Australia Reigns Supreme at BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series
Australia Reigns Supreme at BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series. Following a fantastic opening night at HBF Stadium that saw the Aussie women win the Water Polo against China and the swimmers take the lead in the team point score, Australia continued to dominate on the final night of elite pool competition at HBF Stadium in Perth.
The Australian Swim Team emerged as the overall winners of the meet, taking first place and $250,000 in prize money with their score of 626 points. The USA looked to be closing in on the Aussies in the second half of the night but couldn’t quite grab top spot, finishing second on 586 points. Japan and China were third and fourth on 548 and 520 points respectively.
The illustrious awards for swimmers of the meet went to Australia’s Cate Campbell and Japan’s Ryosuke Irie. Campbell notched 963 FINA points for her blistering 50m freestyle swim where she touched the wall in 24.03 seconds; while Irie grabbed 933 FINA points for his 53.15 swim in the men’s 100m backstroke.
The final night of the elite pool competition at the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series started with the Aussie Sharks taking an impressive win over the USA men’s water polo team with a total of 14 points to five.
The Sharks shook off some rough challenges from team USA to remain composed and control the game in the final two quarters to take the win.
At the conclusion of the water polo and following a performance from the Potbelleez, it was Cate and Bronte Campbell who soon had the crowd on the edge of their seat for the women’s 100m freestyle.
The Campbell sister act that has played out so many times in the women’s sprint events was almost reversed today as younger sister Bronte came within just 0.01 of a second of stealing the win from Cate. Bronte hit the wall in a time of 53.14 with Cate just a fraction ahead in 53.13.
Cate said she was happy with her time and knew Bronte would be right by her side at the finish.
“It's always fantastic to get out and have good swims. And even better in front of a home crowd, Cate said.
It's really inspiring to hear a roar when your name is announced. It doesn't happen all that often so it's really exciting. I'm going to continue building (towards trials) but I probably won't be back to full training by the time April rolls around but I want to make sure I get everything right. So I probably won't be back to full training until mid this year,” Cate added.
For so long the race had played out exactly the same way with Cate flying ahead to take the win convincingly as Bronte followed behind, but the 22-year-old nearly didn’t have it all her own way tonight as Bronte stayed by her sister’s side all the way to the wall. Third place went to Margo Geer from the USA who clocked a 54.23.
Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships gold medallist Emily Seebohm signalled her intentions to the world for 2015 when she hit the wall in a time of 58.89 in the women’s 100m backstroke. Hitting the wall just over half a second outside her Australian record time of 58.23, Seebohm’s form is a promising sign for the year ahead.
"That makes me even happier," Seebohm said of seeing her time.
I just thought it was sub-minute. We've been in such hard training at the moment and I only came back on January 5th. I didn't expect too much and did some tough races last night which really hurt me this morning. But after that, I'm just pumped to get back into it and have a really great year,” Seebohm added.
Australia’s Madi Wilson was the next to the wall in 1:00.06 with China’s Yuanhui Fu rounding out the top three in 1:00.13.
Mack Horton celebrated his one year anniversary of making the Australian Swim Team with two individual wins this weekend in the men’s 400m freestyle on the first night and the 1500m free tonight. The Commonwealth Games silver medallist in this event, Horton demonstrated his dominance stopping the clock in a time of 14:55.76, almost 17 seconds clear of his closest competitor. The USA’s Michael McBroom secured second place in 15:13.48 with Australia’s David McKeon trying his hand at the event and finishing an admirable third in 15:21.60.
Australia picked up some vital team points through Keryn McMaster’s gutsy effort in the women’s 400m individual medley. The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in this event stormed home from third place at the final 50 metre turn to take top spot, getting over the top of Sakiko Shimizu (4:37.82) from Japan and Maya Dirado (4:37.85) from the USA in a time of 4:37.79. Just 0.06 of a second separated the top three with the trio going stroke for stroke into the wall.
In other events…
Men’s 100m Butterfly
The men’s 100m butterfly was won by the smallest of margins with Tim Phillips (52.34) from the USA relegating Australia’s Jayden Hadler (52.35) to second by just 0.01 of a second. Third place went to crowd favourite - West Australian Tommaso D’Orsogna in 52.46.
Men’s 200m Freestyle
With Australia leading at the 100 metre turn, it was Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:48.35) who proved too strong in the end of the men’s 200m freestyle stealing the win ahead of Cameron McEvoy (1:48.58), China’s Keyuan Shang (1:48.72) and Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:48.74). Seto sped home in the final 50 metres to take the maximum points for Japan as they worked their way up the point score ladder.
