Emily Seebohm Scares 200 Back World Record

Emily Seebohm ©Paul Seiser/SPA Images
Photo Courtesy: Paul Seiser/SPA Images

The world’s premier backstrokers Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin continued on their record-breaking spree on night two of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre tonight.

Seebohm, who withdrew from the 100m freestyle earlier in the night to concentrate on the 200m backstroke, was only just outside the world record – missing Katinka Hosszu’s 2014 world best by just 0.26 of a second.

The 23-year-old clocked 1:59.49 (27.83; 58.24; 1:29.29) to break her own Commonwealth, Australian and Australian All Comers records and record the second fastest time in history and only the second swimmer under two minutes.

“I said to myself this afternoon I’d be happy to swim under two minutes and I did that – close to the world record but I’m not disappointed, world records are there to be broken and they don’t last long,” said Seebohm, the dual long course world champion from Kazan this year.

“I’m stoked with that time and I’m really looking forward to the 100m tomorrow to see what I can do – 2015 has been a great year and it couldn’t be better leading into next year – I can’t wait.”

London Olympic finalist Belinda Hocking (Nunawading, VIC) was second in 2:02.41 with world championship silver medallist Madi Wilson (St Peters Western) third in 2:02.98 and world junior champion Minna Atherton (Brisbane Grammar) fourth in 2:04.37

Minutes later, fellow dual world champion, Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) successfully defended his Australian title, in a new Australian record time of 22.91 (11.44) – taking 0.13 off Robert Hurley’s 2012 time of 23.04.

He was only 0.06secs off South African Gerhard Zandberg’s Commonwealth mark of 22.85 set towards the back end of the super-suit era in 2009.

“It’s a real splash and dash event and it’s a good hit out for my two main events the 100 and 200m coming up over the next two days and I’m really looking forward to those events,” said Larkin, who has re-written the record books over 100 and 200m backstroke this year.

Second was world championship bronze medallist Ben Treffers (Burley Griffin, ACT) 24.16 with David Morgan (TSS, QLD) third in 24.39.

The women’s 400m individual medley saw Ellen Fullerton (Chandler, QLD) start the record haul when she equalled her own Australian and Australian All-comers record set in 2009 of 4:28.72 with Blair Evans (West Coast, WA) second in 4:31.82 and Keryn McMaster (Chandler, QLD) third in 4:33.49.

And it followed last night’s Australian and Australian All-Comers 1500m record of 15:43.83 to Jessica Ashwood, who won tonight’s 800m in a personal best time and the third best by an Australian in 8:13.63.

Earlier in the night Cate Campbell admitted that if tonight’s 100m freestyle was 101metres she would have to be “fished off the bottom of the pool” but she was still delighted with her winning time of 51.38 and to hold off the field.

In a world class final Campbell, the 2013 World long course champion hung on to beat Glasgow Commonwealth Games golden girl Emma McKeon (St Peters Western) 51.76 with current world long course champion Bronte Campbell third in 51.81 – all girls under 52 seconds in another show of strength from the world’s premier female sprinters.

Pan Pacific champion and world championship silver medallist Cam McEvoy swam away from the field to win the men’s 100m freestyle in 46.31 (22.33) from Kenneth To (Trinity Grammar) 47.31 and Tommaso D’Orsogna (47.34).

Later in the night McEvoy finished third behind a brilliant performance by 2012 Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes (Miami, QLD) who became the third fastest Australian male behind legends, his training partner Grant Hackett and Ian Thorpe, clocking 3:37.63 with defending champion David McKeon(Chandler, QLD) 3:40.34 and McEvoy (Bond, QLD) 3:41.66.

Hackett holds the Australian record at 3:34.58, with Thorpe’s best 3:34.63.

Meanwhile, another eye-catching swim came from 18-year-old Georgia Bohl (St Peters Western), daughter of renowned coach Michael Bohl who broke through for her first major Australian title to win the 100m breaststroke.

She clocked the fourth fastest time ever by an Australian, in 1:04.65, surging past  three former world champions in Samantha Riley, Brooke Hansonand Jade Edmistone in the process. Bohl now has her sights set on challenging for a place on next year’s Rio Olympic team.

In other events:

–          London Olympic silver medallist over 100m Christian Sprenger (Commercial) returned to form with a confidence-boosting win in the 50m breaststroke final in 26.87 from Joshua Palmer (Marion, SA) 27.02 and Jake Packard (USC, QLD) 27.05.

–          Chris Wright (Southport Olympic) looked in complete control throughout to win the 200m butterfly in 1:52.58 from David Morgan(TSS) 1:54.29 and Nicholas Brown (Western Sprint,  WA) 1:55.11.

–          Emma McKeon (St Peters Western) was a comfortable winner of the 50m butterfly in 25.35 from Madeline Groves (St Peters Western) 25.91 with former world champion and Commonwealth record holder Marieke D’Cruz third in 26.06.

–          Sydney-sider Mitchell Kilduff picked up a gold medal in front of a home crowd tonight in the men’s Multi Class 50m freestyle. Kilduff took top spot in a time of 24.49 ahead of Grant Scooter Patterson in 53.89 and Canberra-based Joshua Alford in 24.87.

–          Alford then moved his way up the ranks in the next event, upgrading to gold in the men’s Multi Class 100m freestyle. Alford’s time of 53.76 put him ahead of both Patterson (1:54.65) and Kilduff (54.16).

–          Sydney based swimmers Tiffany Thomas-Kane and Ellie Cole kept the New South Wales fans happy as they took out an event each in the Multi Class women’s finals. Thomas-Kane blitzed the 50m freestyle with a 35.43 to take gold ahead of Cole in 28.98 with Madeleine Scott bagging the bronze in 29.08.

–          Then Cole took a step up on the podium and into first place in the final of the women’s 100m Multi Class free with a 1:02.02. The silver medal went to Lakeisha Patterson in 1:07.46 with Taylor Corry rounding out the top three in 1:00.77.

Swimming Australia contributed this report.

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