AUCKLAND, New Zealand, May 23. AUSTRALIAN 17-year-old Ami Matsuo corralled her third title of the meet with a close call finish in the women’s 50-meter free to close out the Oceania Championships today.
Matsuo put together a strong finish to her special meet here in Auckland as the Aussie won the women’s 50-meter free with a 25.41 touchout against teammate Brianna Throssell (25.44). That’s Matsuo’s third win of the meet as she already took the 100 and 200-meter frees earlier this week. New Zealand’s prodigy Gabrielle Fa’amausili, 14, took third in 25.86.
Following a trend in the longer distance women’s events, only five swimmers took to the women’s 800-meter freestyle tonight. Australia’s Sacha Downing won in 8:41.17 with teammate Moesha Johnson placing second in 8:52.60. Fiji’s Tiarana Mitchell picked up third in 10:39.88.
New Zealand’s Bradlee Ashby took home the men’s 200-meter IM crown in 2:04.07, while Australia’s Jake Baggaley (2:05.01) and Nicholas Groenewald (2:06.71) earned second and third in the medley event. New Zealand followed with a 1-2 in the women’s 200-meter IM as Tash Hing (2:17.24) and Helena Gasson (2:19.73) posted strong finishes for the hosts. Australia’s Lucy McJannett wound up third in 2:20.26.
One of the veterans of the meet, 28-year-old Cameron Simpson of New Zealand clinched the men’s 50-meter free title in 22.79 with teammate Nielsen Varoy earning second in 23.39. Australia’s Blake Jones placed third in the splash-and-dash with a 23.41 to knock off Kyle Chalmers (23.48) for the final podium spot.
New Zealand had another strong event in the men’s 200-meter breast with a 1-2 finish. Julian Layton won in 2:15.44 with Alex Peach taking second in 2:18.22. Australia’s Jake Baggaley drew his second podium of the night with a third-place 2:21.23. The hosts followed up with another 1-2 in the women’s 200-meter breast. Abbie Johnston clipped teammate Beckie Dooley, 2:38.78 to 2:38.94, in the event. Hawaii’s Cara Jernigan finished third in 2:39.63.
A trio of relays closed out the meet. Australia won the mixed 400 free relay in 3:32.06 with New Zealand (3:32.07) and New Caledonia (3:46.84) placing second and third. New Zealand A (4:09.51) and B (4:16.19) went 1-2 in the women’s 400-meter medley relay with Australia finishing third in 4:17.33.
Australia ended the meet on a high note with the men’s 400-meter medley relay winning in 3:43.91. New Zealand (3:44.16) and Hawaii (3:56.68) rounded out the top three in the finale.