IT was a silver medal that put Elijah Winnington firmly back into the conversation of Paris 2024.
The 23-year-old came from 1.37 seconds behind on the final turn to almost catch Korea’s Kim Woomin in the men’s 400m freestyle final of the World Aquatics World Swimming Championships in Doha.
With the Korean setting out under world record pace for the first 200m, Winnington was forced to play catch up and almost got there with Woomin clocking 3min:42.71 and the Dean Boxall-coached Australian just behind (3:42.86).
Germany’s Lukas Martens rounded out the podium in 3:42.96.
Winnington said: “I came here to race, and the focus is on Paris, but I am happy where I am at. I didn’t really have a race plan after he (Woomin) went out so hard, I could see him so that’s something I need to think about.”
The Dolphins second silver medal came courtesy of the women’s 4x100m freestyle with Brianna Throssell, Alex Perkins, Abbey Harkin and Shayna Jack (3:36.93) pipped by the Netherlands (3:36.61) with Canada claiming the bronze (3:37.95).
Jack said: “We just wanted to come out and do our best, so coming home with the silver medal for our country is something we are proud of. ”
“There is nothing better than hunting, therefore we will be hunting for the next six months toward the Olympics.”
For Throssell it was the 13th World Championship medal of her career – all of them earned from relays.
But Tuesday morning Australian time, Throssell will line up in the women’s 100m butterfly final and an individual medal would be a well-deserved long service gift to an athlete that started her international career in 2012.
Also lining up in the 100m butterfly final will be Dolphin Alex Perkins who qualified eighth fastest.
In throwing forward to other finals on Day 2: Isaac Cooper and Cam McEvoy will line up in the men’s 50m butterfly and Sam Williamson will be in lane one after Great Britain’s breaststroke GOAT Adam Peaty qualified fastest in the men’s 100m breaststroke.
The crowd was also treated to a world record from China’s Pan Zhanle who as the lead off swimmer in the men’s 4x100m relay, clocked 46.80, bettering the previous mark of 46.86 set by David Popovici of Romania.
DAY 1 MEDALS
> Men’s 400m freestyle final: Elijah Winnington – SILVER
> Women’s 4x100m freestyle: Brianna Throssell, Alex Perkins, Abbey Harkin, Shayna Jack – SILVER (*Jaclyn Barclay heat)
DAY 2 FINALS WATCH:
> Men’s 100m Breaststroke: Sam Williamson
> Women’s 100m Butterfly: Brianna Throssell & Alex Perkins
> Men’s 50m Butterfly: Isaac Cooper & Cam McEvoy
NOTE: Finals on Channel 9 from 2am AEST