Published: Nov 7, 2012 08:51:42 AM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:38:04 AM
London Olympian Christian Sprenger has won Australia’s only gold medal on the first night of competition at the Tokyo leg of the FINA World Cup. While Australia picked up nine minor medals, Sprenger was our sole representative on top of the medal dais.
Olympic silver medallist in the 100m breastroke, Sprenger stole first place in the 50m breaststroke by the slightest of margins, stopping the clock at 26.62, with just 0.24 of a second separating the top three finishers.
Japan’s Yuuki Okajima was second in 26.70 while New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders who held the title from Beijing, was relegated to third place in 26.86
American Anthony Ervin spoiled Australia’s shot at a second clean sweep in the men’s 100m freestyle, hitting the wall in 47.09 to take the title ahead of a strong contingent of Aussie sprinters including Tomasso D’Orsogna (47.17), Kenneth To (47.23), Cameron McEvoy (47.55) and Kyle Richardson (47.70) who placed second to fifth respectively.
Australia’s Robert Hurley and Ashley Delaney were then denied the top spot by Russia’s Stanislav Donnets in the men’s 100m backstroke final.
As they approached the wall, Donets had a clear lead with Hurley and Delaney battling behind for bragging rights. Hurley hit first with a time of 50.49 while Delaney was forced to settle for third in 50.66.
In the women’s 50m backstroke final Rachel Goh was knocked off the podium for the first time in this World Cup series.
It was Japan’s Noriko Inada (26.99) who stepped up for the gold ahead of Goh’s Victorian teammate Grace Loh (27.09) and Shiho Sakai (27.26), also from Japan. Goh finished an unfamiliar fifth in 27.34.
Following a blistering heat swim in the men’s 100m IM this morning, To wasn’t able to hang on to first in the final tonight, cruelly denied the win by just 0.03 of a second behind rival George Bovell (51.80) in a time of 51.83.
Queensland’s Richardson moved up the ranks to collect bronze in a time of 53.13.
After claiming a bronze medal in this event at this year’s Junior Pan Pacific Championships, Australia’s Laura Crockart picked up second place behind Hungary’s short course specialist Katinka Hosszu (8:24.89) in the women’s 800m freestyle.
Crockart stayed right on Hosszu’s heels to record a time of 8:25.62 and secure the silver medal, with Japan’s Emu Higuchi also close behind in 8:25.89.
Rising star Alanna Bowles was fourth in 8:31.67.
Victorian Kelly Stubbins (1:56.50) got the better of London Olympian Melanie Schlanger (1:56.51) in the women’s 200m freestyle final to sneak on to the medal dais in third place. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (1:54.94) and Zsuzsanna Jakabos (1:55.36) took the top two spots, leaving Stubbins and Schlanger in a tight tussle for third.
The Tokyo leg of the FINA World Cup series will conclude tomorrow night before moving on to Singapore. For full results go to www.fina.org