Zac Stubblety-Cook smashes 200m breaststroke world record at Australian Championships

The Olympic champion takes nearly two tenths off Anton Chupkov's old mark from 2019 to qualify for World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

By ZK Goh
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

The men's 200m breaststroke Olympic champion now has another accolade to his name.

Australia's Zac Stubblety-Cook – who won the Tokyo 2020 title in Olympic record time – smashed the world record in his event on Thursday (19 May) at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide, which doubled as the selection trials for this year's World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

The 23-year-old became the first man under 2:06 in the event, as he took a whopping 0.17 seconds off Anton Chupkov's old mark from 2019 to clock 2:05.95.

He will be joined at the Worlds in Budapest, Hungary, next month by Matthew Wilson, who finished second in 2:10.14 – more than four full seconds behind but still inside the FINA qualifying time of 2:10.32.

Speaking after the race, an astonished Stubblety-Cook said: "I was just trying to swim fast. I didn’t think that fast!"

Earlier in the evening, Kaylee McKeown booked her ticket to Budapest in the women's 400m individual medley with a comfortable 4:31.74 swim, touching home more than five seconds ahead of Jenna Forrester.

Forrester's time of 4:36.77 also easily cleared the FINA 'A' cut, as did that of the third-placed finisher Kiah Melverton, who looks set to be rewarded with a Commonwealth Games spot.

Swimming Australia normally awards World Championships invitations to the top two finishers who meet the FINA 'A' cutoff time in each event, while the third-placed finisher gets a Commonwealth Games invitation if they have also met the cutoff.

Meanwhile, Mack Horton missed out on Worlds selection in the men's 200m freestyle after he came third, despite meeting the FINA cut.

Zac Incerti (1:45.80) and Elijah Winnington (1:46.01) were both comfortably clear of Horton.

And Brianna Throssell was the only swimmer to meet the required standard in the women's 100m fly as she clocked 57.31 to secure her ticket.

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