Zac Stubblety-Cook and Mollie O’Callaghan Star On Day Two Of Queensland Championships In Brisbane

IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN: Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook a class above the rest of the field. Photo Courtesy: Wade J Brennan Photography.

Olympic Champion Zac Stubblety-Cook’s Record Breaking Night At The Queensland Championships

Chandler Swim Club’s Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook and Tokyo teen sensation Mollie O’Callaghan were the stars of night two of the 2021 McDonald’s Queensland Swimming Championships in Brisbane tonight.


LEGS FLY: Zac Stubblety-Cook powers off the Brisbane blocks. Photo Courtesy: Wade J Brennan.

Stubblety-Cook left his beloved Aquatic Centre at Chandler excited by what lies ahead in 2022 after setting the his home pool  alight on an action-packed first session of individual finals.

Stubblety-Cook led a host of Tokyo Olympians back into competition and it was “game on” from the opening event with, 17-year-old St Peters Western gold medallist O’Callaghan surprising even herself.

“Mollie O” produced a near-best 200m freestyle time to win the first of her three State titles in an “hour of power” and lowering the colours of Olympic champion and her team mate Ariarne Titmus into the bargain.

But the swim of the night belonged to Stubblety-Cook with the Tokyo 200m breaststroke gold medallist setting a new Queensland All-Comers record of 2:07.00 in his pet 200m breaststroke event.

It was his first swim back after his Tokyo triumph and just 0.88 secs outside the world record he nudged in the Olympic final.

Russian Anton Chupkov holds the world mark at 2:06.12 – and Stubblety-Cook was the only swimmer under 2:07.00 in the Olympic final – clocking a new Olympic record of 2:06.38.

And that swim came after he set his own Commonwealth record, a faster time of 2:06.28 at the Australian Olympic Trials in June this year.

The 22-year-old surprised even himself when he arrived at the pool in the morning admitting he felt “pretty good” in the warm up, punching out a solid 2:08.95.

“I thought, ‘I’d give it a crack this morning and was totally surprised with my time so I knew I was in form,” said an excited Stubblety-Cook, who admitted he had some mixed emotions after the Games.

“When I came back from Tokyo I was asking myself, is that the peak? It’s like when you become the best, you think what’s next ?

“And I thought I’m just going to swim free; no one can take that away from me, so from now on I’ll swim with freedom and never have that hanging over my head.

“And if I’m swimming this fast now, I’m excited for next year and excited for what I can do.”

Stubblety-Cook will now set his sights on the Fina World Championships in Fukuoka in May and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

And if Stubblety-Cook is excited then “Mollie O” should be super excited.

The girl who ignited the Australian women’s team with her relay heat swims in Tokyo wasted no time letting her swimming do the talking again in the pool tonight.


GOOD GOLLY: Tokyo teen sensation Mollie O’Callaghan launches herself into a winning treble in the women’s backstroke. Photo Courtesy: Wade J Brennan.

Callaghan won the Open 200m freestyle in a time of 1:56.51 – only a second outside her best time – and relegating St Peters Western teammate and Olympic champion Titmus in second place in 1:57.36 and fellow Tokyo medallist Brianna Throssell (USC Spartans) taking bronze in 1:58.16.

ADDED the 17/18 years age group 100m backstroke title in 1:01.26 after just 30 minutes rest and;

COMPLETED a rare treble, powering home to win the Open 100m backstroke less than 30 minutes later – and in a faster time of 1:00.67.

And she admitted although she admitted she was exhausted O’Callaghan said she was “really happy” with her freestyle “only a second off my best.”

“Dean and I thought when it came to the backstroke maybe take the age group a little easier, preparing for the Opens but sometimes I just go for it….people expect me to swim fast..but I guess I’m just here to have fun In guess….but try and see what I can do…

“My legs starting started to burn the whole way….it hits you like a brick wall….”

O’Callaghan said she was stoked with her Olympic results, remembering it was her first ever major open international competition, “so I was interested to see how I handled everything….and I was so happy.”

In other highlights Rackley’s bronze-medal-winning Tokyo 4x200m freestyle relay anchor Tommy Neill produced a solid 1:47.28 to win the 200m freestyle from fellow Tokyo teammate Elijah Winnington (St Peters Western) 1:48.22 with Clyde Lewis (Griffith University) third in 1:48.88.


