Swimming Australia

The Dolphins have got the gold at last halfway through this week’s World Swimming Championships as what a moment by Sam Williamson – the 26 year old from Mount Waverley in Victoria – who wowed everybody in the Men’s 50m breaststroke sprint Final. He might have fired off the bat from behind but had a brilliant last 25m form to lock out Italian Nicole Martinenghi at the end of the wall by just 0.07 of a sec at 26.32 – how good!! This is his first World Championship gold medal as let’s hope he will kick on for more throughout this year including the Summer Olympics in Paris this July-August.

Other than that, we were also oh so close where Elijah Winnington was two seconds behind Daniel Wiffen from Ireland in the Men’s 800m Freestyle Final & also in the 4 x 100m Mixed Medley Relay Final to Team USA. Elijah was outstanding from the start with the early lead where he was on the World Record radar at one stage but just couldn’t stay ahead when he lost the lead towards the last 400m. He did get back a spot back that late towards the very end though – just not enough time to challenge Wiffen there a bit longer. Meanwhile in the Mixed Medley race, slow start but Williamson (Breaststroke) organised a great springboard for his female team-mates to bring it home from 3rd where Brianna Throssell (butterfly) & Shayna Jack (freestyle) did their best during the last half shift – even though it wasn’t possible to catch down Team USA for 2nd.

And shoutout to Throssell again with the 200m Freestyle in bronze. Now the race for gold may be out of reach by Siobhan Haughey from Hong Kong while Jack’s good start has quickly faded not far from the end down in 7th, but she too has a brilliant swim all along on what has been her first individual World Championship medal other than lots of team relays.

Another four days left to go despite the chances of topping the medal charts may be out of reach since most of our top swimmers are choosing the Olympics over this World Championships, but there will be at least 1-2 gold medal opportunities coming up tomorrow such as Iona Anderson in the 50m backstroke sprint and the Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Team Relay.

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The swimming pool leg may be only a week away on what is going to be another Swimming World Championships edition in Doha, Qatar with just six months out from the Summer Olympics in Paris, France as there has been a number of postponements in the last few years including Australia’s outstanding campaign half a year ago during the last World Champs in Fukuoka, Japan, due to COVID. But yesterday we saw such a thrilling end to the women’s 10km Open Water Swimming race Final where a few frontrunners were vying side-by-side for that one and only gold medal including two of our Aussies such as Moesha Johnson and Maddy Gough. The gold has ultimately went to Sharon Van Rouwendaal though from the Netherlands who defeated Spaniard Maria De Valdes by just 0.001 of a sec at the finish line, but Johnson swam really well & was oh so close too despite falling just outside the medal spots to Angelica Andre from Portugal by just 0.002 & 0.004 off Van Rouwendaal in 4th. Now Gough just couldn’t hold on a bit longer down as she would’ve liked that would give us the best chance down in 18th but great seeing her working together and backing up her team-mate Johnson out of a 70-odd field which wasn’t easy. Well done to both as it’s the men’s turn later today from 5.30pm AEDT before the race distance will be halved by 5km going into Tuesday for the Men’s and Wednesday for the Women’s respectively. Let’s hope we can see an odd Aussie medal there or even a gold one better by Chelsea Gubecka in the 5km race after she finished silver at the previous WC.

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The Dolphins may have collected just the silver and bronze on the final day of this year’s World Swimming Championships, but they still finished 2nd on this medal tally alone with six gold, nine silver and two bronze at a total of 17 medals.

Nice seeing Meg Harris share the joint bronze medal with Team USA’s Erika Brown at 24:38 in the Women’s 50m Freestyle Final. She was 3rd fastest overall from start to finish – including a great start in her heat & also she finished 2nd in the 2nd semi.

Then we saw the 4 x 100 Women’s Medley Relay Team wrap up 2nd after a fantastic start earlier yesterday in the heats. Yes, they couldn’t nail down Team USA on time for the gold when building an early lead would’ve gave them an extra edge towards their arch rivals. However, the girls swam really well within the Top 3 nonetheless from Kaylee McKeown, Jenna Strauch, Brianna Throssell & Mollie O’Callaghan.

Overall, it’s great to see our Dolphins finish off 2nd. We have a few of the world’s fastest swimmers that is developed & produced right here with freestyler Mollie O’Callaghan, backstroker Kaylee McKeown, and breaststroker Zac Stubblety-Cook. Although Elijah Winnington’s opening day gold in the Men’s 400m Freestyle Final may not have translated everywhere else, but surely he can bounce back next time.

And we have plenty of bright and talented youngsters coming through the ranks who is tipped for massive potential. They are ready to make history in collecting gold medals like O’Callaghan, McKeown & Stubblety-Cook – before they look to hopefully end Team USA’s long-running dominance up top & take over the world themselves regardless if its the WC and/or Olympic medal tally.

Thanks to Budapest, Hungary, for being such a great host once again for the second time that goes back to five years ago in 2017. For now, bring on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, next month, as well as renewing our arch-rivalry with Team USA back home in Sydney this August.

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We’re back into 2nd now on the medal tally for the Dolphins Swim Team, having snatched another two gold medals today thanks to Mollie O’Callaghan and Zac Stubblety-Cook after Day 6 of the 2022 World Swimming Championships.

