Australia on track after US meet wins
6 June 2016
SWIMMING: The Australian Swim Team looks set to make a splash in the Rio Olympic pool after a record-breaking Jessica Ashwood sparked a podium charge at the Santa Clara Pro Swim meet in California.
Ashwood set a new 800m freestyle national record to be one of five Australian winners on the final day of the meet boasting a sprinkling of US stars.
Ashwood - who will contest the 400m and 800m events at Rio - clocked a record eight minutes, 18:14 seconds, the second-fastest time in the world this year.
A large contingent of the Dolphins team bound for Rio contested the three-day event, collecting a total of 12 wins, eight seconds and four thirds.
Other final day winners were world champions Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin in the 200m backstroke and Emma McKeon and James Magnussen in the 100m freestyle.
Larkin clocked one minute, 55.38 seconds to overpower his main Rio rival, American young gun Ryan Murphy (1:56.10), while Seebohm (2:08.57) dominated her final.
McKeon won the 100m freestyle (53.30) to complete the 50m-100m-200m treble at Santa Clara.
Dual world champion Magnussen - who will only contest the 4x100m freestyle relay at Rio - took advantage of London Olympic champ Nathan Adrian's withdrawal to win the two lap event in 48.99 ahead of compatriot Kyle Chalmers (49.16).
It is another encouraging sign for the Team in their Rio quest to reclaim the world No.1 title for the first time since 2001.
Australia fell just one gold short of traditional rivals the US at the 2015 world titles under coach Jacco Verhaeren.
The Australian Swim Team will next contest the Grand Prix meet in Brisbane from July 1-2.