Commonwealth Games golden boys Jack McLoughlin and Mack Horton will continue what will be a mouth-watering showdown in the 400m freestyle in Adelaide tonight – a friendly rivalry building towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In lane four it will be McLoughlin, the 23-year-old 1500m gold medallist from the Gold Coast Games who won the 800m here on night one when night three of the Hancock Prospecting Pan Pacific Championship Trials at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre kicks off at 6.30pm (Adelaide Time).
In lane three will be Horton the 400m king from the Gold Coast and the Rio Olympics, who has dropped the 1500m from his list to concentrate on the 200, 400 and 800m.
Throw in 18-year-old rising star Elijah Winnington, the 200m winner from these Trials, in lane five and it adds another dimension to what promises to be an enthralling contest.
In the women’s 400m freestyle heats, Commonwealth Games golden girl Ariarne Titmus is hot to trot in one of her main events, especially after her 200m freestyle lead off time of 1:56.02 in the St Peters Western 4x200m Australian record breaking relay swim last night.
The Brisbane schoolgirl from St Peters Western looks a class above, clocking a comfortable 4:09.17 in the heats and with a personal best of 4:00.93 set at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Titmus holds the second fastest time in the world this year.
Leading the world rankings is the USA’s Katie Ledecky with an incredible 3:57.94 – Titmus’ main rival at the upcoming Pan Pacs in Tokyo.
Also through to the 400 free final tonight is 1500m freestyle winner from earlier in the meet Kiah Melverton (TSS Aquatics) with a 4:11.25 from the heats, followed closely by an in form Mikkayla Sheridan (USC Spartans) 4:12.22 and Melverton’s training partner and Pan Pacs qualifier from the 1500; Maddy Gough (4:12.61).
It will be game on in the men’s 200IM final with Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Clyde Lewis (SPW) the fastest from the heats in 2:01.25 with Olympians Travis Mahoney (Marion) 2:01.50 and Thomas Fraser-Holmes (Griffith University) 2:02.05 and Trinity Grammar’s James Traiforos (2:02.51) and Liam Hunter (Chandler) 2:02.59, breathing down his neck.
Olympians Grant Irvine (Griffith University) and David Morgan (TSS Aquatics) will continue their great rivalry in the 100m butterfly, hoping to push each other towards the Pan Pacific qualifying standard of 51.31.
Irvine, 27, who has dropped the 200m butterfly from his repertoire, clocked the fastest time from this morning’s heats of 52.55 ahead of Morgan’s 52.86 and Theo Benehoutsos (Melbourne Vicentre) 52.98.
In the corresponding women’s event, butterfly specialist Emma McKeon (Griffith University) will be in full flight tonight as she takes on the final of the women’s 100m butterfly.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist in this event, McKeon was the fastest in the field with a time of 57.98, well over one second clear of her closest competitor Sehyeon An (Korea) in 59.24.
McKeon is already safe on the team as is Perth’s Brianna Throssell (UWA West Coast) who will move through as third fastest qualifier in 59.90.
After missing the selection time by the smallest of margins in the 400m individual medley earlier in the week, Blair Evans will get a second chance for qualification when she lines up for the final of the 200m IM tonight.
Evans has qualified third fastest in 2:17.56 and will need to drop over seven seconds to meet the 2:10.45 required for selection. Also in the mix for a spot on the team will be St Peters Western swimmer Abbey Harkin who was quick off the blocks this morning with a 2:16.54 and will swim from lane four tonight with breaststroke specialist Taylor McKeown (USC Spartans) with her time of 2:17.37.
In the Multi-Class events North Sydney’s triple Paralympian and 400m freestyler winner, Matt Levy heads a tightly contested list of qualifiers in the 200m individual medley.
Levy, SM7 clocked 2:35.35 for 883 points in his category just ahead of last night’s 50m freestyle qualifier, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Tim Diskin (PLC Aquatic) SM9 who stopped the clock in 2:19.35 for 881 points with Timothy Hodge (Auburn) SM9 third in 2:20.55 (859 pts).
Jake Michel (Carina Leagues) SB14 is the top qualifier into the 50m breaststroke while Timothy Hodge (Auburn) heads the qualifiers in the 50m breaststroke in 30.37 (810 pts).
Trinity Lismore swimmer Taylor Corry was the best from the women’s 50m Multi Class backstroke heats this morning, clocking a 33.10 and amassing 749 points for top spot into the final.
Madeleine McTernan (TSS Aquatics) will progress in second place with a 34.22 (678pts) with Jaime-Lee Getson (Melbourne Torpedoes) also in the mix for a medal tonight with her time of 34.55 (659pts).
Lawnton’s Lakeisha Patterson will tonight look to add title number 3 from the meet to her tally after qualifying in top spot for the women’s Multi Class 200m individual medley.
Patterson’s time of 2:47.17 (813pts) was just enough to get the better of medley specialist Katherine Downie (Perth City) 2:35.82 (804pts), and 13-year-old Jasmine Greenwood (Bay and Basin) 2:36.65 (791pts).
Yeronga Park’s Paige Leonhardt is continuing her run of success, moving through to the final of the women’s 50m Multi Class breaststroke in first place with a time of 37.66 for 629 points. Fraser Coast swimmer Keira Stephens was next (37.97, 614pts) while Tiffany Thomas Kane (Lane Cove) rounded out the top three in 47.45 (545pts).
Finals will commence at 6:30pm with tickets available online now from just $5 at www.swimming.org.au.