2024 Australian Olympic Trials – WA athlete previews

07 June 2024

With the Australian Swimming Trials rapidly approaching, anticipation is building around swimmers' performances across Australia. Trials, scheduled for June 10-15 at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, will determine which athletes represent Australia at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. To qualify, swimmers must meet the tough qualifying times set by Swimming Australia and place in the top two of their events. Over 40 WA athletes from 13 clubs are set to compete in the coming week.

 

'The Bunbury Bullet': Saffy in a strong position for selection

Alex Saffy (Bunbury/AIS) 'The Bunbury Bullet', currently training in Canberra, hit his all-time best in the 100m butterfly multi-class (57.23) at the Australian Open Championships earlier this year. Saffy's incredible achievements put him in a strong position for potential selection to the Australian Paralympic team.

 

Popham set for 'splash and dash' 50m freestyle

The Toyko 2020 Paralympian, Ben Popham (Highlanders/WAIS), achieved a new personal best in the 50m freestyle multi-class (26.35) at the Para Swimming European Open Championships, edging closer to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games qualifying time. Popham will compete in the 50m freestyle multi-class on Tuesday.

 

'WA’s Backstroke Queen': Anderson’s in prime form

Iona Anderson (Breakers/WAIS), a world championships medalist, has had an exceptionally strong season. At the 2024 Swimming WA Winter Season Opener last month, she clocked a lifetime best of 58.53 in the 100m backstroke, breaking the 59-second barrier for the first time. This impressive swim places her as the fourth-fastest Australian woman in history for the event, ahead of world record holder Minna Atherton. Anderson enters the Trials in third place for the 100m backstroke and fourth for the 200m backstroke.

 

Women’s 100m Backstroke | Tuesday, 11 June

Australian Olympic Qualifying Time: 59.62

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 57.57
  2. Mollie O’Callaghan – 58.09
  3. Iona Anderson – 58.53

 

Women’s 200m Backstroke | Thursday, 13 June

Australian Olympic Qualifying Time: 2:09.74

  1. Kaylee McKeown – 2:03.84
  2. Jaclyn Barclay – 2:07.03
  3. Hannah Fredericks – 2:08.92
  4. Iona Anderson – 2:11.40

 

Yong locked in for the 100m and 200m breaststroke

The twenty-two-year-old athlete is someone to keep an eye on. Joshua Yong (UWA West Coast/WAIS) recently achieved a personal best of 59.83 in the men's 100m breaststroke at the Swimming WA Winter Season Opener. Yong's performance secured his place as the seventh-fastest Australian in history, tying with Victorian swimmer Daniel Cave.

 

Men’s 100m Breaststroke | Monday, 10 June

Australian Olympic Qualifying Time: 59.49

  1. Zac Stubblety-Cook – 59.51
  2. Samuel Williamson – 59.82
  3. Joshua Yong – 59.83

 

Men’s 200m Breaststroke | Friday, 14 June

Australian Olympic Qualifying Time: 2:09.50

  1. Zac Stubblety-Cook – 2:05.95
  2. Joshua Yong – 2:08.54

 

In addition to Saffy, Popham, Anderson and Yong, several other WA swimmers are set to compete and make their mark at the Trials:

  • Inez Miller (Fenix/WAIS): Miller won seven medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games, including three gold. The Emerging Athlete of the Year Finalist is set to compete in the women's 400m freestyle. This event is the first to kick off the competition, and she is currently ranked in the top 10.
  • Talara-Jade Dixon (St Hilda's/WAIS): Dixon secured an international bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke (1:08.15), representing Australia at the 2022 Phillips 66 National Championships in California. At last year's Australian Trials, Dixon fell 0.7 seconds short of second place. Back for another year, she will compete in the 100m breaststroke, where she is currently ranked seventh in the competition.
  • Kyle Lee (North Coast/WAIS): Lee secured his spot for the Olympics earlier this year at the World Championships in Doha. Trials will be Lee's final competition before he travels to Paris for July's games. Next week, Lee will compete in the 800m freestyle (ranked 6th) and 1500m freestyle (ranked 5th), among other events.
  • Johann Szymanski (Highlanders, c: Ryan Steenkamp): The 19-year-old long-distance freestyler has broken multiple WA records and will be racing alongside Lee and Adam Sudlow in the 800m (ranked 8th) and 1500m freestyle (ranked 6th).

 

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