Records tumble on final day of swimming heats

20 January 2013

SWIMMING: The AYOF record book has almost been rewritten, with three more records broken in Sunday morning’s heats.

The women’s 200m individual medley was full of excitement, with Canadian Sydney Pickrem leading the way for the entirety of the first heat, and touching the wall in an AYOF record breaking time of 2:17.08. Her glory didn’t last long though, with Japan’s Yui Ohashi finishing in 2:16.94, giving her the new AYOF record.

Japan's Ryo Fujimoto overtook Hungarian Benjamin Gratz at the 100m mark of the men’s 200m individual medley, giving the; 17 year old the fastest qualifying time for the final (2:06.30) and relegating Gratz to third place.

Queenslander Alexandra Purcell of Australia Gold showed great form in preparation for Sunday night’s final. The 17-year-old qualified first for the women’s 50m freestyle with a time of 25.73, only a second away from breaking the existing AYOF record (24.89) set by dual Olympian Cate Campbell of Australia in 2007.

Another record for Australia in the men’s 50m freestyle; Alex Press of Australia Gold sprinting down the pool and hitting the wall in 22.92, eclipsing Australian Luke Kerswell’s 2009 record of 23:10. Others to move onto Sunday night's final include teammate Luke Percy (23:00) and Alexander Graham (23:15).

“The Australian boys are swimming pretty quick,” Press said of his competition for the final. “You’ve always got to watch them.”

A great swim for Victoria's Jenna Strauch (2:29.74) of Australia Green, who qualified four seconds ahead of Australia Gold's Jess Hansen (2:33.22), with Anna Sztankovics of Hungary and Sydney Pickrem also swimming in Sunday night's final.

Japan's Mamoru Mori (2:17.29) will be the one to watch in Sunday night's finals after claiming the long-standing AYOF record (2:17.82) set in 2005 by Lai Zhongijian of China. Swimmers Kazusa Araya (JPN) and Joshua Tierney (AUS Gold) will need to improve if they want to keep up.

The first set of timed finals for men’s 1500m freestyle were held on Sunday morning. The fastest timed finalists will compete on Sunday night. Swimmers to watch include Mack Horton (AUS Gold) and Yuto Sato (JPN).

The AYOF swimming program at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre concludes on Sunday night.

Hannah Moore
Olympics.com.au

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