ADELAIDE, Australia, April 28. THOMAS Fraser-Holmes put the shock of disqualification in the 400 freestyle behind him with a big win in the men's 200 freestyle final today at the Australian nationals.
Swimming Australia has implemented qualifying times for the world championships that are faster than the FINA A qualifying standards. Specifically, the top two finishers must equal or beat the time swum by the eighth-place finisher at the 2011 world championships in non-Olympic events.
Fraser-Holmes, who competed in the 200 free final at the London Olympics, roared to the lead in the final 50 meters to take the title with a 1:45.79, breaking his own meet record from last year and setting a personal best by nearly a second. The time puts him in fourth in the world behind Sun Yang (1:44.99), Yannick Agnel (1:45.48) and Jeremy Stravius (1:45.61). Placing second and earning an individual swim at the world championships was Cameron McEvoy with a 1:46.03, a time that sits fifth in the world.
The Australian 800 free relay looks to be in good shape, with 400 freestyle winner David McKeon posting a 1:46.96 and Ned McKendry fourth in 1:47.14. Add up those times and you get 7:05.92, which would have won bronze in the 2012 Olympics, improving on Australia's fifth-place finish last year. Fraser-Holmes and McKendry both swam the 800 free relay in London. Ryan Napoleon, who also competed in the Olympic relay, placed eighth in today's final with a 1:47.79.
Notably, James Magnussen scratched the 200 free final after posting a 1:47.93 in semifinals to qualify third. Also, the top six swimmers in the final eclipsed Australia's tougher qualifying standard of 1:47.39, with Alexander Graham fifth with a 1:47.23 and Jarrod Killey sixth with a 1:47.25.
Emily Seebohm, the second-fastest swimmer all-time in the women's 100 backstroke, is now second in the world in 2013, winning today with a 59.17 that just missed the Australian All-Comers record (similar to the U.S. Open record) of 59.16 held by Japan's Aya Terakawa from earlier this year. Her national record of 58.23 still stands. Only Aya Terakawa's 58.84 is faster so far this year, with reigning Olympic champion Missy Franklin third with a 59.34. Belinda Hocking, known mostly for her 200 back prowess, placed second in 59.63, just off her personal best of 59.29, but good enough for a spot on the Australian Olympic team.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Seebohm broke the All-Comers record in finals today.
Ashley Delaney put himself back on the Australian international team with a 53.63 to win the 100 backstroke. He's now fifth in the world in the event for 2013, giving Australia the potential for a top-eight finish in the event in Barcelona after being shut out of the world championship final in 2011. Australia's more stringent qualifying times puts Benjamin Treffers on the outside of a world championship team berth, missing the country's cut of 53.69 with a 54.15, which is still faster than the FINA A standard of 54.43. Placing third was Daniel Arnamnart with a 54.61.
Sally Foster and Samantha Marshall took down defending national champion Leiston Pickett in the women's 100 breast final, with the 28-year-old Foster gaining the win with a 1:07.46 to Marshall's 1:07.49. Pickett was third with a 1:07.70.
Chelsea Gubecka won the women's 1500 freestyle with a meet record 16:22.35, breaking Melissa Gorman's 16:27.50 from last year. With the women's 1500 free not being an Olympic event, Gubecka will not be added to the team in this event unless she qualifies in an event that is swum at the Olympics. Leah Cutting finished second in 16:51.51 while Bonnie Macdonald was third in 16:56.97.
Similar to the men's 200 freestyle, the women's 200 freestyle final is shaping up to produce not only a stellar 800 free relay but give Australia two world-class competitors for the individual event. Britta Elmslie cruised to the top seed with a 1:57.30, while Olympic bronze medalist Bronte Barratt placed second with a 1:57.37. Emma McKeon, the younger sister of David, looks to join big brother on the world team, qualifying third with a 1:57.88. Kylie Palmer, who swam on the silver medal-winning 800 free relay with Barratt in London, will be seeded fourth in tomorrow's final with a 1:58.12, while fellow relay member Melanie Schlanger qualified sixth with a 1:58.94. (It's unclear if Alicia Coutts is skipping the 200 free altogether this year, or will be granted a spot as a relay member based on her swim at the Olympics.) Also of note, Sweden's Michelle Coleman posted the fastest time of the day, a 1:57.16 that stands sixth in the world.
Christian Sprenger and Brenton Rickard continue to be the class of Australian breaststroke, qualifying first and second in the 50 breast semifinals with times of 27.18 and 28.02, respectively. Sprenger broke the All-Comers record of 27.30 that Rickard had set in 2008, though still shy of Rickard's national record of 26.95.
Grant Irvine was the top qualifier in the men's 200 fly final with a 1:57.49, ahead of Chris Wright's 1:58.38 and Mitchell Pratt's 1:58.74. All swimmers will be eyeing the qualifying time of 1:55.85 to make the team.
In disability swimming finals, Paralympic champion Brenden Hall took the men's 400 freestyle with a 4:13.10, while Mitchell Kilduff won the men's 50 fly with a 27.30. Taylor Corry won the women's 50 fly with a 30.75.