By Stephen J. Thomas

SYDNEY, Australia, January 16. QUEENSLAND visitor Ashley Callus made light work of the men’s 19 & over 100 freestyle on Day 4 of the New South Wales Opem & Age Championship in Sydney, clocking a very tidy 49.78, his best time of the new year. Victorian Patrick Murphy (50.50) and Sydneysider Cameron McDonald (51.66) followed.

Ian Thorpe scratched from the heats so for Callus there was no chance of a showdown to replay their spectacular race at the national champs last March which ended in a tie – both swimmers clocking 49.07.

Elka Graham proved she is in the best shape of her career winning the Open 200 freestyle in 1:59.98 – her third sub two-minute swim in two days. Promising 16-year-old Melissa Mitchell had another excellent swim, clocking another PR – 2:00.64 – and breaking the State age record by 0.09 of a second set in 2000 by Olympic silver medalist Kirsten Thompson.

Justin Norris, the Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 fly, won the Open event in 1:59.12 from his AIS-based teammate Josh Krogh (2:00.23). Krogh cruised to an easy win in the Open 800 freestyle earlier in the day in 8:12.62.

Jim Piper took the 19 & over 200 breaststroke in a very sold 2:12.98 at his home pool, over Luke Trickett (2:16.16) and Justin Norris (2:19.65).

Piper’s Campbelltown club-mate, Felicity Galvez, clocked the best time of the night in the 200 fly – 2:11.96 – to win the Age Title for 17-18 girls.

Tiny Japanese 13-year-old Rina Ueda took the Open 200 IM in 2:19.35.

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