The final night of the Victorian Championships in Melbourne did not have the kind of high end and record breaking action as the first two evenings, but the final session of the meet provided many very tight races in the battles for gold.
With only 11 days to go before the BHP Billiton Super Series in Perth where the Australians will take on the South African, Brazilians, Japanese and Chinese there were six athletes from the home team that got an early start on what they hope will be a direct line to the top of the podium at the event.
After have an incredible 100 freestyle on the first evening recording a 47.73, James Magnussen was than beaten out in the final 50 meters of the 200 freestyle by Park Tae Hwan on Saturday. He returned to the pool on Sunday to win the 50 freestyle and sweep the men’s sprint events. Magnussen put up a time of 22.47 nipping Matthew Abood by two tenths of a second for the win.
Abood finished second in a time of 22.64, followed closely by his brother Andrew who finished third in a time of 22.69.
Madeline Groves and Ellen Gandy, both of whom will competing in Perth, had performances that topped their 2013 performances. On this evening Groves overtook Gandy in the final 50 meters posting a time of 2:06.90 finishing 16 one hundredths of a second ahead of Gandy who recorded a time of 2:07.06.
Frenchman Camille Lacourt won the 100 backstroke in a time of 54.29, his second gold of the competition, winning the 50 backstroke on the Friday. Lacourt had an exciting race with Mitch Larkin, who had a lead of three one-hundredths of a second at the halfway point, but eventually finished six one-hundredths of a second behind Lacourt recording a time of 54.35.
In the closest race of the evening Jayden Hadler managed to eek out a win over Australian team member Chris Wright. Hadler hit the wall in a time of 53.31 two one-hundredths of a second ahead of Wright and only eight one-hundredths of a second ahead of third place finisher Daniel Lester.
Wright put up a 53.33 to grabbing the silver while Lester posting a 53.39 taking the bronze.
Bronte Barratt and Brittany Elmslie went head to head in the women’s 200 freestyle. Barratt extended the small lead she had over Gandy throughout the race in the final 50 meters winning the event in a time of 1:58.30. Elmslie touched second in a time of 1:58.64.
Leiston Pickett and Georgia Bohl battled for the women’s 50 meter breaststroke crown in the same manner they fought for the 100 breaststroke championship title with the result ending the same way. Pickett took the event in a time of 31.34 with Bohl finishing second posting a time of 31.58.
It took three nights for her to earn her gold, but Alicia Coutts eventually made her way to the top of the podium in the women’s 200 IM recording a time of 2:12.63.
16 year old Mitchell Davenpost-Wright won the men’s 400 IM in a time of 4:29.48. Marieke D’Cruz took the women’s 50 backstroke posting a time of 28.99.
In the distance events Laura Crockart took the women’s 1500 freestyle in a time of 16:30.72 while Jarrod Poort won the men’s event in a time of 15:25.12.