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Mollie O'Callaghan bio

Mollie O'Callaghan

Age

20

Place of Birth

SOUTH BRISBANE, QLD

Hometown

Brisbane, QLD

Junior Club

Greenbank Crocs

Senior Club

St Peters Western

Coach

Dean Boxall

Olympic History

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

St Peters Lutheran College, Springfield

Career Events

Swimming Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay

Swimming Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay

Swimming Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

 

Mollie's Story

When Australia’s swimmers topped the medal tally at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, teenage sensation Mollie O’Callaghan was the star of the show.

Over eight days of intense competition, Australia collected 13 gold, seven silver and five bronze medals for a staggering total of 25 medals – and set five world records.

Although she came into the meet under a shadow after suffering a knee injury during training, Mollie won six medals in total – five of them gold – and was involved in four of the world records.

Mollie won gold in the 100m freestyle with a victory over the woman she describes as her “idol”, Australia’s greatest ever Olympian, Emma McKeon. That came two nights after mowing down Ariarne Titmus in the final stages of the 200m freestyle, after turning in seventh place at the 50m mark, in a world record time of 01:52.85.

That made her the first woman ever to do the 100m-200m double at a world championship.

Mollie opened her meet by joining Shayna Jack, Meg Harris and Emma to claim gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay in a world record time of 3:27.96.

Again she was the lead-off swimmer when Australia won gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, combining with Shayna, Ariarne and Brianna Throssell to post another world record, 7:37.50.

There was more gold and another world record in the mixed 4x100m relay, where she swam with Shayna, Kyle Chalmers and Jack Cartwright for a time of 3:18.83. She topped if off with silver in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.

A hint of what was to come was provided in 2022 when Mollie was named 
Swimming World’s Female Performer of the Year. One would have thought that two gold medals at her debut Olympics in Tokyo the year earlier might have sounded the alarm, but given that both were won as a heat swimmer in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays, they might perhaps have been disregarded.

But there was no way that 18-year-old Mollie’s victory in the 100m freestyle at the world championships in Budapest could be ignored. Nor could her efforts in winning the same event at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, especially considering she showed the way home to Emma McKeon.

She became the fifth Australian to win the world and Commonwealth 100m freestyle double – joining Jodie Henry, Libby Trickett and the Campbell sisters, Cate and Bronte. Her world number one ranking time of 52.49sec has further bolstered Australia’s hopes of claiming a fourth straight 4x100m freestyle relay title at Paris 2024, although this event is shaping as one of the hottest of the Games.

Mollie also came to the fore with her efforts in the world record-breaking feats of the Australian 4x200m freestyle team at the Commonwealth Games and the world short course titles in Melbourne, while also causing eyebrows to raise appreciatively as she claimed silver behind Olympic champions Ariarne and Kaylee McKeown in the Birmingham 200m freestyle and the Melbourne 100m backstroke respectively.

Dean Boxall has been highly praised for his performances in coaching Ariarne, but he is gaining even further respect for his work with Mollie, another quiet swimmer who lets her performances in the water speak for her.

One of the highlights of the Paris Olympics is likely to be the two swimmers going head-to-head in the 200m freestyle. Boxall recently said on a podcast: “Mollie knows Arnie is the benchmark and Arnie knows Mollie is hunting.”

At the Australian swimming championships on the Gold Coast in April, Mollie won gold in the 100m and 200m freestyle and the 100m backstroke and silver in the 50m backstroke.

 

 

Mollie and Ariarne then went head-to-head in a thrilling finish to the 200m freestyle final at the Australian Olympic trials in Brisbane in June, with Ariarne winning in a time (1:52.23) that smashed Mollie’s previous world record of 1:52.85. Mollie finished second, but also broke the record, stopping the clock in 1:52.48.

It was Mollie’s second qualification – she had already secured a place on the team by finishing second to Kaylee McKeown in the 100m backstroke.

She capped her performance at the trials by winning the 100m freestyle final, producing her renowned final 25m surge to move from fifth at the turn and touch the wall in 52.33, just ahead of Shayna Jack.

 

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