By starting the year off posting a 58.89 in the 100 backstroke at the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series Emily Seebohm grabbed a lot of people’s attention. Now heading into the New South Wales State Open Championships this week in Sydney her coach Matt Brown feels she has what it takes to break Gemma Spofforth‘s world record before the year’s end.
“She’s fitter than she’s ever been, she’s stronger than she’s ever been, and she’s lighter than she was last year,’’ Brown told The Australian.
“In the past she’s dropped about two seconds from January to April, so that would be a bit scary. But I have always said there’s a 57 in her.’’
“The goal is to swim faster than she ever has before,’’ Brown said. “She was half a second faster (than in London) on her turns alone at the world shortcourse (in December) so if you take that off her long-course time, that’s 57.7sec right there.’’
Seebohm has had a lot of success over the last year. She took gold in the 100 backstroke at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships as well as silver in the 200 backstroke at both competitions. Her winning times in the 100 set new games and championship meet records.
Then in Doha she finished second in all three backstroke events, but also set new Commonwealth records in all three events.
Her current lifetime best in the 100 backstroke is a 58.23, which she posted in the prelims at the 2012 Olympics. She currently ranks first in the world in the 50 and 100 backstroke and second in the 200 backstroke.
The New South Wales State Championships begins on Thursday. Many of Australia’s top swimmers such as Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Cameron McEvoy, James Magnussen, Bronte Barratt, Mitch Larkin, Mack Horton, David McKeon, Alicia Coutts, Emma McKeon and Taylor McKeown will be competing at the meet.
Live results can be found here.