Minna Atherton steals 50m backstroke crown in record time




Queensland’s former world junior champion Minna Atherton put reputations and records aside when she upset defending champion Emily Seebohm and stole her Australian All-Comers 50m backstroke record in Adelaide today.


It came the morning after the night before when 25-year-old Seebohm had wrapped up her 25th lifetime National short course title in the 100m backstroke at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships last night.


Seventeen-year-old Atherton, who pushed Seebohm all the way in the 100m, also stole her older rival’s Australian All-Comers record, clocking 26.23 and taking 0.05 off Seebohm’s time from last year.


Dolphins late bloomer Holly Barratt, 29 finished second in 26.43 with Seebohm, who also has the 200m individual medley final tonight, a close-up third in 26.48.


Atherton, a world junior champion in Singapore in 2015, trains alongside Seebohm under David Lush at Brisbane Grammar.


In other medals decided this morning:


Dual Olympian and three-time Australian Short Course champion Jess Ashwood (Chandler) was a comfortable winner in the women’s 1500m freestyle in 15:52.29 with TSS Aquatics club mates Madeleine Goughsecond in 16:02.34 and Kiah Melverton third in 16:18.92.


Rio Olympian Georgia Bohl, forced out of the 200m breaststroke final with illness yesterday, returned to the pool this morning to take the gold medal in 30.57 in the 50m breaststroke from 2012 Olympic championRute Meilutyte (Lithuania) 30.81 and 100m winner Jessica Hansen (Nunawading) 30.86.


There was joy in the Cairns camp with the Herbie Howard coached Grant Patterson setting a new world record for SB2 swimmers in the Multi-Class 100m breaststroke.


The 28-year-old Patterson clocked 2:17.49 to take 1.12 off his own previous world mark of 2:18.61, set in Perth in 2015.


“Scooter” as Grant is known around pooldeck, later won gold in the 150m individual medley in 3:08.77.


And in the men’s 100m individual medley Japan’s visiting Olympian Daiya Seto (52.81) added to his medal collection ahead of Australian champion Kazimir Boskovic (Nunawading) 54.20 followed by James Traiforos (Trinity Grammar) 54.65 and Jack Gerrard (Melbourne Vicentre) 54.80.


Meanwhile in heats highlights:


Emma McKeon wasted no time setting a cracking pace with the fastest qualifying time and a personal best in the 200m butterfly, stopping the clock at 2:06.48.


The six-time World Championship and four-time Olympic medallist has forgone the 200m freestyle (also scheduled for this session) to concentrate on the longer butterfly event.


Her fellow Olympian David Morgan (TSS Aquatics) was also on song, showing his underwater skills with the defending champion topping the qualifiers in the 100m butterfly, clocking 51.64.


Morgan repeated his expert skills in the 50m freestyle, powering off the start and the turn to clock the fastest qualifying time of 21.81 ahead of Marion’s 100m freestyle silver medallist Andrew Abood (22.02) and Louis Townsend (Rackley) 22.17.


Marion’s Olympic 100m champion, Kyle Chalmers, who won the 100m on night one, only just scraped into the final in 10th place in 22.59 – just 0.01 ahead of Nunawading’s Caiden Gill.


Rio backstroker Madison Wilson (Bond) looks on track to defend her 200m freestyle crown, taking lane four in tonight’s final in 1:55.49 from Brittany Elmslie (Brisbane Grammar) and 400m freestyle winner Mikkayla Sheridan (USC Spartans) 1:56.21.


Leonard Bremer (UWA West Coast) heads the top 10 in the men’s 200m breaststroke in 2:09.82, ahead of Japan’s multi-talented Olympic and World Championship medallist Daiyo Seto (2:10.03) and Australian World Champion ship team member Daniel Cave (Melbourne Vicentre) and Zac Stubblety Cook (West Brisbane) who both clocked 2:10.57.


The McKeown sisters, Taylor (2:11.39) and Kaylee (2:12.60) from USC Spartans have qualified first and third into the final of the 200m individual medley with Olympians Blair Evans (2:12.26) and defending champion Emily Seebohm (2:13.90) snapping at their heels.


The final night of the event commences at 7pm this evening (local Adelaide time).