Emily Seebohm: The girl with the Midas touch

Emily Seebohm Image (c) Swimming Australia Australian swimming has a new golden girl in the form of Brisbane backstroker Emily Seebohm who tonight took her world title gold medal tally to three at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan with a barnstorming win in the 200m backstroke final. After winning gold on the first night in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, she then backed up to win the 100m backstroke crown on night three. With the 100m backstroke off her mind and a close-up fourth in the 50m backstroke, she focused her attentions on 200m and powered her way to an emphatic victory, picking up the elusive backstroke double in the process. Only four other women have ever won the backstroke double with Seebohm joining Krisztina Egerszegi (1991), He Chiong (1994), Kirsty Coventry (2005) and Missy Franklin (2013) on the list of swimmers to win both events at the one championship. She is also joins a select group of Australian women to have won two or more individual gold medals at one world championship. She joins an exclusive club with: -          Libby Trickett (50, 100 freestyle,100m butterfly, Melbourne 2007) the most successful with three, followed by: -          Tracey Wickham (400, 800m freestyle Berlin, 1978) -          Sam Riley (100,200m breaststroke, Rome 1994) -          Petria Thomas (100, 200m butterfly, Fukuoka 2001) and -          Leisel Jones (100, 200m breaststroke Montreal 2005 and Melbourne 2007) with doubles. With a scorching last 50 metres, Seebohm surged home like it was a one lap dash to take the title in an Australian record time of 2:05.81 (splitting: 29:50; 32.19; 32.98; 31.14) stealing the win from gold medal favourites; defending champion and Olympic gold medallist Missy Franklin (USA, 2:06.34) and “The Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu (HUN, 2:06.84). Her final 50m in 31.14 had coaches and sports science staff shaking their heads in amazement. “I think for me it was all about sticking to that race plan that I do over and over again and I think that’s what works because I have so much left on that last 50m,” Seebohm said. “I wanted to save as much as I could, I definitely know that with Missy and with Katinka, they go out after it and for me it was (a case) of not getting carried away with what they were doing beside me and sticking to something that I know that works so well. “I’ve definitely gotten stronger over the last couple of years doing this 200m backstroke and I’m able to hold on a little bit more at the 150 and not slow down so much on that last 50, but having that little bit at the end…definitely helps a lot.” The 23-year-old added that she drew inspiration from seeing Mitch Larkin take the backstroke double just last night. “Seeing what Mitch did was very inspiring. He even said to me today, ‘go out and get that double’ and he said ‘I know you can do it’. And I guess just hearing that from him and seeing how hard he’s worked, I know that I’ve worked just as hard and I’m just so excited with tonight,” Seebohm said. Following both Seebohm and Larkin’s victories in both the 100 and 200m backstroke events they become the first athletes from the same country to win both the men’s and women’s backstroke double at the same world championships. “Maybe there is something in the water in Brisbane? I think that Mitch (Larkin) and I have always been so strong in these events and even Madi (Wilson) coming through, we’ve just got so many backstrokers that just have so much potential. Mitch and I have been on the team for a little while and it’s good to finally see our results this week be as good as they have been.” Swimming at her fifth world championship meet, Seebohm has had a stellar week in the pool and said she has learned invaluable lessons ahead of Rio 2016. “I’ll definitely go back from this and train as hard as I can because we all know how much I want that Olympic gold and that would be a massive result for me,” she said. “I feel like I’ve always had it in me it’s just that I’ve never been able to push to that next level and I think after this meet it will always be, ‘remember what I could do here, under all that pressure’ and it’s definitely something that I’ll take to Rio and have in my mind. So I think I’ll definitely feel more comfortable and confident in Rio,” Seebohm said. AND AFTER CLOCKING UP a total of 5.8 kilometres of racing this week, Jessica Ashwood has capped of her World Championship campaign with a courageous fourth place finish in the women’s 800m freestyle final. Ashwood, who won bronze in the 400 and finished fifth in the 1500m freestyle, charged home with just 100 metres to go, playing catch up with New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle (8:07.39) and Great Britain’s Jaz Carlin (8:18.15) all the way to the wall. Her fast final lap led to a new Australian record with a time of 8:18.41, which means the 22-year-old will leave Kazan with the Australian records to her name in the 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle events. Ashwood was agonisingly close to another podium finish, gaining on Boyle and Carlin, hitting the wall just 0.26 of a second behind the bronze medal position. “You could sort of see across the pool but I think all of us in the end were just absolutely going for it,” Ashwood said. With top five placings in all her individual events this week Ashwood was very happy with her results and the improvements she had made since the Australian Championships in April. “I’m pretty happy overall, PBs (Personal Bests) and national records in all of my events, so I’m obviously on the right track. I’m very happy, I mean I would have liked a medal but I’m very happy with the week,” Ashwood said. The gold medal went to the USA’s super swimmer Katie Ledecky who set a new world record time of 8:07.39 to take the title and take her gold medal tally to five – the 200, 400, 800, 1500 freestyles and the 4x200m freestyle relay. IN TONIGHT’S SEMI-FINALS…just 0.01 of a second separated the top two qualifiers in the women’s 50m freestyle, with Australia’s Cate Campbell (24.22) ahead of Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED, 24.23) with the same margin then splitting both Sarah Sjostrom (SWE, 24.31) and Bronte Campbell (24.32) who will go through ranked third and fourth respectively. With the women’s 100m freestyle crown already to her name Bronte will be looking to add to her golden glow while her older sister Cate, bronze medallist from the 100 free, will be in search of a personal best. The field is loaded and the winner will come down to whoever can execute the perfect race on the night. AUSTRALIA will have two representatives in the men’s 50m backstroke final after both Ben Treffers and Mitch Larkin qualified comfortably for the final tomorrow night. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist in this event, Treffers, will move through ranked third with a time of 24.64 with the world champion in the 100 and 200m backstroke Larkin fourth in 24.65. Frenchman and fastest qualifier Camille Lacourt (24.27) looked strong in the semis and has a slight height advantage over the Aussie boys, but the battle for bragging rights will be on tomorrow night. If the pair can produce a good result in the final, on offer for Larkin is a chance at a hat-trick of titles and for Treffers his first individual world championship medal. COMMONWEALTH GAMES silver medallist from the 100m breaststroke Lorna Tonks set a new personal best time in the 50m breaststroke semi-final, stopping the clock at 31.05 to finish in 12th place overall. Australian Medal Tally Gold: 6 Silver: 2 Bronze: 4 Total: 12 New Australian Records at the meet: Women’s 400m freestyle: 4:03.34 – Jessica Ashwood, Women’s 1500m freestyle: 15:52.17 – Jessica Ashwood, Women’s 800m freestyle: 8:18.41, Men’s 100m backstroke: 52.38 – Mitch Larkin (Commonwealth Record) 200m backstroke: 1:53.58 - Mitch Larkin (Commonwealth Record), Women’s 200m backstroke: 2:05.81, Emily Seebohm (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 - 09/08/15
This entry was posted in Latest News, Swimming, Swimming World Champs 2015 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.