Cate Campbell Blast Sub-53 100 Free During Night One At The Inaugural Sydney Open

Cate Cambell all smiles after today's 100m free heats at the Sydney Open
Cate Campbell after heats of the women's 100 free at the 2019 Sydney Open; Photo Courtesy: Swimming NSW

The first-ever Sydney Open started in Australia on Friday at the Sydney Olympic Park, with Cate Campbell lighting up the pool once again with a strong performance in the women’s 100 free.

The meet, hosted by Swimming New South Wales, is a 3-day competition about one month out from Australian World Championship Trials, giving Australia’s best an opportunity to sharpen their racing habits before vying for a chance to represent their country in South Korea in July.  


The highlight of the first night of finals had to be Campbell’s 100 free, where she was the only sub-53 swimmer. Out first by more than half a second in 25.00, she came home in 27.96 to touch the wall in a final time of 52.96. In second was Emma McKeon, who wasn’t able to match Campbell going out (25.70), but was essentially the same coming home (27.94) to finish in 53.64. The fastest closing split of the field actually belonged to Madison Wilson, who had a 27.60 second 50 that propelled her to a 53.99 final time.

In a post-race interview, Campbell noted that a big part of her swims this weekend was implementing the work she has down with the sports science team at the New South Wales Institute of Sport to improve her start.

“I know I’m never going to be the fastest  starter in the field but we are working on getting it as best we can…so I will be interested to see the video of the start,” said Campbell. “But the time was certainly very encouraging at this stage of the preparation for next months Trials and before we head to Thredbo for our annual training camp – where we will do nothing but train, eat and sleep.”

Other notable swims from the Australian’s on the first night included Kaylee McKeown, who touched first in the women’s 200 back in a field without Aussie star Emily Seebohm. Seebohm is scheduled to compete in the second stop of the FINA Champions Swim Series this weekend in Budapest. McKeown finished more than four seconds ahead of the rest of the field, swimming a very even split 2:07.10 to move to #4 in the world rankings for 2019. 

“The Canadians and US girls have been putting up some smart times so why not let the Australian girls do the same thing,” said McKeown post-race.

She noted she has only had a day’s rest after a heavy block of training, adding “I’m pretty happy with that performance and hopefully in a month’s time I can do that again; my coach Chris Mooney didn’t talk about times just to concentrate on my technique but I only did two kicks off the walls so there is still room for improvements.”

Japan’s Yui Ohashi posted a strong swim to win the 400 IM (4:36.54), while her teammates Katsuhiro Matsumoto (48.83) and Katsumi Nakamura (48.92) went 1-2 in the men’s 100 free ahead of Aussie Cam McEvoy (49.48). World Champion Daiya Seto also opened the meet with with a close win in the 400 free (3:48.19) over Jack McLoughlin (3:49.32) and Olympic gold medalist Mack Horton (3:50.53).

Other event winners included Emma McKeon in the 50 fly (26.26), David Morgan in the 200 fly (1:57.94), Jenna Strauch in the 100 breast (1:07.83), Yasuhiro Koseki in the 50 breast (27.69), Bradley Woodward in the 50 back (25.73), and Madeleine Gough in the 800 free (8:26.89).

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Thomas A. Small
4 years ago


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