Huegill looks to lock in London
21 March 2012
Olympic silver medallist Geoff Huegill will be vying for his first Olympic squad since 2004 when he takes to the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre for the 100m butterfly final at the 2012 Australian Swimming Championships tonight.
The task for ‘Skippy’ is not without its challenges, having qualified fifth for a final that includes in-form Queenslander Chris Wright, 200m butterfly champion Nick D’Arcy and world championships butterfly silver medallist Matt Targett.
The finalists will be competing for two of the eight individual Olympic places that will be on offer tonight.
World champion sprinter James ‘The Missile’ Magnussen will be targeting a second solo swim after setting two personal bests in the preliminary rounds of the 50m freestyle.
Magnussen will go head-to-head with Commonwealth record holder Eamon Sullivan and world championship gold medallist Matt Abood, spurred on by his disappointment at missing out on the top six in the 100m.
Two-time titleholder Katie Goldman will start as favourite in the women’s 800m free after finishing five seconds clear of nearest competitor, Jessica Ashwood, in qualifying.
However, with a field that includes 400m freestyle champion Kylie Palmer, distance queen Melissa Gorman and 14-year-old wunderkind Remy Fairweather, Goldman will be forced to work for every stroke in her London bid.
Following on from her successful top six placing and Olympic selection in last night’s women’s 100m freestyle final, dual Olympian Libby Trickett (25.12) was back in the pool this morning competing in the women’s 50m freestyle where she recorded the second fastest time behind 16-year-old Alexandra Purcell (25.05). With her comeback already deemed a success, a confident and more relaxed Trickett is in a promising position to progress to the final of the event she’s already won on six occasions.
Last night’s 100m freestyle champion Melanie Schlanger (25.55) was relegated to 13th, behind the 2011 titleholder Alicia Coutts (25.53). World Cup gold medallist Emma McKeon will be looking to give herself a final shot at joining older brother David on the Olympic team after scraping through to the semis in 25.86, following compulsory withdrawals from international visitors. Siblings Cate (25.16) and Bronte Campbell (25.29) have also gone through in the third and fourth fastest times respectively.
Australia's depth in the men's 1500m event appears rejuvenated with 18-year-old Matthew Levings knocking seven seconds off his seed time to qualify fastest for tomorrow night's final. Levings’ heat time of 15:17.75 suggests the Australian specialty event is hitting a resurgence, with fellow teenager Jarrod Poort (15:24.95) and 2010 champion Robert Hurley (15:32.08) also putting forward strong cases for selection in the distance event.