2018 AUSTRALIAN PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIP TRIALS
- Saturday, June 30th – Wednesday, July 4th
- SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre, Oaklands Park, South Australia
- Pan Pacs Selection Criteria
- Qualifiers from Commonwealth Games
- Meet Site
- Start List
- Day 1 Finals Recap
- Day 2 Finals Recap
- Day 3 Finals Recap
- Live Stream
- Live Results
As the Commonwealth Games served as the first Australian qualification meet for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, many of the nation’s stars are competing at these Pan Pacific Trials under heavy training and are considering this an in-season affair. However, night 4 of the competition in South Australia saw huge swims from several budding stars and emerging players on the international swimming scene.
18-year-old Bond swimmer Elijah Winnington kicked off the night with a monster personal best in the men’s 400m freestyle to take gold ahead of Olympic champion Mack Horton. Winnington took control of the race from the get-go and never let up, splitting 53.47/56.72/57.91/57.88 to capture a winning time of 3:45.98. That outing places Winnington among the fastest Australians ever, checking in at #9 on the fastest Aussie performances of all-time.
The mark also dips well under the QT of 3:46.14 needed to race the even in Tokyo this summer, as well as inserts Winnington among the world’s top 6 fastest athletes so far this season. Winnington won the 200m freestyle on night 1 as well.
Of his exciting effort this evening, Winnington stated, “I’m super happy with that; I wasn’t too sure coming into it how fast I could actually go.
“I came off the back doing a PB at National Age only a few months ago and I just came in tonight and did the best I could do and made the A qualifying time so I’m pretty happy. My coach Richard Scarce and I always have a set race plan and I led all the way to the last 100m and that’s when you’ve got to give it all you can.
“I turned at the 300m mark pretty wrecked and I knew Jack was there and I knew I had a pretty quick pace and I listened to my coach whistle me home the whole (way) and I trusted him and got the job done.”
Silver in the men’s 400m free tonight went to Jack McLoughlin in 3:47.74, while bronze went to Horton in 3:52.74. Both men have already qualified to race this event at the Pan Pacific Championships, courtesy of their respective 3:45.21 and 3:43.76 performances on the Gold Coast.
The women’s race also brought the heat, with 17-year-old Tasmanian teen Ariarne Titmus blasting an impressive 4:01.73 to take gold easily. Her speedy effort tonight checks-in as the 2nd fastest time of her young and promising career, sitting just .80 outside of her own Australian record. Splitting 58.01/1:00.99/1:01.37/1:01.36, Titmus’ mark falls just shy of the 4:00.93 she produced for gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Post-race, Titmus said, “It’s my second fastest time apart from Commonwealth Games so that’s really good and I’m less than a second over my PB, so that’s really good for being in-work.” She continued, “Now I’m at the point where going into the 400 Dean [Boxall] doesn’t really have to tell me what to do, I know what to do, it’s just more about having the belief in myself to go and do it.
“I remember when I was little I was chasing people like Jess (Ashwood) and now I hope I have the same influence on other girls and the reason why I think I’ve improved is because I’m always chasing people so hopefully I can help others as well. “
Titmus finished her session by leading off the winning St. Peters Western women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, clocking an opening split of 55.37.
Silver in the women’s 400m free tonight went to Kiah Melverton, who collected a 2nd Pan Pacs QT with her swim, touching in 4:06.25. She already earned a roster spot with her 1500m victory from night 1. USC Spartans’ Mikkayla Sheridan took bronze tonight in 4:09.36.
Multiple Olympic medalist Emma McKeon set the pool aflame with a super quick 100m fly time of 56.61 to take gold well over 2 seconds ahead of the next fastest Australian. Splitting 26.49/30.12, McKeon fired off a time of 56.61, a mark faster than the 56.78 Games Record she produced on the Gold Coast for gold. McKeon remains as the 3rd fastest female in the world in this event as of the current world rankings and tonight’s time ties the All Comers Record.
McKeon’s training partner, An Sehyeon of Korea, was next at the wall, touching in 57.91 for silver, while Brisbane Grammar’s Gemma Cooney collected bronze in 59.15. Maddie Groves and Brianna Throssell already notched QT’s at the Commonwealth Games.
Veteran Olympian Grant Irvine did his best in the men’s 100m fly, although his winning time of 51.59 fell short of the 51.31 QT. He may get the nod discretionarily for the Tokyo roster, however, at the very least as a swimmer on the men’s medley relay. Behind is 51.59 was David Morgan from TSS Aquatics, who notched 51.93 for silver, while Theodoro Benehoutsos, formerly of Greece, earned bronze in 53.05.
West Australia’s Blair Evans was gunning for a QT in the women’s 200m IM, but was unable to cross the 2:10.45 threshold, settling for gold in 2:13.78. Hayley Baker finished about a half a second behind in 2:14.21, while Melbourne Vicentre swimmer Kotuku Ngawati rounded out the top 3 in 2:14.24.
Backstroking ace Mitch Larkin proved once again he’s a worthy IMer, clocking 1:58.42 to take the gold in the 200m IM for the men tonight. He already earned his first international elite medal in this race on the Gold Coast, taking gold in 1:57.67, a new Games Record. Bronze in that Commonwealth race was Clyde Lewis, tonight’s silver medalist from Larkin’s St. Peters Western club who touched in 1:59.21. Marion’s Travis Mahoney was 3rd in 1:59.43.
Of note, Thomas Fraser-Holmes, back from his 12-month suspension, finished in a respectable 4th in 2:00.16 tonight.
Ending the night with a bang was 19-year-old Jack Cartwright, who cranked out a big-time opening split of 48.05 on the St. Peters Western men’s 4x100m freestyle relay. That surpassed his 48.33 individual winning time in the 100m free from last night, and also clears the 48.31 QT for Tokyo. The young sprinter now slides into the 7th spot among the world’s fastest freestylers this season.