Alicia Coutts Rattles World Record; Takes Down Commonwealth Standard

SYDNEY, Australia, August 24. DURING the second night of full competition at the Australian Short Course Championships, Olympian Alicia Coutts made a run at the women’s 100-meter IM world record before settling for the Commonwealth and Australian standard in the event.

Coutts smoked the sprint medley in a time of 57.71, just missing Katinka Hosszu’s world record of 57.45 set just two weeks ago during the European cluster of the FINA World Cup circuit. Coutts’ time obliterated the Commonwealth and Australian record of 58.50 previously set by Emily Seebohm in 2009. It also took down the Australian All Comers record of 58.54 held by Seebohm from 2009 as well.

“It’s so much fun swimming the 100 IM. It’s not very often that you get to swim something that’s just a bit of fun so I’m pretty happy with that,” said Coutts. “I’d been doing a bit of work in training with John Fowlie before the world championships trying to get close to that world record. Katinka broke it the other week and I wasn’t really sure how fast I was going to go. I did a few time trials in training before worlds, and went 58.4 and 58.3, so I knew that I could go under the Commonwealth record, but I didn’t think I could go that fast.”

Melbourne’s Kotuku Ngawati finished second in the event with a 1:00.35, while Waterlions’ Samantha Wilkins placed third in 1:00.67.

Coutts, representing Redlands QLD, doubled up later in the evening with a sizzling 24.56 in the women’s 50-meter free. Melissa Mitchell finished second in 24.64, while Holly Barrett placed third in 24.69. Southport’s Melanie Schlanger, who is currently bouncing back from several injuries and illnesses that claimed her chance at swimming at Worlds, took fourth in 24.73.

Kenneth To, a short course beast who can shine in nearly any 25-meter meet due to his underwater prowess, snared the men’s 100-meter breaststroke title in 59.12. Traralgon’s Jeremy Meyer finished half-a-second back in 59.52, while Nunawading’s Max Ireland earned third in 59.96.

To doubled up with a 1:54.55 to win the men’s 200-meter IM for his second win of the night and third gold medal in as many tries. Sam Beinke (1:58.19) and Justin James (1:56.28) finished second and third in the finale.

Former British Olympian Ellen Gandy, who recently changed national affiliations to Australia, clinched gold in the women’s 100-meter fly. She raced her way to victory in 56.94, while Melbourne Vicentre’s Christina Licciardy finished second in 57.84. Madeline Groves rounded out the podium with a 58.73.

After winning gold in the 200 back last night, Belinda Hocking returned tonight with a 58.83 to capture victory in the women’s 100-meter backstroke. Tonight required a lot more effort, however, with Sydney’s Hayley White placing a close second in 58.92. Mikkayla Sheridan wound up third in 59.27.

Sally Foster, coming off a strong World Championship meet that including gold and silver medals, topped the women’s 200-meter breast in 2:20.07. Lorna Tonks (2:23.69) and Aisling Scott (2:26.37) finished second and third.

Bobby Hurley took home his second title of the meet so far with a 1:44.24 in the men’s 200-meter freestyle. Woden’s Hugo Morris pushed him throughout the swim with a second-place 1:44.62, while Kurt Herzog snagged bronze in 1:45.11.

Nathaniel Romeo popped a 22.92 to win the men’s 50-meter fly, while Cranbrook’s Mitchell Paterseon finished well behind in the sprint fly with a second-place 23.25. TSS’s David Morgan ran down bronze with a time of 23.34.

Matson Lawson powered past Travis Mahoney down the stretch in the men’s 200-meter backstroke to emerge victorious from the distance dorsal with a 1:51.74, while Mahoney settled for second in 1:52.02. Joshua Beaver wrapped up the podium with a third-place time of 1:52.49.

Ryde-Carlile’s Laura Crockart picked up her third title of the week with a 4:05.36 in the women’s 400-meter freestyle. This added to her wins in the 800 and 1500 free, including a Commonwealth mark in the 1500 free on the first night of action. Southport’s Amy Levings took second in 4:06.14, while Zoe Elkerton placed third in 4:11.60.

In multi-class events, Sydney’s Sarah Rose was listed first in the women’s 100-meter fly with a 1:30.91. Ginninderra’s Aaron Rhind was listed first in the men’s 100-meter fly with a 1:13.99. Sean Russo was listed first in the men’s 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:02.23, while Taylor Corry was listed first in the women’s 100-meter back in 1:08.24. Ahmed Kelley was listed first in the men’s 50-meter breast in 52.67, while Amanda Fowler was listed first in the women’s 50-meter breast in 37.75.