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Talent pool deepens in Adelaide

28 April 2013

SWIMMING: Gold Coast swimmer Thomas Fraser-Holmes produced an electric final 50 metres to highlight the increasing depth in Australian swimming and win his third straight men’s 200m freestyle title at the 2013 Swimming Championships tonight in Adelaide.

Fraser-Holmes trailed 18-year-old Cameron McEvoy by half a length at the final turn but reeled in his London team mate in the final 15 metres to book his place on the world championships team to Barcelona in July.

The 21-year-old shaved more than a third of a second off his previous personal best time to touch in 1:45.79, with McEvoy (1:46.03) also knocking half a second off his personal best to join Fraser-Holmes in qualifying for an individual swim in Spain.

David McKeon won the bronze medal in a personal best 1:46.96, while Ned McKendry (1:47.14), Alexander Graham (1:47.23), who turned 18 today, and Jarrod Killey (1:47.25) all swam under the required selection time for the world championships, underling the team’s relay depth.

“I obviously missed out on qualifying for the team on the first day, but to swim a PB and qualify tonight is great,” said Fraser-Holmes. “I definitely had to dig deep over that last lap.”

“I’m really happy with that tonight and to have three guys go under 1:47 is really good for our relay team.”

Olympic silver medallist Emily Seebohm swept to her sixth Australian women’s 100m backstroke title, setting the world’s second quickest time of the year in the process.

The four-time Olympic medallist, who had already secured her place in the world championship team after finishing second in the women’s 200m Individual Medley last night, was never troubled in her pet event to win in a time of 59.17.

Seebohm hit the wall ahead of London team mate Belinda Hocking, whose time of 59.63 also put her on the plane to Spain, while Meagan Nay (1:00.78) claimed the bronze medal.

Beijing Olympian Ashley Delaney announced his return to the Australian team in style with an excellent victory in the men’s 100m backstroke. After missing selection on Australia’s Olympic team last year, Delaney added a third 100m backstroke national title to his collection, winning in a time of 53.63.

AIS swimmer and 2011 title holder Ben Treffers (54.15) finished second, but narrowly missed the required selection time, while 23-year-old Daniel Arnamnart (54.61) won the bronze medal.

South Australian Sally Foster stormed home to win her first 100m breaststroke national title and make Australia’s 2013 FINA world championship team at the ripe old age of 28.

Foster, a dual 200m breaststroke national champion, overhauled Samantha Marshall in the final strokes to win by just 0.03 of a second in 1:07.46. Marshall’s time of 1:07.49 was enough to also qualify for Barcelona, while defending champion Leiston Pickett (1:07.70) won the bronze medal.

In other events…

Women’s 1500m Freestyle Final
Already on the team as an open water swimmer, 14-year-old Chelsea Gubecka smashed her previous best time in the women’s 1500m freestyle to claim a stunning victory and her first national title in the pool.  Gubecka recorded a time of 16:22.35 to beat her personal best by over 20 seconds and win the title ahead of Leah Cutting (16:51.51) and Bonnie MacDonald (16:56.97).

Men’s 50m Breaststroke Semi Finals
After securing his spot on the FINA World Championships team last night in the 100m breaststroke, Christian Sprenger sprinted straight into the final of men’s 50m breaststroke with an excellent semi-final swim. Sprenger’s time of 27.18 led Brenton Rickard (28.02) and Max Ireland (28.25) into tomorrow night’s final.

Women’s 200m Freestyle Semi Finals
The women’s 200m freestyle final is set to be a scorcher with five Olympians lining up on the blocks to take the 2013 title. It was up-and-comer Brittany Elmslie (1:57.30) who secured lane 4, relegating the bronze medallist from this event in London, Bronte Barratt (1:57.37), to second, with Emma McKeon (1:57.88) and Kylie Palmer (1:58.12) third and fourth respectively.

New Southport Olympic training partners Melanie Schlanger (1:58.94) and Blair Evans (1:59.12) also progressed.

Men’s 200m Butterfly Semi Finals
World Short Course representative Grant Irvine (1:57.49) will be looking to make his first senior long course team when he takes on the men’s 200m butterfly final tomorrow night. Irvine will need to drop nearly two seconds to hit the qualifying time of 1:55.85, and keep an eye on Olympian Chris Wright (1:58.38) who will also be fighting for first. Victorian teenager Mitchell Pratt went through in third with a time of 1:58.74.

Swimming Australia

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