Poort and Gubecka crowned National Champions
27 January 2017
SWIMMING: The opening day of the 2017 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships has seen a pair of siblings take the next steps towards world championship selection with Chelsea Gubecka and her sister Chloe, as well as Jack Brazier and his sister Mackenzie all finishing inside the top four in the men’s and women’s open 10km event.
Brighton Beach in South Australia was the perfect backdrop for the championships, with ideal conditions for our athletes to take on a true open water course.
After a welcome speech from Assistant Minister to the Premier Katrine Hildyard, the women were off and racing for the 10km title.
Rio 2016 Olympian Chelsea hit the finish gate just over a minute ahead of the field to take gold and the Australian title and was then able to turn around and witness her 14-year-old sister Chloe finish as the third fastest Australian and join her on the team that will travel to Abu Dhabi world cup for world championship selection.
If successful in Abu Dhabi this will be Chelsea’s third world championship team, and at just 18 years of age, and with an Olympic Games also under her belt, this is an incredible feat for the Kawana Waters swimmer.
After making her first team at just 14, her sister Chloe could replicate that feat if she is able to overcome the always competitive Lee and fellow up and comer Mackenzie.
The sisters were split with World Championship representative Kareena Lee clocked a time of 2:07.28 while 15-year-old Mackenzie rounded out the top four Aussies in 2:08.01.
Just hours earlier Mackenzie’s older brother Jack put on a stellar performance in the men’s 10km to take home the silver medal behind Olympian Jarrod Poort and also secure his spot in the Abu Dhabi final selection event.
Canadian swimmer Eric Hedlin hit the finish gate first, over a two minutes ahead of the rest of the field to win gold in a time of 1:55.01.
Poort was the first Australian home in 1:57.48, taking his Australian Open 10km title tally to four, using his power to get over the top of the field as the pack fought for a top four finish and a chance at World Championship selection
After capturing the hearts of the nation with his emphatic swim in the Men’s 10km event at last year’s Rio Olympics Poort is shaping up to be a real pioneer in Australian Open Water Swimming.
The 22-year-old’s smart swimming style saw him claim victory in a sprint to the finish over up and comer, Brazier (1:49.30) with Kai Edwards the third Aussie home in 1:57.50, and Lachlan Colquhoun fourth with a time of 1:57.52.
The men and women will now switch their attention to the open 5km events on Sunday, with straight selection onto the World Championship team up for grabs with a top two finish in Brighton.