Townsville Grand Prix Wrap

22 June 2015

SWIMMING: In preparation for next month's World Championships in Kazan, Russia, the Australian Swimming Team held Grand Prix in Townsville.

Swimmers from New Zealand, China and Korea joined the Grand Prix, the final domestic hit out as the teams countdown to their respective major competitions for 2015 and look towards Rio in 2016.

Day 2 - session 2

Not content with her winning time in last night’s 200m freestyle, Australian champion Emma McKeon decided on another crack tonight and it paid off when she clocked one of the fastest times in the world this year, stopping the clock at 1:56.15 in Townsville.

The recently turned 21-year-old from Brisbane clocked the time on the way through in the women’s 400m freestyle final on the final night of the Swimming Australia Grand Prix 2 at the Long Tan Memorial Pool.

She touched the wall and then turned and cruised through the final 200m, allowing 400m specialist and last night’s new 1500m Australian record holder, Jess Ashwood to win her second event of the meet, clocking an impressive 4:08.55.

McKeon won the 200m freestyle final last night in 1:57.76 from Bronte Barratt (1:58.73) and Ashwood (2:00.92).

She is already sitting third in the world on 1:55.88 and her 1:56.16 was a top eight time on this year’s world rankings.

“I didn’t feel like I went out after it fast enough last night and thought ‘let’s have another crack tonight’ and I’m delighted with that time, I’m very happy,” said McKeon, one of the key members of the Australian Dolphins Team in Far North Queensland preparing for this year’s FINA World Championships in Kazan (Russia).

“We have just come off a solid training camp in Cairns and I am really enjoying my move to new coach Michael Bohl, it’s fun and I’m really enjoy my swimming.”

In tonight’s other events:

Australian champion Cameron McEvoy produced a comfortable 1:47.73 to win the 200m freestyle ahead of triple Olympian and former world record holder in the event Grant Hackett (1:49.23) with Thomas Fraser-Holmes third in 1:49.96). Fraser-Holmes had earlier won the men’s 200m individual medley in 2:01.30 and finished third in the 800m freestyle in 8:05.29, won by Mack Horton in 7:59.61

Olympic silver medallist Emily Seebohm completed the backstroke double, taking the 100m tonight in 59.59, in what has been a successful return to racing after her dislocated knee.

Cate Campbell added the 100m freestyle to her 50m win in 53.14, ahead of sister Bronte (53.50) and Madi Wilson 54.57 and Emma McKeon (54.61).

Matt Abood, after his four-meet European tour, won the 50m freestyle in 22.81.

World Short Course champion Mitch Larkin added the 200m backstroke in 1:57.04 to last night’s 100m win.

Australian champion Tessa Wallace took out the 200m breaststroke in 2:24.51

Maddie Groves produced an eye-catching 200m butterfly in 2:08.43 as did Jayden Hadler in the 100m butterfly in 52.62, while;

Christian Sprenger won the 100m breaststroke in 1:02.47.

In the multi-class events Paralympian Ellie Cole (S9) turned up the heat in the women’s 100m backstroke Multi Class final clocking a time of 1:10.82 to take a total of 937 points and get the better of Taylor Corry (S14) in the same time for 835 points. Third place went to IPC debutant, 13-year-old Tiffany Thomas-Kane (S6) in 1:35.00 (709 points).

Queenslander Daniel Fox continued his Grand Prix success claiming the bragging rights in the 50m freestyle (25.69) and 200m freestyle (29.68) multi-class finals with an accumulated total of 1,794 points under his belt.

London Paralympic gold medallist Blake Cochrane had a powerful performance in the 100m breaststroke multi-class final clocking 1:19.34 (944 points) from Richard Eliason (1:11.95) with 796 points followed by Ahmed Kelly finishing in 2:02.98 (726 points).

Day 2

London Olympian Jess Ashwood will carry her record breaking form into tonight’s 400m freestyle on the last night of the Swimming Australia Grand Prix at the upgraded Long Tan Memorial Pool n Townsville tonight.

The 22-year-old Queenslander who set a new Australian mark of 15:56.86 in the 1500m last night, is the fastest qualifier for the 400m final where she will meet fellow Dolphins Emma McKeon and Leah Neale.

Ashwood looked comfortable this morning, clocking 4:10.49 to win her heat followed by 200m freestyle winner McKeon (4:16.86) and Neale (4:16.94).

McKeon won last night’s 200m freestyle final in 1:57.76 after her victory in the 100m butterfly (57.71).

Australia’s teams are preparing for both the FINA World Championships in August and the IPC World Championships in Glasgow

In other highlights today:

Defending World champion Cate (53.67) and sister Bronte Campbell (54.34) head the qualifiers into tonight’s 100m freestyle final with McKeon (55.69) also in the final.

