me stronger and makes me improve.”

Results

  1. Mollie O’Callaghan (AUS); 52.67
  2. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE); 52.80
  3. Torri Huske (USA); 52.92
  4. Penny Oleksiak (CAN); 52.98
  5. Chang Yujie (CHN); 53.58
  6. Kayla Sanchez (CAN); 53.59
  7. Marie Wattel (FRA); 53.60
  8. Claire Curzan (USA); 53.81

 

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