It only took Cate Campbell 25.47 seconds to set the Optus Aquatic Centre alight this morning in her first taste of competition at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Trials on the Gold Coast.
The 25-year-old world beater from Chandler clipped the narrowest of margins off the women’s 50m butterfly Australian record of 25.48 set in a super suit by Marieke Guherer back in 2009 at the World Championships in Rome.
And she later looked equally as composed and sharp to lead the qualifiers into her specialist 100m freestyle, clocking 53.22, ahead of sister Bronte (53.98).
Then followed Emma McKeon (Griffith University) 54.33, Emily Seebohm (Brisbane Grammar) 54.45, Shayna Jack (Chandler) 54.59, Brianna Throssell (University of West Coast) 54.80, Brittany Elmslie (Brisbane Grammar) 54.83 and Madi Wilson (Bond) 54.93.
Campbell said she was really pleased to be doing well in an event “when I don’t have to train for it” and if she could do it in every event she would do it.
“I’ve done some good morning swims; I’m off to warm down, stay out of the sun, have a big nap and get ready to come back and do it all again tonight.
“Swimming the 50m butterfly (before) the 100m freestyle is just another way of warming up.
“I warm up for the 50 fly which is a lot better than warming up for the 100 freestyle. I have a blow out in the 50m which counts as warming up for the 100, have a bit of a swim off and then head back into marshaling and swimming.
“I have done enough training to swim the 50 and follow up with the 100m so I’m not too concerned. (The 100) is going to be a pretty fast final, all those girls looked pretty cruisey this morning
“It is going to be a world class field tonight - we’ve got some great names in there; obviously Bronte is almost back swimming towards her best and I’m sure Emma (McKeon) will pull through she’s the ultimate competitor.”
The men’s 100m freestyle didn’t disappoint, with all the theatre that often accompanies the blue ribband event.
Olympic champion and last night’s 200m freestyle winner Kyle Chalmers (Marion, SA) had to hold his breath as he watched the last two seeded heats after finishing second to fellow Rio relay bronze medallist James Roberts (Somerset) in 49.17.
Big WA boy Zac Incerti came out to take heat nine in 49.00 ahead of Jack Cartwright (SPW) who clocked the same time as Chalmers, 49.17 –leaving the pair dead-heated for seventh and in tonight’s final and Alex Graham (Bond) out in 49.21.
But the good news for Cam McEvoy fans is the 2015 World Championship silver medallist and defending champion has bounced back from his eighth place in the 200m last night to top the qualifiers in 48.64 ahead of Clyde Lewis (48.84), two-time world champion James Magnussen (Ravenswood) 48.90 and Louis Townsend (Rackley) 48.99.
In other highlight’s Rio boys David McKeon (Griffith University) 3:49.42 and Olympic champion Mack Horton (Melbourne Vicentre) 3:49.59 lead the men’s 400m freestyle finalists; last night’s 200m winner in the women’s Ariarne Titmus (SPW) is the fastest qualifier in the women’s 400m freestyle in 4:08.35; Jake Packard (USC Spartans) hammered out a near personal best , clocking 59.57 in the men’s 100m breaststroke while Southport Olympic local and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Leiston Pickett is the only swimmer under 1:08.00 in the heats of the women’s 100m breaststroke, clocking 1:07.55.
Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Trials – The Selection of the Australian Swimming Team - #AusTrials2018
Proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland
When: February 28-March 3
Where: Optus Aquatic Centre
Heats: 11am – Livestreamed at https://www.swimming.org.au/LIVE-streaming.aspx
Finals: 7:15 – on Network Seven - Check local guides for details