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Silver start for Aussie swim team at World Championships

24 July 2017

SWIMMING: Budapest 2017 FINA World Championships Day 1 Highlights:

Silver – Mack Horton, men’s 400m freestyle 3:43.85
Silver – Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Emma McKeon 3:32.01
Equal Commonwealth and Australian Record for Emma McKeon in Women’s 100m butterfly semi-final, 56.23 (Jess Schipper first set the time in 2009, super-suit era).
Rookie Ariarne Titmus 4th place overall in women’s 400m freestyle

The Australian Dolphins Swim Team have won two silver medals and introduced the world to their next generation of stars on the opening night of competition at the Duna Arena in Budapest, for the 2017 FINA World Championships.

Rio Olympic champion in the 400m freestyle Mack Horton and the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team of Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Emma McKeon successfully secured Australia’s first medals for the meet, with a silver in each.

While Ariarne Titmus, Shayna Jack, Jack Cartwright and Zac Incerti announced themselves as ones to watch on the world stage.

Australian Dolphins debutant 16-year-old Titmus swam two brave 400m freestyles on the first day of competition to finish fourth in the world overall with a time of 4:04.26.

After qualifying third fastest from the heats, Titmus backed up bravely and managed to repeat her personal best effort from the morning, clocking the exact same time in the final.

“It was really fun, l did what Dean (Coach) said and just had fun, I really enjoyed it, it was great with the crowd and everything,” Titmus said.

“I did want to go a bit faster, but I think having to push the heats this morning a lot harder than I’m used to kind of took it out of me, but that’s a really good learning experience and I’ve got get used to doing that when I’m racing the best in the world so I can learn a lot from it.”

With her time from today, Titmus moves into fourth place on the Australian all-time top ten.

In the men’s 400m freestyle Olympic champion Mack Horton (3:43.85) picked up the silver medal tonight behind China’s Sun Yang (3:41.38).

Horton said although he was happy with silver he wasn’t satisfied with the time, which will spur him on for future races.

“I thought I could have gone a lot faster, I thought I was capable of more tonight, but it’s the start of the cycle really, so it’s the time I will need to work on and improve on for the next couple of years towards Tokyo,” Horton said.

“I tried to be a bit stronger in the front end, I was too soft I think, I needed to be harder on myself but like I said it’s the start of the cycle and I can work on that now.”

Italy’s Gabriele Detti was third in 3:43.93 while fellow Aussie David McKeon finished eighth overall in a time of 3:46.27.

Horton who has a packed program here in Budapest, will now switch focus to the 200m freestyle.

“Tonight’s going to be a tough turn around, because I’ve got the 200m tomorrow.

“In the 200, I don’t have the luxury of relaxing in a heat like I did this morning so I have to be on tomorrow morning and tomorrow night,” Horton said.

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After a three-year reign over the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay event the Aussie’s couldn’t quite hang on to the title tonight as Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Emma McKeon were nudged off the top spot by just 0.29 of a second by the USA (3:31.72).

Australia clocked 3:32.01 and while their golden age came to an end, their world record time of 3:30.65 remained safe, for now.

However, the same could not be said for Cate Campbell’s 100m freestyle world record with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom signalling the dawn of a new era in women’s sprinting with an incredible 51.71.

Up against Sjostrom was rookie Shayna Jack who had the tough task of leading off for the team, with the Simon Cusack coached swimmer clocking a time of 53.75 to hand over to training partner Bronte.

After some niggling shoulder issues and a head-cold recently, Bronte said she was pleasantly surprised with her split time of 52.14.

“I’m really happy with that time, I wasn’t really expecting very much,” Bronte said.

“If this meet was a day earlier we might have been in a bit of trouble. I was just getting over sickness, but it’s all good, we made it to the start line, and I’m really proud of how everyone swam.

“It was a pretty tough ask out there, especially when you’ve got Sarah leading off in a 51.71 which I think was the fastest split in the entire race – and it happened in the lead off, which is pretty unheard of.

“It was a great race to be part of and I’m just proud everyone that they stepped up.”

Elmslie, who regularly lifts her performance for relay swims, clocked 53.77 with McKeon, who had just swum her 100m butterfly semi-final, storming home and almost catching the USA’s Olympic gold medallist in the event Simone Manuel with a split time of 52.29.

The Netherlands rounded out the top three in a time of 3:32.64 to bag the bronze.

In other events, after cruising through her heat in a personal best time, Emma McKeon lowered her best yet again in the semi-final of the women’s 100m butterfly, equalling the existing Commonwealth and Australian record of 56.23 in the process.

The record, which was set by Jess Schipper in the super suit era of 2009 could be in danger again tomorrow if McKeon can continue her fine form into the final.

Australia’s Brianna Throssell was equal 12th overall in 58.21 and will now switch her focus to the 200m fly later in the week.

Rio Olympian Kotuku Ngawati will wrap up her medley campaign in Budapest with a 16th place finish following the semi-final last night. Ngawati stopped the clock in 2:14.07 in the semi, with the fastest qualifier Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu in 2:07.14.

The Australian men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team of Jack Cartwright (48.34), Zac Incerti (48.28), Cameron McEvoy (48.04) and Alexander Graham (48.14) were excited about the future of their team, despite a disqualification in the final tonight.

Full results are available HERE>>>

Swimming Australia

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