AUSTRALIAN TRIALS, Day 2, Finals: Tassie’s Flying Tiger Max Giuliani Books His Seat To Paris In A Barnstorming 200m Freestyle Win

AUSTRALIAN TRIALS, Day 2, Finals: Tassie Tiger Max Giuliani’s Books His Place For Paris In A Helter Skelter 200m Freestyle Win

Miami’s former Tasmanian age grouper Max Giuliani has booked his ticket to the big show in Paris tonight, vindicating his move to the Gold Coast to chase his Olympic dream ,winning the 200m freestyle on night two at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

The 19-year-old who grew up in Hobart and then outgrew it – hammered home over the final 50m to nail his place for Paris and his first Olympics – after turning at the 100m mark in sixth place.

Storming home “Kyle Chalmers style” to clock a qualifying time of 1:45.83 – 0.14 under the magic mark – the only swimmer in the field to make the cut – Giuliani only just holding on with Tokyo 4x200m free hero Thomas Neil (Rackley, QLD) storming home out in lane one for second in 1:46.02 – 0.05 outside the time.

Then came opening night 400m qualifier Elijah Winnington (St Peters Western, QLD) 1:46.08; his club mate Kai Taylor 1:46.26; pacesetter Zac Incerti (USC Spartans, QLD) 1:46.83; Tokyo relay bronze winner Alex Graham (Miami, QLD) 1:47.11; teenager Flynn Southam (Bond, QLD) 1:47.29 and Tokyo IM bronzed Aussie Brendan Smith (Griffith University, QLD) 1:47.58 – all relay hopefuls.

Guiliani admitted late last year that his dream of going to Paris almost didn’t get to first base after he was ready to leave his new surrounds at Miami and head back home to Hobart, homesick and ready to chuck it in.

After an eye-catching career from the boy from Hobart throughout the 2022 Australian Age Championships, Giuliani followed his coach Paul Crosswell and breaststroker Matilda Smith to the Miami program under Head Coach Richard Scarce in 2022.

Big Max revealed that the first few months of his move were really tough, and his career was at a crossroads –prepared to move back home – risking his dreams of one day becoming an Olympian – and going home to pursue a career as a tradie.

IF THE CAP FITS: Max Giuliani after winning the men’s 200m freestyle. Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan (Wade’s Photos)

“I really struggled being away from home….missing my family as I was adapting to adult life, but after those few months I finally settled in,” Giuliani told Swimming World at the time.

“To be quite honest I was ready to throw it all in after a month and a half, I was ready to move back home and give it away but I’m super happy I stuck with it.

“The Miami team (under Scarce) got around me during a team camp.  Before that I was feeling pretty average about it all and wasn’t sure what I was going to do.”

And then came the major turning point when he fired off the second fastest time ever swum by an Australian (Ian Thorpe the fastest) when he led off the Miami 4×200 cub relay team to a National record – Big Max leading off in 1:44.79.

Max will now join swimming’s most famous Tassie export in golden girl Ariarne Titmus on the team to Paris, saying after the race: “It’s all about who’s got the heart and who wants it the most…I don’t usually get nervous but I was insanely nervous and just happy to get the job done, although the time is not what I wanted but I can’t complain.”


MAX GIULIANI to make his Olympic debut in Paris.  Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan (Wade’s Photos)


THOMMY NEILL signing on for Paris. Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan (Wade’s Photos)






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1 month ago

Hopefully he can continue to improve and get into the mif 1:44 range or lower come Paris. Maybe Neal can sneak in for an individual spot if they allow the WA”A” qualifying standard to be sufficient instead of the steep Australian Qualifying. We’re still alive in the 4×200m Freestyle Relay i think. Who knows what could occur if something happens to Britain or the US relay change wise?!!

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