Missile blasts 50 freestyle; Hocking tops in 200 backstroke

After posting a world’s best in the 100 freestyle, James Magnussen knew that he was ready to do something special in the 50 freestyle as well, “I said to Brant (Best, his coach): “This is going to be quick tonight because I felt really, really strong,” Magnussen told the Australian. “I felt like I could use all of my strength and I was just floating on top of the water.”

“From the moment I broke out from the under water, I knew I probably had it in the bag.”

And he did, winning the event in a time of 21.52, which is a best time and the fastest time done in the world this year. Florent Manaudou had the world’s top time posting a 21.55 at French Nationals.

Matthew Abood finished second in a time of 21.95 just ahead of Matthew Targett who finished third in a time of 21.96.


Belinda Hocking

The women’s 200 backstroke was an incredible race between Olympians Belinda Hocking and Meagan Nay. Nay took the first 100 meters out 75 one-hundredths of a second ahead of Hocking. It was in the third 50 that Hocking took control of the race, out swimming Nay by over a second.

Hocking won the race posting a time of 2:07.17, which over takes Missy Franklin for the top spot in the world rankings. Franklin had recorded a 2:07.31 at the Austin Grand Prix in January.

Nay finished second in a time of 2:07.96, which is the third fastest time done in the world this year behind Hocking and Franklin.

Hocking – 31.19/1:03.77 (32.58)/1:34.97 (31.20)/2:07.17 (32.20)

Nay – 30.33/1:03.02 (32.69)/1:35.44 (32.42)/2:07.96 (32.52)

Emily Seebohm finished third in a time of 2:10.26.

The women’s 800 freestyle was an fantastic race between Jessica Ashwood, Alanna Bowles and Katie Goldman. Goldman turned at the 400 meter mark in a time of 4:10.81 just under three seconds ahead of both Ashwood and Bowles. At the 600 meter mark Goldman had a slight lead over Ashwood and over a two second lead over Bowles.


Jessica Ashwood

It was the last 200 meters that made it interesting:

Ashwood – 31.31/31.30/30.95/30.34

Bowles – 32.40/32.18/32.29/30.71

Goldman – 32.19/32.56/32.98/33.19

Ashwood won the event in a time of 8:24.63 followed by Bowles who recorded a time of 8:30.12 with Goldman finishing third in a time of 8:31.06.

Christopher Wright made a second half comeback to win the men’s 100 butterfly in a time of 52.11. Wright trailed Daniel Lester by almost half a second at the 50, but swam a very strong second 50 to finish three one-hundredths of a second ahead of Lester who finished second in a time of 52.14.

Tommaso D’Orsogna finished third in a time of 52.26.

In the women’s 50 free semi-final Cate Campbell finished with the top time of 24.38. She was followed by Alicia Coutts who posted a time of 24.95 with Brittany Elmslie qualifying third in a time of 25.08.

Jennie Johansson took the top spot for the final in the women’s 50 breaststroke posting a time of 30.78. Since this is a non-qualifying event the Swedish swimmer can participate in both the semi-final and the final. Leiston Pickett qualified second touching in a time of 31.11 with Samantha Marshall qualifying third in a time of 31.59.

In the men’s 50 backstroke semi-final Benjamin Treffers had the fastest time in the evening recording a 25.18 he was followed by Daniel Arnamnart who posted a 25.28 and Bobby Hurley who finished in a time of 25.58.

Kayla Clarke (S14) won the women’s multi-class 200 IM in a time of 2:36.45 while Rick Pendleton (S10) took the men’s event in a time of 2:15.24.

 Photos courtesy of Swimming Australia / Delly Carr


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Scuba Steve
9 years ago

It just occured to me that for the first time in history the Australian textile 50m freestyle record is quicker than the American record. Not for long.

Scuba Steve
9 years ago

In addition to winning tha 100 Fly and 200 IM, and getting a relay spot for the 100 free, Coutts has had a go at all of the 50s.
50 Back: 28.34 (semi 28.12). 2nd place. Seebohm 1st in a time slower the Coutts’ Semi
50 Fly: 25.78 Winner easily – fast time.
50 Free: 24.95 Semi Final – 2nd fastest qualifier behind Cate Campbell
50 Breast 31.71 Semi Final – 6th qualifier for final

3 races last night alone.

Reply to  Scuba Steve
9 years ago

Coutts is one of the most underrated swimmers. I hope she wins either 100 fly or 200 IM in Barcelona, but I wished she’d choose and focus on either, because I feel she won’t win either if she swims both.

Reply to  Scuba Steve
9 years ago

Yes is she had the time she could also be a world class 200 flyer , 100& 200 back & already. Has a 1.56+ 200 free.

Just at this meet she could medal in the 100/200 free , 50 100 200 back , 50 100 200 fly & both the ims.

Alicia Katinka & Hannah should spar off in an Ironwoman contest over all events.

They 3 would be warriors in another time though I can’t see Alicia killing people off.

Philip Johnson
9 years ago

Overall, nice sprinting by Magnussen and Campbell. I think the two are poised for some huge swims come Barcelona. If Magnussen, Cielo, Manaudou, Morozov, and Adrian are on top of their game, we’re up for some exciting swimming in the 50!

Joel Lin
9 years ago

After the London debacle I was guessing the Aussies would manage the calendar better, but instead I am fearing this goes worse. The Aussies are all peaked out for the selection meet in early May. It seems to bring on a very awkward and rushed training cycle to peak again at worlds.
I certainly hope to be wrong and that the Aussies deliver on potential this Summer.

bobo gigi
9 years ago

Ok, Australia has not improved on backstroke and on butterfly on the men’s side. 53.63 and 52.11 are slow times today. No chance for a gold medal in the medley relay.
Of course, great time for James Magnussen but is it a surprise when you swim 47.53 in the same meet? No. Florent Manaudou is still my favorite for Barcelona with Nathan Adrian and Cesar Cielo just behind.
For tomorrow, will Cate Campbell swim under 24 in the 50 free final?

Philip Johnson
Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

I didn’t think Australia had the depth to be a considered a gold medal threat in the medley relay in the first place. I don’t know Bobo, I think you are underestimating Magnussen. His confidence seems to be back, and I think he has the potential to challenge Cielo or Manaudou. But potential and performing are two different things, so we’ll see.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
9 years ago

The problem with Cielo is his knees.If you see his start in Maria Lenk this year, you will see he looks like an ordinary swimmer(in another view, his recuperation in the swim phase is really impressive).See yourself(cielo is wearing a black jammer):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0qfc4J6isg //50 fly cielo is in lane 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm9-FQNRMIs //50 free cielo is in lane 4

After the races, Cielo told he is gonna make a effort to training start and fly(he wasnt doing because his injury).He expect a 0.2-0.3 shave in his first 15 meters in Worlds with improved start.

Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

Chris Wright swam 51.77 in the semis and last year he swam 51.67

Although I agree Australia is not a gold medal in the men 400 MR threat this year, but Australia is always a medal threat in all relays, due to depth.

Australia has won medal in major championships men 4×100 medley from 1996 Atlanta to 2012 London with the exception of 2003 Barcelona, 2004 Athens and 2005 Montreal.

bobo gigi
Reply to  aswimfan
9 years ago

Ok, I had forgotten the 51.77 from the 100 fly semi-finals, but it’s sill not enough to play the gold medal. Their biggest problem is backstroke. If you don’t have a backstroker under 53 today, it’s very hard to win a medley relay.