Gabrielle Fa’amausili Dominates 100 Backstroke in Opening Day of Oceania Championships

Gabrielle Fa'amausili celebrates a Junior PanPac qualifying time in the 100m backstroke during the Swimming NZ, National Age Group Championships, Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre, Kilbirnie, Wellington, Tuesday 19 April 2016. Photo: Simon Watts/
Photo Courtesy: BW Media

The 2016 Oceania Championships began with the open water 10K on Monday in Fiji. Tuesday through Friday feature pool swimming at the Damodar Aquatic Centre, before the week finishes with the 5K on Saturday. Fifteen delegations are competing.

In the 10K at the Upraising Beach Resort, Alessandra Colombini of Australia was the top finisher with a 2:41:50.5. Fellow Australian Bianca Crisp was second in 2:42:27.8 and New Zealand’s Stephanie Gillespie was third.

For the men, Australia’s Jack Brazier finished first while his teammate Lachlan Coluhoun earned silver.

Australia picked up another win in the first pool event as Cameron Jones touched in 24.27 to top the men’s 50 butterfly. In second was 34 year old veteran Ryan Pini of Papau New Guinea in 24.45. Third went to New Zealand’s Daniel Hunter with a 24.62.

For the women, Helena Gasson of New Zealand was first to the wall in 27.14. Joining her under 28 seconds were Australian teammates Mikaela Cornelissen (27.47) and Abby Duncan (27.58).

The men’s 200 freestyle saw Australian men take the top two spots with Jake Kersten stopping the clock in 1:51.45 and Thomas Wotton touching in 1:53.39. Samuel Seghers of Papau New Guinea rounded out the podium with a 1:53.64.

In 2:02.37 Australian Acacia Wildin-Snedden took women’s 200 freestyle gold. New Zealand teammates Carina Doyle and Yeonsu Lee completed the podium in 2:02.96 and 2:03.52.

Zac Incerti of Australia swam away with the men’s 100 backstroke, finishing in 54.94. Jackson Cropp and Corneille Coetzee, both of new Zealand earned silver and bronze with times of 56.98 and 57.20.

The women’s 100 backstroke saw three different teams represented on the podium. Gabrielle Fa’amausili of New Zealand posted a 1:02.38 to dominate the final. Samoa’s Lushavel Stickland was second in 1:05.96 and New Caledonia’s Anais Toven posted a 1:06.71 for third.

In a six man 200 butterfly final, New Zealand’s Wilrich Coetzee clocked the top time of 2:00.44. Teammate David Van Der Star swam a third place 2:04.90. In between the two was Australian Thomas Worron in 2:01.43.

Alice Stuart clocked a 2:10.65 to win the women’s 200 butterfly. Her fellow Australian, 15 year old Kara Svenson, finished third in 2:16.21. Second went to New Zealand’s Helena Gasson in 2:12.67.

Cook Islands’ Wesley Robert dominated the men’s 1500 in 15:42.27. Hawaii’s Michael Petrides swam a 16:22.19 for second. Third went to Troy Balvert of New Zealand in 16:22.58.

The mixed 200 freestyle relay title went to Australia’s Kersten, Jones, Duncan, and Natasha Ramsden in 1:37.17. New Zealand took home the mixed 400 medley relay in 3:54.39 with the team of Fa’amausili, Jacob Garrod, Gasson, and Hunter.

Full results here: 2016 Oceania Championships: Day 1 – Results