By Stephen J. Thomas
HOBART, August 5. MATT Welsh, the world record-holder and world champ in the long course 50m fly, took out the short course version of this event in a swift 22.82, just 0.08 seconds outside fellow Aussie Geoff Huegill’s world mark.
Welsh has put on a quality performance this meet, and this was his fifth individual title in four days. His other wins were the 50-100-200 backstroke treble and the 100 IM. Welsh has the impressive record of having won the dorsal treble at five consecutive titles. The 26-year-old Welsh was one of only a few big names to grace this meet after the World Championships, where he took silver in the 50-100 back and was the surprise winner in the 50 fly.
Triple World Championship silver medalist, 17-year-old Alice Mills, retained her 200 IM title in a PR 2:12.29. Mills, who also took the four-lap event last night in a new national record, picked up the silver medal in the 200m IM in Barcelona with a sensational swim. Jenny Reilly took the silver with Shayne Reese the bronze.
Leisel Jones, world record-holder over the long course 100m breaststroke, was untroubled to retain her national short course title with a fast 1:05.96, just 0.26 seconds outside Sam Riley’s Aussie mark, giving her the 100-200 double at the meet. Jade Edmistone swam a PR 1:08.00 for silver with world champs team-member Sarah Kasoulis taking bronze.
Thirteen-year-old Stephanie Williams competing in her first open final swam a very mature race to take the 200m backstroke in a PR 2:08.40 (4th all-time Aussie performer), taking over five seconds off her previous best before this meet. AIS-based South Aussie, Karina Leane, took silver in a PR 2:08.88 (7th all-time performer) ahead of Melissa Morgan.
Another teen, 15-year-old Melissa Mitchell, won her first title when she took the 200m freestyle in a PR 1:58.23 (8th fastest all-time Aussie performer) from Melanie Houghton (1:59.81) and Meagan Walker (2:01.78).
In the absence of Aussie record-holder Petria Thomas, 18-year-old Felicity Galvez took the 100m fly in 59.29 from World Championship teammate Jessicah Schippert (59.81) and 15-year-old Danni Miatke (1:00.04).
World Champs team-member, 27-year-old Adam Pine, took the 100m freestyle title in 48.93, outside his PR 48.56, from Johno van Hazel (49.10) and Andrew Dyson (49.23).
Jim Piper retained his 200m breaststroke title with a very solid 2:07.39, just 0.78 seconds outside his national record. Rising stars Brenton Rickard, clocked a PR 2:09.12 for the silver (5th all-time Aussie performer) and James Beasley, winner of the 100-meter race, the bronze in PR 2:09.58 (6th all-time performer).
West Aussie Adam Lucas swept the 200-400 IM double when he won the eight-lap event tonight in 1:59.92 from the previous title-holder, Rob van der Zant (2:00.42) and Louis Paul (2:00.68).
In the absence of his formidable training partner Grant Hackett, 21-year-old Stephen Penfold took a rare freestyle treble – 200-400-1500 when he won the 60-lap race tonight in a time of 14:48.85.