Swimming Western Australia
Published: Feb 9, 2013 09:57:45 PM Updated: Feb 12, 2013 01:41:17 PM
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.
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 last year’s bronze medalist Perth City 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.
"The race went really well. It was very fast and having eight laps made it interesting because people were feeding of different lap, so gaps appeared quite easily off the feeds", Huitenga said.
"The main pack split up on the first lap and Rhys got a bit of a lead which he stretched to 75m before I started to pull him in in the last two laps.
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 2012 age group champion Brett Fielding has successfully defended his title in an impressive time of 2:05:05.94. The 15-year-old Perth City swimmer was a standout at last year’s Trans Tasman Open Water Camp and continued his fine form coming into today’s event. UWA’s Guy Harrison-Murray picked up 11th spot in grueling 10km event to finish in a respectable 2:19.04.16.
In the corresponding women’s race, 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.
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. Olympic marathon swimmer Heidi Gan drew on her experience from London to secure 5th place behind WA export Jessica Walker in 2:08.29.03.
UWA’s Sacha Downing has been crowned the girls 15-year-old age group champion over the 10km distance. Downing managed to power ahead and create a three-minute gap to swim clear of her closest rivals. Kalamunda's Rebecca Robinson rounded out the top five for the girl's 15-year-old age group and finish gallantly in 2:24.11.77. Breaker’s Grace Hull was unlucky to finish out of the medals in the girls 14-year-old age group, finishing a commendable fourth in 2:16.46.85
In the boys 13-year-old 5km event, Perth City’s Callum Lauriston has made his Australian Open Water debut in style, collecting the bronze medal in 1:12.04.81. Luke Foster of Western Sprint finished in tenth spot in worthy time of 1:16.09.86, while Arena’s Lewis Downes (1:22.42.52) was never far off the pace, picking up 23rd spot 1:in a very strong field.
In the girl’s 13-year-old 5km event, the sole WA representative Josie Page (Bayview Saints) fought off some very talented competition to claim 13th spot in 1:18.20.37.
The open 5km races will take place tomorrow with full results available online at swimming.org.au.
For a list of WA competitor results, please click here
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 Sarah Thompson, 14, Kawana Waters QLD
3 Phoebe, 14 Kawana Waters QLD
Women’s 15 years 10km
1 Sacha Downing, 15, UWA WA
2 Phoebe Dammersmith, 15, Surrey Park VIC
3 Renee Holdstock, 15, Logan Vikings QLD
Women’s 16 years 10km
1 Jessica Bayliss, 16, Mountain Creek Maloolaba QLD
2 Kaylie Ekinci 16, Campbletown NSW
3 Sarah McNevin, 16, Campbletown NSW
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