Aussies farewell Samoa with three championship records

27 Jun 2010

Breaststrokers Rebecca Kemp and Jeremy Meyer have set new championship records, along with the women’s 4x100m medley relay team on the closing night of competition at 2010 Oceania Swimming Championships in Samoa.

Australia won a total of eight gold medals on the final night of competition to finish on top of the medal tally with 32 gold ahead of New Zealand with eight and Papua New Guinea with two.

Kemp, who had already broken the 100m breaststroke record earlier in the meet, smashed the previous record of 2:28.24 for the 200m breast set by Rebecca Brown of Australia in the first ever Oceania Championships in 1993.

The 18-year-old, who was only one when Brown set the original record, hit the wall in a new personal best time of 2:26.63, taking almost two seconds off the old mark on her way to a clean sweep of breaststroke gold medals.

Not to be out done in the breaststroke stakes, fellow Australian Jeremy Meyer from Traralgon in Victoria broke the men’s record with his winning time of 2:15.27, bettering the mark of Kiwi Glenn Snyders (2:16.24).

Kemp then finished off the meet winning gold for Australia in the 4x100m medley in the championship record time of 4:08.92 as the Australian team finished with a total of 65 medals for the six-day meet with the Australian team now due to return home on Monday.

The final events of the night saw Australia win medals in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m medley relay. The Women’s team of Jenni O’Neil, Madeline Groves, Rebecca Kemp and Amelia Evatt-Davey were too strong for New Zealand and New Caledonia.

While the men’s team of Braiden Camm, Grant Irvine, Jeremy Meyer and Luke Kerswell took out the men’s medley relay in 3:43.97 from New Zealand (3:49.55) and Hawaii (3:57.29).

In other events on the final night, Queensland’s Amy Allen picked up her first individual gold medal of the meet in the women’s 800m freestyle, and then backed up to win the 50m free an hour later on the final night of competition at the 2010 Oceania Swimming Championships in Samoa.

In a remarkable performance by Allen, the 16-year-old was too strong for Open Water gold medallist Belinda Bennett over 800 winning in 8:46.63 and smashing her previous personal best time over the distance by four seconds.

She then came within a within a whisker of another PB over the 50m winning in 26.25 from her St Peters Western training partner Amelia Evatt-Davey who won silver in 26.36, with Hannah Saunders taking bronze.

Melbourne year 12 student Belinda Bennet picked up silver in 8:48.75 while Jessica Ashwood hit the wall in third place in 8:54.79, but with only two Australians able to medal in a final, New Zealand’s Samantha Lucie-Smith won bronze in 8:57.62.

In the men’s 200m IM Mitch Larkin from St Peters Western in Brisbane won the double finishing in 2:04.14 from New Zealand’s Steven Kent (2:05.95) and fellow Australian Jarrod Killey who won bronze in 2:07.72.

Larkin split the 200m IM in 59.61 and was ahead of both Kent and Killey for the entire swim, with the youngest male member of the Australian team adding to his gold in the 400m IM and the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

The women’s 200m IM saw Kiwi Grace Francis come from behind at the half mark to storm home and win gold in a time of 2:15.89. Francis made up more than a second on the breaststroke leg to Jenni O’Neil and then added another two, turning for home more than a body length in front. O’Neil had to settle for silver with a time of 2:17.27 while her former training partner from Norwood Swim Club, who now trains on the Gold Coast, Tiffany Papaemanouil took bronze in 2:20.30.

In the men’s 50m freestyle, James Roberts of Australia won his first individual gold medal of the meet in a time of 22.95 from West Australian Hamish Rose from in a time of 23.09, with Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Pini taking bronze in 23.49 . Queensland’s Luke Kerswell won the B final in a time of 23.51 while Jade Neilsen won the women’s B final in 27.21.


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