Thursday, 18 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 3 Finals

Men's 200 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Hayden Stoeckel won his second event of the meet taking the Men's 200m Back. Stoeckel (1:58.04) beat last year's winner Ashley Delaney (1:58.56)into second. Braiden Camm, 19, took third in 2:00.51. Stoeckel will try to complete the clean sweep of the Backstroke events with the 100 Back heats starting tomorrow.

The 200m Back and 200m Fly (minus Nick D'Arcy) were the only men's events Australia didn't have someone make the top 16 at last year's worlds at Rome. Stoeckel's time puts him 2nd in the world this year, behind Ryosuke Irie's stunning 1:55.11 in February.

Women's 100 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Revelation of the meet, Yolane Kukla, touched first in the 100m Free with a quick time of 54.50... only to be disqualified for a false start. The victory ended up going to Emily Seebohm with a time of 54.70 with Alicia Coutts second in 54.86. Alice Mills (55.32) and Angela Bainbridge (55.40) took the relay spots, however with Kukla already on the team she should be able to get on the relay. It remains to be seen if Cate Campbell can still make the team to Delhi to give her a chance to make the relay team.

Men's 100 LC Meter Freestyle Semi-Final

After a blazing 49.06 in the heats this morning, Eamon Sullivan followed it up with a 49.35 in tonight's semis. The time was good enough to put him fastest into the final tomorrow. James Magnussen, 18, who starred in Macquarie Uni's relay win earlier in the competition took second in 49.54. Matthew Abood qualified third fastest with 49.59.

Last year's semi finalist from Rome in this event, Matt Targett, missed out on the final. Targett finished 14th in 50.77.

Women's 100 LC Meter Butterfly Semi-Final

Stephanie Rice leads the field ahead of a final stacked with talent. Rice clocked 58.55, good enough for third in the world this year. Jessicah Schipper (58.85) and Felicity Galvez (59.06) rounded out the top three qualifiers. Also qualifying for the final was Yolane Kukla, 14, who had earlier won and then been disqualified from the 100m Free final. She did well to get over the physical and mental exertions to qualify for the final 6th in 1:00.31. Marieke Guehrer (1:00.68) will line-up next to Kukla in lane 8 for tomorrow's final.

Women's 200 LC Meter Breaststroke Final

Leisel Jones put in a usual dominating performance in the 200m Breast. Jones led from reaction time to the end of the race winning in a time of 2:23.45. Sarah Katsoulis was second in a strong 2:25.35 with Tessa Wallace, 16, third in 2:28.67.

Jones' time puts her second in the world this year behind Rebecca Soni's 2:22.91 from the Austin Grand Prix. Interestingly the splits show two very different approaches to the race, Jones went out nearly 2 seconds faster than Soni on the first 50m, Soni then took 0.5 seconds from Jones on the second 50m. Both women's splits were almost identical on the third 50m before Soni brought the race home 1.95 seconds quicker on the final 50m.

Soni r:+0.77 33.84 - 1:09.70 (35.86) - 1:46.70 (37.00) - 2:22.91 (36.21)
Jones r:+0.73 31.97 - 1:08.35 (36.38) - 1:45.29 (36.94) - 2:23.45 (38.16)

Soni vs Jones will be a tremendous race at Pan Pacs.

Men's 50 LC Meter Butterfly Final

Geoff Huegill completed one of swimming's most remarkable comebacks with victory in the 50m Fly. After retiring from swimming Huegill's weight rocketed up to 138kg. It was then that he announced his two aims. Get under 100kg and qualify for the Commonwealth Games. Weighing in at 93kg tonight he acheived his second aim. His winning time of 23.46 is the fastest in the world by a clear 0.25 seconds and is only 0.02 seconds slower than his world record from 2001. Given the speed Huegill has right now, he has to be favourite for the Commonwealth Games later this year. Huegill said after the race, "Without a doubt I reckon it's better than making my first ever team. The emotions I feel today are well and truly on par to when I stood up behind the blocks at the Sydney Olympics," added Huegill, who won bronze in Sydney in the 100 butterfly."

Andrew Lauterstein (23.82) and Mitch Patterson (23.89) took a distant second and third.

Women's 100 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Emily Seebohm continued an impressive night of swimming by breaking her own textile best standard in the 100 Back. Seebohm took first in 59.21, a 0.04 improvement on her mark from the NSW Championships in February.

Belinda Hocking took second in 1:00.11, a long way behing Seebohm, but still good enough for third in the world this year. Sophie Edington took third in 1:01.20.

Seebohm has been one of swimming's stars of 2010. At just 17 there is still a lot to come from her. She will have some intriguing duels this year taking on England's Gemma Spofforth and Elizabeth Simmonds at the Commonwealth Games and USA's Natalie Coughlin at the Pan Pacs.

Men's 100 LC Meter Breaststroke Final

Brenton Rickard became the first man in 2010 to get close to breaking the 1:00 barrier. Rickard took the title in 1:00.19 with Christian Sprenger second in 1:00.91. Both men moved into first and second on the world ranking list this year. Nicholas Schafer, 18, was third in 1:02.40.

Rickard looks like he's hit the ground running after a great World Championships last year. He will get his toughest test at Pan Pacs this year when he lines up against Kosuke Kitajima and Eric Shanteau amongst others.

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