Published: Dec 16, 2012 10:43:48 AM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:27:56 AM
Backstroker Robert Hurley has claimed Australia’s first gold medal and broken his third Australian record in the final of the men’s 50m backstroke at the FINA short course World Championships at the Sinan Erdem Arena, Istanbul.
Hurley hit the wall in the time of 23.04, knocking 0.10 of a second off the Australian record he set in the semi-final last night to steal the gold from American Matthew Grevers (23.17) and his Russian rival Stanislav Donets (23.19).
The 23-year-old said the secret to his success tonight was in the race preparation and experience he gained from the recent FINA short course World Cup series.
“I did the whole world cup series this year and that was very important to get that race practise for myself. I swam 56 races across six weeks and I don’t think I even swum that much in the last three years of my life. So I really knew how to execute my race to perfection and to get the Australian record at my first World Championships I’m absolutely stoked.
I broke the world record four years ago in 23.24 so tonight I went quicker than I did in a suit which is pretty great and I’m not too far off the world record now so hopefully I can get it down even further,” Hurley said.
Fellow Australian Ashley Delaney was beaten at the wall, taking fifth place in a time of 23.42.
The women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team of Angie Bainbridge, Marieke Guehrer, Brianna Throssell and Sally Foster finished the night with a silver medal behind the USA (3:31.01) in 3:32.90 to take Australia’s total medal haul to six – one gold, three silver and two bronze.
Sixteen-year-old Throssell from Western Australia now has two medals from her first ever senior international team following her heat swim for the silver medal winning medley relay team last night and the women’s 4x100m freestyle tonight.
Short course specialist Guehrer will also progress through to the 50m freestyle final tomorrow night after clocking 24.50 in the semi-finals to take sixth spot.
Dual medallist from the meet Sarah Katsoulis capped off a successful week with a close fourth place in the women’s 100m breaststroke final in 1:05.01, narrowly missing a third podium finish.
Sydney swimmer Kenneth To (51.47) powered through his semi-final of the men’s 100m individual medley, only being out-swum by American Ryan Lochte (50.71) who took the top spot in short course world record time.
To is in with a good chance for a medal in his pet event and will no doubt be looking to stick right by Lochte’s side tomorrow night.
Dual medallist from the meet so far Tommaso D’Orsogna has an opportunity to add an individual medal to his collection after qualifying third fastest for the men’s 100m freestyle final.
The 21-year-old stopped the clock in 46.89 with teammate Kyle Richardson unlucky not to make the final, sitting ninth in 47.39.
The backstroke duo of Rachel Goh and Grace Loh will be looking to replicate Hurley’s success when they take on the final of the women’s 50m backstroke. The Victorian’s qualified in 6th and 7th place with Loh touching ahead in 26.85 and Goh a tenth of a second behind in 26.95.
The final day of competition will begin tomorrow at 10:00am EET with heats broadcast from 1:00am AEDST leading into live finals at 4:00am AEDST.