Men’s 100m Breaststroke
A fast finishing Jake Packard was unlucky not to sneak into second place in the men’s 100m breaststroke with the 20-year-old clocking the fastest final 50 metres to finish in third place behind the USA’s Cody Miller and Japan’s Yusuhiro Koseki. Australian Swim Team debutant Buster Sykes was eighth in 1:02.43.
Women’s 200m Butterfly
The USA’s Cammile Adams (2:07.61) put together an impressive 200m butterfly to take the win ahead of 15-year-old Suzuki Hasegawa from Japan in 2:07.89 and 19-year-old Madeline Groves in 2:09.49.
Men’s 200m Individual Medley
Japanese swimmer Daiya Seto continued his run of success at the series taking the win in the men’s 200m individual medley ahead of the USA’s Ryan Lochte and his teammate Hiromasa Fujimori. Seto stopped the clock in a time of 1:58.27, just 0.30 ahead of Lochte relegating him to second place in 1:58.57 with Fujimori finishing in 1:59.89. Australia’s Travis Mahoney was the best placed Aussie in fourth with a time of 2:01.81, while Thomas Fraser-Holmes was back in the water after the 200m freestyle in sixth place in 2:03.73.
Women’s 400m Freestyle
After taking the win in a sprint finish in the women’s 800m freestyle last night, Jessica Ashwood once again sped home in the final 50 metres to overtake teammate Bronte Barratt (4:08.72) and sneak into second place behind China’s Yuhan Zhang (4:06.83) in a time of 4:07.55.
Men’s 50m Freestyle
The men’s splash and dash saw the USA and Australia in a fight for first place as they flew down the outdoor pool at HBF Stadium in Perth. It was Josh Schneider from the USA who picked up the win with a time of 22.38 just ahead of Australians James Magnussen in 22.49 and Cameron McEvoy in 22.51.
Women’s 200m Breaststroke
Japan’s Kanako Watanabe streaked ahead in the women’s 200m breaststroke to finish first in a time of 2:23.43 and collect some much needed points for team Japan. Second place went to Micah Lawrence from the USA in 2:25.19, just sneaking ahead of Runa Imai from Japan in 2:25.48. Commonwealth Games gold medallists Taylor McKeown (2:27.50) and Lorna Tonks (2:32.41) finished in fifth and eighth place respectively.
Men’s 200m Backstroke
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie successfully defended his title in the men’s 200m backstroke and clocked an incredibly fast time in the process, hitting the wall in 1:54.62, just outside his All Comers record of 1:54.02 set in 2012. Second place went to a fast finishing Mitch Larkin who touched in a time of 1:56.05 with China’s Jiayu Xu third in 1:57.18. Backing up after the 200m individual medley earlier in the night, Australia’s Travis Mahoney was eighth in 2:03.07.
Men’s 4x50m Freestyle Relay
The USA’s combination of Josh Schneider, Jimmy Feigen, Ryan Lochte and Cullen Jones took out the men’s 4 x 50m freestyle in 1:27.93. The Americans led from the outset and the Aussies chased them down over four fast laps but just couldn’t quite catch them. Led out by a strong lap from Cameron McEvoy, the Australians put together a strong relay with Jayden Hadler, James Magnussen and Tommaso D’Orsogna to finish second in 1:28.35. Team Japan were third in 1:28.69. The Australia B team of Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Travis Mahoney, David McKeon and Mack Horton were fifth in 1:32.15.
Women’s 4x50m Medley Relay
The women’s 4 x 50m medley was the last race of the meet, and the home crowd were thrilled with an Aussie domination. Emily Seebohm continued her good form to touch first and hand over to Lorna Tonks who swam a quick breaststroke leg to extend their lead. Brittany Elmslie held strong in the butterfly before Cate Campbell rounded out her spectacular return to competition, the team winning by a body length in 1:48.85.
The Australia B team of Madi Wilson, Taylor McKeown, Emma McKeon and Bronte Campbell touched in second but with points only being awarded to one country, the USA took second place with Japan in third.
The BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series will continue tomorrow with the Swim the Swan Challenge at the Barrack Street Jetty in Perth. Australia will have a number of swimmers vying for the Australian title and selection onto the FINA World Cup team in both the men’s and women’s elite 10km race.
Full results and information from tonight will be available at www.aquaticcuperseries.com.au