AYOF star To claims double gold in Dubai

3 October 2012

2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival star Kenneth To has won two gold medals at the FINA World Cup short course event in Dubai overnight.

The Sydney swimmer clocked a time of 46.89 to win the men’s 100m freestyle ahead of American Anthony Ervin (47.04), South Africa’s Roland Schoeman (47.24) and West Australian Tommaso D’Orsogna (47.30).

He then backed up to take the men’s 100m IM and set a new Australian record time of 51.43 to better his own mark that he set at the recent Australia Short Course Championships by half a second. To claimed the victory over Trinidad’s George Bovell with D’Orsogna again taking fourth place.

To’s success was reminiscent of his dominance at the 2009 AYOF where he became the star of the Festival. He claimed gold in four events – the 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200m IM and 4 x 100m freestyle relay – and also won silver in the 4 x 100m medley relay to cap off an extremely successful meet.

Despite just missing out on selection for the London 2012 Games, the 20-year-old’s success at the recent national short course championships and now in Dubai has continued to help him move his way up through Australia’s swimming ranks.

He will now go on to represent Australia at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul in December on the eve of the next edition of the AYOF in early 2013.

The Festival, next taking place on January 16-20, has had a rich history in developing Australia’s next sporting starts with the likes of To, Sally Pearson, Anna Meares and Jared Tallent all propelling themself from the event to global sporting success.

106 former AYOF participants took part in the London 2012 Games taking home a total of 19 medals; 3 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronze. The 2013 event will feature 17 sports and for the first time will include 3 x 3 basketball, Rugby 7’s and Golf.

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