Campbell Shines In Final Day of Australian Youth Olympic Festival

By Jason Marsteller

SYDNEY, Australia, January 21. CATE Campbell, 14, of Australia recorded a whole slew of superlatives with an outstanding performance in the 50 freestyle during the final day of long course competition at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Center.

Notably, Campbell's time of 24.89 made her the fifth-fastest Australian woman behind only Olympic champs Alice Mills, Libby Lenton, Jodie Henry and Olympic finalist Michelle Engelsman. Even more amazing is the fact that she accomplished this feat less than a year after having hip surgery to fix an injury incurred while playing handball.

Additionally, Campbell's time is the sixth-fastest in the world this past year behind Lenton (24.58), Henry (24.72), Germany's Britta Steffen (24.72), Sweden's Therese Alshammar (24.73) and the Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis (24.83).

In the team standings, Australia won the overall crown with 39 total medals (13 gold), while China took second with 27 medals (11 gold). Japan closed out the top three with 14 medals (five gold).

Finally, a total of three meet records fell as 16-year-old Yu Tao of China (women's 200 IM), Campbell (women's 50 free) and the Australian team of Belinda Hocking, Jessica Legge, Samantha Hamill and Ellese Zalewski (women's 400 medley relay) broke the meet standards.

In addition, Campbell's 50 free Australian All Comer award was one of three set on the day as 14-year-old Kazuki Hayashi of Japan (men's 200 breast) and 14-year-old Shinpei Moriyoshi of Japan (men's 1500 free) also broke All Comer age group records.

Women's 800 freestyle
Australia picked up its ninth gold of the meet when 16-year-old Jacinta Powell touched first in 8:51.73 in the 800 free. Through the initial 400 meters, she traded the lead with 16-year-old Zhu Qianwei of China (8:55.21), but made her move at the 450-meter mark when she took a half-second lead over Zhu with a 4:59.54 against Zhu's 5:00.02.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Shiori Ogawa from Japan rounded out the top three in 8:59.09.

Women's 200 IM
16-year-old Yu Yao of China pipped 15-year-old Samantha Hamill of Australia for the 200 IM title. Both swimmers eclipsed the meet-record time of 2:18.00 set by Lara Carroll of Australia on Jan. 12, 1003. Yu clocked a 2:17.86 for her country's ninth gold medal, while Hamill scored silver in 2:17.93.

Yu led wire-to-wire, but nearly gave up the lead in the final 50 as Hamill clocked a 31.29 final 50 split compared to Yu's 31.91.

In other action, 14-year-old Ellen Fullerton of Australia recorded a 2:18.67 for bronze.

Men's 200 IM
Fresh off setting an Australian All Comer age group award in the 100 fly yesterday, 15-year-old Yosuke Mori of Japan cruised to victory in 2:05.26 in the 200 IM. The win was Japan's fourth of the meet.

His compatriot 14-year-old Takahiro Yamazaki grabbed silver in 2:08.59, while 16-year-old Nathan Broadbent of Australia placed third in 2:09.49.

Women's 50 freestyle
14-year-old Cate Campbell of Australia stole the show with a meet, national age group and All Comer record in the sprint free with a time of 24.89. Not only did that effort lower her meet-record time of 25.15 set during prelims, it also shattered both her national age group and All Comer standard of 25.14 set on Dec. 10, 2006.

The other medal-winners in the event came from 14-year-old Tang Yi of China (26.24) and 16-year-old Caitlin Fletcher of Australia (26.54).

Men's 50 freestyle
16-year-old Jason Schnyder of Australia gave his country its 11th gold of the meet with a first-place time of 23.61 in the splash-and-dash. 16-year-old Ban Bao of China took silver in 23.77, while 15-year-old Daniel Smith of Australia finished third in 24.10.

Women's 200 breaststroke
16-year-old Zhou Wenting of China won her country's 10th title of the meet by clocking a 2:33.29 in the 200 breast. That effort beat 14-year-old Sayuna Sugiyama's second-place time of 2:33.83, while 16-year-old Zhao Jin of China garnered bronze with a time of 2:34.85.

Men's 200 breaststroke
Another All Comer record went down as 14-year-old Kazuki Hayashi of Japan clocked a 2:18.15 for his country's fifth gold of the meet. That time chopped two seconds off his previous All Comer record in the event of 2:20.82 set during prelims.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Chen Jo Hsin of Taipei placed second in 2:12.25, while 16-year-old Jack Laidler of Australia snagged bronze in 2:24.80.

Men's 1500 freestyle
15-year-old Christopher Ashwood of Australia won the distance event in 15:38.77 for Team Aussie's 12th gold of the meet. He stayed in the second-place finisher's, 14-year-old Shinpei Moriyoshi of Japan, hip pocket through the first 1,450 meters before turning on the jets in the final 50 with a 27-flat split after trailing by .52 seconds.

Moriyoshi's 28.68 final sprint could not withstand Ashwood's final kick as he settled for silver in 15:39.93. That time, however, did obliterate the previous Australia All Comer record of 15:47.30 set by Nic Donald on March 29, 2003.

16-year-old Shane Patience of New Zealand rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning time of 15:53.84.

Women's 400 medley relay
Team Aussie won its fifth gold of the day when the foursome of Belinda Hocking, Jessica Legge, Samantha Hamill and Ellese Zalewski won the 400 medley relay in a meet-record time of 4:12.21. China's team of Zhou Yanxin, Zhao Jin, Guo Fan and Tang Yi picked up silver in 4:12.63, while Japan's squad of Yui Kato, Sayuna Sugiyama, Misaki Agou and Shiori Ogawa took bronze in 4:19.01.

Men's 400 medley relay
China scored its third title of the day when the quartet of Zhu Jiang, Ban Bao, Chen Weiwu and Shi Haoran hit the wall first in 3:57.33. That time edged Australia's team of Calum Timms, Nathan Broadbent, Ryan Napoleon and Nick Johnston that finished second in 3:57.38, while Canada's contingent of Evan Buck, Matthew Stephenson, Christopher Bezeau and Willem Hergesheimer pocketed bronze in 3:59.26.

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