Gold Coast-based aspiring physicist Cam McEvoy has officially kick started his campaign for Rio with one of the fastest 100m freestyle times in history in Perth tonight.
The 21-year-old clocked a personal best time of 47.56 to win one of nine events by the Australians in the swim of the night on the opening session of the two-day Perth Aquatic Super Series meet at the HBF Stadium.
It was a time that would have won the FINA World Championship silver medallist, the gold medal in Kazan last year and the third fastest non-textile suit time of all time.
In fact it is the third fastest time swum in the past two years – bettered only by his Australian team mate, two-time world championJames Magnussen (second tonight in 49.34) and Olympic champion Nathan Adrian from the USA.
Magnussen, with only his second race back from major shoulder surgery has swum 47.10 in 2014, followed by Adrian’s 47.52.
It confirms the Pan Pacific champion is ready to put his hand up as a major contender for the Olympic title – swimming’s blue ribband last won by an Australian in 1968 when Mike Wenden won gold in Mexico.
The Richard Scarce coached McEvoy from the Bond University program, said he came into this competition under some pretty tough training after just finishing off a more fitness orientated block,
“To come out and swim a best time when I’m not fully tapered at all, that’s exciting,” said McEvoy.
“My training has been going really well and it has improved in all aspects of it but the translation from training to a race you are always unsure.
“I thought fully tapered it would be a time around where that was so to swim that while reasonably un-tapered it is also very exciting.
“It gives me that much confidence to jump on the plane on Monday and go straight to training when I arrive home.
“On a personal note it is kind of cool to be amongst names like James Magnussen and Nathan Adrian on the rankings too.
“Everyone in the world has already stepped up and I had to step up in my own way, I fully expect everyone to be reading the resultstonight and it will fire them up to get back in the water..
“I have to keep the momentum going in order to make sure that I keep improving.”
McEvoy smoked the first 50m in 23.14 and came home in 24.42 (47.56) with Magnussen out conservatively in 23.82 and back in 25.52 (49.34) 0.01 faster than his winning time at the Victorian Championships two weeks ago.
Meanwhile in other events,
Australia’s Emma McKeon got the night off to a superb start with an eye-catching 1:55.96 in the women’s 200m freestyle. The World Championship finalist in this event clocked a time that would have seen her finish fourth in Kazan to get the points for Australia ahead of Shen Duo (1:58.57) from China and her teammate Brianna Throssell (1:58.96).
Less than half an hour later both McKeon and Throssell were back in the water – this time for the women’s 100m butterfly final. Once again McKeon was too strong taking out the race in 58.25 and adding to the Aussies lead. Second place points went to China’s Yufei Zhang (58.63) with Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa (59.00) rounding out the top three. Throssell was fourth overall in 59.08.
Swimming on her first senior team and making her debut for Australia, Georgia Bohl showed no signs of first race nerves when she was a touch off first place in the women’s 100m breaststroke. Bohl stopped the clock in 1:06.63, just 0.05 behind Japan’s Rie Kaneto for a new personal best in the event. Third place went to Tessa Wallace in 1:08.67. Bohl is one of the rising stars of this Dolphins team – improving her times from her last four swims at the Queensland and Victorian Championships – her second time under 1:07.00.
While dual World Champion Emily Seebohm continued her unbeaten run, comfortably cruising to victory in the women’s 200m backstroke. Seebohm hit the wall in an impressive early season time of 2:07.74 with Madison Wilson second in 2:09.29 and Jie Chen third in 2:11.94 – proving she remains one of the best big time racers on the team.
In the battle of the sibblings, older sister Cate Campbell got one back on Bronte with a win in the women’s splash and dash 50m freestyle. Cate was just 0.07 of a second faster than her younger sister, and the current world champion in this event, stopping the clock at 24.32 for first place. Bronte was next to the wall in 24.39 with China’s Menghui Zhu third in 24.92.
Australian Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said: “We saw some great performances for this part of the season.
“It’s always great to see people getting close to their personal best times, and sometimes even improve upon them.
“Cam McEvoy was amazing, Georgia Bohl was a personal best time as well, so I’m really, really happy.
“Also with the way the team fights, it’s an important element.
“You can’t win all races, but you see good spirit in every race and definitely very proud of them.
“This is a great experience in an Olympic year, because every time we get together as a team it is great to get the team together, to get the coaches together.
“It’s a meet that’s great to practice race strategies, they will take this with them towards NSW States and ultimately Trials of course.
“We are trying to stay as relaxed as possible and don’t talk too much about possible wins, possible losses, possible records, possible medals, we talk about sticking to the process, really thinking about control what you can control, and to give it your best.
“To be honest there is not a lot more you can do, and tonight I see a team doing that and that makes me really feel proud.”
Swimming Australia contributed this report.
PERTH AQUATIC SUPER SERIES, Day One Finals,
Women’s 200m Freestyle
- Emma McKeon (1.55.96)
- Duo Shen (1:58.57)
- Brianna Throssell (1:58.69)
Men’s 100m Freestyle
- Cameron McEvoy (47.56)
- James Magnussen (49.34)
- Shinri Shioura (49.73)
Women’s 100m Breaststroke
- Kaneto Rie (1:06.58)
- Georgia Bohl (1:06.63)
- Tessa Wallace (1:08.67)
Men’s 100m Backstroke
- Mitch Larkin (53.11)
- Xu Jiaya (53.39)
- Kaneko Masaki (54.19)
Women’s 100m Butterfly
- Emma McKeon (5825)
- Yufei Zhang (58.63)
- Suzuka Hasegawa (59.00)
Men’s 200m Butterfly
- Zhuhao Li (1:56.64)
- Yuhang Wu (1:58.00)
- Masayuki Umemoto (1:58.26)
Women’s 200m IM
- Sakiko Shimizu (2:12.88)
- Kern McMaster (2:13.18)
- Miho Takahashi (2:14.03)
Men’s 400m Freestyle
- Mack Horton (3:47.87)
- David McKeon (3:48.77)
- Zhiyong Qian (3:53.24)
Women’s 50m Freestyle
- Cate Campbell (24.32)
- Bronte Campbell (24.39)
- Menghui Zhu (24.92)
Men’s 200m Breaststroke
- Yasuhiro Koseki (2:10.19)
- Zibei Yan (2:10.98)
- Hayato Watanabe (2:11.26)
Women’s 200m Backstroke
- Emily Seebohm (2:07.74)
- Madison Wilson (2:09.29)
- Jie Chen (2:11.94)
Women’s 800m Freestyle
- Jessica Ashwood (8:23.69)
- Bingjie Li (8:37.85)
- Leah Neale (8:43.50)
Men’s 400m IM
- Takeharu Fujimori (4:13.81)
- Travis Mahoney (4:19.33)
- Jie Zhang (4:20.48)
Women’s 4x50m Freestyle Relay
- Australia A (1:38.10)
- China (1:41.67)
- Japan (1:42.77)
Men’s 4x50m Medley Relay
- Japan (1:37.77)
- Australia (1:38.36
- China (1:38.39)