An aggressive and gutsy swim by Griffith University’s Emma McKeon has seen the 25-year-old hold off the Commonwealth record holder Ariarne Titmus in the Women’s 200m Freestyle.
Kicking off the third night of finals at the 2019 Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, McKeon blitzed the first 100m of the race to put some space between her and Titmus in lane two. It proved to be a winning move, with the Olympic bronze medallist touching in a personal best time of 1:54.55, to Titmus 1:55.09 – both made the qualifying time of 1:56.34.
Speaking post-race, an excited McKeon said she was surprised by her result tonight and pleased she was able to stick to her race plan.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting to do a PB in that, I haven’t done a PB since Olympic trials in 2016 so to do it here, I’m pretty happy and definitely shocked,” McKeon said.
“My turn at the 150m, my legs weren’t really tiring that much – they were definitely hurting but probably not as much as usual. I think I was just concentrating on my own stroke and own rating rather than looking around where everyone else was.”
The quality and depth of talent in the women’s 200m freestyle final will place Australia in a strong position for the relay event at the world championships, with Shayna Jack (St Peters Western), Brianna Throssell (UWA West Coast) and Madison Wilson (Marion) also recording competitive times.
“Tonight gives me a lot of confidence that I am still in the mix and I think even in Australia, that 200 final was probably the quickest it has been in a very long time. Our standard is definitely lifting, and I think it pushes the top girls in Australia and the top girls in the world,” added McKeon.
TSS Aquatics’ David Morgan struggled to complete his post-race interview after taking out the Men’s 200m Butterfly, as the 25-year-old tried to suck in deep breaths after his outstanding swim. From the moment the starter gun echoed around the pool, the Comm Games silver medallist was on a mission to swim under the qualifying time of 1:55.58 – and he achieved it, clocking an impressive personal best time of 1:55.26. UWA West Coast’s Grant Irvine was right on his heels, touching narrowly behind in 1:55.89, while Nunawading’s Matthew Temple placed third in 1:56.58.
“It is great, it is a goal that you set, and you are never guaranteed a spot, someone else could be on form, you just have to perform on the day and lucky enough I did,” Morgan said.
Chandler’s Jack McLoughlin continued to capitalised on his thrilling form this week, winning the Men’s 800m Freestyle in a qualifying, and personal best time, of 7:46.79. After claiming the Men’s 400m Freestyle on night one, the 24-year-old steamed home to finish comfortably ahead of TSS Aquatics’ Joshua Parrish (7:54.94) and Melbourne Vicentre’s Mack Horton (8:01.30).
The fourth day of heats kick off tomorrow at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre at 10am, with finals beginning at 6pm. Click here to find out how you can watch all the action for FREE via Swimming Australia’s iSwim app.