By Steve Thomas
Last weekend, Australia’s top swimmers gathered for a low-key meet in Brisbane, following Aussie team camp. Despite swimming unrested and unshaved, several strong times were recorded in a meet that went unreported in the media (and on the official FINA site that keeps track of the world’s top times).
Michael Klim, Swimming World’s male Swimmer of the Year for 1997, was the outstanding performer and clearly on his way back to championship form, winning the 100m fly in 52.81 (second in the world this year), his first time under 53 since the World Championships in Perth, and the 100m free in 49.86. Klim holds the world record in the 100m fly at 52.15.
Chris Fydler won the 50m free in 23.14, edging Klim. Ian Thorpe took both the 200m (1:50.27) and the 400m free (3:54.42). Klim did not swim the 200m. Kieren Perkins finished the 400m in just under 4 minutes. Grant Hackett only swam the 1500m, winning in 15:29.98.
Matt Dunn, back in training after recovering from a leg injury, won the medleys, clocking 2:03.18 for 200m and 4:22.37 for the 400m.
On the women’s side, Susie O’Neill swam a excellent 200m fly in 2:09.24. Sarah Ryan won the 100m free in 56.84, beating O’Neill. Sarah D’Arcy won the 200 free in 2:01.11, beating O’Neill.