Horton Victorious Over Park In A Thriller At The NSW Open Championships

The final event at the New South Wales State Championships was a thriller between Mack Horton and Park Tae Hwan.

There was not much separation between the two for the first 1000 meters. At that point Horton began to make a small separation between himself and Park, building his lead up to over two seconds heading into the final 50 meters.

Park, as usual, had a fantastic final 50 meters, finishing with a final split of 25.42 compared to Horton’s 27.56.

In the end he did not have enough to make up the entire deficit and Horton won the event posting a world leading time of 15:03.29 out touching Park who finished second in a time of 15:03.38.

Both swimmers were faster than the top ranked time in the world of 15:07.76 which was posted by Yannick Agnel in January.

Jordan Harrison finished third in a time of 15:42.06. Harrison used the event as a time trial for the 800 freestyle where he posted a time of 7:59.85.

Nineteen-year-old Emma McKeon has had a phenomenal start to the 2014 season, which continued on Sunday evening. McKeon already had the top 200 freestyle time in 2014, posting a time of 1:56.64 at the BHP Billiton Super Series, and on Sunday evening she improved on that by recording a time of 1:56.23.

Earlier in the competition McKeon won the 100 freestyle in a time of 53.80, which is currently ranked second in the world next to Cate Campbell‘s 53.08.

Olympic bronze medalist Bronte Barratt finished almost a full second behind McKeon touching second in a time of 1:57.16. Kylie Palmer finished third hitting the wall in a time of 1:58.37.

Just like McKeon Madeline Groves entered into the competition with the world’s top time in the 200 butterfly after posting a 206.90 at the Victorian State Championships in late January. And just like McKeon Groves improved on her time on Sunday evening.

Groves destroyed the field in the women’s 200 butterfly winning the event in a time of 2:06.81. 16 year old Miy Nakano finished over three seconds behind Groves touching in a time of 2:10.30 while Misuzu Yabu finished third in a time of 2:12.15.

In the women’s 200 IM Alicia Coutts posted a world’s best winning the event in a time of 2:10.23, beating the Ye Shiwen’s time of 2:10.49. Coutts did not have an easy time winning the race though as 17 year old Kanako Watanabe had an incredible final 50 meters.

Going into the freestyle Coutts had close to a two second lead on Watanabe, who finished by splitting a 29.55 for her final 50 compared to Coutts who posted a split of 31.01. Watanabe eventually finished only 42 one-hundredths of a second behind Coutts, touching in a time of 2:10.65.

Emily Seebohm finished third in a time of 2:13.59.


James Magnussen won his second event of the competition winning the men’s 50 freestyle in a time of 21.95. Andrew Abood finished second in a time of 22.39 followed by his brother Matthew who recorded a time of 22.56.

Kenneth To took the men’s 100 butterfly in a time of 53.19 followed by Nathaniel Romeo who finished in a tie with Takaya Yasue for the silver with both swimmers hitting the wall in a time of 53.39.

Jennie Johansson picked up the gold in the women’s 50 breaststroke posting a time of 30.84. Lorna Tonks finished second in a time of 31.52 followed by Georgia Bohl who finished third in a time of 31.72.

Sixteen-year-old Japanese swimmer Ippei Watanabe took men’s 200m breaststroke in a time of 2:11.81. Followed by Lennard Bremer who finished second posting a time of 2:13.99 and Kohei Goto who finished third in a time of 2:14.31.

Commonwealth record holder Thomas Fraser-Holmes dominated men’s 400m IM, winning by almost eight seconds posting a time of 4:15.85. Kazuk Utsunomiya  finished second in a time of 4:23.61 followed by Jared Gilliland who finished third in a time of 4:26.37.

Emily Seebohm won the women’s 50m back in a time of 27.98 followed by Madison Wilson who finished second in a time of 28.66. Alicia Coutts picked up her second medal of the evening taking the bronze in a time of 28.85.

Frenchman Camille Lacourt took the men’s 100 backstroke in a time of 53.99. Ben Treffers finished in second posting a time of 54.13 followed by Mitchell Larkin who finished third in a time of 54.13.

Sydney swimmer Mitchell Kilduff was too quick in the men’s 100m freestyle multi class with the London Paralympian hitting the wall in a time of 56.48, ahead of South Australian Matthew Haanappel (1:08.67) and Cranbrook swimmer Matthew Levy in 1:03.83.s

Fellow Paralympian Taylor Corry was also in good form winning the 100m freestyle in 1:01.82 ahead of 15-year-old Maddison Elliott (1:06.43) and Lakeisha Patterson third in 1:10.74.

Full results can be found here 

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bobo gigi

Very promising 53.99 for Camille Lacourt in the 100 back. He’s back in France later in the month to prepare the national championships in April.
Talking about French swimmers, I see that our little darling Ophélie-Cyrielle Etienne swam there too. She really struggles since 2012 and it doesn’t go much better. 2.01/4.16/8.47. Come on OCE!
Always astonishing last 50 for Park who looks to be back at his best! Horton was smart to attack a little earlier in the race.
Another great meet for Emma McKeon. 53.80/1.56.23. She’s now a crucial piece of the Australian freestyle relays.
And 18-year-old Madeline Groves is really the new Australian female star on butterfly. 57.76 in the 100 fly and 2.06.81 in the 200 fly.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Horton can do over the next couple of years. Watching his stroke length and race strategy back at Santa Clara Grand Prix last year, he’s got certain world podium potential by 2016, if not sooner. He’ll certainly be challenging Cochrane by 2015.


Just a small correction, O’Connor was previously fastest in the world (2.10.3), not Ye Shiwen.


Sorry angel and yang, but I think Park has the greatest range among top freestylers

bobo gigi

Yes about Yannick Agnel but no about Sun Yang. The Chinese swimmer has the greatest range in my opinion. Better than Park Tae-Hwan. 48.94 in the 100 free last September. And he can probably swim 48 low very quickly. He has swum 1.44.47 in the 200 free last September and has everything to swim a sub 1.44 in the next months. 1.43.16 as relay split in Barcelona last year. He has swum 3.40.17 in the 400 free, almost a world record. Please erase Biedermann from the record books in that event! 🙂 He has swum 7.38.57 in the 800 free in 2011. And he has of course the 1500 free world record in 14.31.02. Park Tae-Hwan. 100 free. 48.70 200… Read more »


Park went 48.42 recently at the same meet he went 3:34.96 in the 400. If you ask me he has a very good shot at the Asian record of 48.27 once he tapers.


Bobo, why are you ignoring the 50 free? It is still an official men’s event, no?

Park swam 22.7 and 14:47 at the same NSW meet in 2012. And now he has done similar.
In the past three days, Park has swum :
22.8, 48.4, 1:46, 3:43, 15:03

Has Yang ever swum 22? I don’t think so, especially not in season and within minutes of swimming 14:47.

So I stand by my opinion that park has greater range.
Let me know next time Yang swims a 22


By the way, your data is a little outdated.

Park swam 48.4 and 3:43 in the same day just three days ago.

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Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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