Published: Jan 12, 2013 02:34:04 PM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:25:14 AM
Two-time Olympian Belinda Hocking has broken the Victorian record in the Women’s 100m Backstroke on night two of the Victorian Open Swimming Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Hocking, who has recently moved to Victoria under Nunawading coach Rohan Taylor, produced an outstanding time of 1:00.47 to touch the wall ahead of World Short Course silver medallist Rachel Goh and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kelly Stubbins who tied for second in 1:02.28.
“I was nervous before this week’s meet because it was the first time I had competed since the Olympics and it was my first competitive swim under a new coach. Those things added extra pressure, but I’m really enjoying my swimming and I’m happy with tonight’s time which is fantastic preparation leading into next week’s [BHP Billiton Aquatic] Super Series,” said Hocking.
Eight-time Paralympics gold medallist Jacqueline Freney was just as impressive on night two, snaring three Victorian Multi-Class titles. The 20-year-old was pleased with her first competitive hit-out since London and hopes to better her times leading into April’s National Titles.
“I’ve been coming to the Victorian Championships for five years and have loved the experience each time. I was able to swim a PB in tonight’s 50m Backstroke which will help my 100m Backstroke splits which is great preparation leading into the trials and World Championships later in the year,” said Freney.
In other results, Australia’s queen of the pool Alicia Coutts took out the Women’s 100m Butterfly in 59.23 ahead of the Victorian Institute of Sport’s Jemma Schlicht (59.93) and Melbourne Vicentre’s Christina Licciardi (1:00.19). Coutts returned for the Women’s 50m Freestyle but couldn’t match the speed of Southport Olympic pair Melanie Schlanger (25.90) and Alexandra Purcell (25.96) who finished first and second respectively. 2009 World Championship gold medallist Marieke D’Cruz (formally Guehrer) was third with Coutts fourth.
Queenslander Lorna Tonks took out the Women’s 200m Breaststroke in 2:29.54. The former Great Britain swimmer held off 15-year-old Jenna Strauch (2:31.97) and Melbourne Vicentre’s Samantha Marshall (2:34.63) to secure the Breaststroke double for the Championships.
Matt Targett’s first event of the Championships was a success with the Olympic silver medallist beating home rival Chris Wright (24.46) in the Men’s 50m Butterfly. Targett’s time of 23.61 was marginally slower than his Victorian record time of 23.17 set in 2009 but provided enough evidence to suggest the veteran swimmer was in good shape leading into next week’s Super Series.
Also claiming Victorian titles on night two was Tigersharks swimmer Matson Lawson (1:59.64) who beat home a talented field in the Men’s 200m Backstroke and David McKeon (1:48.78) who secured the Men’s 200m Freestyle title.