Day 7 Swimming heats Wrap

3 August 2012

SWIMMING: Australia’s sister-act of Bronte (24.87) and Cate (24.94) Campbell are through to the semi-finals of the women’s 50 metre freestyle in ninth and 10th places respectively.

Cate’s performance continues her rollercoaster meet that began with a gold medal winning swim in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay on Day 1 before she was struck down with a gastric virus and forced to withdraw from the heats of the individual 100m two days ago.

The pair, born in Malawi, will now race in the semi-finals later on Day 7 for a place in the final. Cate will be aiming to better the bronze medal she won in the event as a raw 16 year-old four years ago in Beijing, while for Bronte this is her first senior international meet.

Last night’s 100m freestyle victor Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands) qualified fastest in 24.51.

“I guess we are just so in-synch we qualified together,” Bronte said.

“We won’t be in the same semi tonight but I’ll be able to watch how she goes, which is nice. She’s got such a nice stroke, I wish I looked like her.

“I’ve never been to an Olympics before but I’m just trying to treat it as just another swim meet which in essence is what it is. It’s just a lot bigger than anything I’ve been to before.”

Men’s 1500m freestyle

Jarrod Poort, at 17, the youngest male on the Australian swim team at these Games, has finished 20th in the men’s 1500m freestyle in a time of 15:20.82.

Poort was only confirmed as an Olympic entrant in late June after just missing the automatic ‘A’ qualifier at the Australian Olympic Trials in March. While he waited to hear of his fate, the student at Illawarra Grammar School in NSW, continued to train as though he was a certain selection and earnt his spot on the big stage as a ‘B’ qualifier.
World record holder Sun Yang of China, the winner of the 400m freestyle here was fastest qualifier in a ridiculously easy 14:43.25.

“I’m really happy to get this experience, it’s something I didn’t ever imagine six months ago,” Poort said.

“The chance to race at the Olympics against Sun Yang, the world record holder, is something I’ll never forget.”

Women’s 4x100m medley relay

They Australian squad of Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Alicia Coutts and Brittany Elmslie have qualified fastest for the final of the women’s 4x100m medley relay.

Australia is the two-time defending champion in the event with Jones the only survivor of both those triumphs. The breaststroke diva also won silver in the event on her Olympic debut in 2000 and another medal here will give her a personal haul of nine Olympic medals – equal with the great Ian Thorpe for most by an Australian.

Seebohm (58.57) got the team off to a winning start in the backstroke and from there they were never headed with veteran breaststroker Jones posting a fantastic 1:05.96, Coutts a 57.45 for the butterfly and 18 year-old Elmslie, one of the revelations of the team, a slick 53.44.

Elmslie is likely to be replaced in the team for tomorrow night’s final by Melanie Schlanger who was fourth in the individual 100m last night.

Seebohm said she was excited about the prospect of representing her country in another Olympic final with her close teammates.

“I’m really happy that we get to finish with the medley,” the 20 year-old said. “It’s something that we have great history in and that we all have so much fun with.

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night and just hopefully we can finish on a really good note. I’m really excited for what we can do.”

Apart from Jones’ bid for a ninth Olympic medal, there will be more history created if the Aussies can get on the podium - it will also be Coutts’ fifth medal of these Games – a haul only matched by Shane Gould in 1972 and Thorpe in 2000.

Men’s 4x100m medley relay

Hayden Stoeckel, Brenton Rickard, Matt Targett and Tommaso D’Orsogna have combined to clock 3:33.73 and qualify Australia in fourth place for tomorrow night’s final of the men’s 4x100m medley relay. The USA posted the fastest time with a 3:32.65.

Stoeckel hit the wall in 53.89, Rickard split 59.95, Targett a 51.30 and D’Orsogna a 48.59. It is likely that Christian Sprenger (breaststroke), Chris Wright (butterfly) and James Magnussen (freestyle) will come into the team and join Stoeckel in the final.

Australia was second in the same race in Beijing with Stoeckel and Rickard joined by Andrew Lauterstein and Eamon Sullivan.

Targett said he was thankful for the opportunity to swim in the event.

“I stayed prepared since the (4x100m freestyle) relay, coming in to swim and getting treatment in the hope of getting this swim,” Targett said.

“Now we’ll just let the coaches decide (who swims the final). They’ve been making good decisions all week.”

Dave Lyall in London 

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