Australian Long Course Nationals: Kylie Palmer Sets Aussie Record

SYDNEY, Australia, April 4. THE Australian Long Course Nationals produced some outstanding swims on day four in Sydney, including a national record.

Kylie Palmer knocked out the national record in the women's 200 free in a touch-out triumph over now-former record holder Bronte Barratt, 1:55.73 to 1:55.74. Both swimmers eclipsed Barratt's 2008 record of 1:56.60 also matched by Stephanie Rice in 2008. Palmer and Barratt now sit first and second in the world rankings this year, while also moved up to 10th and 11th all time in the events history.

Jade Neilsen finished third in 1:57.20, while Angie Bainbridge placed fourth in 1:57.36 for sixth and seventh in the world rankings. Blair Evans moved up to eighth in the rankings with a fifth-place 1:57.59, while Alicia Coutts placed sixth in 1:57.72 to earn 10th in the rankings to demonstrate Australia's remarkable depth in the event.

Brenton Rickard topped the men's 50 breast finale in 27.60 to take second in the rankings this year. Only Giacomo Perez Dortona has been faster with a 27.56 at the French Nationals last month. Christian Sprenger placed second in 28.02, while James Stacey took third in 28.53. Sprenger moved up to 10th in the rankings.

Ryan Napoleon took home the men's 800 free title with a fourth-ranked 7:55.20. Robert Hurley finished second in 8:00.94, while Matthew Levings wound up third in 8:02.74.

Jayden Hadler earned the national title in the men's 200 fly with a sixth-ranked 1:56.28. Travis Nederpelt touched just behind with a 1:56.31 to grab seventh in the rankings, while Lachlan Staples completed the podium with a third-place 1:58.98.

In semifinal action, Matt Targett paced the field in the men's 100 free with a 48.66 to move to fifth in the world rankings. Matthew Abood placed second in 48.69 for seventh in the rankings, while James Magnussen qualified third in 48.71 after clocking a 48.68 in prelims for sixth in the world rankings. James Roberts (48.74) and Eamon Sullivan (48.87) also cleared 49 seconds to set up a deep finale.

Grace Loh improved to fifth in the world rankings in the women's 50 back with a top-seeded 28.31, while Sophie Edington qualified second in 28.50. Belinda Hocking checked in with a third-seeded 28.51. Samantha Hamill led the way in the women's 200 fly with a 2:10.75. Jessicah Schipper (2:11.20) and Amy Smith (2:11.82) qualified second and third. Kenneth To, meanwhile, posted a 2:00.85 for the top seed in the men's 200 IM finale. Mitch Larkin took the second seed with a 2:00.97.

In multi-disability events, Kayla Clarke was listed first in the women's 100 breast with a 1:25.19, while Ahmed Kelly was listed first in the men's 100 breast with a 1:50.55. Kara Leo was listed first in the women's 400 free in 4:49.57.

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