Jessica Ashwood Breaks Australian All-Comers Record in 1500 Free

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

London Olympian Jessica Ashwood has made a record breaking return home tonight setting a new Australian and Australian All-Comers record on the opening night of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Swimming Championships in Sydney.

Ashwood, 22, clocked 15:43.83 to take just over two seconds off the previous mark of 15:45.89, set by Laura Crockart in 2013, in an eye-catching 60 laps at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

This year’s FINA World Championship bronze medallist over 400 metres freestyle from Kazan now holds the Australian long course records for 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle and the 1500m freestyle short course record.

Fellow Queenslanders, 18-year-old Moesha Johnson from Coopers Burleigh took home the silver medal in a time of 16:09.80 and Australian open water star Chelsea Gubecka (Kawana Waters) the bronze in 16:15.79.

The Sydney-born Ashwood, who moved to Brisbane just over 12 months ago to train with noted Olympic coach Vince Raleigh, has her sights set on her second Olympics in Rio net year in the 400 and 800m freestyle.

Ashwood went through the first 400m in 4:11.84 and the 800m split in 8:25.71, admitting she was doing it tough.

“I’m normally not very good at short course. I struggle in terms of the tactics with the longer distance, so I think I went a bit too hard too early,” Ashwood said. “I struggled a little bit with the turns but it was a good outcome (in the end) so I’m happy with it. I was hoping I could go that fast and get the record tonight, so it’s very exciting (a good start) to a meet where I’m really looking to improving on my times from last year and also working on my skills, like turns and dives. I can use them when we do go into the long course meets.”

Ashwood said she was most looking forward to the 400m on Friday but next up she has the 800m freestyle tomorrow night.

The men’s 800m went to local boy Jacob Hansford (SOPAC, NSW) in a personal best time of 7:45.07 from Ethan Owens (Marion, SA) 7:52.27.

The heats will commence tomorrow from 10:00am with finals from 6:00pm AEDST.

LIVE STREAMING will be available via the Australian Swim Team YouTube channel:

Swimming Australia contributed this report.