Published: Dec 13, 2012 10:30:25 AM
The men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team ended the first night of the FINA World Short Course Championships in Istanbul with a bronze medal winning swim.
Team members Tommaso D’Orsogna, Kyle Richardson, Travis Mahoney and Kenneth To combined perfectly to chase down the early race leaders Russia and hold off the fast finishing Japanese to secure a spot on the podium.
The unlikely quartet stopped the clock at 3:07.27, just behind the Italians, who picked up silver in 3:07.07 and the short course world record holders, team USA who claimed the gold in 3:06.40.
London Olympian D’Orsogna put the team in second place behind Russia after the first leg with Richardson and Mahoney holding on to the lead pack and giving To a chance to chase.
The pocket rocket had to back up just minutes after a tough 100m butterfly semi-final which saw him finish 11th in 50.93.
But the 20-year-old lived up to his nickname, powering through the final 50m and getting that vital touch on the wall for third.
The team had lower expectations leading into the race but a positive team energy saw them finish on the dais.
“We performed above all of our expectations; with a mixture of medley and 200m freestyle swimmers, we had no real sprinters on the team, so it was great that we could all come together, step up and come home with the bronze,” D’Orsogna said.
D’Orsogna added that the positive energy within the team was something that helped with their performance on the night.
“We came in with a positive team attitude, not just within our relay team but the Australian team as a whole. Having a small team we are able to learn a lot more from each other and that’s something that helped us lift tonight, we did it for everybody, not just the four of us,” D’Orsogna said.
In other events…
Twenty-one-year-old Jarrod Killey kicked off proceedings swimming from lane two in the final of the men’s 200m freestyle. The AIS based swimmer hit the wall in 1:44.04 for fourth place, touching just 0.26 behind bronze medal winner Conor Dwyer (1:43.78) from the USA.
Multiple Olympic medallist and short course specialist, Ryan Lochte (1:41.92) took the gold ahead of short course world record holder in the event, Germany’s Paul Biedermann (1:42.07) in second.
The men’s and women’s 100m backstroke semi-finals saw all four of Australia’s swimmers progress through to the finals tomorrow night.
Rachel Goh (57.39) and Grace Loh (57.62) will go through in second and fourth position, while Ashley Delaney (50.66) and Robert Hurley (50.70) finished in third and fourth respectively.
Commonwealth and Australian short course record holder in the women’s 50m breaststroke Sarah Katsoulis improved on her heat swim to progress through in fifth spot for the final. Katsoulis stopped the clock at 30.19 and is looking in fine form ahead of tomorrow night’s race. Fellow breaststroker Sam Marshall finished in 30.65, just 0.32 shy of a final swim.
The heats will continue tomorrow morning from 10:00am EET and will be broadcast on ONE HD from 1:00am AEDST leading into the live finals at 4:00am AEDST.
Full results are available at http://www.fina.org