Swimming Western Australia
Published: Aug 28, 2012 02:15:26 PM
Australia’s next crop of Olympic swimming hopefuls took on some of the world’s best swimmers at this year’s Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The four-day meet got underway on the 23rd of August with the Australian team facing tough competition from the USA, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.
Western Australia was lucky to be represented by three of our and coming swimming greats in Brianna Throssell (Perth City), Tommy Sucipto (Leisurepark Lazers) and Lennard Bremer (West Coast). The Australian Team selection was based on the results from the 2012 Australian Age Championships in which the three WA athletes excelled and caught the eyes of team selectors.
Previous Junior Pan Pacific teams have included a number of current Olympians including Jayden Hadler, Ryan Napoleon, Blair Evans and dual London Olympic medallist Brittany Elmslie. This year’s rising stars no doubt had their eyes on positions on the senior Australian teams over the next four years leading into the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Here is a day-by-day recollection of events at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, highlighting the fantastic performances of Brianna Throssell, Tommy Sucipto and Lennard Bremer.
Brianna Throssell swam a gutsy race in the women’s 200m freestyle, picking up speed at the final turn to touch in second place behind Chelsea Chenault from the USA. Throssell set a new personal best and went sub two minutes for the first time to take silver in 1:59.44, giving Australia their first medal of the meet.
After overtaking one of her American rivals in the final 50m to move into second place, Throssell said she didn’t notice the other swimmer and was just hoping to go fast.
“I just put my head down, powered through my last 50 and hoped for the best. I’ve set some good times in training and I’m happy I could replicate that in a race situation,” Throssell said.
The A final of the women’s 100m freestyle saw Brianna Throssell line up once again against Australian teammate and six-time Commonwealth Games medalist Ami Matsuo in what was sure to be a battle for bragging rights. The USA’s Simone Manuel proved too strong for both Matsuo and the fast finishing Throssell who touched in fourth, just behind in 55.60.
In the men’s 100m breaststroke B final, Tommy Sucipto showed off his exquisite technique and speed as he stormed into second place in 1:04.34, to touch just behind American Gage Crosby (1:03.58) to take second place.
Australia’s fourth silver medal for the evening was won by the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team. The powerhouse quartet of Brianna Throssell, Leah Neale, Mikkayla Sheridan and Ami Matsuo had the crowd on their feet as they combined to overtake the Japanese and secure second place.
Throssell led the team to a strong start, taking the team to first position at the changeover. The remaining teammates left nothing in the tank as they sprinted into the wall to steal silver.
A massive personal best time for Brianna Throssell gave her the silver medal in the final of the women’s 100m butterfly. With less than a second separating the top four finishers, Throssell fought hard for a place on the medal dais, maintaining a strong stroke all the way to the wall. Turning 6th at the half-way point Throssell dug deep and powered home to snatch a well deserved silver medal in a time of 59.36.
Throssell had a very quick swim-down before fronting up for the women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay in which the Australian team of O’Rouke, Purcell, Throssell and Matsuo went on to claim silver in a tightly fought battle with Canada. The powerhouse US Team were too strong for all comers claiming gold in a slick 3.41.04.
Day 4 :
On the last night of competition, the crowd expected something spectacular to close this year’s Junior Pan Pacs and they were not disappointed. Japanese sensation Akihiro Yamaguchi may not be a household name just yet, but the 18-year-old Japanese high school student was less than a second off setting a new world record in the men’s 200m breaststroke final, hitting the wall in an impressive time of 2:08.03. In the B final of the event it was Lennard Bremer in a fight for first place with four other men. Bremer stopped the clock at 2:16.99 to narrowly take third place.
In a great display of versatility, Brianna Throssell claimed the silver medal in the women’s 50m freestyle B final in a stellar time of 25.40. Throssell was narrowly touched out by rival Australian Ami Matsuo who took home the gold in .25.71
In the men’s 50m freestyle B final, West Aussie Tommy Sucipto put on a powerful performance to finish in 4th position in 23.60.
The final combined team results from the pool competition saw Australia placed second behind the USA, just one and a half points in front the Japanese team.
Swimming WA would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Brianna, Tommy and Lennard on their outstanding achievements at this year’s Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii. We are proud to be represented by such a talented and dedicated group of young athletes.