Stubblety-Cook may not had the early momentum needed to stay ahead when he was battling outside the Top 3. The gamble to go all in the last 50m paid off however, when he came from behind with less than 100m to go before he trumped the whole field on the way home that secured his first World Championship Gold Medal in the Men’s 200m breaststroke.

Same goes to O’Callaghan over in the Women’s 100m Freestyle who was also initially off the pace. But likewise to what Stubblety-Cook did in the last-half, she began to rebound just in time up front towards a photo finish, and she has done it to upsurge Sweden’s Sarah Sjoestroem and Team USA’s Tori Huske for the gold she really wanted which is absolutely stunning.

Then there’s more than just the two outstanding swimmers on display where they took home another two silver medals.

Excellent job from Zac Incerti with the turnaround once he took over the baton from Elijah Winnington. His excellent spell in the last 100m puts them in 2nd after Stage 2 of the Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final; That helped him paved an easy pathway for Sam Short & Mack Horton to bring it all the way home where they finished 2nd.

And how good was Jenna Strauch in the Women’s 200m breaststroke? Although she couldn’t hold off Team USA’s Lily King towards the very end of the wall, but it’s still an excellent swim – especially in the 2nd half where she caught up side-by-side to the frontrunners just in time for the climax of this race.

The hard work isn’t over going into the final two days with Kaylee McKeown in the Women’s 200m backstroke Final, Kiah Melverton in the Women’s 800m Freestyle Final & Matt Temple in the Men’s 100m butterfly Final – plus the Mixed 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay if possible tomorrow. Initially, Lani Pallister was set to compete in the Women’s 800m Freestyle tomorrow with Melverton for the gold but then COVID caught her which means she has to withdraw from the running & sit for at least a week in isolation.

For now, what a day for O’Callaghan & Stubblety-Cook who made our Aussies very proud on the pool.

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It’s been a great start for our Australian Dolphins Swim Team in 2nd right now behind Team USA following the opening day of this year’s FINA World Championships with the swimming at Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary.

The women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay team’s performance was simply outstanding throughout today in both heats (3:33:74) and finals (3:30:95) where they dominated the entire pool, even though they well just short of world record time (3:29: 69). They all did it without the Campbell sisters in Bronte and Kate – currently both taking time away from the pool, as well as Emma McKeon – who chose to focus solely on next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

But again they have an amazing line-up of swimmers to assemble that can do the job without them, especially to Shayna Jack back in action after she recently finished serving her two-year doping ban. Brianna Throsell and Leah Neale also both filled in during the heats earlier on before the Dolphins threw in two amazing youngsters who smashed it in the final – Meg Harris & Mollie O’Callaghan. And Madison Wilson knows all about relay experience too well as any team-mate got the best out of her presence every time Wilson is competing poolside, having just picked up her 4th world championship gold medal that all comes from team finals swims.

Then we look at the men’s team where Eijah Winnington took out his first world championship gold medal in the 400 m freestyle final. What a breakthrough it has been by the 22-year-old who hails from the Gold Coast, with many more moments like this to come.

Speaking of 400m, how good was Kyle Chalmers in the freestyle relay – especially when his team-mates were out of the Top 3 for the majority until he jumped in & made a huge difference that helped them secure the silver in 2nd at 3:10:80 – just over a second behind the comfortable victors from USA (3:09:34).

We’re tied with them at two gold now in the medal tally going into Day 2 later tonight if you exclude the silver and bronze.

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Swimming has returned to Nine’s Wide World of Sports for the first time since 2008 ahead of this year’s World Aquatics Championships beginning on Saturday night our time in Budapest, Hungary.

Although, they did show some swimming when Nine broadcasted the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain, a decade ago.

We first heard that rights capture back in January this year when Nine previewed their wide range of sports coverage content for 2022 while we watched the Summer of Tennis during the Australian Open warm-up tournaments.

This upcoming event was slated to take place late last month in Fukofuka, Japan, at the time; the place where Australia topped the medal charts during the 2001 World Championships just over two decades ago.

However, FINA postponed the Fukafoka hosting rights to next year a few weeks later before they called in Budapest as this year’s replacement host.

Nonetheless, Nine will still be covering it where they will put the swimming live on their free digital channels via 9Gem & 9Go that can be streamable on 9Now – while the other aquatic categories such as Open Water Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Diving and Water Polo will also be a live & free streaming exclusive to 9Now.

We’ve gotta say that this is the perfect time right now to cheer them on when the Australian Dolphins Swim Team was simply outstanding at the Tokyo Olympics last year in 2nd behind the US with 9 gold, 3 silver & 9 bronze at a total of 21 medals.

They also bounced back also in 2nd just behind the all-dominant US champions three years ago when the last World Swimming Championships were held in Gwangju, South Korea; 5 gold, 9 silver and 5 bronze.

It will be interesting to see if the Dolphins can end Team USA’s long-running stranglehold up top over the next week, before the rest of the aquatic sports decide the overall result.

And shoutout to Ray Warren aka Rabs who just retired recently following a decorated 55-year career behind the mic.

He used to call some memorable moments there when Nine first covered swimming back in the 1990s to mid 2000s alongside his usual rugby league commentary up until his final game at the NRL Grand Final last year – including Susie O’Neill’s world record in the 200m butterfly at the 2000 Olympic trials.

It just won’t be the same without him as we will see a couple of new faces for studio coverage over the first week, as well as either using their own voices or just taking the world feed commentary.

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