Published: Feb 9, 2013 04:17:37 PM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:24:34 AM
The first selection races for the FINA World Championships in Barcelona have wrapped up today with four swimmers putting their hands up for selection following the open 10km events at the 2013 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships at Lake Macquarie.
Chelsea Gubecka (2:04:02.97) swimming in only her third ever competitive open water race, Gubecka managed to overcome dual Olympian Melissa Gorman to steal her first Australian Open Water 10km title and grab the gold medal for her age group as well.
In a dramatic sprint to the finish, 14-year-old Gubecka hit the gate just 3.18 seconds ahead of 27-year-old Gorman who picked up the silver in 2:04:06.16.
The youngster, who has now qualified for her first senior Australian Team, was thrilled to be racing against such a high quality field.
“I was really excited to race against Melissa [Gorman], it was such a tough race, but I managed to come out on top. My plan was always to try and stick with Mel and see how far I could go and then I felt really good towards the end and thought well I’ll just put a sprint on!” Gubecka said.
After sticking with the leaders for the majority of the race, 20-year-old Danielle De Francesco lost the lead pair on the last lap but managed to hold on for the bronze in 2:05:37.56.
In the corresponding men’s event, World Cup champion from Hong Kong late last year, UWA swimmer Rhys Mainstone blitzed the field in the men’s open 10km race to take this title for the third year running and became the first swimmer eligible for World Championship selection.
The seasoned open water competitor breezed through the eight laps of the Lake Macquarie course to finish in an impressive time of 1:59:39.76.
Mainstone stuck to his race plan and managed to maintain a 20 metre lead from the second lap ahead of City of Perth swimmer Simon Huitenga and Olympic representative in the 1500m freestyle, Jarrod Poort from Wests Illawarra.
“My tactic for this race was to go out fairly hard and try and hold my distance against all the other guys. I know I do all the work in training to hold them off, so I just had to maintain my average speed.
I was hurting on that last lap but I just put my head down and went for it,” Mainstone said.
Both Huitenga and Poort took turns sitting in second with 24-year-old Huitenga eventually getting the better of Poort, to take the silver medal in a time of 1:54:50.88 just ahead of Poort’s 1:55:53.77.
Gubecka, Gorman, Mainstone and Huitenga are now the first Australian swimmers to become eligible for selection onto the FINA World Championship Team bound for Barcelona in July this year.
The open 5km races will take place tomorrow with full results available online at swimming.org.au.
Age group results:
Men’s 14 and under 10km
1 Bailey Armstrong, 14, Miami QLD – 2:06:35.42
2 Luke Harris, 14, Logan Vikings – 2:13:04.70
3 Bradley Woodward, 14, Mingara NSW – 2:13:16.59
Men’s 15 years 10km
1 Brett Feilding, 15, Perth City WA – 2:05:05.94
2 Lachlan May, 15, Surrey Park VIC – 2:06:22.00
3 Liam Humphreys, 15, Melbourne Vicentre VIC – 2:10:45.49
Men’s 16 years 10km
1 Lachlan Colquhoun, 16, Unattached – 1:59:11.18
2 Ethan Owens, 16, Clovercrest SA – 2:04:05.70
3 Kyle Mason, 16, Waterworx QLD – 2:05:06.86
Men’s 17/18 years 10km
1 Jarrod Poort, 18, Wests Illawarra NSW – 1:55:53.77
2 Jack Burnham 18, Mountain Creek Maloolaba QLD – 2:03:18.25
3 Marcus Hall, 17, Lawnton QLD – 2:03:18.34
Women’s 14 and under 10km
1 Chelsea Gubecka, 14, Mountain Creek Maloolaba QLD 2:04:02.97
2 Sarah Thompson, 14, Kawana Waters QLD 2:12:47.02
3 Phoebe Hines, 14 Kawana Waters QLD 2:13:17.00
Women’s 15 years 10km
1 Sacha Downing, 15, UWA WA 2:13:58.28
2 Phoebe Dammersmith, 15, Surrey Park VIC 2:16:49.56
3 Renee Holdstock, 15, Logan Vikings QLD 2:17:58.51
Women’s 16 years 10km
1 Jessica Bayliss, 16, Mountain Creek Maloolaba QLD 2:13:29.00
2 Kaylie Ekinci 16, Campbletown NSW 2:13:35.28
3 Sarah McNevin, 16, Campbletown NSW 2:21.00.25
Boy’s 13 years 5km
1 Jordan Lello, 13, Runcorn QLD 1:07:50.40
2 Cormac Guthrie, 13, Sea’s the Limit NSW 1:08:26.11
3 Callum Lauriston, 13, Perth City 1:12:04.81
Girl’s 13 years 5km
1 Adelaide Wood, 13, Surrey Park VIC 1:10:55.40
2 Siobhan O’Leary, 13, Bayside NSW 1:14:18.94
3 Bianca Crisp, 13, Somerset QLD 1:14:36.14