Rio Olympic hopeful Emma McKeon has saved the best till last, smashing the seven-year-old 200m freestyle Commonwealth record on the final night of competition at the Swimming NSW State Open Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre tonight.
McKeon touched the wall in 1:55.53, breaking the 2009 Commonwealth record set by British girl Joanne Jackson in 2009 by the barest of margins – 0.01 of a second as well as lowering her own Australian record by 0.04.
“I was expecting to do a fast time because of the times I have been doing in training, but when I touched the wall it didn’t really feel like anything great – which I think is a good thing,” McKeon said, who will contest the 100 and 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly at next month’s Hancock Prospecting Australian Championships in Adelaide in the race to Rio.
“It’s been going really well,” she said of her preparation. “I’ve learnt a lot over the last two years and I’ve grown up a lot.”
Her St Peters Western training partner and dual Olympian Bronte Barratt also showed her determination to go out with a bang in Rio, swimming 1:55.95 to win silver with emerging star Leah Neale rounding out the medals with bronze in 1:59.82.
Barratt, a golden girl in the 4x200m freestyle in Beijing and a bronze medallist in the 200m in London, will hang up her Speedo’s – hopefully as a triple Olympian.
McKeon, brother of London Olympian David, who is also in the hunt for this year’s team is also the daughter of 1980 and 1984 Olympian Ron McKeon and 1982 Commonwealth Games swimmer Susie Woodhouse.
Her uncle, Rob Woodhouse is an Olympic bronze medallist from 1984, who is also a respected sports manager and Olympic broadcaster.
And the surprises kept coming for head coach Jacco Verhaeren, with London gun James Magnussen posting a season best 48.85 seconds as the lead swimmer in the final event of the night, the 4 x 100m freestyle club relay for his club Ravenswood.
The time came after the two-time world champion and London 100m silver medallist stamped his ownership on the 50m freestyle final, where he won the gold in 22.42 seconds.
“I’ve had an extra day’s rest from when I trained last so I was feeling a bit better [than on Friday for the 100m freestyle],” Magnussen said.
“I thought I had spent a bit in that 50, but I just went after it a bit more in the 100 and tried to go a bit more off instinct and get a bit more aggressive with it and that worked really well.
“It put a smile on my face. I know I am around there [48 seconds] if not quicker. But the racing is just not quite feeling the way it used to.
“But I know from my training times that I am right there. I was going to keep my confidence from training but that’s a nice little boost right there for the end of the weekend.”
Magnussen’s training partner, American William Copeland was a fingernail behind in second placing second in 22.43 with his London ream mate James Roberts third in 22.59.
In further encouraging news, Australia’s most successful London Olympian Alicia Coutts laid down a very impressive swim in the 200m individual medley, showing she is back from injury, back in form and back for a positive end to her swimming career.
The multiple Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist clocked an impressive 2:09.99, and was thrilled with not just her time, but how she felt in the lead up to what will ultimately be her last bid for a third Olympic Games Olympic Games in Rio.
“I’m back! I’ve been training really, really hard,” Coutts said.
“I wanted to make sure I had given it everything in the lead up to Nationals to give myself every chance to make the team.
‘I want to finish on a positive note. If what I’ve done is not enough to be selected to the team, I know I have given it everything I could have done. But after swimming this weekend, it’s given me a lot more confidence in myself.”
Japan’s Kanako Watanabe was second in 2:11.92 and Taylor McKeown third in 2:13.97.
And in the 100m backstroke final, World Champion Mitch Larkin was as impressive as always, winning comfortably in 53.14, from fellow Kazan medallist Benjamin Treffers (54.29) with Beijing Olympian Ashley Delaney third in 54.42.
Swimming NSW contributed this report.
RESULTS (In order of the events being contested)
Women’s 200m Butterfly
1. Sehyun An (V-Korea) 2:09.34
2. Helena Gasson (V-New Zealand) 2:10.98
3. Miyu Nakano (V-Japan) 2:11.53
Men’s 100m Butterfly
1. Chris Wright (Southport Olympic) 52.92
2. Daniel Lester (Lawnton) 53.09
3.Nao Horomura (V-Japan) 53.14
Women’s 50m Breaststroke
1. Georgia Bohl (V-St Peters Western) 30.88
2. Sally Hunter (V-Marion) 31.15
3. Jenni Johansson (V-USC Spartans) 31.25
Men’s 200m Breaststroke
1. Matthew Wilson (SOPAC) 2:11.34
2. Hayato Watanabe (V-Japan) 2:11.43
3. Jake Packard (V-USC Spartans) 2:14.69
Men’s 100m Freestyle Multi-Class
1. Rowan Crothers (S10) (V-Yeronga Park) 52.67
2. Samuel Greatorex (S15) (V-Nunawading) 54.58
3. Braedan Jason (S13) (V-USC Spartans) 54.32
Women’s 100m Freestyle Multi-Class
1. Taylor Corry (S14) (Nelson Bay) 1:02.31
2. Ellie Cole (S9) (Castle Hill RSL Dolphins) 1:03.83
3. Amy Cook (S14) (SLC Aquadot) 1:05.78
Women’s 200m Freestyle
1. Emma McKeon (V-St Peters Western) 1:55.53
2. Bronte Barratt (V-St Peters Western) 1:55.95
3. Leah Neale (V- USC Spartans) 1:59.82
Men’s 50m Freestyle
1. James Magnussen (Ravenswood) 22.42
2. William Copeland (Ravenswood) 22.43
3. James Roberts (V- Somerset) 22.59
Women’s 200m Individual Medley
1. Alicia Coutts (V –Redlands) 2:09.99
2. Kanako Watanabe (V-Japan) 2:11.92
3. Taylor McKeown (V-USC Spartans) 2:13.97
Men’s 400m Individual Medley
1. Travis Mahoney (V-Nunawading) 4:22.91
2. Jared Gilliland (V-Chandler) 4:24.30
3. Mitchell Donaldson (
Women’s 50m Backstroke
1. Madison Wilson (V-St Peters Western) 28.49
2. Hayley Baker (V-Melbourne Vicentre) 28.76
3. Marieke D’Cruz (SOPAC) 29.04
Men’s 100m Backstroke
1. Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) 53.14
2. Benjamin Treffers (Burley Griffin) 54.29
3. Ashley Delaney (V-Nunawading) 54.42
Men’s 1500m Freestyle
1. Jack McLoughlin (V-Chandler) 15:15.16
2. Jarrod Poort (Wests Illawarra Aquatic) 15:27.56
3. Ethan Owens (V-Marion) 15:39.16
Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Club Relay
1. Melbourne Vicentre 3:46.82
2. Ravenswood 3:47.57
3. Japan 3:49.50
Men’s 100m Breaststroke Multi-Class
1. Blake Cochrane (S7) (V-USC Spartans) 1:17.99
2. Rick Pendleton (S9) (V-USC Spartans) 1:09.65
3. Richard Eliason (S14) (Ginninderra) 1:12.66
Women’s 100m Breaststroke Multi-Class
1. Tiffany Thomas Kane (S6) (Ravenswood) 1:39.68
2. Paige Leonhardt (S9) (Wingham) 1:21.33
3. Madeleine Scott (S9) (Canberra) 1:22.58