Published: Nov 8, 2012 08:38:59 AM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:37:56 AM
The backstroke queens Grace Loh (57.71) and Rachel Goh (57.72) were back to their best as they took the top two spots in the women’s 100m backstroke on the final night of competition in Tokyo for the FINA World Cup.
The Victorian duo were inseparable over the four laps, eventually hitting the wall just 0.01 of a second apart, with Loh getting the better of Goh in the touch.
After missing the top three last night in the 50m backstroke, Goh revealed she had suffered a bout of food poisoning but tonight’s race proved she is back on track and will no doubt be keen to get one up on Loh in the Singapore leg this Saturday.
Japan’s Shiho Sakai collected the bronze medal in front of a home crowd with a time of 58.44.
This time it was Darian Townsend (1:43.31) who prevented an Aussie sweep in the men’s 200m freestyle final, with the South African taking the title ahead of three fast finishing Australians.
Townsend managed to hold off Robert Hurley who picked up his second silver medal from Tokyo in a time of 1:43.31. London Olympian Tomasso D’Orsogna (1:44.49)was just behind in third with Cameron McEvoy (1:45.13) finishing just off the podium for the second night in a row in fourth place.
Australia’s Kotuku Ngawati (59.90) is proving her potential on the world stage, following her performance in the women’s 100m individual medley. The 18-year-old collected her second bronze medal in the event from the series in yet another close finish.
With the top three all recording times under the minute mark it was Great Britain’s Sophie Allen (59.50) who finished first, knocking Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (59.80) off the top of the dais.
Ngawati then backed up to take another bronze medal in the women’s 100m freestyle finishing in 53.59, ahead of Olympic gold medalist Melanie Schlanger (53.86) who is edging closer to a podium finish with each race.
Germany’s sprint specialist Britta Steffen claimed the gold in 52.42 ahead of Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray in 53.49while Kelly Stubbins was fifth in 54.17.
Russia’s Stanislav Donets took the backstroke double with a win in the men’s 50m backstroke final ahead of Japanese local Junya Koga in 23.30.
Despite a solid chase, Ashley Delaney couldn’t catch the two leaders but managed to edge out Hurley (23.63) for third in23.48.
Delaney then upgraded to a silver medal in his pet event, the 200m backstroke stopping the clock at 1:52.14.
Hometown hero Yuki Shorai was too strong, finishing nearly three seconds clear of Delaney and bronze medal winner Hayate Matubara (1:52.32) in a time of 1:49.69.
The women’s 400m freestyle saw 14-year-old Alanna Bowles (4:07.34) pick up her the bronze medal when she swam past fellow Australian Laura Crockart (4:07.71) to steal the bronze medal by 0.37 of a second.
New Zealand’s Melissa Ingram won the gold ahead of Hosszu (4:05.33) in 4:05.22.
A number of the finals failed to go Australia’s way with Sarah Katsoulis, Kenneth To and Mack Horton all finishing just shy of the medals in their respective events.
VictorianKatsoulis(30.53)was cruelly denied third place in the women’s 50m breaststroke when Sweden’s Rebecca Ejdervik (30.52) beat her to the wall by the smallest of margins, just 0.01 of a second.
American Jessica Hardy (29.92) finished first and was the only swimmer under the elusive 30-second barrier, in an impressive time of 29.92. Rikke Moller Pedersen (30.35) from Denmark was second.
A regular on the podium over the World Cup series, To had to settle for fourth place in the men’s 200m individual medley final, hitting the wall in 1:54.49behind Japanese swimmer Daiya Seto who was first in 1:52.48.
Horton (14:49.78) was similarly disappointed as Michael Klueh (14:38.64), Pal Joensen (14:44.83) and Hirai Ayatsugu (14:45.60) filled out the top three places and denying the Australian his second medal in the event.
The Singapore leg of the FINA World Cup series will start on November 10, for full results go to www.fina.org