Australian Age Group Swimming Championships: Golden Groenewald Breaks Ian Thorpe Age Group Record in Brisbane

BRISBANE, Australia, April 9. VICTORIAN Nicholas Groenewald has continued to impress at age group level, erasing Ian Thorpe from the record books in the boy's 14yrs 200m individual medley, on the opening night of the 2012 Australian Age Swimming Championships in Brisbane which saw a total of four records broken.

The winner of a staggering eight gold medals in Adelaide last year, including six individual age group records, Groenewald took out the boy's 14yrs 200m IM in an impressive time of 2:06.01, shaving 0.25 of a second of Thorpe's record set 15 years ago in 1997.

The 14-year-old from Nunawading won by more than five seconds from Vincent Dai in 2:11.91 and Mitchell Davenport-Wright in bronze in 2:11.92, and after having a look at the clock at the 150m mark, knew that he had to come home quicker than ever before to break the record.

“I saw my time was 1:35.9 at the 150m mark and I knew that I would have to go faster than I normally do to get the record, so I was really happy,” said Groenewald.

“I know a lot of people around the world including myself think that he (Thorpe) is one of the biggest swimming inspirations ever and to break one of his records is a huge achievement for me, and really motivating to keep going and keep striving for better and better things.”

“I remember watching him swim in 2004 on TV (at the Athens Olympics) thinking that I want to meet him one day and I finally did get to talk to him at Trials this year and that was a huge thing for me.”

In the girl's 200m IM Siobhan Haughey from Hong Kong (2:18.44) and Alanna Bowles (2:19.44) shared the gold medal with Taylor Green (2:20.56) and Karlene Pircher (2:21.65) rounding out the medals.

Fresh from being named as an Olympic debutant for London last month, Gold Coast teenager Cameron McEvoy has swum a new personal best time for the 50m freestyle, to better his own age group record.

Set to represent Australia in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay in London, the Glenn Baker coached McEvoy showed good speed in the one lap dash, surprising himself with his new record of 22.36.

Shaving 0.06 of a second off the time he swam in Adelaide last month, McEvoy's time would have seen him finish fourth at the Olympic Trials and is an ominous sign for the remainder of the meet where he will compete in a host of other events.

“I'm stoked with that swim,” said McEvoy.

“To do that after Opens (Olympic Trials) after a couple of days break, maybe that might have freshened me up a little bit more, but everything went right in that race so I'm stoked.”

“I'm focusing on the events that I don't normally swim like the 100m fly and 100m back, but I'm not looking for anything particular just to have fun and learn how to back up from day to day.”

Oceania gold medallist Te Haumi Maxwell took silver in 23.02 while McEvoy's training partner at Southport Olympic took bronze in 23.31.

In the women's 17/18yrs 50m freestyle, fellow Olympic debutant Brittany Elmslie started her age campaign with gold in the 17/18yrs 50m freestyle in a time of 25.48 from Emma McKeon (25.79) and West Australia's Adelaide Hart in 26.00.

The boy's 12/13yrs 200m freestyle final saw the third Australian Age record fall for the night with South Australian Kyle Chalmers knocking two seconds off his personal best to steal the age record and claim the title in a time of 1:57.48.

“I went in at 1:59 in the heats and then to go 1:57 in the finals, it felt great and I wasn't expecting it at all,” Chalmers said.

Chalmers set the pace early and held on to take the title from Queensland's Briaden Oates who finished second in 1:59.58. Third place went to Matthew Wilson in 2:01.57.

The records continued to tumble on night one, with West Australian Damian Fyfe flying ahead of the field to set a new Australian Age record of 55.19 in the boys 14yrs 100m butterfly final. A speedy start from Fyfe gave him the lead early and put him clear of Auburn's Wonho Kim (57.30) who had to settle for silver. Nicholas Groenewald was on the podium again, claiming bronze in 57.76.

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