(Note: Samoa is EST Aust minus 21 hours and New Zealand minus 23 hours)
Young gun looking to fly in finals
At 14 years of age, Madeline Groves is the youngest member of the Australian team at this year’s Oceania Championships in Samoa, but age has been no barrier for this Queenslander on her way to gold and silver medals in the butterfly already this meet.
Tonight, she will swim from block 4 in the final of the women’s 100m fly, with one eye on the rest of the field, and the other on the championship record.
The women’s 100m butterfly looks like being on of the finals of the night, with just 0.02 separating the St Peters Western training partners Groves (1:01.27) and Amy Smith (1:01.29).
New Zealand’s Laura Quilter (1:01.94) and Sam Lee (1:02.55) will also be in the mix as all four girls look to break the championship record of 59.56 set by Amy Smith in Christchurch in 2008.
Rebecca Kemp from Mackay will look to continue her record breaking form in the women’s 50m breaststroke tonight, after a fast heat which saw her touch the wall in 32.55, just 0.04 of a second outside the personal best time she swam at the Telstra Australian Swimming Championships in March.
Kemp was also just 0.30 outside the championship record of 32.22, held by fellow Australian Jessica Legge and will need to contend with the clock and South Australian Tiffany Papaemanouil (34.07) as she swims for her second individual gold of the meet. Matelita Buadromo from Fiji was the third fastest in 37.18.
In the men’s 50m breaststroke, Tonga’s Fonua Amini qualified fastest in 29.38 from Nick Ferrif of New Zealand who swim from lane 5, after a time of 29.63, while Jeremy Meyer of Australia finished in 29.70.
Australia will go into the final of the 400m freestyle in lane 4 for both the men’s and women’s events with Matthew Terry from Redlands in Queensland and the AIS based Jade Neilsen leading the way.
Neilsen, who has been battling a shoulder injury for the last couple of days, finished the eight laps in 4:20.00 with Individual Medley specialist Tiffany Papaemanouil qualifying second fastest in 4:20.44 from New Zealand’s Samanatha Lucie-Smith in 4:21.78. Australia’s Jessica Ashwood will swim in the B final after her time of 4:22.36 while Brooke Wilson backed up from her 10km silver medal swim yesterday to hit the wall in 4:28.22.
In the men’s event, Terry who finished in 3:58.13 will have to race dual gold medallist from this meet Jarrod Killey who finished in 4:01.76 while Mitch Larkin (4:02.38) and Codey Grimsey (4:09.26) will battle it out in the B Final.
Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Pini will be looking for his second gold medal of the meet when he swims in lane 4 of the men’s 100m fly final tonight. Pini, who holds the championship record of 52.33, qualified fastest in 54.70 from Australia’s Grant Irvine (55:09) and New Zealand’s Shaun Burnett (55.38).
The women’s 200m backstroke final looks to be an all Kiwi affair with Jessie Blundell hitting the wall first in 2:16.70 from Sophia Batchelor (2:16.84) and Australia’s Jenni O’Neil (2:17.36). Whitney Ireland was fourth into the final in 2:24.16.
The men’s 200m backstroke will be a race in two between Braiden Camm who swam his heat in 2:05.64 and Mitch Larkin who hit the wall in 2:06.77. A win for Camm, would complete his backstroke ‘Camm Slam’.