Sunday, 21 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 5 Finals

Men's 50 LC Meter Freestyle

Ashley Callus, 31, proved himself to be Australia's fastest man in water as he took victory in 22.09. Callus' time moves him above Cesar Cielo (22.13) in the world rankings but just shy of Fred Bousquet (21.95) who remains the only man under 22 seconds this year. Callus finished well clear of the chasing pack with Cameron Prosser taking second in 22.36 and Eamon Sullivan third in 22.38.

Women's 200 LC Meter Butterfly

Commonwealth record holder Jessicah Schipper had to wait until the final evening's competition to take her first title of the meet. Schipper didn't have it all her own way though as she was pushed hard by Samantha Hamill. Schipper won in a time of 2:07.66 with Hamill second in 2:07.75 and Felicity Galvez third in 2:08.83. Both women move ahead of Britain's Ellen Gandy (2:07.77) into the top 2 spots in the 2010 world rankings. Gandy, who trains in Australia, will hope to come out on top at this year's Commonwealth Games where she will represent England (assuming she qualifies).

Men's 200 LC Meter Breaststroke

Brenton Rickard continued to make a strong case for swimmer of the meet as he completed the sweep of the Breaststroke events. Rickard won in 2:09.71 and became the first man under 2:10 in 2010. Craig Calder took second in 2:12.33 with world record holder Christian Sprenger a surprise third in 2:12.71.

Rickard wasn't too far away from Brendan Hansen's 2:08.50 textile best time. Hansen's mark could well be under threat at Pan Pacs or Commonwealths with Eric Shanteau (USA), Kosuke Kitajima (JAP), Rickard and possibly Sprenger in contention.

Women's 400 LC Meter IM

Stephanie Rice continued her excellent competition with victory in the 400 IM. The Olympic Champion and world record holder recorded a strong 4:35.04. Rice took victory by a full 5 secs from Samantha Hamill (4:40.44) and Blair Evans (4:40.49). The time also puts her 2 seconds clear of the rest of the world this year with Ariana Kukors currently ranked second with 4:37.63 set at the Austin Grand Prix.

Rice vs Kukors and Katie Hoff at Pan Pacs will be an excellent contest and Rice has established herself as the early favourite.

Men's 1500 LC Meter Freestyle

Robert Hurley was just 0.97 seconds shy of being the first man under 15 minutes this year. Hurley took victory in 15:00.96 ahead of Ryan Napoleon in 15:14.96 and Chris Ashwood in 15:19.39.

Hurley completes an excellent meet after victory in the 400 Free on day 1.

Women's 1500 LC Meter Freestyle

The most emphatic victory of the competition went to Melissa Gorman who won the 1500m Free in 16:03.24. She broke the Australian and Commonwealth record in the process. Second went to Kylie Palmer in 16:41.71, a full 38 seconds behind. Danielle DeFrancesco, 17, took third in 16:46.58.

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