Day two heats of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) produced many close finishes and three AYOF records.
Victorian swimmer Alexander Graham began the session in style, stroking to the wall in a AYOF record-breaking time of 50.17 ahead of compatriots Regan Leong (50.23), Luke Percy (50.85) and Mack Horton (51.26) in the Men’s 100m Freestyle.
Tonight’s final will be a hot field and 2012 Australian Age Group Coach of the Year Craig Jackson believes any swimmer could walk away with victory.
“They’ve done a great job in the heats, but now they have to learn the skill of recovering through the day and step up and improve their performances tonight,” said Jackson.
The women’s 100m freestyle will be just as intriguing with the top five swimmers finishing within a second of each other. Southport Olympic’s Alexandra Purcell (56.37) will jump from lane four with Australia Gold teammate Jemma Schlicht (56.40) and Australia Green’s Celeste Astorino (56.60) either side.
The Men’s 100m Breaststroke saw the AYOF record, previously broken in 2007 by Peng Cheng of China, beaten not once, but twice.
Kazusa Araya of Japan pulled away in heat one to take the record in 1:03.48, but was bettered by teammate Kohei Goto who swam a 1:02.73 in heat two. Australia Green’s Jesse King (1:04.00) and Australia Gold’s Joshua Tierney (1:04.28) will have to improve on their morning times to feature on the dais.
There was more excitement as Jenna Strauch of Australia Green broke the AYOF record with her performance in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke, achieving a time of 1:08.90. Victorian Jessica Hansen (1:09.31) and Hungary’s Anna Sztankovics (1:10.44) were the next fastest qualifiers.
The 400m individual medley’s saw Canada’s Sydney Pickrem (4:49.86) of Canada go through as the fastest female qualifier, while in the men’s Ryo Fujimoto (4:34.71) of Japan swam a solid race to touch almost a full body length ahead of his competitors.
Courtesy of Swimming Australia