Breaststroke world champion Christian Sprenger (1:03.33) will go head-to-head with Kazan team mate and 21st birthday boy Jake Packard (1:03.62) in the 100m breaststroke.

Last night’s 200m backstroke winner, Olympic silver medallist Emily Seebohm (1:00.43) will resume her rivalry with Madi Wilson (1:00.72) in the 100m backstroke.

Australian champion Maddie Groves (2:13.58) leads the qualifiers in the women’s 200m butterfly.

While Commercial’s London Olympian Jayden Hadler (53.34) is the fastest qualifier for the 100m butterfly final.

His 2012 team mate Tom Fraser-Holmes will have a busy night after qualifying fastest in the 200m individual medley (2:04.91) and the 200m freestyle (1:49.54) in a final that will also feature Kazan team mates Kurt Herzog (1:49.59), dual Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett (1:50.13) and Australian champion Cam McEvoy (1:50.32).

Last night’s 200 individual medley winner Tessa Wallace (2:29.47) heads the qualifiers for the women’s 200m breaststroke, Mitch Larkin (1:59.17) for the 200m backstroke as he chases the 100-200m double and Keryn McMaster (4:52.60) in the 400IM

In the women’s 100m multi-class backstroke London Paralympic S9 gold medallist Ellie Cole clocked a fast 1:10.82 (937 points) to go through to the final as the top contender.

Cole will go up against Paralympic S14 gold medallist Taylor Corry who claimed 738 points in 1:13.80 and young gun Ashleigh Cockburn (S10) who finished in 1:16.74 (633 points).

World record holder Daniel Fox (S14) is the fastest qualifier into the 50m freestyle final in 25:29 and the 200m freestyle in 2:02.05.

Day 1

Jess Ashwood burns up the Australian 1500m record in Townsville

Red hot London Olympian Jess Ashwood has opened the Swimming Australia Grand Prix 2 in Townsville with a bang, setting a new Australian Open record in the 1500m freestyle in the first final of the two-day meet.

The 22-year-old London Olympian clocked a time of 15:56.86 to take 4.67 off Melissa Gorman’s previous Australian mark of 16:01.53 set in 2010 as the Australian Dolphins go through their paces in the countdown to this tear’s FINA’s World Championships in Kazan (RUS) in August.

Ashwood, who is coached by wily Olympic coach Vince Raleigh at Chandler in Brisbane, took a whopping 17.61 seconds off her previous best set in Sydney in 2011.

In the middle of heavy training and after a seven-day training camp in Cairns, Ashwood churned through the 30 laps in impressive style in a time that is ranked the second fastest time in the world this year and places her in the Top Ten all time.

Ashwood has been selected to contest the 400 and 800 metres freestyle for Kazan and may now be adding the 1500m to her repertoire.

A bubbly Ashwood admitted she didn’t expect it, although she was swimming for a time to put her in the selection picture.

“I didn’t expect it so I’m very happy with it, probably means I won’t have much of a taper leading into the meet,” Ashwood said.

“I have been doing a lot of training and a lot of distance training and that’s all I was thinking about - I’ve done all these kilometres, surely I can do 1500m, it was really good to do that tonight.

“I haven’t done a 1500m for a really long time so it was tough going….the hardest thing is not knowing whether I’m going too fast or too slow, I knew I just had to descend the 500s.

“It has certainly given me a lot of faith going into the Kazan.”

Meanwhile multi-talented Emma McKeon, who has settled in with new coach Michael Bohl at the St Peters Western Podium Centre, added victories in both the 100m butterfly in 57.71 and the 200m freestyle in 1:57.76 which saw dual Olympian Bronte Barratt second in 1:57.83 with Ashwood backing up to finish third in 2:00.92.

Another impressive win came from dual Beijing and London Olympic gold and silver medallist Emily Seebohm.

She showed no ill-affects from her dislocated knee suffered in a horse riding fall and a move to new coach David Lush, with a solid win in the 200m backstroke in 2:09.54 to Kazan team mate Madi Wilson’s 2:0.05 with brilliant 13-year-old Kaylee McKeown setting a new Australian Age record of 2:12.05 for third.

The men's 400 metres freestyle saw Australian 400 and 1500m champion Mack Horton charge home over the final 100m to win in 3:52.55 from New Zealander Matthew Stanley (3:52.72) and dual Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett third in 3:53.39, while World Short Course champion Mitch Larkin continued his backstroke domination, winning the 100m in 54.35 from Nunawading's Josh Beaver (55.63) and Ben Treffers (Burley Griffin) 55.83

The IPC Team continued its run of success in the finals tonight with the current world record holder in the men’s S14 100m freestyle Daniel Fox showing how strong his form is in the final, touching the wall in 54.21 earning him 1001 points and first place.

Commonwealth Games representative Joshua Alford followed in second place with 56.72 (874 points) with Matthew Levy third in 1:04.19.


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