D-day arrives for two Aussie swim greats
D-DAY has arrived for Olympic champion Mack Horton at the world swimming titles trials in Brisbane.
Horton is hoping to finally earn qualification for next month's world titles in South Korea in his final event, the 800m freestyle, on Tuesday.
In what seemed inconceivable just days ago, Horton is down to his last chance at the six day trials after coming up short in his first two events.
Horton had an ominous start, missing out in his pet event 400m freestyle on the opening night on Sunday when he was upset by Jack McLoughlin.
Olympic 400m champion Horton placed second in the final but failed to clock a qualifying time.
The top two in each final earn individual world titles selection providing they also finish under the designated qualifying time.
Then Horton finished fifth in the stacked 200m freestyle final on Monday. Commonwealth and national champion Kyle Chalmers touched out Clyde Lewis while Alex Graham finished third also under the qualifying time in a red hot 200m field.
It remains to be seen if Horton makes the world titles team as simply a 4x200m relay squad member.
But the Rio gold medallist will no doubt be out to earn an individual spot. Horton won't have it all his own way in the 800m with McLoughlin again lurking along with young gun Elijah Winnington.
While Horton has failed to turn heads, McLoughlin has continued his remarkable surge.
The 24-year-old announced his arrival by claiming 1500m gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games before shocking the world class Pan Pacs field in Tokyo later that year by winning the 400m final.
He also won 800m and 1500m Pan Pacs bronze.
McLoughlin now backs himself to add a few more prize scalps at the world titles in Gwangju in July.
"I always do really well when I am racing so I am hoping when those boys (at world titles) get going I can be right there with them," he said.
Meanwhile, Ariarne Titmus will look to continue her dominance at the trials in the 200m freestyle on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old is still buzzing from setting a new Commonwealth 400m record on Sunday night.
Titmus is the 200m freestyle short course world champion.
She will line up in a world-class field also featuring Rio 200m bronze medallist Emma McKeon, who has already claimed the 100m butterfly final at the trials. Tuesday will also feature the men's 200m butterfly.
SEEBOHM SWEATS ON WORLD SWIM TITLES NOD
Food poisoning disrupted her preparation, but a shock result at the world swimming titles trials has been even harder to stomach for Emily Seebohm.
The Dolphins veteran faces an anxious wait until her next event on Friday to earn selection for next month's world titles in South Korea after suffering a 100m backstroke upset.
Seebohm revealed before she hit the pool that her quest to make an unprecedented seventh world titles team for Australia had hit a snag due to illness.
Still, it came as a surprise when the 27-year-old was a distant fourth in the 100m backstroke final on night two of the six-day selection trials in Brisbane on Monday night.
The former 100m world champion cut a frustrated figure after finishing more than a second behind 19-year-old training partner Minna Atherton, who clocked a personal best 59.20 seconds.
Seebohm must now sweat it out until Friday's 200m backstroke to have another crack at making the Dolphins team for July's world titles at Gwangju. Seebohm - a 13-year national team veteran - is aiming to become the first woman to claim three straight 200m world backstroke titles.
But she hinted that not everything had gone to plan before contesting the 100m final, after qualifying second fastest behind world junior record holder Atherton.
Seebohm revealed she had struggled to recover at training after being struck down by food poisoning when contesting the FINA Champions Swim Series in Guangzhou, China in late April.
"I have had an unlucky preparation. It hasn't been smooth sailing," she told AAP.
"I am here just to see how I will go and will let these girls push me as far as I can go.
"But it (illness) is unfortunate. It changed my plans and what I was hoping to do.
"I don't really know where I am at this point. It is a bit of a gamble." Atherton expected Seebohm - who has a staggering 53 career international medals - to bounce back in the 200m.
"She pushes me every day, it's great to train with the best in the world," Atherton said.
"We still have the 200m on Friday so we will see how she goes."