By Stephen J. Thomas
SYDNEY, Australia. March 18. OLYMPIC 50-meter freestyle finalist Brett Hawke exerted experience and authority on his specialty event, improving just 0.04 from his semifinal swim to take out his fourth sprint title in 22.35. In second place, and outside the qualifying standard, was Jeff English (22.74) with Ashley Callus (22.82) and Eamon Sullivan (22.86) next to the wall.
Victorian 17-year-old Danni Miatke upstaged her two more experienced rivals, Alice Mills and Libby Lenton, to take the 50m fly in a very swift time of 26.39. Miatke’s time was just 0.10 outside the Commonwealth record held by triple Olympic gold medalist Petria Thomas and moved her to sixth all-time global performer, leaving Mills to take the silver in a PR 26.68 and qualify for her second individual event in Montreal with Libby Lenton (26.97) again missing out in third place.
Former 100-meter fly world record-holder Michael Klim was, by his own admission, well off the current world-leading standard but the 27-year-old was still able to go under the World Championships qualifying time and earn his third title, touching in 53.08. Andrew Richards took the silver in 53.52, – outside the WC qualifying time – with veteran Adam Pine third in 53.62.
Victorian 17-year-old Haylee Reddaway won her first national title in the 800m freestyle from lane eight in a PR 8:34.16, holding off titleholder Linda MacKenzie at 8:35.07 and 15-year-old Stephanie Williams in 8:37.02. MacKenzie has qualified in the 200/400/800 events as she did last year for Athens while Reddaway also took second in the 400 freestyle.
Tay Zimmer took out the 200-meter backstroke in a PR 2:12.92 to qualify for the World Championships well in advance of 50-100 winner Giaan Rooney (2:13.91) and Zoe Tonks (2:14.11).
Jade Edmistone broke the national record in the 50m breaststroke twice today, lowering Brooke Hanson’s mark by 0.11 in the prelims in 30.80, then trimming her own time further to 30.74 in the semifinal. Hanson also edged 0.01 under her old record in the prelims, touching in 30.90. The Aussie women now have four swimmers in the top ten all-time performers list.
30.57 Zoe Baker GBR CW 02 Aug
30.64 Luo Xuejuan CHN World 03
30.74 Jade Edmistone AUS SYD Mar 05
30.83 Penelope Heyns RSA PAC Aug 99
30.90 Brooke Hanson AUS SYD Mar 05
31.15 Leisel Jones AUS QSL Jan 04
31.17 Emma Iggelstrom SWE EURO Jul 02
31.24 Tarnee White AUS SYD Mar 05
31.34 Agnes Kovacs HUN Monaco May 00
31.34 Megan Quann USA US Trials Aug 00
In semifinal results:
Women’s 50m breaststroke:
Jade Edmistone 30.74 NR
Brooke Hanson 31.04
Tarnee White 31.24
Women’s 50m freestyle:
Alice Mills 25.00
Jodie Henry 25.16
Libby Lenton 25.30
Men’s 50m backstroke:
Matt Welsh 25.46
Josh Watson 25.85
Ethan Rolff 26.01