Silver lining and Cam still smiling

CM_Web Image (c) Swimming Australia Australia’s Cam McEvoy has been out-touched for gold by a fingernail in a thrilling 100m freestyle final on the fifth night of action at the FINA World Championships in Kazan. The 21-year-old Gold Coaster claimed the silver medal behind China’s 22-year-old Ning Zetao with Argentina’s Federico Grablich the bronze. Zetao clocked 47.84 to take China’s first gold medal in swimming’s blue ribband event with McEvoy (47.84) just 0.11 behind and Grablich just 0.28 back in 48.12 to give Argentina its first medal in the event as well. McEvoy said it all came down to the final 10 metres. “Even though it is only 100 metres there is a lot of strategy that goes towards each stroke,” said McEvoy. “He was equal second with me on the rankings last year so I knew he was going to be one of the favourites for the race. “Being right next to me I knew he was going to take it out hard and have a really solid last 10 to 15 metres. “I came into the race expecting him to be right up there with me and I knew we were pretty much even towards the end, “It was head down for the last five to 10 metres and you can’t really see anything anyway; it was pretty much a guessing game and I just had to get the (wall) as quick as I could. “I’m not disappointed with the time but it’s definitely going to need to be a lot faster next year (at the Olympics).” Australia’s other individual finalist tonight, 19-year-old Brianna Throssell from WA flew home to finish fourth in the women’s 200m butterfly final, to signal her arrival on the international stage. Throssell, who qualified equal sixth fastest for the final, moved her way up to fourth and challenged for a place on the podium in 2:06.78 – just 0.27 outside the medal positions. The Perth based rising star said her first major meet experience had been amazing and would drive her motivation to qualify for Rio. “It’s been absolutely amazing, the crowd here is incredible and the support from my teammates and support staff has just been overwhelming,” Throssell said. “I think it’s given me confidence in terms of, you know that I do belong on the world stage even just still being 19 and able to make a final. I think it’s really given me confidence to move forward.” Japanese swimmer Natsumi Hoshi took the world title in a time of 2:05.56 ahead of the USA’s Cammile Adams (2:06.40) and China’s Yufei Zhang (2:06.51) The gold and silver dynamic duo from the 100m backstroke, Emily Seebohm and Madi Wilson, took on the splash and dash 50m backstroke final tonight and finished in fourth and sixth respectively. Seebohm narrowly missed a medal tonight with her time of 27.66 just 0.08 off the bronze medal winning time of 27.58 from China’s Liu Xiang. Wilson, who is better known for her 200m backstroke also impressed finishing a touch behind in 27.92 for sixth. The gold medal went to Yuanhui Fu who stopped the clock at 27.11. In the 4x200 metres women’s freestyle relay, the Australian team of with Bronte Barratt, Jessica Ashwood, Leah Neale and Emma McKeon finished in sixth place in 7:51.02. In semi-final action…. Australia’s latest world champion, Mitch Larkin became the equal seventh fastest 200m backstroker in history when he set a new Commonwealth and Australian record time of 1:54.29 to lead the qualifiers into tomorrow night’s final. If Larkin can add the 200m title to the 100m backstroke crown from earlier in the week he will join select club reserved for backstroking royalty. Only four previous athletes, since German legend Roland Matthes in the first world championships in 1973, have won the coveted 100-200m backstroke double. The others are Igor Polyansky (RUS) in 1986 and US pair Lenny Krayzelburg (1998) and Aaron Peirsol (2003 and 2005) who have stood on top of the dais for both events. But he knows he will have to be on his game. “The other boys will all turn up and are sure to lift their game for the final,” said Larkin, who has been working with coach Michael Bohl to put this time on the board in the semi-final. “It was the plan at the Trials but it didn’t quite work out so it was good to see it come off tonight. “You always lift for a final so I will be looking to swim under 1:54 tomorrow night – that’s been the plan.” Victoria’s Josh Beaver finished 14th in 1:57.99. While reigning world champion Cate Campbell will be fighting to defend her championship crown from lane five in the final tomorrow after clocking the second fastest time behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom in the semis. Cate made her semi-final swim look effortless as she cruised into the wall to stop the clock in a time of 52.84 and save a little something in the tank for the final tomorrow night. Little sister Bronte is also in the mix for a medal tomorrow night after impressing in the second semi-final, stopping the clock in 53.00 to take the third fastest time into the final. With Sweden’s world record breaking 100m butterflyer Sjostrom and Australia’s sister act taking centre stage for the women’s blue ribband event, Cate said no one can be ruled out and the final would be a fight to the finish. “It will be three yellow caps bobbing around in the centre of the pool fighting it out. You’ve also got a dual Olympic champion in there, you’ve got Femke who went 52.6 earlier this year, so you really just cannot count anyone out.” The Campbells’ Dutch rivals Femke Heemskerk (53.38) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (53.78) will also be in the battle for bragging rights after qualifying in fourth and fifth position for the final. “Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll just make sure that I do all the little things right tonight. Get a good sleep and recover…all of these things that come with being a sprinter...doing all the little things right and hopefully I can better that tomorrow,” Cate said. Backing up after their strong heats swims this morning, both Taylor McKeown and Tessa Wallace gave it their all again tonight but will miss the final of the women’s 200m breaststroke after finishing 12th and 13th respectively. The semi-finals were fast with top qualifier Rikke Moller Pedersen from Denmark stopping the clock at 2:21.99 while the top ten finishers all clocked sub 2 minutes and 24 seconds. McKeown finished in 2:24.41 with Wallace just behind in 2:24.68. Australian Medal Tally Gold: 3 Silver: 2 Bronze: 2 New Australian Records at the meet: Women’s 400m freestyle: 4:03.34 – Jessica Ashwood, Women’s 1500m freestyle: 15:52.17 – Jessica Ashwood, Men’s 100m backstroke: 52.38 – Mitch Larkin (Commonwealth Record), Men’s 200m backstroke 1:54.29 – Mitch Larkin (Commonwealth Record) The heats will continue tomorrow morning from 9:30am local time and will be available LIVE on 7TWO and 7swimming.com.au from 4:30pm AEST. The finals will be also be replayed on the seven network prior to the heats, check your local guides for details. For more information on the event go to www.fina.org.au Source: Swimming Australia 07/08/2015
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