Published: Aug 10, 2009 08:37:07 PM Updated: Oct 15, 2009 11:32:03 AM
It was always going to take something special to stand out on a night chock full of nine big finals at the Telstra Australian Short Course Championships but special is the type of swimmer Libby Trickett is.
Trickett set a world record in the 100 metres freestyle by clocking a stunning 51.01 seconds to slice 0.69 off the time she set at the corresponding meet four years and one day ago.
But the sprint diva was not going to have the headlines all her own way, and before the night was done her former training partner Christian Sprenger had set a new world mark of his own in the 200m breaststroke, and teenage sensation Emily Seebohm had established a new global standard of 58.54 in the 100m individual medley.
Sprenger clocked 2:01.98 to slash 0.94 seconds off the time set by American Ed Moses in 2004 courtesy of a brilliant 31.40 second last 50m.
Adding to the history making spree at the Hobart Aquatic Centre was Leith Brodie, who clocked a Commonwealth record of 1:52.86 in the 200m individual medley, Matt Jaukovic, who set a Commonwealth mark of 22.40 in the 50m butterfly semi-final and Belinda Hocking, who established an Australian record of 2:02.91 in the 200m backstroke.
Joining the party were a host of National Paralympic Coach Brendan Keogh’s multi-disability swimmers with no less than nine – Katrina Porter, Matt Cowdrey, Michael Anderson, Grant Patterson, Peter Leek, Matt Levy, Jacqueline Freney, Prue Watt and Ellie Cole - breaking world records in their classifications tonight.
Read on for a full recap of a thrilling night in the pool:
Women’s 100m freestyle
Libby Trickett has been the world’s number one short course freestyle sprinter for almost half a decade and she cemented that mantle here with a sizzling performance of power and precision.
Trickett put her own world mark on notice right from the dive and was a whopping 0.62 seconds under world record pace at the halfway mark before powering home in 26.72.
The 24-year-old was ecstatic with her performance given she had just endured a draining eight day racing campaign at the FINA World Championships in Rome and the long trip home.
“That’s the first PB I have done in that race in four years and to do it after not having swum for a week after we finished in Rome is great,” Trickett said.
“It felt pretty good but that third turn that you do always feels like you are stuck on the wall, I felt really good. I was pretty excited about this race tonight. I felt like I was in form to do a personal best time, but to do one by so much I was pretty, pretty surprised.
“Go hard or go home is my motto… in short course especially. So I went hard and I’m going home tomorrow so it all worked out really well.”
Trickett’s World Championship team mates Sally Foster (52.48) and Marieke Guehrer (52.61) picked up the minor medals and moved to number two and three on the Australian all-time list.
Men’s 200m Breaststroke
Christian Sprenger added the short course world record to the mark he set in the 50m pool in the semi-finals of the recent FINA World Championships where he later went on to grab bronze in the final, his first individual medal at international level.
While Sprenger ended up taking 0.94 seconds off the time set by American Ed Moses in 2004 with his dazzling 2:01.98, it wasn’t until the last 50m that he really made the record his.
Clearly elated but also stunned, Sprenger celebrated in the water and again on pooldeck.
“I’m pretty shocked, a 2:01 is something I never thought I could do, but everything in the water felt really good and I was confident that I could execute my race the right way, it’s just whether I was going to get there in time is all,” Sprenger said.
The 23-year-old Stephan Widmer mentored man mountain was 0.46 shy of the previous world record pace at the 50m turn, 0.53 behind at halfway and 0.21 short with 50m to before swimming the last two laps in 31.40 – 1.15 seconds faster than Moses had.
“I pushed off at the last 50 and when I came up it seemed like the crowd was a little bit louder, and I just thought that with 50m to go I was going to put the pedal down and then with 25m to go I just went hard for the wall,” he said.
Sprenger's performance goes a long way in erasing the disappointment he suffered last night when his swimsuit split behind the blocks and he was unable to take his place in the 100m breaststroke final.
“Last night was really annoying as I had to watch the race from the starters’ chair and it wasn’t really the best outcome, but the 200 tonight felt really good. I’m really happy with it and can’t complain at all,” he said.
Last night’s top Australian in the 100m, Craig Calder, was second in 2:08.40, while 18-year-old Victorian from the Traralgon Club, Jeremy Meyer (2:08.66) won bronze.
Women’s 100m IM
Emily Seebohm set the first short course world record of her burgeoning career by clocking 58.54 to clip 0.26 seconds off the record set in 2002 by American legend Natalie Coughlin.
“Hopefully it doesn’t get broken tomorrow so I’ll have it longer than a day,” Seebohm said after the race, referring to the long course 50m backstroke world record she held in 2008 for just 24 hours.
In career best form after winning bronze in the 100m backstroke at the recent FINA World Championships in Rome before backing up to set a Commonwealth short course record in the same event last night, Seebohm used her rapidly improving breaststroke leg to power to the record.
“I just went in there with the right mind set and came out with the right time,” the 17-year-old said.
“I was focusing throughout, trying to work on all aspects of the race. I’m strong in the backstroke, but need to be just as strong in the breaststroke, freestyle and butterfly and just tried to work them all just as much.”
One of the meet’s busiest competitor’s, Sally Foster, won her second silver of the night with a time of 59.54 to dip under Shayne Reese’s Commonwealth record of 59.58 that stood when the race begun. South Australian teenager Tiffany Papaemanouil (1:00.47) won bronze.
