SYDNEY, Australia, March 21. THE final day of action at the Australian Long Course Championships produced some sterling swimming, including a Commonwealth and Australian record.
Melissa Gorman scorched the women's 1500 free with a 16:03.24, setting an Australian and Commonwealth record. That time is 25 seconds swifter than the 16:28.96 she used to win the event last year, and beat the 17-year-old record of 16:04.84 set by Hayley Lewis back in 1993. Kylie Palmer finished a distant second with a 16:41.71, while Danielle De Francesco placed third in 16:46.58.
Brenton Rickard turned in the fastest time of the year by far in the men's 200 breast with a time of 2:09.31. That time cleared the 2:11.17 clocked by Eric Shanteau back in February at the Missouri Grand Prix, and was well ahead of the 2:12.04 used by Christian Sprenger to win the title at this meet a year ago. Craig Calder took second in 2:12.33, while Sprenger wound up third in 2:12.71.
Stephanie Rice followed with another world best time in the women's 400 IM. She clocked a 4:35.04 for the distance medley triumph, well in front of Ariana Kukors' 4:37.63 from the Austin this month. Samantha Hamill placed second in 4:40.44, while Blair Evans took third in 4:40.49.
Robert Hurley nearly became the first man under 15:00 this year with a winning time of 15:00.96 in the men's 1500 free. He beat the 15:01.99 used by Ryan Napoleon to win the title at this meet last year, and crushed Peter Vanderkaay's previous world best this year of 15:18.75. Napoleon also beat Vanderkaay's mark with a 15:14.96. Chris Ashwood finished third in 15:19.39.
Ashley Callus posted a swift 22.09 to win the men's 50 free during the final day of swimming, while Cameron Prosser took second overall in 22.36. Eamon Sullivan just missed second with a third-place effort of 22.38. Jessicah Schipper touched out Hamill, 2:07.66 to 2:07.75, in the women's 200 fly. Felicity Galvez garnered third in 2:08.83.