Melbourne reaches fever pitch as four records fall

24 October 2019
Monique Murphy

Four world records were broken on the opening day of the 2019 Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships, as all the action from Melbourne Sports Centres – MSAC kicked off on Thursday.

Across multiple fast-paced sessions and events, Monique Murphy (S10), Matt Levy (SM7), Ashleigh McConnell (S9) and Rachael Watson (S4) all surpassed world records in their respective classifications.

In only the second race of the day, Murphy (Belgravia Swim Team) bettered her own world record in the Women’s 400m Freestyle Multi-Class to win gold. The current reigning champ in this event clocked 4:35.52 – shaving .36 off her time which she set in 2015 – to finish ahead of Taylor Corry (S14) and Megan Botha (S14). Corry, from Nelson Bay, posted 4:43.96 to nab silver, while CA Triton’s Botha touched in 5:14.07 to snare bronze.

Four-time Paralympian Matt Levy broke a decade-long world record in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley Multi-Class to claim his third consecutive short course title. Touching in 2:34.02 for 1006 points, the North Sydney swimmer cut .27 seconds off the record, which had been held by Croatian Mihovil Spanja since 2009. Following closely behind, Jack Ireland (SM14) – having recently competed at the World Para Championships in London – touched for second in 2:16.21 equating to 859 points and Jesse Aungles (SM8) claimed bronze in 2:27.99 and 796 points.

Local hero Ashleigh McConnell (Melbourne Vicentre) and Chandler’s Rachael Watson battled it out for gold and silver in the Women’s 50m Freestyle Multi-Class. Although both athletes broke a world record, it was McConnell who came out on top, hitting the wall in 28.54 and 1030 points, to Watson’s 40.74 and 1014 points. Corry (27.86, 967 points) once again placed on the podium, securing bronze to round out the top three.

Thomas Hauck

Thomas Hauck (All Saints GC) claimed his first national title when he powered home to win the Men’s 400m Freestyle in 3:43.38. The 16-year-old played cat and mouse with Malaysia’s Sim Welson as the lead changed throughout the race. Coming home very strong in the last 100 metres was Nunawading’s Brendon Smith (3:43.85) to claim the silver with Sim (3:43.90), touching third. TSS Aquatic’s Joshua Parrish (3:45.75) picked up a bronze medal as the third Australian home in the event.

TSS Aquatic’s Kiah Melverton won her second Women’s 800m Freestyle national title, having claimed her first in 2016. Melverton (8:15.93) finished seven seconds clear of her training partner Moesha Johnson (8:22.92) and teenager Jacinta Essam from Ginninderra who picked up the bronze medal in 8:26.76.

Hometown favourite Kotuku ‘Koti’ Ngawati (Melbourne Vicentre) took the spoils in the coveted Women’s 100m Freestyle race in a time of 53:45. In an all Victorian podium, Ngawati’s training partner Elyse Woods touched in 53.82 ahead of MLC Aquatic teenager Gabriella Peiniger (54.05).

In a nail-biting finish, David Morgan (TSS Aquatic) pipped last year’s title holder Nicholas Brown (UWA West Coast) for the gold medal in 1:54.63. The Gold Coast native came out fast and managed to hold on against tough opposition in silver medallist Brown (1:54.87) and bronze medallist, Dolphin rookie Matthew Temple who touched in 1:55.02.

Jenna Strauch

Fresh from the FINA World Championships in South Korea, Bond University’s Jenna Strauch (1:06.03) claimed the Women’s 100m Breaststroke honour ahead of Pelican Waters’ Tessa Wallace (1:06.36). In a tight race, Sweden’s Jessica Eriksson (1:06.64) touched for third with Southport Olympic’s Leiston Pickett (1:06.66) taking home the bronze as the third fastest Australian in the race.

View all results including relays, click here.

The second day of action kicks off at Melbourne Sports Centres – MSAC tomorrow, with heats beginning at 10am and 6pm for finals.

You can watch every race LIVE & FREE via 7Plus app or Swimming Australia’s iSwim app.

Short Course

Note: All para races were swum as multi-class races, meaning athletes from all classifications competed in the same event, with the para swimmer achieving 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.



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