Published: Jun 2, 2012 10:56:48 AM Updated: Jul 5, 2012 12:02:39 PM
A relaxed Bronte Barratt has led the way for Australia at the 2012 Santa Clara International in California today, blitzing the field in the women’s 400m freestyle to win gold.
A silver medallist in the event at this year’s EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships behind Australian record holder Kylie Palmer, Barratt won by more than three body lengths in an impressive time of 4:06.13, just half a second slower than her swim to secure a spot on the team for London.
“I just felt really relaxed going into the race and wasn’t really worried about a time, which seems to have worked,” said the 23-year-old Queenslander.
“I’m certainly happy with the swim considering where we are at with training at the moment, and our preparation, and it gives me plenty of confidence for London.”
The Beijing Olympic relay gold medallist led the field out in under a minute and then maintained her speed to win from USA’s Chelsea Chenault and fellow Queenslander Kylie Palmer who hit the wall in 4:09.79.
Barratt’s training partner and fellow distance freestyler Ryan Napoleon backed up her swim to take silver in the men’s 400m freestyle in a time of 3:49.79 ahead of Canada’s Ryan Cochrane, while Korean Taehwan Park swam the fastest 400m free of the year to win gold in 3:44.96.
Queensland teenager Brittany Elmslie picked up Australia’s first medal of the day winning bronze in the women’s 100m freestyle in a time of 54.89. The 17-year-old coached by Matt Brown at Nudgee Brothers in Brisbane, was beaten to the wall by US Olympians Dana Vollmer (54.44) and Natalie Coughlin second in 54.77. Emily Seebohm was fourth overall in 55.33.
Comeback queen Libby Trickett won the B final in a time of 55.32, after missing the start this morning and failing to qualify for the A final. The 27-year-old’s time would have seen her finish fourth in the A final and was a good improvement on her morning effort, while fellow 100m freestyler Yolane Kukla also improved on her heat swim to finish in 55.67.
The team of Trickett, Elmslie, Kukla and Seebohm finished off the second day of competition taking out the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay in a meet record time of 3:42.84, while the Australian men’s team of Ashley Delaney, Kenrick Monk, Ned McKendry, and Napoleon took silver in the 4x100m free relay.
Meanwhile, former world record holder and dual Olympian Jessicah Schipper has withdrawn from the meet due to injury. Schipper underwent an operation to remove an ovarian cyst around five weeks ago and decided not to race this week, to ensure the injury continued to heal as quickly as possible.
Having been on a training camp in Hawaii for the last two weeks where she was still able to maintain her aerobic work, Schipper said she’s confident the injury won’t stop her from competing at the Games in July.
“At this stage I’m definitely looking forward to London and can’t wait to get over there and compete. I made the decision not to race here while I was in Hawaii last week, just to help my recovery, but I’m confident I’m still doing enough aerobic work not to lose too much conditioning,” said Schipper.
Schipper will have further treatment on the injury when she returns to Australia next week and will be looking to race at the Grand Prix at the AIS in Canberra starting on Friday 21 June.
For full results from the Santa Clara International go to www.usaswimming.org
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