Courtesy: Swimming Australia
Young USC Spartan Benjamin Hance has become the fastest S14 Australian in the Men’s 100m Backstroke Multi-Class, after blitzing the field in a time of 58.88 (1019 points) on night two of the 2021 Australian Multi-Class Swimming Championships.
Setting the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre alight, Hance’s time also saw him claim the gold medal and his first long course Australian title.
Speaking after the race, the 20-year-old – whose pet events are the 100m back and 100m fly – said he was delighted with the result.
“It’s really cool to be the fastest Australian and between now and trials I want to get even faster in the 100 back,” Hance said.
Harrison Vigg (S9) from the Brisbane Jets secured the silver medal in 1:05.32 (823 points), while Belgravia’s Brenden Hall (S9) snared bronze with a time of 1:07.69 (740 points).
In what proved to be a successful night for the USC Spartan’s, Katja Dedekind (S13) showed why she’s one to watch, securing her third medal of the meet and her second gold. Claiming victory in the Women’s Open 100m Backstroke Multi-Class with a time of 1:08.22 (896 points), Dedekind was clearly beaming post-race.
“It’s pretty cool actually, I don’t really look at the medals too much, it’s more about the results, but to be able to touch first and also get a medal is pretty cool,” Dedekind said.
“I’ve just really been working on my swimming technique and keeping fit in all areas not just in the pool and in the gym.”
Knox Pymble’s Ellie Cole (S9) touched for silver in 1:14.41 (743 points) and St Hilda’s Madeleine McTernan (S14) placed third in 1:11.51 (719 points).
Bay & Basin’s Jasmine Greenwood (SM10) started her night with a bang, bagging her second gold medal of the meet – this time in the Women Open 200m Individual Medley Multi-Class. Greenwood – who was the favourite heading into the race – hit the wall in 2:33.26 (845 points) to beat out fellow Dolphins Tiffany Thomas Kane (SM7) from Warringah Aquatic and Kiera Stephens (SM10) from USC Spartans. Kane recorded a time of 3:04.19 and 765 points to received silver, while Stephens clocked 2:39.10 and 755 points to take home the bronze.
Liam Schluter (SM14) showed his class in the Men’s Open 200m Individual Medley Multi-Class to claim his first Australian title of the meet. The Kawana Waters’ product had hot competition in North Sydney’s Matt Levy (SM7) who pushed him all the way to the wall. Only five points separated the pair when they touched – 863 to 857. Jesse Aungles (SM8) from Marion posted 2:30.07 and 812 points.
Backing up her performance from night one when she took home gold in the Women’s 400m Freestyle Multi-Class, Belgravia’s Lakeisha Patterson (S9) couldn’t be stopped in the Women’s Open 100m Freestyle Multi-Class race. Posting a time of 1:04.07 to record 812 points, the 22-year-old narrowly took the spoils ahead of defending champ, Cole (S9) (1:04.15, 809 points), and Melbourne Vicentre’s Ashleigh McConnell (S9) (1:04.98, 779).
Making it a double delight on night two, Yeronga Park’s Rowan Crothers pinched his second freestyle gold medal at the champs after flying to the finish line in the Men’s Open 100m Free Multi-Class in a time of 51.91 (941 points). While Crother’s bagged the gold, Somerset GC’s hometown hero, Tom Gallagher (S9) snared second in a time of 54.46 and 840 points, while Jack Ireland (S14) from Uni of Queensland rounded out the podium in 53.32 (773 points).
Speaking after the race, Gallagher said he was happy to snare his third medal against tough competition at his first Australian Multi-Class Championships.
“It’s pretty good, Rowan obviously won it and he’s a great swimmer so to come second to him is really good,” Gallagher.
“My times have been a little bit off what I wanted but at the end of the day I gave it my all so I’m pretty happy with that. To go sub 55 after a kilometre of racing over the last two days is pretty good so I can’t be too sad about that.
“The weather hasn’t been great, but you can’t help that, the rest of competition has been great, everyone has been super friendly, and it’s been a good competition and it’s just good to get some racing under my belt with a big year ahead.”
Click here for a VNR featuring Tom Gallagher, Katja Dedekind and Benjamin Hance.
Click here for all results from night two on the Gold Coast.
Note: All para races were swum as multi-class races, meaning athletes from all classifications competed in the same event, with the para-swimmer the highest point score crowned the winner.
The Multi-Class Point Score (MCPS) has been developed to provide a simplified way for swimmers and coaches to measure and compare performances. The MCPS is based on the World Record (WR) times for each classification, but also takes into account weightings for non-Paralympic events that are not raced by other countries around the world.