A fierce dual in the Women’s 100m Freestyle between Knox Pymble’s Cate Campbell and Griffith University’s Emma McKeon kicked off the fifth night of the Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.
Going head-to-head in lanes four and five for the majority of the race, it was Campbell – as the Commonwealth and Australia record holder – who managed to power home to the wall first in a qualifying time of 52.12.
McKeon, who is having a stellar meet, also recorded a sub 53-second swim, touching under the qualifying time in a personal best of 52.41 and making her the third fastest Australian of all time.
“I am really pleased that I held my nerve and swam my own race,” Campbell said post-race.
“Traditionally I usually like to be out quickest and then just hold on but I have been really working on cruising on the way out and using all the training that I have been doing – cause I have been doing a lot of it – to help me get home.
“It is a tenth off my personal best so I am really pleased with that and I will now go back and do a ten day training block and then taper again for worlds, that worked really well in the lead up to Pan Pacs so we are hoping to emulate that again.”
The calibre of talent in the women’s 100m freestyle was evident, as Knox Pymble’s Bronte Campbell (52.84) and St Peters Western’s Shayna Jack (53.18 PB) also achieved the world championship qualifying time of 53.20.
“To have three girls to go under the 53 second barrier and Shayna go 53.1, we are going to be a tough relay team to beat and it is really exciting to be a part of it,” Campbell added.
After claiming top spot in the 100m backstroke on night two and the 200m individual medley on night four, Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) has added yet another victory to his meet – this time claiming the spoils in the Men’s 200m Backstroke. Posting a qualifying time of 1:55.03, the Commonwealth record holder finished ahead of Mingara Aquatic’s Bradley Woodward (1:57.66) and Melbourne Vicentre’s Jorden Merrilees (1:58.11) who both were unable to make the world championship qualifying time of 1:56.11.
With the crowd on their feet, SOPAC’s Matthew Wilson made a blistering start in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke. After breaking the Commonwealth and Australian record at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships in April, the 20-year-old was under world record pace for 175m of the race. Hitting the wall in 2:07.79, Wilson had West Brisbane’s Zac Stubblety-Cook nipping at his heels all the way to the end, with Stubblety-Cook (2:08.54) also touching under the world championship qualifying time of 2:08.80. Melbourne Vicentre’s Daniel Cave finished third in 2:10.17.
Speaking post-race, Wilson said he was encouraged by his results.
"In April I was on track for 150m now it is 175m, so with five more weeks of preparation ahead of world champs I reckon I can get myself a stronger finish there, if I can crack the world record it would be unbelievable,” Wilson said.
"It is so close to worlds, so to go that time is a good sign and I can probably go a bit faster. I am probably not fully fit or rested here, but give me five more weeks with proper training and rest and I reckon I can crack a pretty fast time.
"It's going to be a tight field but if I can crack a podium, I will be stoked with that.”
Taylor McKeon (Griffith University), Tessa Wallace (Pelican Waters) and Jenna Strauch (Bond) left nothing in the tank as they battled it out in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke – aiming to achieve the qualifying time of 2:23.81. Recording sub 2:25 for the second time this meet, it was McKeown who ultimately took the top honour in 2:24.95, with Wallace and Strauch finishing second and third in 2:25.15 and 2:26.34, respectively.
Showing his class yet again, Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) took out his third event of the meet, this time in the men’s gruelling 1500m freestyle. The 2018 Comm Games gold medallist charged through the water to post a qualifying time of 14:52.83. Competing from lane six, Noosa’s Nick Sloman finished strongly in 15:11.12, while Ben Roberts (Breakers) clocked 15.22.72, however both were not able to post a qualifying time of 14:59.32.
Meanwhile, after completing their first heat session for the Para GP this morning, our country’s elite para swimmers jumped back in the pool on Thursday afternoon to battle it out in the finals.
Running concurrently with the Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials, the Para GP provides vital race practice and simulation ahead of September’s World Para Swimming Championships in London.
Improving on her swim from earlier in the day, Rio Paralympian Lakeisha Patterson (S9) from Lawnton pulled away from the pack in the Women’s 400m Freestyle Multi-Class to claim the spoils in 4:41.96 and 819 points. Auburn’s 18-year-old Jenna Jones (S13) finished in second place after hitting the wall in 4:58.80 and collecting 656 points, while Springwood’s Ella Jones (S8) touched in 5:22.98 which equated to 654 points.
Kawana Waters’ Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Liam Schluter (S14), knocked nearly six seconds off his time from this morning to clock 1:57.78 in the Men’s 200m Freestyle Multi-Class. Earning a huge point score of 948, the 20-year-old finished ahead of Uni Of Queensland’s Jack Ireland (S14) who posted 2:00.58 and 884 points and TSS Aquatics’ Daniel Fox (S14) who came third (2:03.10) with 830 points.
The experienced Ellie Cole (S9) from Knox Pymble was too strong for the rest of the field in the Women’s 100m Backstroke, securing victory in 1:10.63 (879 points), while Fraser Coast’s Kiera Stephens (SB9) narrowly took first place in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke ahead of Monte’s Tiffany Thomas Kane (SB7) – 1:20.56 and 726 points to 1:38.17 and 723 points.
An ecstatic Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson (SM3) from Central Cairns couldn’t contain his excitement after defeating good mate Ahmed Kelly (SM3) from Melbourne Vicentre in the Men’s 150m Individual Medley Multi-Class. Patterson touched just ahead of Kelly – 3:06.76 and 631 points to 3:07.14 and 627 points.
For the full list of results from tonight’s Para GP finals, click here.
Our para athletes will be back in action tomorrow morning for the final day of the Para GP, with heats beginning at 11am.
Note: All para events were swum as multi-class races, meaning athletes from all classifications competed in the same event, with the para-swimmer attaining the highest point score crowned the winner. The Multi-Class Point Score (MCPS) has been developed to provide a simplified way for swimmers and coaches to measure and compare performances. The MCPS is based on the World Record (WR) times for each classification, but also takes into account weightings for non-Paralympic events that are not raced by other countries around the world.