Australian Short Course Championships: Leisel Jones Handed DQ, Nick Ffrost Wins Close Race, Blake Cochrane Sets Disability World Record

BRISBANE, Australia, July 14. THE first day of finals at the Australian short course championships featured a surprising disqualification in prelims and a few close battles in finals, where swimmers were selected for the Australian short course world championship team. Also, an IPC world record was also broken on the opening night.

Leisel Jones was disqualified for a false start in the heats of the 50 breaststroke today, with Jones' coach, Rohan Taylor, telling media that "she just lost balance on the blocks and couldn't stop herself and fell in."

Leiston Pickett appears to be in good shape to take the 50 breast title after posting a 30.46 in the semifinals, more than a half-second ahead of Kristy Morrison and Sarah Katsoulis.

Three finals were contested in Brisbane today. Nick Ffrost led a close battle for the top three spots in the 200 free final, winning in 1:45.12. Tommaso D'Orsogna, last year's short course champion, finished a tick behind in 1:45.22, and Kyle Richardson was third in 1:45.50.

Felicity Galvez and Sam Hamill upset long course world champion Jessicah Schipper in the 200 fly, with Galvez winning the event in 2:04.76 and Hamill finishing second in 2:06.18. Schipper was third with a 2:07.12.

The women's 400 IM saw Hamill make her second trip to the podium, this time to the top. Hamill won easily in 4:32.58 over Amy Levings' 4:36.27 and Mikkayla Masselli-Sheridan's 4:36.29.

Other semifinal races featured long course world record holders Christian Sprenger and Brenton Rickard as the top two seeds going into the men's 100 breast final. Sprenger leads the way with a 59.40, with Rickard right behind in 59.84.

Emily Seebohm, the fastest 100 backstroker over long course this year, showed her dominance in short course as well with a top-seeded time of 57.47 in the 100 back semifinals. Sophie Edington and Rachel Goh will also do battle in the finals after swimming times of 59.00 and 59.09, respectively, in semifinals.

The top time in the men's 100 backstroke semifinal went to Daniel Arnamnart with a 51.81. Olympic medallist Hayden Stoeckel posted the second-fastest time with a 52.32, and Ashley Delaney was third in 52.71.

Christopher Wright is the top qualifier for the men's 100 butterfly final with a seed time of 51.53. Daniel Lester and Jayden Hadler joined Wright in the sub-52 second club with times of 51.84 and 51.86, respectively. Notably, 2000 Olympic medallist and comeback story Geoff Huegill just missed the final with a ninth-place time of 52.35.

Melbourne Vicentre won the men's 400 free relay by a tenth over Chandler of Queensland, 3:15.84 to 3:15.94. Chandler led the race until the final turn, when Melbourne's Cameron Prosser overtook Christopher Wright and posted a 47.77 split over Wright's 48.38 anchor leg. St. Peters Western was also in the title hunt, but Kenrick Monk's 47.62 split could not overtake Chandler, and they finished third in 3:16.01.

St. Peters Western won the women's 800 free relay with a 7:59.02, three seconds ahead of Nunwading, who was second in 8:03.04. Brothers of Queensland was third in 8:05.46.

In multi-disability action, Blake Cochrane just dipped under his own IPC world record of 36.87 for the SB7 category in the men's 50 breaststroke, swimming a 36.86. Tanya Hueber was the winner of the women's multi-class 50 breaststroke with a 48.99.