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Coutts and Gandy crush Commonwealth records

August 25, 2013

Alicia Coutts 11

Former Great Britain Olympian Ellen Gandy has broken her first Australian record, and a Commonwealth record at that, in the women’s 200m butterfly on the final night of competition at the 2013 Short Course Championships in Sydney, with Alicia Coutts also setting a new Commonwealth mark in the 200m IM.

The 22-year-old Gandy who was born in Bromley, England and swam for Team GB at last year’s London Olympics, has had to sit out a year of international competition before being eligible to qualify to swim for Australia, missing this year’s FINA World Championships in Barcelona.

Swimming as part of the team that recently competed at the FINA World Cups in Eindhoven and Berlin however, and narrowly missing the record there, Gandy has trained in Australia since she was 15 under coach Rohan Taylor and is based at the Nunawading Swim Club in Melbourne.

Winning the race in a time of 2:02.88, to take 0.35 of a second off Jessicah Schipper’s previous Australian best swum in a ‘supersuit’ in 2009, Gandy was also under the previous Commonwealth record of 2:03.20 by Canadian Audrey Lacroix.

“I’m so excited. I was so close to it at the World Cups and I really wanted to get it at the second World Cup in Berlin but just missed out, so I’m really happy that I’ve been able to make my mark on the Australian record,” said Gandy.

“I’ve looked up to Jess Schipper for so long so to get her record and the Commonwealth record, just feels amazing.”

A dual Olympian from Beijing and London, and a World Championship silver medallist in 2011, Gandy was presented with her gold medal by fellow butterfly Olympian Geoff Huegill and said it ‘just feels right’ swimming for Australia now.

“It’s been a really strange year having 12 months of no international competition and watching the world championships was quite difficult not being able to participate, but I think it has really made me more hungry and I’m just so happy to be able to swim for Australia now,” said Gandy.

“Swimming for Australia (at the World Cups) didn’t feel strange at all, and it felt like I should have been doing it years ago. It was just awesome being part of the team and everyone welcomed me, and it just felt like I’d been in the team forever.”

Gandy was more than two body lengths and almost six seconds ahead of silver medallist Brianna Throssell (2:08.43) from WA with Sydney swimmer Jordan White picking up the bronze in 2:09.07.

Not to be out done, and picking up her fifth gold medal of the meet and second Commonwealth record, Alicia Coutts returned to the pool to set a new benchmark in the women’s 200m IM.

The 25-year-old, who has been suffering from nausea all afternoon, took half a second off the previous best set by Emily Seebohm a couple of weeks ago to win in a dominant 2:05.82.  Aisling Scott from Nudgee Brothers was second in 2:09.93 with Samantha Wilkins picking up the bronze in 2:11.49.

Coutts rounded out her meet with silver in the women’s 50m breaststroke behind London Olympian Leiston Pickett. The Gold Coaster touched the wall in a time of 30.12 while Coutts and Foster couldn’t be separated, both finishing in a time of 30.55 to claim silver.

Short course star Kenneth To has broken his own All Comers record and in doing so successfully defended his 2012 100m individual medley title. To streaked away from the field to win his fourth gold of the meet in a time of 51.24, over two seconds faster than his nearest rivals Travis Mahoney (53.64) and Sam Beinke (53.83) who won the silver and bronze respectively.

The 21-year-old from NSWIS then continued his blistering form by storming home to claim his fifth gold of the meet in the 50m freestyle. To (21.33) saw off a strong challenge from the Sydney University Abood brothers, with Matthew Abood (21.45) and Andrew Abood (21.67) finishing second and third respectively.

Fellow Trinity Grammar swimmer Bobby Hurley picked up another All Comers record in the men’s 100m backstroke, winning in an impressive 50.41 with Josh Beaver second in 51.91 and Bobby Jovanovich from WA third in 52.04.

In other events…

Men’s 100m Butterfly
Nathaniel Romeo has taken out his second gold medal, adding the 100m butterfly title to his 50m butterfly win. Romeo (50.73) narrowly out-touched Southport Olympics’ Christopher Wright (51.11) and David Morgan (51.54) who claimed the silver and bronze medals respectively. Commonwealth and Australian record holder for this event Mitchell Patterson (51.57) finished just outside the medals.

Men’s 200m Breaststroke
Defending champion Jeremy Meyer retained his 200m breaststroke title seeing off a spirited challenge from Westside Christchurch swimmer Lennard Bremer. Meyer (2:07.26) touched the wall just 0.11 of a second ahead of Bremer (2:07.37) to win gold, while the 21-year-old from Palm Beach Currumbin Nikolas Pregelj (2:13.74) claimed the bronze.

Women’s 200m Freestyle
Commonwealth Games relay gold medallist Kelly Stubbins has won the 200m freestyle final narrowly defeating London Olympian Melanie Schlanger. Stubbins touched the wall in a time of 1:55.98 ahead of Schlanger (1:56.24) and Southport Olympic swimmer Amy Levings (1:58.84) who claimed the bronze medal.

Women’s 50m Backstroke
Holly Barratt has won the 50m backstroke final in a thrilling finish beating out SOPAC’s Kirstie Meerteens and All Saints swimmer Adelaide Hart. Barratt, who took out the bronze in the 50m freestyle last night, hit the wall in 26.91 ahead of Meerteens (27.12) and Hart (27.33).

Men’s 1500m Freestyle
Miami’s Matthew Levings has blitzed the field in the 1500m freestyle timed final to win gold. Levings (14:46.90) led from start to finish to claim gold ahead of silver medallist Wally Eggleton (15:22.37) and bronze medallist 16-year-old Lachlan Hansen (15:28.84).

Men’s 400m Individual Medley
Nunawading’s Travis Mahoney has won the 400m individual medley timed final ahead of Nudgee Brothers swimmer Jared Gilliland and TSS Aquatics’ David Morgan. Mahoney built an early lead and maintained the gap throughout the race to finish in 4:09.19 while Gilliland (4:11.70) and Morgan(4:13.71) claimed the silver and bronze respectively.

Women’s 100m Breaststroke Multi Class
IPC world championships team members Amanda Fowler and Kayla Clarke have taken out the gold and silver medals respectively in the 100m breaststroke multi class final. Fowler (1:22.71) successfully defended her 2012 title beating Clarke (1:23.19) and bronze medallist 12-year-old Tiffany Thomas-Kane (1:53.30).

Men’s 100m Breaststroke Multi Class
Paralympian Ahmed Kelly has won the gold in the 100m breaststroke multi class final ahead of Hurstville Aquatic’s Oliver Cox and Campbelltown swimmer Patrcik Donachie. Kelly hit the wall in a time of 1:47.54 to claim gold while Cox (1:18.99) and Donachie (1:13.42) claimed the silver and bronze respectively.

Men’s 50m Backstroke Multi Class
IPC world championship and Paralympic team member Sean Russo has seen off fellow Paralympian Michael Anderson to claim gold in the 50m backstroke timed final.  Russo (27.30) won gold finishing ahead of Anderson (27.31)and Patrick Donachie (31.91) who won the silver and bronze respectively.

Women’s 50m Backstroke Multi Class
IPC Montreal World Championships medallists Taylor Corry and Maddison Elliot claimed the gold and silver medals respectively in the 100m backstroke multi class.  Corry took out the title with a time of 31.23 while Elliot finished second in a time 36.63. Ginninderra swimmer Ashleigh Cockburn won the bronze in 34.58.

For full results of the 2013 Australian Short Course Championships go to http://www.swimming.org.au

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