Irvine flying to Spain

29 April 2013

SWIMMING: Queenslander Grant Irvine has announced himself on the Australian swimming scene by recording the second quickest Australian men’s 200m butterfly of all time, at the 2013 Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide tonight.

The 2012 world short course representative shaved over a second off his personal best to not only win his first national title but also book his place on the Australian world championship team for Barcelona later this year.

Coached by Michael Bohl, the 22-year-old from the St Peters Western club in Brisbane built his performance around a superb third quarter of the race that allowed him to make his first long course world championships team in a time of 1:55.32.

Irvine led home London Olympian Chris Wright (1:57.79), whose time left him just outside the benchmark for selection, while Sydney University’s Keiran Qaium won the bronze medal in 1:58.10.

“Seeing that time was a bit of a shock,” Irvine said. “I have made my first Australian long course team so am very happy tonight.”

Irvine, who missed a place on the 2012 Olympic team by just 0.27 of a second, said the disappointment had made him stronger.

“It’s been on my mind,” Irvine said. “Bohly (coach Michael Bohl) reminded me of it every second day in training. It made me work that little bit harder.”

“I always knew I was capable of doing it as the work I’ve done in training this year has been amazing. I gave myself every chance.”

Triple Olympic medallist Bronte Barratt won her fourth women’s 200m freestyle national title, with the London bronze medallist showing her class to book her second individual swim at the world championships in Barcelona later this year.

Pushed by the crop of rising stars fighting for a place on the Australian team, Barratt set the second fastest time internationally in 2013, touching in 1:56.05 ahead of current Australian record holder and 2011 world championship silver medallist Kylie Palmer (1:56.55).

The Australian women’s 4x200m relay team could also boast an exciting mix of youth and experience, with 18-year-old Emma McKeon (1:56.77) making her first long course world championship team by setting a new Australian age group record.

McKeon was followed into the wall by Olympic gold medallist and fellow 18-year-old Brittany Elmslie (1:57.15), while Elmslie’s London 4x100m freestyle gold medal team member Melanie Schlanger (1:58.07) and Blair Evans (1:58.66) also qualified.

Olympic silver medallist Christian Sprenger continued his excellent meet by setting a new Australian record in the men’s 50m breaststroke.

Sprenger, who secured his third 100m breaststroke title earlier in the week, shave 0.05 of a second off Brenton Rickard’s former mark, hitting the wall in 26.90.

The 27-year-old’s time, which also improved upon the year’s world best time that he set in the semi-final, saw him finish a full second clear of Victorian Max Ireland (27.09) and third placed local Joshua Palmer (28.11).

In other events…

Men’s 800m Freestyle Final
Jarrod Poort warmed up in style for his favoured 1500m freestyle with a comfortable victory in the men’s 800m freestyle. The London Olympian recorded a time of 8:06.71 to finish ahead of 18-year-old Jack McLoughlin (8:12.53) and South Australian Ethan Owens (8:14.66).

Men’s 100m Freestyle Semi Finals
Olympic silver medallist in this event James Magnussen (48.24) has once again set the sprinting standard in the men’s 100m freestyle, clocking the fastest time from the semi-finals to take top spot into the highly anticipated final tomorrow night.

Sitting just behind Magnussen in second place is an in form Cameron McEvoy (48.63), who will be looking to add another individual swim to his program after already qualifying in the 200m freestyle on night three.

Also in the mix for a medal is London Olympic relay teammate Matthew Targett who finished just a touch behind McEvoy in 48.68 to round out the top three.  Fellow London relay members James Roberts (48.83) and Tommaso D’Orsogna (49.22) also progressed.

Women’s 50m Backstroke Semi Finals
The master of many strokes Alicia Coutts will take the top ranking into the women’s 50m backstroke final after setting a speedy 28.12 in the semi-finals. Australian champion in the 100m backstroke Emily Seebohm secured second spot with 18-year-old Madison Wilson taking third place in 28.47. Backstroke specialist Belinda Hocking finished the semi-finals in fourth and will also be fighting for place on the podium.

Women’s 200m Butterfly Semi Finals
With the top three qualifiers from the women’s 200m butterfly all hitting the wall within 0.3 of a second in their respective semi-finals, the tussle for the title will be tough tomorrow night. London Olympian Samantha Hamill will take lane four with a time of 2:10.64 with Madeline Groves sneaking into second in 2:10.81 and Amy Smith just behind in 2:10.90.

Men’s 200m Individual Medley Semi Finals
Racing to secure a place in the men’s 200m individual medley final, Daniel Tranter (1:59.06) and Kenneth To (1:59.66) were also battling for bragging rights as they stuck side by side all the way to the wall in their semi-final. It was defending champion in this event Tranter who took top spot in the touch with the winner of semi-final number one, Justin James (1:59.64) securing second place ahead of To. All three set sub-two-minute times and will be looking for gold tomorrow night.

Athletes who have qualified for selection for the 2013 FINA World Championships:
Men’s 200m Freestyle – Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:45.79), Cameron McEvoy (1:46.03)
Men’s 400m Freestyle – David McKeon (3:43.71), Jordan Harrison (3:45.85)
Men’s 100m Backstroke – Ashley Delaney (53.63)
Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Christian Sprenger (59.31), Brenton Rickard (1:00.00)
Men’s 200m Butterfly – Grant Irvine (1:55.32)
Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay - Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:45.79), Cameron McEvoy (1:46.03), David McKeon (1:46.96), Ned McKendry (1:47.14), Alexander Graham (1:47.23), Jarrod Killey (1:47.25)
Women’s 200m Freestyle – Bronte Barratt (1:56.05), Kylie Palmer (1:56.66)
Women’s 400m Freestyle – Bronte Barratt (4:03.52), Kylie Palmer (4:06.00)
Women’s 100m Backstroke – Emily Seebohm (59.17), Belinda Hocking (59.63)
Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Sally Foster (1:07.46), Samantha Marshall (1:07.49)
Women’s 100m Butterfly – Alicia Coutts (57.18)
Women’s 200m Individual Medley – Alicia Coutts (2:08.63), Emily Seebohm (2:11.11)
Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay – Bronte Barratt (1:56.05), Kylie Palmer (1:56.66), Emma McKeon (1:56.77), Brittany Elmslie (1:57.15), Melanie Schlanger (1:58.07), Blair Evans (1:58.66)

Swimming Australia

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