Most of Australia’s biggest stars are kicking off 2015 in Melbourne, competing in the Victorian Open Championships. And on day 1 prelims, both of the nation’s star sprint freestylers were solid, though not terribly explosive.
Cate Campbell and James Magnussen didn’t have to do much to procure top seeds into finals, but both were fast enough to make their opening swims of 2015 relatively impressive. Campbell went 54.25 to lead the women’s field, while Magnussen was 49.36 on the men’s side.
As the Aussies competed down under, some of their top American rivals are racing at a Pro Swim Series event in Texas, making for some interesting time comparisons. Nathan Adrian, the Olympic gold medalist and perhaps Magnussen’s top world competition at the moment, was just 50.28 in prelims of the same event Thursday, though Adrian went 49.11 in finals. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Magnussen go after Adrian’s time in finals and perhaps crack 49 seconds, something the Missile has been known to do mid-season.
Campbell, meanwhile, was about a half-second faster than Katie Ledecky was in prelims (54.25 to 54.89). Ledecky is hardly the top American in the 100 free, but at least provides some reference for where Campbell is at at this point in the season.
A couple more 100 free results worth noting: Kenneth To was 50.05 for the second seed in the men’s event. To is coming off of a back surgery, and that’s a fairly promising swim for him, especially in the morning. On the women’s side, Brittany Elmslie was 55.08 for second, and Campbell’s younger sister Bronte was 55.46 for third.
Elmslie had a busy morning, as she’s also the top qualifier in the 50 fly at 27.31.
18-year-old distance sensation Mack Horton didn’t have to do much to make finals of the 400 free; his 3:55.39 is the top prelims time by five seconds.
You can find live results of the meet here. Finals will start at 6pm Melbourne time, or about 2am U.S. Eastern Time.