A resurgent Cameron McEvoy swam the two fastest 50m freestyles of the year on Sunday to emphatically make Australia’s world championship team as Shayna Jack upstaged Olympic champion Emma McKeon to take out the women’s race.
McEvoy, a four-time world championship silver medallist, powered to victory at the Australian trials in Melbourne in 21.41 seconds after scorching through his heat in 21.27.
His heat time would have won gold at the last world championships and silver at the Tokyo Olympics behind American great Caeleb Dressel.
Both times surpassed British reigning world champion Ben Proud’s 21.71 as the quickest of 2023 and were the 29-year-old’s best in seven years.
“I opened the week with my first PB (personal best) in seven years in the fly, I got two today in the free. I’m in a great spot and great to be back,” said McEvoy.
Seven-time Tokyo Olympic medallist McKeon was upset by Mollie O’Callaghan in a sizzling women’s 100m freestyle on Saturday, and was again beaten in the 50 with Jack hitting the wall in 24.22, second only to dominant Swede Sarah Sjoestroem this year.
McKeon came second in 24.26 to also make the grade for the world championships in Japan next month, with O’Callaghan, who also won the 200m freestyle, coming fourth.
“I was happy with how I executed it, I just wanted to come here today and have some fun,” said Jack.
“We have some of the fastest freestylers in the world here and it’s a tough competition, so I’m just trying to take away all the positives and go away with some learning lessons.”
No one met the automatic qualifying time of 51.28 in the men’s 100m butterfly -- a disappointment for Matt Temple (51.35) and Kyle Chalmers (51.61), who touched first and second.
But teenager Jenna Forrester won the women’s 400m medley in 4:34.89 to make the plane in a race missing Kaylee McKeown, who is focusing on the 200 medley and backstroke events.
Brendon Smith also qualified with a 4:10.64 swim in the men’s version.
Lani Pallister, who had already qualified in both the 400m and 800m free, added the 1500m to her world championship programme with a 15.56.31. Second-placed Moesha Johnson (16:03.02) also made the grade.
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