Aussie Olympians Abound At 2017 Victorian Open Championships


Although missing some of the star power from the 2016 version of the meet, this year’s Victorian Open Championships is still set to feature some of Australia’s best aquatic talent. Kicking off on Friday, the 3-day meet includes prelims and finals of both individual and relay events with several Rio Olympians ready to get their 2017 racing year underway.

Emma McKeon, the 21-year-old St. Peters & Western athlete who scored a monster 200m freestyle bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games, is set to take on a characteristically heavy racing schedule in Melbourne. She is slated to swim the 50m/100m/200m distances of both the freestyle and butterfly disciplines where McKeon enters the meet as the top seed for all but the 200m fly. In that particular race, she’ll be battling Western Australia’s Brianna Throssell, another member of Australia’s Olympic team.

Throssell finished 8th in the women’s 200m butterfly final in Rio and sets her sights on claiming a Victorian Open Championship title in the same event this weekend. She’s entered as the top seed with a time of 2:06.58, her personal best. Throssell, who recently moved to UWA West Coast from Perth City, won the 200m fly event last year at this same competition. She’ll be McKeon’s primary competition across the 50m and 100m freestyle event as well as the 100m butterfly.

Distance ace Mack Horton is on the attack in Melbourne on the men’s side, where he’s positioned as the top seed in the 400m/800m/1500m freestyle, while also appearing on the psych sheets in the 50m/100m/200m freestyle. While he should dominate the longer events, Horton will need to overtake the likes of David McKeon and Daniel Smith in the shorter races.

Teammates on Australia’s 4th place finishing 4x200m freestyle relay in Rio, both McKeon and Smith are looking to establish themselves as 2017 World Championships caliber athletes and will use this meet to stake their claims on the 200m and 400m freestyle events come the Australian National Championships in April.

Also in the racing mix this weekend are Rio Olympians Madison Wilson, Tamsin Cook, Georgia Bohl, Taylor McKeown and Leah Neale. 15-year-old backstroking phenom Kaylee McKeown is also scheduled to make a few appearances, so look for Aussie age group records to possibly be in jeopardy when the starlet takes to the pool.


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About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

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