On day 2 of the 2012 Oceania Swimming Championships in New Caledonia, a special collectivity of France that lies about 1000 miles off of the coast of Australia, the home country earned their first ever Oceanic title in their third hosting opportunity. This was part of the continuation of parity on the men’s side of the meet that we’ve seen in the past few years, with the Australians through two days taking only 5 out of 9 individual golds.
The new title-holder is Thomas Dahlia in the men’s 100 breaststroke in 1:03.27. That time put him just ahead of Australia’s Nicholas Schaefer in 1:03.29. 2010 bronze-medalist, and Big 12 Champion, Amini Fonua of Texas A&M scratched the prelims of this race.
The 21-year old Dahlia is a player in the greater French team, and was the third-fastest French swimmer at their Olympic Trials earlier this year, about a second better.
Kenneth To is one of the brightest spots for the Australian men at this meet, and on day 2 added a win in the 100 free to his earlier gold in the 200. His winning time of 50.08 came within a quarter-of-a-second of a new Championship Record in the race.
Other men’s winners include Australia’s Ben Edmonds in the men’s 50 back in 26.54, and New Zealand’s Carsten Corrazza in the 400 IM in 4:26.02. That’s a 6-second improvement for Corazza off of his performance at New Zealand’s National Championship meet in March, and makes him the second-fastest Kiwi in 2012.
Australia also skated to an easy victory in the men’s 800 free relay in 7:34.76, 11-seconds better than New Zealand.
The women’s meet was a whole-different story, as Australia continued to dominate with 4 more gold medals, meaning that they’re a perfect 10-for-10 in events in this meet. On top of that, they’ve won 8 out of a possible 9 silver medals to boot.
Like her countrymate To, Ami Matsuo doubled up with a second win in the women’s 100 free in 56.17. That’s quite a bit faster than the 15-year old typically is this time of year, though it’s still an off-taper swim.
Grace Loh, who is probably the biggest name swimmer on the women’s side of this meet, took her first title with a 29.65 in the women’s 50 backstroke.
In the women’s 400 IM, Australia took the gold and silver to Amy Levings (4:51.37) and Leah Cutting (4:56.93). The Hawaiians also cracked their way onto the medal table in this meet with Yasmine Ware taking a bronze in a 5:23. Ware just completed her freshman year at Hawaii’s Kaua’i High School. She’s a great prospect, and this past season won the Hawaii State Championship in the 50 free by over a second.
The surprise winner in the women’s 100 breaststroke from Australia was Loma Tonks in 1:08.24. That’s her lifetime best by 8-tenths of a second, and ranks her in the world’s top 30 this year. Jessica Hansen was 2nd in 1:10.32.
The Australian women also dominated the 800 free relay, with an 8:22.88 win. That’s a 32-second margin of victory over the silver medalists from New Caledonia. Hawaii notched more hardware with a bronze-medal swim.