2016 AQUATIC SUPER SERIES – PERTH
Women’s 200 Freestyle – FINAL
Aussie Emma McKeon fired off the first win of the night, taking the women’s 200 freestyle in a stellar time of 1:55.96. That mark now sits as 3rd in the world only behind American Katie Ledecky and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu.
McKeon has steadily been improving and is on the cusp of a breakthrough year. Just last month her 200 free time came in at 1:56.29 at the Victorian Open, so she slashed a good .3 of a seconds off of the mark to take the win tonight. 1:56.09 was her previous best this season, so the 21-year-old is looking solid with her nation’s Olympic Trials just two months away.
Runner-up in the race was China’s Shen Duo who stopped the clock at 1:58.57 and Perth’s own Brianna Throssell claimed 3rd in 1:58.69. Look for Duo to do more damage in her signature 100 freestyle event, the race in which she holds the World Junior Record.
Men’s 100 Freestyle – FINAL
The pool was aflame after 21-year-old Cameron McEvoy threw down a personal best in the men’s 100 freestyle. 47.56 was the scorcher sent down the lane by McEvoy to not only take over the top spot in the world rankings this season, but to log a personal best in the process. Splits were 23.14 to 24.42….yes, that’s a 24.42 back-half for the physicist.
In December, McEvoy registered a very solid 48.01 at the Queensland Championships, but he obliterated that mark tonight. Taking it one step further, McEvoy’s super swim would have won gold in Kazan by .28 of a second. In fact, McEvoy’s performance tonight ranks him now as the 11th-fastest performer of all time – mind you this is reportedly untapered.
Teammate James Magnussen finished in 2nd tonight in 49.34, right on par with the 49.32 relay lead-off he clocked late last month at the Victorian Open Championships, his comeback tournament after having undergone shoulder surgery last year. Japan’s Shinri Shioura logged the 3rd place finish tonight in 49.73.
Women’s 100 Breaststroke – FINAL
Japan earned its first win of the night, with Rie Kaneto‘s victory in the women’s 100 breaststroke. 1:06.58 earned the win tonight in a tight race over Aussie Georgia Bohl, who touched just .05 of a second later in 1:06.63.
Bohl took it out hard, scoring an opening 50 of 31.19 to Kaneto’s 31.78 and Bohl paid for it on the back-end, dropping a 35.44 to her competitor’s 34.80. But, the time still mark’s only the 2nd occasion Bohl has dipped beneath the 1:07-threshold, having done so for the first time at the Vic Open last month (1:06.98). Her mark ranks among her nation’s top 6 performances of all-time.
For Kaneto, she’s now her nation’s 2nd-fastest swimmer of the season in the event, resting only behind teammate Kanako Watanabe who logged a time of 1:06.49 last September.
Men’s 100 Backstroke – FINAL
Mitch Larkin has proven that anytime he’s in the pool, his swim is going to be good and tonight was no exception. Larkin, the Australian National Record Holder in the event, touched in a solid 53.11 to take the win handily over his competitors. China’s Xu Jiayu scored 53.39 for 2nd, followed by Japan’s Masaki Kaneko who finished in 54.19 for 3rd.
With is double title-winning World Championships and subsequent record-breaking World Cup tear, Larkin has certainly set himself up to be the man to be both domestically and internationally. The only other Aussie in this race tonight, Ash Delaney was DQ’d.
Women’s 100 Butterfly – FINAL
After Bohl’s head-turning 100 breaststroke outing, Emma McKeon further solidified the Aussie’s medley relay potency for Rio with a solid 58.25 win in the 100 fly. Although McKeon has been as swift as 57.27 at the Vic Open, she is coming off of a spectacular 200 freestyle within just an hour ago.
Bohl, McKeon, the Campbell sisters and double world champion Emily Seebohm can combine for a downright lethal medley relay to attempt to fight off the Americans and the rest of the international field come Rio.
58.63 was the time earned by runner-up Zhang Yufei from China, at just 17 years old.
Men’s 200 Butterfly – FINAL
There is a glaring weakness on the Aussie men’s side in the form of solid 100 and 200 flyers, as was evidenced in this longer distance race tonight. The Asians swept the 2fly event, led by China’s 17-year-old Li Zhuhao, who scored a mark of 1:56.64 to take the win.
Li holds both the 100 fly and 200 fly World Junior Records, scoring the latter in a mark of 1:55.52. So, tonight’s swim was off that milestone, but well ahead of his teammate Yuhang Wu who finished in 1:58.00 for 2nd. Japan’s Masayu Umemoto completed the sweep, claiming 3rd in 1:58.26.
You’d have to look all the way down to 4th place to find your first Aussie finisher, with David Morgan dipping just under 2-minutes in a mark of 1:59.77.
Women’s 200 IM – FINAL
Japan finished 1 & 3 in tonight’s 200 IM final, with Sakiko Shimizu earning the win in a time of 2:12.88. The time is solid, no doubt, but further puts emphasis on just how dominant Hungarian Katinka Hosszu is in the event, as she leads the world in a time over 4 seconds faster (2:08.20).
Nonetheless, Shimisu’s mission was accomplished, as she scored splits of 29.26, 34.60, 37.90 and 31.12 to take the victory over Aussie Keryn McMaster who finished in 2:13.18. 23-year-old Miho Takahashi rounded out the podium, giving Japan a bronze in a time of 2:14.03.
Of note, double Olympic gold medalist from China, Yi Shiwen, finished in 4th in 2:14.10.
Men’s 400 Freestyle – FINAL
19-year-old Aussie distance ace Mack Horton has been returning to form after battling a parasite last year, a bug which rendered him tired and not at his prime in Kazan. After a 3:49.47 outing in the 400 free at last month’s Vic Open, Horton dropped over a second off that mark tonight to win the event in 3:47.87.
