SWC 2011, Singapore day 2: McKeon stuns Alshammar, Le Clos totals six golds
SINGAPORE, Singapore - The victory of 17-year-old Emma McKeon from Australia in the women's 100m freestyle was the first remarkable performance on Day 2 of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup in Singapore. McKeon touched the wall in 52.41 ahead of defending World Cup champion Therese Alshammar (SWE, 53.01). One could say it is not a big deal to be faster than the 34-year-old but not in this case: the sprint queen's experience and ability to remain focused during the race are considerable assets and she's a well-established threat in the pool. As a consolation, Alshammar captured the last gold of the day in the 50m butterfly.
Chad Le Clos (RSA) continued his winning streak with another gold in the men's 200m freestyle, touching home in 1:43.80. It was quite a tough race: Le Clos, Сameron McEvoy (AUS) and Kosuke Hagino (JPN) fought to the end, with the Australian eventually being faster (1:44.45 against 1:44.58).
The South African did not stop there, sweeping another gold in the 100m butterfly (50.63), despite a less convincing performance in the heat earlier where he placed fourth in 52.96. He was followed by Christopher Wright (AUS, 51.01) and Jason Dunford (KEN, 51.06). Later, Le Clos repeated his feat in the 200m IM (1:54.06), collecting his sixth gold in two days!
An impressive fight unfolded in the women’s 400m IM as well with Miyu Otsuka (JPN, 4:31.35) prevailing by a nail over Ellen Fullerton (AUS, 4:31.90).
Overall, Australian swimmers were extremely successful in Singapore. With one notable exception, however: Ian Thorpe did not qualify for the 100m butterfly. He could not match the pace of a strong field led notably by Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jason Dunford (KEN, 51.50) and other world-class butterflyers. Thorpe concluded his comeback with a 11th place in the heat (54.09).
Post-race, Thorpe admitted he was disappointed with some elements of his swim but still looks on the bright side after the two-day meet: "I'm alright, it was an OK race... I would have liked to have made the final. I didn't go hard where I should have and kind of fell into an awkward technique in the race. But with yesterday and today, I'm pretty happy with how I've swum thus far and it's a good starting point for the rest of the World Cup. I'm disappointed because I thought I'd be a little bit faster this morning, I'm also disappointed because I thought some things technically could have been better. I think I have to have a reality of check of where I am as opposed to how I feel about how I'm training. If I look at this competition and how I felt three months ago, these results are fantastic; if I take it back three months ago, they're alright. I'm happy with the progression I'm kind of making. I haven't raced for a long time and this is the most important part of my preparation now, combining my preparation with my racing.''
Australians to have a strong meet included Rachel Goh with a victory in the 100m backstroke (57.30) and Christian Sprenger in the 100m breaststroke (57.91). Swimmers from this country occupied the podium no less than 17 times today, bagging home a total 34 medals (including 12 golds).