Women’s 200m backstroke
Beijing Olympic finalist Belinda Hocking destroyed her opposition and obliterated the National record – her time of 2:02.91 slashing an amazing 2.46 seconds off the former mark held by Fran Adcock.
Hocking made her intentions clear from the start of the race and was almost one and a half seconds clear of the field at the halfway point.
Former champion Tay Zimmer won silver in 2:06.11 with Bridgette-Rose Taylor third in a personal best of 2:07.11.
Women’s 50m butterfly
In a clash of the butterfly speed titans Felicity Galvez, the reigning world short course champion, defeated Marieke Guehrer, the reigning world record holder by a fingernail – and a bright pink one at that.
Galvez hit the wall in 25.45 to Guehrer’s 25.53, with 200m butterfly winner from earlier in the week, Jessicah Schipper third in 25.98.
Guehrer’s defeat comes just over a week after she claimed the long course world title in Rome.
Men’s 400m Freestyle
They may well be the future of Australia’s middle distance freestyle hopes – still teenagers and full of raw potential.
Daniel Smith, 18, used a remarkable turn of speed from the 300m turn to swim away from Thomas Fraser-Holmes, 17, and defending national short course champ Robert Hurley to claim gold in a massive personal best of 3:40.42.
Fraser-Holmes, who won the 400m individual medley the night before, clocked 3:41.72 to overhaul Hurley (3:41.89) in the last 50m.
At 20, Hurley, who represented Australia at the recent World Championships in Rome, came into the race with more experience than his younger rivals but Smith and Fraser-Holmes ensured the relative veteran knew they were there by race end.
Women’s 400m freestyle
Ellen Fullerton streeted the field over the second half of the race to win her second individual gold medal of the week following her Australian record and victory in the 400m individual medley on night one.
Fullerton clocked 4:02.76 to easily defeat defending title holder Blair Evans (4:04.60) and her Pro Ma Miami club teammate Katie Goldman (4:04.64).
Men’s 50m freestyle
Matt Abood set the Australian record at 21.14 in yesterday’s heats, the first National mark of his career, only to have veteran and Olympic gold medallist Ashley Callus lower it to 21.06 in the semi-finals .
Tonight there was no record but Abood came away another first – his maiden Australian short course title, hitting the wall in 21.08 to defeat Callus (21.21) and Kyle Richardson (21.26).
Abood has come from relative obscurity in the last 12 months to now sit as the reigning Australian champion for 50m freestyle in both long and short course pools.
Men’s 200m IM
Roma 09 team member Leith Brodie won his fifth National title in the event and complimented it with a new Commonwealth record with his time of 1:52.86 to take 0.24 seconds off Great British all-rounder Liam Tancock’s former standard.
It was in the middle two legs – the backstroke and breaststroke – where Brodie established his superiority over the field and set up the record breaking swim.
Sam Ashby (1:56.10) was second with Tommaso D’Orsogna (1:56.28) third.
Women’s 400m Medley Relay
The Victorians have gone one up on Queensland in the women’s 400m medley relay with Nunawading taking gold in the timed final in 3:57.24 followed by the Commercial Club (4:02.66) and St Peters Western third in 4:04.00.
Men’s 100m Freestyle Multi Disability
Peter Leek (S8) won gold in 56.75 setting a provisional world record alongside Matthew Levy (S7) who took silver in 59.02 with Blake Cochrane picking up bronze in 1:00.11.
Women’s 100m Freestyle Multi Disability
The provisional world records continued to flow with 17-year-old Jacqueline Freney (S8) winning gold in a new record time with Prue Watt taking silver and Katrina Lewis winning bronze. Ellie Cole also set a provisional world record for her classification finishing fourth in 1:04.06.
Women’s 100m Backstroke Multi Disability
Katrina Porter continued the record romp, setting a new provisional world record winning gold in 1:24.65 with Ellie Cole taking silver and Samantha Gandolfo taking bronze in 1:13.69.
Men’s 100m Backstroke Multi Disability
Following a landmark swim under a minute in the morning’s heats, both Matthew Cowdrey (58.83) and Michael Anderson (59.02) went under the mark again tonight to win gold and silver respectively with Andrew Pasterfield winning bronze in 1:00.11.
In semi-finals action…
Men’s 50m backstroke
With a time of 23.92 Daniel Bell has dipped under the twenty four second barrier ahead of New South Welshman Daniel Arnamnart (24.07) and unheralded Victorian Daniel Blackborrow (24.13) to go into tomorrow night’s final in lane four.
Men’s 50m butterfly
Former world record holder Matthew Jaukovic flew into the record books with a white hot Australian and Commonwealth record during the semi-finals, stopping the clock at 22.40, just 0.22 off the world mark. Jaukovic will be surrounded in the final by Kiwi Cornel Swanapoel (22.74) and thirty-year-old Geoff Huegill (22.94) who finished second and third respectively.
Women’s 100m breaststroke
World record holder Leisel Jones, sporting a Speedo LZR and who was on world record time at the halfway mark, motored into the final with a slick 1:04.94, more than a full second ahead of teenage prodigy Samantha Marshall (1:06.36) and Castle Hill RSL Dolphins swim club member Kristy Morrison (1:06.85).
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