2016 VICTORIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Friday, January 22nd – Sunday, January 24th
- Prelims 9am local (5pm night before Eastern); Finals 6pm local (2am Eastern)
- Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Center
- Meet Information
- Meet Preview
- Heat Sheets
- Live Stream
- Live Results
- Day 1 Prelims Recap
The most anticipated race of the night was surely that of the men’s 100m freestyle, where former World Champion James Magnussen would be racing in his first final in more than 9 months. Having had shoulder surgery last summer, Magnussen pulled out of the World Championships and has been recovering quietly with his coaching team of Mitch and Lach Falvey at Ravenswood Swim Club ever since.
Magnussen kicked off his Victorian Open with a sound 50.05 100m freestyle in prelims to take the top seed, and followed that up with a winning mark of 49.35 tonight in finals. Certainly, a sub-49 would have been a dream for Maggie fans, but 49-low is still a solid time for the swimmer who is admittedly “rusty” this meet.
2nd place in the men’s 100m free went to another comeback kid, Kenneth To, who has only competed in a handful of meets since recovering from back surgery in 2014. To took the silver tonight in 49.68, while Miami Swim Club athlete Daniel Smith was the only other sub-50 swimmer of the final, clocking a 49.89 for bronze.
Swimming Australian released their Aquatic Super Series roster back in December, with the final line-up to be determined after this Vic Open meet. It’s hard to say if Maggie’s 49.35 would be enough to be added to the roster to join Aussie Cameron McEvoy, the men’s sprinter already named to the meet.
Young gun Kyle Chalmers scored a mark of 49.30 yesterday at the South Australian State Titles, so he technically registered the quicker time between Maggie and himself, if Swimming Australia were to add another sprinter based solely on 2016 times.
In a surprising turn of events in another men’s race, the 400m freestyle, World Championships bronze medalist Mack Horton looked to be the favorite headed into the final, having clocked the morning’s swiftest prelims swim in 3:49.87, the only sub-3:50 mark of the early session. But, British swimmer Stephen Milne fired off a 55.36 opening 100 over Horton’s 55.94 and Milne never looked back, maintaining the lead the entire race.
Milne would wind up with the gold in 3:48.99, the 7th fastest time of the 21-year-old’s career. Horton settled for silver in 3:49.47, just about half a second faster than his morning swim, while Chandler swimmer David McKeon rounded out the podium in 3:49.89. Of note, Canada’s Ryan Cochrane claimed 5th in 3:52.48 tonight.
Double World Champion, Mitch Larkin, took the men’s 50m backstroke tonight, touching in the only sub-25-second mark of the evening. 24.98 got the job done for Larkin, with Josh Beaver coming in 2nd (25.21) and Ben Treffers earning 3rd (25.59).
On the women’s side, David’s sister, Emma McKeon, certainly did her job in the women’s 50m butterfly, battling strongly against St. Peter’s Western’s Madeline Groves. The rivals went 1-2 in prelims and remained in the same slots tonight,with McKeon clocking a time of 26.12 for the world’s 5th-fastest time of the season. Groves was just .08 behind, registering a mark of 26.20, while veteran swimmer Alicia Coutts touched in 26.72 for bronze.
St. Peter’s Georgia Bohl whipped out a notable women’s 100m breaststroke winning time of 1:06.98 tonight, the fastest of her young career. Bohl, who will be competing at the Aquatic Super Series, cranked out her nation’s 6th-fastest time ever to top the rest of the field, which included Swedish World Champion, Jennie Johansson, who touched in 1:07.56 for silver and Lorna Tonks, who scored a 1:07.89 for bronze.
For Bohl, her time now resides as the world’s 8th-fastest this season:
Day 2 prelims resume today at 9am local/5pm Eastern.