Leisel Lethal Again at Zajac Day 1

A large contingent of Australians, who seem to be everywhere but Australia this month, flew north from a quick stay in Hawaii to the Mel Zajac Invitational in beautiful Vancouver this weekend. They will make their next stop the Santa Clara Grand Prix this coming weekend.

but for now, this was a decent test, and a good racing opportunity against some of Canada’s best.

In the women’s 100 breaststroke, Leisel Jones squared off against two of Canada’s best: Martha McCabe and Tera van Beilen.

Jones had a pretty dreadful Olympic Trials (especially as compared to McCabe and van Beilen at Canada’s version), but she looked back to her old self at the Zajac, winning in 1:07.84. That’s only two-tenths off of her time from Aussie Trials in the race.

McCabe, who excels in the 200, was 2nd here in 1:08.94. That’s a very good in-season time for her. Van Beilen took 3rd in 1:09.12. That’s not fantastic compared to what we saw from her a few months ago, but she usually swims best on a big taper. Van Beilen has shown the ability to swim well on many tapers a season, so being in big rest at Trials isn’t a concern for her with the Olympics still two months away.

Meanwhile, Taehwan Park put up a monster of a 200 free to win in 1:46.75. That swim comes in the same week as one of his main rivals, Germany’s Paul Biedermann, put up a nearly identical time at the European Championships. He took the swim out in a very-good 52.04.

Australia’s Ryan Napoleon took 2nd in 1:48.84. His teammate Kenrick Monk put a bit of concern into Australian fans in prelims, where he swam a 1:55-mid to end up in the B-Final. He was much better in the evening in 1:51.55, however. Monk earned a spot on the Australian Olympic Team in the 800 free relay.

In the women’s 400 IM, it was again the Australians taking the top spot, with Stephanie Rice blowing clean-through the field on a 4:39.71. Though that’s about 6 seconds slower than her winning time from Australian Trials, but there was some very good news for her: her 100 fly split of 1:03.68. That’s slower than she was in March, but she attacked it more (she’s clearly tired) than she did at that meet that was shortly after a surgical cleanup of her ailing shoulder.

Canada’s Breanna Siwicki placed 2nd in 4:49.48.

Other Notable Swims

  • Australia’s Mitch Larkin won the 200 backstroke in 1:59.34. That broke a meet record held by – of all people – Lenny Krayzelburg from back in the year 2000.
  • Scott Dickens topped the men’s 100 breast in 1:01.57. That’s almost as fast as he was at the Olympic Trials, where he made the team in the 100 and 200 after missing the Olympic Team in 2008. He and Club Wolverine’s Barry Murphy (an Irish Olympian – 1:01.81) both broke the Meet Record that Dickens set in ’09.

Full, Live Results available here.


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That’s the fastest in-season Jones has swum in ages. It is heartening that she’s taking her last Olympics more seriously now than she has been in the past few years.
I am raising up my expectation of her from “finaling only” to “minor medal threat”.
And if she wins a 100 breast medal, she’ll be the first swimmer, man or woman, to win a fourth consecutive olympics individual medal in an event.


Oh btw, BK, You are amazing with your literally up to the second swimming news!!


The difference between Tae-Hwan’s 1:46 with Biedermann’s 1:46 is that while Biedermann was surely rested and tapered to a certain point, Tae-Hwan never stopped his heavy training from Australia to Hawaii to Vancouver.
His 1:46 is truly impressive considering.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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