PERTH, Australia, January 19. THE BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series proved to be a complete success as the hosts won the overall team competition over China and South Africa in Perth.
The meet was set up in a special double dual-meet format, allowing only two swimmers from each of the three countries to compete in each event. China and Australia's squads featured many Olympic medalists, while South Africa's federation elected to send mostly rookies to the international scene for racing experience. In addition to per-race cash prizes, the event offered $15,000 to the top male and female swimmers of the meet, based on FINA points scored in individual events. Those two prizes were won by Christian Sprenger and Cate Campbell.
The second day opened up with Australia's Bronte Campbell, James Roberts, Brittany Elmslie and Ashley Delaney winning the mixed 200 free relay in 3:11.28, while China's Tang Yi, Lu Zhiwu, Wang Haibing and Shi Yang took second in 3:11.44.
Cate Campbell then rocketed to a 24.46 in the women's 50 free to give Australia another gold, as Bronte Campbell earned second in 25.11. South Africa's Trudi Maree earned third in 25.50. Matt Targett upset James Magnussen in the men's 50 free with a 22.00 to 22.21 victory over his compatriot, while China's Lu Zhiwu earned third in 22.59.
Australia had another 1-2 as Sarah Katsoulis (2:26.52) and Sally Foster (2:26.85) battled in a close finish in the women's 200 breast. China's He Yun finished a distant third in 2:33.45. Sprenger dominated the men's 200 breast with a time of 2:11.27, while teammate Brenton Rickard took second in 2:14.30. Chian's Yunkun Huang snared third in 2:17.64.
Lu Ying stopped the Australian steamroll with a 58.57 to 58.66 triumph over Australia's Alicia Coutts in the women's 100 fly. South Africa's Marne Erasmus moved into the medals with a third-place time of 1:00.23. Australia's Chris Wright (52.69) and Jayden Hadler (52.77) went 1-2 in the men's 100 fly, while China's Chen Yin earned third in 54.17.
The 400 free relay break came next with Australia's Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger winning in 3:39.05 with China drawing a disqualification. South Africa's team took second in 3:49.57. Australia's James Roberts, Matt Targett, Kenrick Monk and James Magnussen won the men's 400 free relay with Magnussen clocking a 48.38 anchor leg. China's Lu Zhiwu,Shi Yang, Shi Tengfei and Wang Shun placed second in 3:22.02. South Africa picked up third in 3:25.41.
In a mixed 800 free swim, South Africa's Myles Brown got into the win column for his nation with a 7:59.12, while Australia's Ryan Napoleon took second in 7:59.58. China's Shao Yiwen topped the women's part of the race with an 8:34.35 to 8:45.24 win over Meagan Nay of Australia.
Australia's Leiston Pickett (31.07) and Sarah Katsoulis (31.26) finished first and second in the women's 50 breast, while China's Zhao Jin took third in 32.29. Sprenger then doubled up with a 27.37 to win the men's 50 breast. South Africa's Giulio Zorzi placed second in 27.73, while Rickard took third in 28.05.
Australia's Emily Seebohm then cleared 1:00 in the women's 100 back with a 59.77, while China's Fu Yuanhui placed second in 1:00.50. Australia's Belinda Hocking took third in 1:00.87. China's Cheng Feiyi raced to victory in the men's 100 back with a 54.42, while Australia's Daniel Arnamnart (54.70) and Ashley Delaney (55.11) completed the podium.
Australia's Bronte Barrett topped the women's 200 free in 1:58.12, while teammate Brittany Elmslie placed second in 1:58.72. China's Guo Jun Jun earned third-place honors in 1:59.59. Thomas Fraser-Holmes snared the men's 200 free title in 1:46.62, while teammate David McKeon earned second in 1:48.50. China's Yun Hao posted a 1:50.00 for third.
World-record holder Ye Shiwen of China crushed the field in the women's 400 IM with a 4:37.04, while Australia's Samantha Hamill took second in 4:42.73. Australia's Alicia Coutts finished third in 4:44.90. China's Wang Shun picked up the men's 400 IM title in 4:17.85, while Australia's Mitch Larkin (4:19.98) and Daniel Tranter (4:23.53) finished second and third.
South Africa's Nathania Van Niekerk, Tara-Lynn Nicholas, Marne Erasmus and Trudi Maree was the only team able to complete a legal women's 400 medley relay, earning the win in 4:13.80 with China and Australia both drawing disqualifications. Australia's Daniel Arnamnart, Christian Sprenger, Christ Wright and James Magnussen won the men's 400 medley relay in 3:36.36. China's Cheng Feiyi, Li Xiayin, Chen Yin and Lu Zhiwu took second in 3:41.39.
Results: BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series