Zac Stubblety-Cook’s Sizzling 2:06.28 Down Under Sets Up A Tokyo Showdown With Anton Chupkov

ZAC STUBBLETY-COOK FINISH
GAMES ON: Zac Stubblety-Cook has set up a date with Anton Chupkov in a 200m breaststroke shoot out.Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Zac Stubblety-Cook’s Sizzling 2:06.28 Down Under Sets Up A Tokyo Showdown With Anton Chupkov

Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook has set up an Olympic showdown with Anton Chupkov in Tokyo after missing the Russian’s 200 breast world record by just 0.14 in a race against the clock at the Australian Trials in Adelaide last night.

Stubblety-Cook, the 22-year-old Queenslander, clocked the second fastest time in history with his new Commonwealth, Australian and Australian All-Comers record time of 2:06.28.

On a night that saw heartbreak for former world record holder Matthew Wilson (SOPAC Swim Team) who finished second in 2:08.52 – 0.24 outside the Tokyo Time required to make the team – the 22-year-old leaving the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre for the second time in five years after missing the team for Rio in 2016.

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It was Chupkov who set the world record in winning the world title in Gwangju in 2019 in a time of 2:06.12 – breaking silver medallist Wilson’s world mark he had equaled in the semi-final.

A race for Olympic glory that will now be left up to Stubblety-Cook who was under Chupkov’s splits at the 100m mark and just 0.01 behind at the 150m turn.

ZAC STUBBLETY-COOK ACTION

ON WORLD RECORD PACE: Zac Stubblety-Cook on the attack in Adelaide. Photo Courtesy:Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Stubblety-Cook then powered off the wall knowing full well the final 50m is where the Russian’s strength lies.

The Vince Raleigh trained 2019 world championship finalist charged down that last 50m – nudging the red world record line that appears across the television screens – missing the 2019 world mark by a fingernail.

Stubblety-Cook splitting 32.04 compared to Chupkov’s final 50m lap of 31.89 – and the virtual chase tonight will become a reality when the pair meet in Tokyo.

“I was very excited to race tonight, after the 100m earlier in the week, I had two days off and I just wanted to race again,” said Stubblety-Cook.

“I was very happy with that swim, I’ve had a bit more rest (leading into this race) going 2:07.00 in Sydney (at the Sydney Open) last month was a good confidence booster, going the same backend as Chupkov in Sydney was nice.

“And I figured if I got a bit more rest I could go out a bit quicker, making that easy speed a bit easier.

“(Swimming the second fastest time in history) doesn’t feel real yet, it only just happened a few minutes ago…but I just have to take it in my stride and stick to the processes and believing I can swim faster at the Games.

DANIEL CAVE COMFORTS MATT WILSON

COMFORTING CAVE: Melbourne Vicentre’s Daniel Cave provides a shoulder to cry on for Matthew Wilson.Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“It was pretty gut wrenching for Matt, we’ve seen it with a few swimmers this week, it’s just the nature of the sport sadly…its just tough, there’s no other word for it,” said Stubblety-Cook.

“I knew Matt was going to go early and I had to make sure I didn’t gas myself too early like I had in the past and get too excited.”

Anton Chupkov World Record Splits (2019): 29.73, 1:02.22 (32.49), 1:34.23 (32.01), 2:06.12 (31.89).

Zac Stubblety-Cook Australian Trials (2021): 29.40; 1:01.73 (32.33), 1:34.24 (32.51); 2:06.28 (32.04).

LAURA TAYLOR AND BRIANNA THROSSELL

A GAMES EMBRACE for Brianna Throssell from Laura Taylor (left). Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

BRIANNA THROSSELL SMILE

AND A WINNING SMILE: Brianna Throssell caps a big night for WA, joining Zac Incerti on the Australian team for Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

The women’s 200m butterfly saw a similar tale of elation for Rio finalist Brianna Throssell – who earlier in the week missed automatic nomination by 0.01 in the 100m butterfly – coming home strong to earn her place on the team in 2:07.63.

But their was devastation on the face of second placed 17-year-old Lizzy Dekkers (Newmarket Racers) who had dominated the event all season swimming qualifying times at will – but missing it when it by just 0.14 when it counted most.

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