Eamon Closing on 100m World Record

Swimming | Published: Wed 26 March 2008

WAIS sprint swimmer Eamon Sullivan will dive into the Sydney Olympic pool tonight for the final of the Men's 100m Freestyle hoping to emerge with a Beijing Olympic spot and a World Record.

The former seems a mere formality with Sullivan in career best form and streaks ahead of his Australian contemporaries but to achieve the fastest ever time, which currently stands at 47.50s set by Frenchman Alain Bernard, Sullivan must swim the race of his life.Eamon Sullivan

In a scintillating swim, Sullivan cruised through his semi-final in a time of 47.55s, just 0.05s off the current World mark. It clocked as a personal best for Sullivan as well as smashing the Australian record, and made him only the fourth man to swim sub 48s after Bernard, Holland's Pieter van den Hoogenband (47.84s) and Sweden's Stefan Nystrand (47.91s).

A confident Sullivan suggested he could break another World Record in tonight's final, after he briefly held the best time in the 50m Freestyle before it was claimed by Bernard last week.

"I was planning a 48-low tonight just to try and decrease slowly into the final," Sullivan said.

"To go that far under is amazing. The plan was to just get through to the final safely"

"I think I've got a little bit left. There was probably a few things that probably didn't go to plan - into the turn I sort of misjudged it a bit and I took a breath where I shouldn't have, a few things I might be able to improve on - but overall it's a great swim, so no complaints and hopefully I can find a bit more tomorrow," Sullivan said.

In the 200m Butterfly, WAIS's Travis Nederpelt finished second and booked his second event for the Beijing Games. Nederpelt swam a personal best, in a time of 1:56.06m with the race win and National title going to Queensland's Nick D'Arcy (1:55.10m).

Despite having already qualified for the 400m IM, Nederpelt said he felt the nerves.

"I was really nervous before the race, I chucked up all my lungs," he joked.

Lara Carroll put in a gutsy performance finishing fourth in the final of the 200m IM. Carroll touched the wall in 2:15.95m but was outshone by Stephanie Rice who broke her second World Record (2:08.92m) of the meet to accompany her 400m IM swim.

Jim Piper will swim in the final of the 200m Breaststroke tonight after qualifying third fastest. Piper's 2:14.73m was bettered by Christian Springer's 2:13.10m and Brenton Rickard's 2:14.05m. The event is Piper's last chance to qualify for a second consecutive Olympic place.

Jeremy Tidy swam a fantastic race in the 100m Breaststroke Multi Disability with a time of 1:16.87m, whilst in the Women's event Katrina Porter continued her fine race meet with a time of 1:58.11m.

For fans wanting to see Eamon's shot at history, FoxSports 2 will show a highlights package tonight between 8:30-10:00PM.