Kemp and Larkin set championship records in Samoa

Queenslanders Rebecca Kemp and Mitch Larkin have set the pool alight in Samoa breaking championship records previously held by Jade Edmistone and Adam Lucas on their way to helping Australia win nine of the ten gold medals on Day 3 of competition at the Oceania Swimming Championships in Apia.

Kemp, who was fourth in the 200m at the Telstra Australian Swimming Championships in March, was in clear water for the majority of the women’s 100m breaststroke to post a time of 1:08.86, taking more than a second off the previous record set by Edmistone in Fiji in 2004.

The 18-year-old who is coached by Pat Wright in Mackay, was ecstatic with the win and personal best time and says she will now focus on the 50 and 200m breaststroke later in the week.
“I’ve been training really hard and to do a PB tonight is really exciting,” said Kemp.
“This is my first time representing Australia and to come here and do a PB is just fantastic and hopefully I can do a PB in the 100m as well as the 50m later in the meet.”

For Larkin, who narrowly missed out on Commonwealth Games selection in March, his time of 4:22.17 for the 400m IM took more than two seconds off the previous record of 4:24.57 set by Lucas in Noumea in 2002.

“I didn’t really know what the record was coming into the meet and just wanted to swim close to my PBs which is what I’ve done, so I’m happy with that,” said Larkin.
“I felt good this morning in the heat and I’m now really looking forward to the 200m IM and 200m backstroke for the rest of the meet.”

New Zealand’s Grace Francis took silver in the 100m breast in 1:12.07 with Pilar Shimizu winning the first ever medal at an Oceania championships for Guam in a time 1:18.82. While in the men’s 400m IM Steven Kent from New Zealand took silver in 4:37.22 from Kacey Johnson of Hawaii in 4:37.85.

In the men’s 100m breaststroke New Zealand’s Nick Ferrif won the Kiwi’s only gold of the night hitting the wall in 1:02.79 from Australia’s Jeremy Meyer (1:03.37) and Thomas Dahlia who picked up bronze in 1:03.88 for New Caledonia’s first medal of the championships.

Australia won the remaining seven gold medals on offer in the meet with both 4x200m relay teams finishing the night in style with the girls team of Amelia Evatt-Davey, Jade Neilsen, Tiffany Papaemanouil and Amy Smith winning in 8:18.58, while the men’s team of Luke Kerswell, Jarrod Killey, Mitch Larkin and Matthew Terry also took gold in 7:28.61.

In earlier finals, South Australian Whitney Ireland continued the women’s backstroke dominance for Australia and the Norwood swim club winning the women’s 50m back in a time of 29.70 from Kiwi Laura Quilter (29.84) and fellow Australian Jenni O’Neil in 29.99.

With both Ireland and O’Neil coached by backstroke specialist Peter Bishop, it was the 16-year-old Ireland who got the best start of the duo to win her first medal of the meet, while O’Neil’s bronze will be added to her gold from the 100m backstroke final last night.

Queensland’s Braiden Camm continued his dominance and moved one step closer to the ‘Camm Slam’ winning the men’s 50m backstroke in a personal best time of 26.47.  
Camm took 0.51 of a second off his previous best over the distance which he swam at the 2010 Australian Age Championships, with the 19-year-old now looking towards the 200m on Friday night.
“Coming into this meet I didn’t really know what kind of speed I would have and that was pretty good tonight to take more than half a second off my PB over 50m,” said Camm.

“This is my first chance to represent Australia so I wanted to really give it everything in the 100 last night and then the 50m tonight, so now we’ll see how we go in the 200m.”
Australia’s Bobby Jovanovich was second in the 50m back in 27.11 with Darren Choi from Hawaii taking silver in 27.32.

The Australian gold rush continued in the women’s 100m freestyle final with Amelia Evatt-Davey picking up her second individual gold of the meet, adding to her win in the 200m free last night.
Evatt-Davey crashed into the wall in 56.16 with Jade Neilsen winning silver in 57.03 and Hannah Saunders from New Zealand taking third in 57.29. Amy Allen from St Peters Western in Brisbane won the B final in 57.99.

The men’s 100m freestyle final was a cracker with New Zealand freestyler Andrew McMillan turning first at the 50, only to be mowed down by the tall timber of Luke Kerswell and James Roberts in lane 4 and 3 respectively. 

Kerswell hit the wall in 50.64 to win his first medal of the meet, while Roberts was just 0.11 of a second behind to win silver. McMillian who won two gold medals on the opening night of competition had to settle for bronze in a time of 51.16.

Tiffany Papaemanouil was too strong in the women’s 400m IM winning gold in 4:56.19 from New Zealand’s Samantha Lucie-Smith (5:02.24) and Summer Harrison from Hawaii in 5:12.73.


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