Magnussen Gets Another Shot At NSW Championship Sprint Title


Day 3 of the New South Wales (NSW) Open Championships brings another swim for sprinter James Magnussen, as well as an additional opportunity for Japanese teenage swimmer Nao Horomura to chase another Australian All Comers Age Group Record. Aussie Minna Atherton and Mitch Larkin also highlighted the final prelims session in Sydney.

Key Prelim Swims

Southport Olympic’s Chris Wright set himself up for a potentially wicked 100 butterfly final, having clocked a solid 52.80 during prelims. Wright entered the meet with his season-best mark of 52.50, acquired at the World Cup in Doha last November, so dropping less than half a second tonight would score the 27-year-old a new 2015-16 best.

It looks as though he’ll have clear water to do so, as Wright was the only morning swimmer to register a sub-53-second time. Seeded 2nd is Lawnton’s Daniel Lester, the 25-year-old Aussie who already won the 50m edition of butterfly earlier this meet.

Japan has a man in the race in the form of teenager Nao Horomura, who is positioned in the 3rd spot after prelims, stopping the clock at 53.69. Horomura rocked a new Australian Age Group All Comers Record for 17-year-olds in the 200m butterfly on night 1 (1:55.81), narrowly missing the World Junior Record in the process. As such, look for Horomura to take things up a notch come finals and potentially challenge the Age Group All Comers Record in this event as well, a mark which currently stands at 52.88.

18-year-old Georgia Bohl leads the women’s 50m breaststroke field, touching this morning in a time of 31.00. That time is just .08 off of the 30.92 mark Bohl earned at the Victorian Open in January, a time which is currently ranked 4th in the world. But, Swede Jennie Johnasson (31.53), as well as fellow Australians Lorna Tonks (31.54) and Sally Hunter (31.71) are in hot pursuit.

Another women’s race to keep an eye on in tonight’s finals is the women’s 200m freestyle, where St. Peters and Western’s Emma McKeon and her teammate Bronte Barratt head into the prime time race seeded less than half a second apart. McKeon, following up on her 57.24 100 fly victory from yesterday, touched in the 200m free this morning in 1:58.07 to set herself up in lane 4. Barratt was right behind in 1:58.46 to represent the only 2 swimmers who dipped beneath the 2-minute barrier on the morning.

Cameron McEvoy cleared victories in both the 100m and 200m freestyle events at this meet, but opted out of the 50m splash n’ dash, taking a big player out of the field. Taking advantage of one less ace to battle was comeback kid James Magnussen, who led the pack with a morning time of 22.47.

Maggie is competing in just his 3rd competition post-shoulder surgery and hasn’t clocked a 21-point 50m freestyle since returning to competition. He’ll be looking to do so tonight, as key international rivals Florent Manaudou (France) and Nathan Adrian (USA) have thrown down multiple 21-point marks in the months Maggie was out of commission.

Magnussen’s Ravenswood teammate William Copeland also swam a solid swim of 22.61 this morning to get into the final next to Maggie, as did Trinity Grammar’s Kenneth To, who touched in 22.69.

Following up on his 2nd place 100m freestyle finish, 17-year-old Kyle Chalmers will also swim in tonight’s final, sneaking into the 8th spot in a time of 23.05. Chalmers earned the World Junior Championship title in a time of 22.19, so the kid can turn it on to compete against the big boys and is most definitely in the running for the top of the podium.

In the backstroke events, look for teen sensation Minna Atherton and double World Champion Mitch Larkin to improve on their morning swims in their respective events of the 50m and 100m distances. For Atherton, the 15-year-old touched in a time of 28.09, while Larkin topped the field in a time of 53.88 headed into finals.

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7 years ago

Ups in the last day of competition.
Two Aussie girls under 1.56 in 200 free: McKeon 1.55.53 and Barratt 1.55.95.
Matthew Wilson (17) at 2.11.34 in 200 breaststroke.
Georgia Bohl at 30.88 in 50 breastroke.
Alicia Coutts at 2.09.99 in 200 im.
Magnussen, after a 22.4 in the 50 free, at 48.85 to lead-off the 4×100 free relay (48.02 for Chalmers to anchor his team).

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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