CAIRNS, Australia, May 23. LEISEL Jones tonight led Australia White to victory in Cairns in the first of the three-meet Telstra Swimming Grand Prix series – signaling her intentions for this year’s World Championships in Barcelona.
Jones was first to touch the wall in two events on the night program – starting with the rarely contested 300m individual medley (100m butterfly; 50m backstroke; 100m breaststroke; 50m freestyle) in a time of 3:39.02.
In doing so she chalked up a victory over Commonwealth Games medalists Jessica Abbott (Australia Red) and Jennifer Reilly (Australia White).
The 17-year-old Jones then backed up to produce arguably “the time” of the night to take out the 100m breaststroke in a comfortable 1:08.77.
“I was pleasantly surprised with the way I swam in both races, especially the medley,” said Jones, who will make her international medley debut over 200 IM in Barcelona.
“To have to start with a 100m butterfly was a bit scary, but once I got into the breaststroke I felt a lot more comfortable.”
Jones admitted she is a lot more relaxed in her preparation for this year’s World Championships.
“I’m actually a lot more relaxed about not only my swimming but life in general, I’m really enjoying myself.”
Other eye-catching performances came from world champion Matt Welsh (55.99 in the 100m backstroke), Ian Thorpe (2:53.05 in the 300m freestyle), Alice Mills (1:28.41 in the 150m freestyle), Anthony Matkovich (1:20.84 in the 150m freestyle) and non-world championship team members Kasey Giteau (300m freestyle) and Sophie Edington (100m backstroke).