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Aussie Gold Rush At AYOF

Jan 17, 2013

Australia has kicked off the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in style, collecting 11 medals on the first night of competition - four gold, three silver and four bronze.

After four AYOF records were broken in the morning’s heat session, every final on night one produced a record. 

Australia Green member Amelia Gould kicked off proceedings by beating home Japanese pair Tsuzumi Hasegawa (2:02.07) and Chihiro Igarashi (2:02.07) in the Women’s 200m Freestyle.   Gould’s time of 1:59.79 bettered her own AYOF record and will give the 17 year-old confidence leading into her remaining races this week.   

Australia Gold’s Regan Leong had a busy night breaking his own AYOF record in the Men’s 200m Freestyle before collecting silver in the Men’s 100m Backstroke.

Leong’s victory in the 100m Freestyle was the most exciting finish of the night with the Kokoda swimming out-touching Australia Green’s Alexander Graham. Neck and neck to the end, the boys touched the wall 0.02 seconds apart, with Leong holding on in a time of 1:48.97.

Mack Horton completed the Aussie trifecta claiming third place in 1:50.19.

Leong would have to settle for second in the Men’s 100m Backstroke behind Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto who produced the swim of the night to erase 2012 Olympian Daniel Arnamnart’s Australian All Comers record of 55.03. The 17 year-old clocked an impressive 54.66 with Leong (56.82) a further two seconds behind and Nunawading’s Nicholas Groenewald (57.32) third. 

With Sydney 2000 gold medallist Susie O’Neill watching on, Hayley Baker backed up her win in the heats with another AYOF record-breaking swim in the final of the Women’s 100m Backstroke. She marginally led at the halfway point but powered away over the concluding stages to take victory in 1:01.29. Maho Takiguchi (1:02.96) and Australia Gold’s Lauren Rettie (1:03.24) fought it out for second with Takiguchi getting the touch. 

Madeline Groves was the fourth and final Australian to break a record on night one with a time of 2:11.20 in the Women’s 200m Butterfly. She managed to hold off fast finishing Japanese swimmer Rino Hosoda (2:11.57) and Australian Gold teammate Allan Bowles (2:12.66)

Masato Sakai collected Japan’s second gold medal of the night in Men’s 200m Butterfly with a time of 1:58.35.  Victorian Mitchell Pratt (1:59.97) was brave in second with Ryo Fujimoto (2:01.42) rounding out the places. 

Swimming will continue at 9am on Friday morning with Men’s and Women’s heats for the 100m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke, 400m Individual Medley and 4x200m relay. The medals will be decided in the evening from 6pm.

Courtesy of Swimming Australia