Katherine Downie has given herself a big chance of competing
at a second Commonwealth Games after winning the women’s 200IM (SM10) final at
the Australian Swimming Trials on the Gold Coast.
Downie highlighted Western Australia’s performances on night
one winning her event in 2:33.46 (855 multi-class points) ahead of Paige
Leonhardt (2:34.34) and Jasmine Greenwood (2:36.09).
With team selection announcements due on Sunday evening,
following the completion of the selection trials, Downie advanced her claims
and will now seek a second Commonwealth Games appearance, after she collected a
silver medal in the 200IM (SM10) in Glasgow in 2014.
The London 2012 Paralympian had earlier swam the second fastest
qualifying time of 2:35.78 in the morning session, but was able to shave more
time off in the evening to overhaul Leonhardt for victory.
There was also medals for George Harley (200m Breast) and Brianna
Throssell (200m Fly) in the opening night of finals.
Men’s 200m Breast
George Harley claimed a bronze medal in the final of the men’s
200m breaststroke after he shaved more than two seconds off his qualifying time
to finish in 2:10.82.
The championship title went to NSW’s Matthew Wilson in
2:08.31 with Zac Stubblety-Cook second on 2:10.64.
Western Australian Alex Milligan finished in fourth, after
he stopped the clock in 2:12.25.
Women’s 200m Fly
2017 World Championships team member Brianna Throssell
finished third in the final of the women’s 200m butterfly with the race won by
18 year-old talent Laura Taylor.
Throssell produced a typically strong back 50m to touch home
in 2:08.11 but it wasn’t enough to reel in Taylor, who was emotional post-race
after claiming a maiden national title in 2:06.80 – a significant personal best.
Emma McKeon was second (2:08.00) in her second final of the
night, having also finished runner-up in the women’s 200m free final.
Men’s 100m Back
Zac Incerti launched a blistering first lap in the final of
the men’s 100m backstroke but was unable to maintain the early pace as he
finished seventh in 55.97.
The 21 year-old was first to the wall at the halfway stage,
clocking 25.84 but it was the familiar face of Mitch Larkin that prevailed –
with the Queenslander winning the title in 53.37 ahead of Bradley Woodward
(54.24) and Benjamin Treffers (54.40).
Incerti will return to the pool for Thursday’s morning session
for his favoured 100m free event.
Men’s 200m Fly
Nic Brown gave a strong account of himself in the men’s 200m
butterfly final to finish narrowly shy of the podium, which was claimed by David
Morgan (1:56.73) ahead of Grant Irvine (1:57.37) and Theo Benehoutsos
Women’s 100m Back
2017 world championship debutant Holly Barratt qualified for
the final of the women’s 100m backstroke, which was claimed by Emily Seebohm,
who earned a record-equalling 11th career title in the same event.
The reigning world champion was in a league of her own,
winning in 59.15 ahead of Hayley Baker (59.95) and Kaylee McKeown (1:00.09).
Barratt touched home in fifth, in 1:00.93.