CLOCKWORK ORANGE: Tokyo Olympic team mates Ariarne Titmus and latest Queensland recruit Brianna Throssell reacquainted on pooldeck at Chandler. Photo Courtesy: Wade J Brennan Photography.

And he later added the 400IM in 4:19.18 from Joshua Staples (St Peters Western) 4:23.81 and Lucas Humeniuk (Chandler) 4:25.06.

While triple Olympian Mitch Larkin, now under new coach Vince Raleigh at Chandler) powered home to win the 100m backstroke in 53.80 from his Tokyo team mate Isaac Cooper (Rackley) 54.55 and former WA rising star Joshua Edwards-Smith, now under Michael Bohl at Griffith University, in 54.98.

Meanwhile Bond University teen Flynn Southam continued on his record breaking rise through the ranks – lowering a 22-year-old Queensland All Comers record of 49.98 set by Ian Thorpe in 1999 and the Queensland record of 49.70 set by Cameron McEvoy (2011) – with his 49.42 to win the 16 years 100m freestyle.

And 13-year-old Olympia Pope (Somerset Swim Club, Gold Coast) added her own slice of swimming history, breaking an Australian and Queensland record that was set back in 2009 by Tessa David – clocking 2:32.61 in the 200m 13 years breaststroke.


RESULTS UPDATE, 2021 McDonalds Queensland State Swimming Championships


 200m freestyle

  1. Mollie O’Callaghan (St Peters Western) 1:56.51
  2. Ariarne Titmus (St Peters Western) 1:57.36
  3. Brianna Throssell (USC Spartans) 1:58.16

100m backstroke

  1. Mollie O’Callaghan (St Peters Western) 1:00.67
  2. Bronte Job (Rackley Swim Team) 1:0143
  3. Jaclyn Barclay (St Peters Western) 1:01.94

* Earlier on Night 2, O’Callaghan won the 17 years 100m backstroke in 1:01.26, giving her three wins from her first three swims.

200m breaststroke

  1. Abbey Harkin (St Peters Western) 2:29.91
  2. Tayla Lumley (Rackley Swim Team) 2:32;75
  3. Madeline Snell (Brisbane Grammar) 2:33.63

400m individual medley

  1. Mya Rasmussen (New Zealand Federation) 4:44.57
  2. Ella Ramsay (St Peters Western) 4:45.68
  3. Elizabeth Dekkers (Newmarket Racers) 4:48.52


200m freestyle

  1. Thomas Neill (Rackley Swim Team) 1:47.28
  2. Elijah Winnington (St Peters Western) 1:48.22
  3. Clyde Lewis (Griffith University) 1:48.88

200m breaststroke

  1. Zac Stubblety-Cook (Chandler) 2:07.00 (29.64; 1:01.99/32.35); 1:35.43/33.44; 2:07.00/31.57)
  2. Yannik Zwolsman (Southport Olympic ) 2:16.27
  3. Ryan Maskelyne (Papua New Guinea Federation) 2:16.33

100m backstroke

  1. Mitch Larkin (Chandler 53.80
  2. Isaac Cooper (Rackley Swim Team) 54.59
  3. Joshua Edwards-Smith (Griffith Uni) 54.98

400m individual medley

  1. Thomas Neill (Rackley Swim Team) 4:19.18
  2. Joshua Staples (St Peters Western) 4:23.81
  3. Lucas Humeniuk (Chandler) 4:25.06


Olympia Pope (Somerset Swim Club, Gold Coast) set the club’s first Australian and Queensland records, clocking 2:32.61 (34.28; 1:12.86/38.58; 1:52.54/39.68; 2:32.61/40.07) in the 13 years 200m breaststroke, breaking Tess David’s 2009 mark of 2:33.27. A time that would have seen her finish second in the Open final.


Flynn Southam (Bond Swim Club, Gold Coast) continued to make his mark erasing two of Australia’s biggest names – Ian Thorpe and Cameron McEvoy from the 16 years 100m freestyle record books. Southam clocked 49.42 (24.08;25.34) faster than Thorpe’s 1999 Qld All-Comers record of 49.98 and McEvoy’s 2011 QLD record of 49.70.