Teammate David McKeon, earned the runner-up spot in 3:48.77. Both men were the only competitors to score sub-3:50 times in the race. And a duel it was, with McKeon outsplitting Horton on the final 100, but the teenager had put forth too much speed at the front-half to be caught and would hold on for the victory tonight.
Women’s 50 Freestyle – FINAL
As with Larkin and Seebohm in the backstroke events, the Campbell sisters are ever-consistent in the sprint freestyle races, especially the 50m freestyle. Tonight, Cate Campbell took home the win, touching the wall in an impressive 24.32 outing. Cate’s quickest this season was the 24.12 she registered at Queensland Championships, a mark which sits atop the work rankings currently.
Tonight Bronte Campbell earned her swiftest time of the season, touching in 24.39 for 2nd place. Headed into the meet, her season-best was the 24.53 she threw down at the Beijing stop of the World Cup tour.
Also going sub-25 tonight was China’s 16-year-old Menghui Zhu, who earned a mark of 24.92 in the race. For Zhu, she is coming dangerously close to breaking the World Junior Record, a time which sits at 24.87.
Men’s 200 Breaststroke – FINAL
With the Japanese holding 3 out of the world’s top 5 times in this event so far this season, it’s no surprise to see the nation go 1 & 3 in tonight’s 200m breaststroke race. Yasuhiro Koseki topped the field for his 2nd consecutive year, beating out his time from the 2015 edition of the meet. Tonight, Koseki touched in 2:10.19 for the win, comfortably just under a second faster than the remainder of the field.
Doubling up on the hardware of his gold-medal-winning teammate was Japanese breaststroker Hayato Watanabe, who scored the 3rd-place finish in a time of 2:11.26. In between the two was China’s Zibei Yan, who touched in 2:10.98 to give his nation its 2nd-swiftest 2breast time of the season.
For the Aussies, 17-year-old Matthew Wilson continues to be their top breaststroking dog, with a 4th place finish here in 2:13.74, although well off his best of 2:11.23.
Women’s 200 Backstroke – FINAL
The utterly steady Emily Seebohm did her thing again tonight in the backstroke, stopping the clock in a quick tie of 2:07.74. Although off her 2:06.94 game, which is the time she registered at the Dubai World Cup for her season’s best, her time tonight comfortably still beat the field by well over a second.
Runner-up in the race was Aussie teammate Madison Wilson, who touched in 2:09.29 for the only other sub-2:10 mark of the night. She was followed by China’s Jie Chen who rounded out the podium in a finish of 2:11.94 for 3rd place.
All three will be back in the water against each other tomorrow in the 100m distance.
Women’s 800 Freestyle – FINAL
22-year-old Jessica Ashwood absolutely dominated the women’s 800m freestyle race tonight, stopping the clock at a time of 8:23.69 to beat out the field by almost 15 seconds. Her time tonight knocks over a second off of her most recent outing of 8:25.13 she logged at the Vic Open late last month.
In a distant 2nd place tonight was China’s Bingjie Li….at just 13 years old! She touched in 8:37.95 to bring home some hardware from Perth. This is the only event originally listed for the youngster when rosters were announced.
Men’s 400 IM – FINAL
Japan gets its 2nd IM win of the night, this time in the form of Takeharu Fujimori‘s victory in the men’s 400m IM event in a time of 4:13.81. This mark is right on par with Fujimori’s season-best of 4:13.31 and scorched the field tonight by almost 6 seconds. Runner-up Travis Mahoney from Australia finished well behind in 4:19.33 for the silver medal.
With Fujimori’s Japanese teammate Kosuke Hagino proving his elbow injury incurred right before Kazan is now healed, he’s been throwing down some scary-fast times to announce his comeback, especially in this event. Last weekend at the Kosuke Kitajima Cup he rocked an impressive 4:11.38 to sit atop the world rankings throne.
As such, the Aussies need to step up their men’s 400 IM game if they want to pose any threat at all to even making the final in Rio. The Dolphins’ top time thus far this season heading into this meet was Clyde Lewis’ 4:20.40 from Queensland Championships, a time which resided as the 24th-fastest in the world. Mahoney’s mark of 4:19.33 moves the Aussies up to the 22nd-fastest, but obviously well behind the Japanese and Americans who are historically dominant on the event.
Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay – FINAL
The Campbell sisters led the Aussie women’s 200m free relay to victory, with splits of 24.75 for lead-off Cate and 24.04 for 2nd leg Bronte. Emma McKeon and Emily Seebohm also formed a formidable back-half of the foursome with splits of 24.48 and 24.83, respectively.
The Dolphin squad held off China’s silver medal-winning combination of Zhu Menghui , Ai Yanhan , Lui Xiange and Shen Duo who touched in 1:41.67 for silver.
Men’s 200 Medley Relay – FINAL
The final event on the men’s side brought out some wicked-fast anchors to put the finishing touch on a splendid night of racing. Japan’s foursome of Masaki Kaneko, Yasuhiro Koseki, Takeshi Kawamoto and Shinri Shioura beat out the Aussies with a time of 1:37.77 to the Dolphins’ 1:38.36 to end the night with a win.
Kaneko started off with a 25.53 split, followed by Koseki’s 27.30, then Kawamoto’s 23.42 and Shioura’s monster 21.52 to wrap up the victory for the Japanese.
The Aussie “A” team of Larkin (25.22), Jake Packard (27.57), Jayden Hadler (24.06) and Cameron McEvoy combined to clock the 2nd fastest time of the field, 1:38.36. Check out that split by McEvoy.
Also, even as an exhibition swim, Magnussen’s anchor on the Australian “B” time was also impressive at 21.54.