Siblings Emma, David McKeon Put On Show At Australian Short Course Champs


Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

ADELAIDE – Swimming Australia’s brother and sister act Emma and David McKeon added their own golden glow to the 2014 Australian Short Course Swimming Championships at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Adelaide tonight.

Triple Commonwealth Games gold medallist Emma started proceedings in the blue ribband 100m freestyle, then added the 50m butterfly before completing a rare treble in the 400m freestyle.

She demonstrated her dominance and showed off the experience gained on the recent FINA World Cup circuit, coming from behind to beat fastest qualifier Bronte Campbell in the 100m freestyle final.

A powerful final turn proved the deciding factor in McKeon’s win after Campbell had set the pace over the first three laps.

Emma (Chandler, QLD) stopped the clock at 51.83 (just outside her PB of 51.69) ahead of Campbell (Commercial, QLD) 52.14 with Brittany Elmslie (St Peters Western, QLD) 52.66 taking the bronze.

The Glasgow golden girl was back in the water within 20 minutes to chalk up her second victory of the night, out-touching Elmslie and former long course World Champion Marieke D‘Cruz (SOPAC, NSW) to win the 50m butterfly.
McKeon, fresh from competing with brother David on the FINA World Cup circuit clocked 25.78 with Elmslie stopping the clock at 25.87 and D’Cruz 25.95.

Big brother David, who also relished the racing at the recent FINA World Cups took out an all-Queensland finish in the prestigious 400m freestyle final in a personal best time of 3:38.17.

But Emma then showed ‘anything you can do I can do too’ and she won a surprise gold in the corresponding women’s 400m freestyle, finishing in a personal best time of 4:00.63 – the fourth fastest time by an Australian behind Blair Evans and Beijing Olympic 4x200m freestyle relay gold medallists Kylie Palmer and Bronte Barratt.

Emma, who is coached by Vince Raleigh out of Chandler, after graduating from her father Ron’s program in Wollongong, was out in 57.35 and split 1:58.02 at the 200m mark.

A noted 100 and 200m swimmer, admitted she has never enjoyed swimming the 400m, but maybe now she will reluctantly consider swimming it again.

“I entered it here and thought I would give it a shot; I usually don’t race it to plan but tonight I did stick to the plan and put some effort into it from the start and it paid off,” McKeon said. “I looked up and saw my time 4.00.63 and although I was impressed; it would have been nice to go under four minutes; I guess I’ll have to do another one now which I know I won’t be too keen on.”

McKeon said the time she had put into her turns and skills for short course had given her enormous confidence and she would now go back to Brisbane under coach Vince Raleigh to transfer what she had learnt into her next long course preparation for next year’s Australian Championships and World Championship selection trials in Sydney (April 3-10, 2015).

She held on to win her third gold of the night from her Chandler club mate Jessica Ashwood (4:01.76) with Leah Neale (Indooroopilly) in 4:02.24 and both girls also clocking personal best times.

Madison Wilson (St Peters Western, QLD) held on for a last gasp win ahead of fastest-finishing dual Olympian Emily Seebohm to claim the 200m backstroke final in a personal best time of 2:01.75 – just 0.12 ahead of Seebohm (Nudgee) in 2:01.87 with her team mate Mikkayla Sheridan third in 2:04.65.

But Seebohm was on top of the podium later in the night when she showed off her versatility to win gold in the 100m individual medley in a time of 58.45 ahead of Kotuku Ngawati (Vicentre) in 1:00.06 and Hayley Baker (Vicentre) in 1:00.19.

One of the closest events of the evening came in the men’s 200m breaststroke with Brisbane’s Pan Pac representative Jake Packard adding his second gold to the 100m title from last night -but only just.

In a lunging finish Packard won in 2:07.38 to WA’s Leonard Bremer (2:07.45) and the world’s number one 200m freestyler Tom Fraser-Holmes (2:07.46) with just 0.08 between them.

But Fraser-Holmes was back in the winners’ circle in the 200m individual medley, claiming gold in 1:54.86 from Mackay’s Justin James (1:55.29) and 400 IM winner Travis Mahoney (Nunawading) 1:55.32.

In the men’s 50m freestyle final, SOPAC’s Matt Abood won another thrilling finish, nudging Cameron McEvoy by just 0.1secs – 21.32 to 21.33 with Te Haumi Maxwell third (23.69).

In the opening Multi-Class events, Menai, NSW’s Sean Russo improved his own world record to win the 100m backstroke in 58.87 – eclipsing his heat swim world mark of 59.21. Ahmed Kelly (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) finished second in 1:59.23 and Jacob Templeton (Devonport, TAS) third in 1:02.4.

In the women’s event Nelson Bay Paralympic silver medallist Taylor Corry produced a world class time of 1:07.86 to take the gold from London Paralympic team mate and relay gold medallist Katherine Downie (Westside Christ Church) in 1:08.26 with Ashleigh Cockburn (Ginninderra, NSW) third in 1:11.51.

Corry then added another gold medal to her tally with a win in the 100m freestyle Multi Class with a personal best time of 1:01.13. The silver medal went to Maddison Elliott in 1:07.54 with SLC Aquadot swimmer Amy Cook rounding out the top three in 1:04.21.

The final event of the evening saw Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson set a new S3 short course world record in the men’s Multi Class 100m freestyle. Patterson dropped two seconds off his heat swim to take the title in a time of 1:52.31. Silver medallist Rowan Crothers also clocked a world’s best time for the S9 classification with his time of 52.77. The bronze medal went to Joshua Alford from Tuggeranong Vikings in 54.48.

In other events…

Men’s 50m Backstroke semi-final

Gold medallist and Commonwealth short course record holder in the 100m backstroke Mitch Larkin will move through to the final of the men’s 50m backstroke as the fastest qualifier after posting a time of 23.40. Defending champion and Australian record holder in this event Bobby Hurley will be hot on his heels, progressing in a time of 23.66 with Ben Treffers third in 23.89.

Men’s 50m Butterfly semi-final

After taking the 100m butterfly title earlier in the meet, David Morgan will now go through to the final of the men’s 50m butterfly ranked first with a time of 23.22. Both Tommaso D’Orsgona and Jayden Hadler will be up in the mix for a medal after posting 22.25 and 22.26 respectively.

Women’s 100m Breaststroke semi-final

With just under 0.4 of a second separating the top three swimmers in the women’s 100m breaststroke, the title will be anyone’s for the taking. Leiston Pickett (1:05.47), Lorna Tonks (1:05.56) and Jessica Hansen (1:05.80) will all be fighting for first place tomorrow night after taking the top three times respectively.

Results: Australian Short Course Championships

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