On the first two nights of the Oceania Championships in Auckland, New Zealand the home country lead in the collection of gold on both evenings, but the third night saw a very different scenario play out. The Kiwis out swam the Aussies on both Tuesday and Wednesday, but on Thursday evening the team from Down Under more than doubled the gold medal total of their neighbours.
When the night had finished the Australians had stood on the top of the podium seven times compared to New Zealand’s three.
16 year old Nicholas Groenewald of Australia finished off his sweep of the men’s backstroke events taking the 200 in a time of 2:03.56. Groenewald did not have much competition beating his next competitor by almost four seconds. This is the same scenario he found himself in, in both the 50, winning by half a second and the 100 where he won by two and a half seconds.
Australian Youth Olympic Games Team member Brianna Throssell took the women’s 100 butterfly in a time of 59.43. Throssell, unlike Groenewald had a battle for the gold with Samantha Lee of New Zealand. Lee finished 31 one-hundredths of second behind in a time of 59.74.
18 year old Nicholas Brown of Australia dominated the men’s event taking the 100 butterfly in a time of 54.07. He was followed by Shaun Burnett of New Zealand who posted a 55.44 and 16 year old Dominic Richardson of Australia who recorded a time of 55.52.
New Zealand National Team member Matthew Stanley won the men’s 400 freestyle in a time of 3:53.95 finishing just over a second ahead of his Commonwealth Games teammate Ewan Jackson. Jackson hit the wall in a time of 3:55.13 followed by Australian Damian Fyfe who finished third in a time of 3:58.86.
15 year old Tasmin Cook took gold in the women’s 400 freestyle posting a time of 4:10.94, her time was also the highest ranked swim on the FINA points chart for the evening. Fellow Australian Sacha Downing was not far behind touching in a time of 4:11.59 followed by Samantha Lucie-Smith who finished in a time of 4:17.91.
Beckie Dooley followed up her win in the 100 breaststroke on Wednesday with a victory in the women’s 50 breaststroke on Thursday. Dooley finished in a time of 33.63 well ahead of Cara Jernigan of Hawaii who posted a time of 34.38.
Ben Walsh of Australia won the men’s 50 breaststroke in a battle with teammates Grayson Ben and Jake Baggaley. Walsh finished in a time of 29.22 followed by Ben, 29.57 and Baggaley, 29.91.
Amy Forrester took the women’s 200 backstroke with ease winning the event in a time of 2:14.17. Forrester was challenged by Caroline Baddock of New Zealand by beating her in the final 50 meters by over a second and a half.
In the 4 x 100 free relays the Aussies and Kiwis traded golds with the Australian women winning the event in a time of 3:41.75 while the Kiwi men took the event in a time of 3:27.41.