SYDNEY, Australia, January 20. THE Australian Youth Olympic Festival came to a close with Australia and Japan sharing the gold medals. Meanwhile, an Australian All-Comers Age Group record nearly took a tumble.
Australia's Mack Horton, 16, nearly took down a Grant Hackett Australian All-Comers age group record in the men's 1500 free when he touched in 15:04.87. That swim just missed Hackett's incredible 15:03.67 done as a 16-year-old in 1997 on the Australian soil. Japan's Yuto Sato took second in 15:10.58, while Japan's Katsuki Hashiguchi finished third in 15:29.69.
Australia's Alanna Bowles raced to a meet-record time of 8:38.61 in the women's 800 free to start the final evening off. Compatriot Amelia Gould touched second in 8:40.35, while Japan's Tsuzumi Hasegawa earned third in 8:47.75.
The women's 200 IM meet mark fell twice during the day. First, Japan's Yui Ohashi clocked a 2:16.94 in prelims, before Canada's Sydney Pickrem clinched the title at night with a 2:15.15 to 2:15.21 touchout triumph over Ohashi. Australia's Hayley Baker wound up third in 2:15.88.
Japan's Ryo Fujimoto took home the men's 200 IM crown in 2:03.29, just missing the meet record of2:03.27 set by China's Liu Weijia back in 2005. Canada's Evan White placed second in 2:04.30, while New Zealand's Bradlee Ashby claimed third in 2:04.37.
Australia went 1-2 in the women's 50 free with Alexandra Purcell touching first in 25.45 and compatriot Jemma Schlicht posting a 25.80 for second. Cate Campbell's meet standard of 24.89 from 2007 remained on the books. Canada's Paige Kremer picked up third in 25.88.
A pair of sub-23 second times drastically lowered the meet record in the men's 50 free. First, Alex Press turned in a 22.92 in prelims before Australian compatriot Luke Percy raced to a 22.46 to win the finale. Press took second at night in 22.73, while Alexander Graham finished third in 22.95.
Australia's Jenna Strauch raced to victory in the women's 200 breast with a time of 2:27.55, which downed the meet record of 2:28.35 set by Kelli Waite back in 2001. Pickrem earned her second podium of the night with a second-place 2:31.09, while New Zealand's Tash Lloyd finished third in 2:31.36.
The men's 200 breast record underwent a massive revision. In prelims, Japan's Mamoru Mori posted a 2:17.29, before Japanese teammate Kazusa Araya touched him out 2:15.80 to 2:15.95 in the finale. Australia's Joshua Tierney earned third in 2:16.71.
In relay action, Australia's Lauren Rettie, Jessica Hansen, Jemma Schlicht and Alexandra Purcell won the women's 400 medley relay in a meet-record 4:06.89, while Japan's Takeshi Kawamoto, Kohei Goto, Masato Sakai and Toru Maruyama topped the men's 400 medley relay in a meet-mark 3:42.06.