Emma McKeon was the star of the second session of the Australian Grand Prix in Canberra.
McKeon collected individual gold in the 200 freestyle (1:57.97) and 100 butterfly (58.99) as well as another in the 4 x 50 medley relay swimming with the team that representing Australian legend Dawn Fraser.
Earlier this year McKeon had an extremely strong showing at the Australian Championships taking the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle as well as collecting a silver in the 50 butterfly. Her times in the 100 butterfly (57.31) and 200 freestyle (1:55.88) currently have her sitting in the third position in the world rankings in both events.
Even after that success McKeon made a difficult decision to leave coach Vince Raleigh and move to Brisbane to train with Michael Bohl at St. Peters Western and his group which includes Madeline Groves, Mitch Larkin, Madison Wilson, Bronte Barratt and Brittany Elmslie.
“It’s going really well (with Michael)… and I’m enjoying having Bohly as my coach and I get along with him well so it’s been good,” McKeon said.
McKeon has made a decision to train with Bohl not with an eye on Kazan, but with success in Rio in the front of her mind.
“So I trialled from basically when I came back from my break (after trials in April) until around now and I’m racing again (at the) Japan Open next week and I’ll start to make my decision from now.”
“I was trying not to think about it too much in the weeks that I have been trialling and I want to make sure it’s the right decision so it’s perfect for next year.”
The change of coaches was the second change she has made in the last year the first joining Raleigh after being coached by her father Ron. McKeon’s father, a 1984 Olympian, is good friends with Bohl which has helped make the change a smooth one.
“Having my dad as my coach when I was at home, it’s definitely a big change to move away from that and Bohly being quite a close family friend makes it a lot easier and we get along.”
“Swimming is something that I’m only going to do well in if I enjoy it. I want to make sure that I am enjoying it all the way through to next year.”
Kylie Palmer took silver in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:59.56 followed by Chihiro Igarashi who hit the wall in a time of 2:00.72.
Natsumi Hoshi finished second in the 100 butterfly posting a 59.02 followed by Brittany Elmslie who recorded a 59.10.
Cate Campbell showed her dominance in the the 50 freestyle winning the event in a time of 24.22. It is off of Campbell’s season’s best time of 24.03, which sits atop the world rankings, but there is only person to swim faster this year and that is Campbell’s sister Bronte who has recorded a 24.19.
Bronte Campbell took the silver in Canberra finishing in a time of 24.69 followed by Miki Uchida who hit the wall in a time of 25.51.
Jessica Ashwood finished off the streak of Aussies taking gold in the freestyle events winning the 800 freestyle in a time of 8:34.25. Tamsin Cook finished second in a time of 8:48.41 followed by Chihiro Igarashi who collected her second bronze of the night posting a 8:49.55.
Kanako Watanabe took both the 100 breaststroke (1:07.78) and the 200 IM (2:12.51). Watanabe took was pushed in both races with Taylor McKeown (1:07.92) finishing only 14 one-hundredths of a second behind in the 100 breaststroke and Tessa Wallace (2:12.65) finishing the exact same distance behind her in the 200 IM.
Madison Wilson won the 200 backstroke in a time of 2:10.64 followed by Emily Seebohm who recorded a 2:11.21. Sayaka Akase finished third touching in a time of 2:12.06.
Two Grand Prix records were set in the men’s events. The first being set by Ryosuke Irie in the 100 backstroke finishing the event in a time of 53.49 off his season’s best of 52.99 which currently ranks second in the world.
Mitch Larkin finished second in a time 54.18 followed by Takeshi Kawamoto who posted a 54.51.
Daiya Seto broke the 400 IM record taking the event in a time of 4:14.18. Seto dominated the event by almost eight seconds over his Japanese teammate Kosuke Hagino who recorded a time of 4:22.23 and Clyde Lewis who finished in a time of 4:31.32.
Other medal winners in the men’s events included:
- 100m freestyle Shinri Shioura (JPN) 49.13 Katsumi Nakamura (JPN) 49.20 Cameron McEvoy (AUS) 49.42
- 400m freestyle David McKeon (AUS) 3:52.86 Mack Horton (AUS) 3:54 .66 Kosuke Hagino (JPN) 3:54.76
- 200m butterfly Masato Sakai (JPN) 1:58.96 Nao Horomura (1:59.35) David Morgan (AUS) 2:00.65
The Canberra Grand Prix has been set up in a unique format where all swimmers are put into three teams inspired by Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser and 1984 Olympic stars Mark Stockwell and Glenn Beringen.
At the end of the second session Team Fraser leads the Grand Prix pointscore on 511 from Team Stockwell (462) and Team Beringen (404).