Australia’s Tamsin Cook pulled off a 2-for-1 on opening night of FINA’s Junior World Championships, breaking the championship record in the 200 free while leading off the junior world record-setting 4×200 free relay.
Cook went 1:58.16 on her leg, which is nearly a full second better than the previous meet record in the individual 200 free. That was the fastest leadoff leg in the race, also by almost a full second, and gave the Australian team clean water and a lead they’d never relinquish during the nearly-eight-minute race.
The previous championships record in the 200 free was a 1:58.93 set by Canada’s Brittany MacLean in 2011. MacLean, of course, has gone on to NCAA and international success for the Canadians throughout the freestyle distances.
Here’s a splits comparison of Cook and MacLean:
|Cook 2015||MacLean 2011|
Cook used her superior front-end speed to jump ahead of MacLean’s record, which makes sense as MacLean is more known as a distance swimmer. But Cook showed some great endurance, coming home in 30.00, just a hundredth off MacLean’s split.
Though Cook gets to celebrate two records tonight (Australia’s relay time of 7:56.68 smashed the previous junior world record), this mark could be short-lived, as Cook will likely have to re-break it in the individual event if she wants to keep it.
That’s because Canada’s Taylor Ruck dropped a huge 1:56.71 split to help her team win silver. Ruck had the advantage of a relay start and perhaps some swimmers ahead of her to draft off of, but she’ll still be a huge threat to Cook in the individual 200 free.
That event will take place on Sunday, the final day of competition in Singapore.