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Aussie Ashwood shines in Santa Clara

2016-06-06 10:52
jessica ashwood, getty, swimming
Jessica Ashwood (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - Jessica Ashwood notched an Australian record of 8min 18.14sec on Sunday to win the 800m freestyle at the Pro Swim meeting in Santa Clara, California.

With the Rio de Janeiro Olympics beckoning in August, Ashwood is the second-fastest woman in the event this year. Only American Katie Ledecky has gone faster, setting a world record of 8:06.68 at Austin, Texas in January and posting a time of 8:13.20 in April.

Ashwood led a strong Australian showing on the final day of the meeting, one of three this weekend in which US Olympic hopefuls are tuning up for their trials in Omaha this month and overseas swimmers are prepping for the Rio Games themselves.

Aussie Mitch Larkin won the men's 200m backstroke in 1:55.38 ahead of Ryan Murphy (1:56.10), compatriot Emily Seebohm won the women's 200m back in 2:08.57.

James Magnusson won the men's 100m free in 48.99, leading an Australian one-two ahead of Kyle Chalmers (49.70).

Emma McKeon lifted her third title of the meet, winning the 100m free in 53.30 with fellow Aussie Brittany Elmslie second in 53.77.

Thiago Pereira, looking to be among the medal contenders in front of home fans in Rio, won the 200m individual medley in 1:57.77, moving ahead of US superstar Michael Phelps and into third in this year's world rankings.

At the Longhorn Elite Invitational in Austin, Texas, 2012 Olympic gold medallists Matt Grevers and Missy Franklin posted 100m backstroke victories, while Denmark's Lotte Friis won the 800m free.

Grevers won the men's 100m back in 53.48.

Franklin's winning time in the women's 100m back of 1:00.50 was well outside the 59.80 she produced in February, but put her comfortably in front of runner-up Tasija Karosas (1:01.11).

In the 800 free, Friis cruised to victory in 8:24.33 ahead of North Baltimore Aquatic Club training mate Cierra Runge (8:28.64.).

Phelps, aiming to add to his tally of 18 Olympic gold medals in Rio, scratched the final of the 200m medley in Austin, where he had qualified fifth-fastest in his fourth event of the week.

Phelps finished the meeting with a victory in the 100m freestyle, a second place in the 100m butterfly and a fourth-placed finish in the 200m free.

At the Indianapolis Pro Swim, the Bahamas' Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace added the 100m freestyle title to the 50m free she won earlier in the week.

Her time of 54.18sec was nearly half a second ahead of Olivia Smoliga (54.66).

Read more on:    olympics 2016  |  swimming

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