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Down Under Daily - Deans & Gasson Stepping Up On The Big Stage

2022 FINA World Short Course - Day Four

With Day 4 seeing another 3 World Records broken, it was another exciting day for the Kiwis as they continued their fine performances at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Melbourne. The team broke 5 New Zealand Records and set 8 individual personal bests, as well as having 4 swims during the finals session.

Helena Gasson smashed her own New Zealand Record by 0.38 seconds in the 100m Individual Medley in her first individual final at the international level (58.40). Gasson demonstrated her underwater prowess to be 3rd at the first turn, 4th at the halfway point and 1st at the end of the breaststroke leg to send the team into raptures as she came down the final lap to finish 5th overall. An incredible swim, a big congratulations to Helena Gasson on her performance on the big stage.

Caitlin Deans obliterated her personal best time by 13.54 seconds in the fastest timed final of the 1500m Freestyle (15:51.98). Deans produced the swim of her life from lane 1 to start in the top 3 at the end of the first 100m and settled into a battle for the minor medals across the pool, as Australian Lani Pallister went out like a rocket and was under Katie Ledecky’s World Record pace early on her way to her 4th World Championship title of the week. At the 500m mark (5:14.46 split), Deans was 5th but staying within striking distance of 3rd place. In the middle 500m, Deans started to make her move and was up to 4th at the halfway point and closing the gap on third by the 1000m mark (5:19.15 split). Deans accelerated into outright 3rd place early into the last 500m, as the NZ team was whipped into a frenzy of support, and was in a race to the finish to touch 4th in the fastest timed final (5:18.37 split). American Kensey McMahon had produced a faster time in the morning session to see Deans claim 5th position overall, an outstanding swim in her first individual final.

NZ Records Dropping Like Flies

Whilst Gasson and Deans produced superb performances in their finals, the team were breaking personal bests and New Zealand Records like flies.

The Mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay broke the New Zealand Record twice in a day, after qualifying 6th fastest for the final after finishing second in their heat (1:31.39). Carter Swift led out with a personal best (21.65), Zac Dell holding firm (21.32), Rebecca Moynihan continuing her fine form (23.96) and Emma Godwin bringing it home (24.46). In the final, the team took another big step forward, improving the NZ Record by just over a second to claim 7th overall (1:30.38). Carter Swift broke his personal best again (21.52), with Cam Gray unloaded a blistering 2nd leg (20.75), before strong swims from Rebecca Moynihan (24.10) and Emma Godwin (24.01) closed out an impressive team performance.

Rebecca Moynihan progressed to the semi-finals in the 50m Freestyle with a personal best (24.59) in the heats. Moynihan backed this up with a strong swim in the semi-final (24.67) to finish 16th overall in a stacked field.

Cam Gray laid down a NZ Record in the 50m Freestyle (21.50) on route to finishing 30th overall in a strong field. The top-end speed of the boys was on display, with Carter Swift dropping two personal bests in the lead off relay swims with his finals’ time equalling the previously held NZ Record from Daniel Hunter, but Cam Gray already lowered that mark in the heats session. It will make for some exciting racing between these two in 2023.

Just minutes later, Cam Gray was back on the blocks as part of another NZ Record in the 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay team (7:03.11). Ben Littlejohn got the team off to a flier on his international debut, handing over at the first change in 2nd place, to break his personal best by 2 seconds (1:44.60). It’s worth noting that Littlejohn has juggled his preparations for these championships with his studies for Harvard University, having completed a specially arranged sitting of a Chinese exam at the nearby University of Melbourne just two days ago. Carter Swift went second (1:45.68) and Cam Gray, still dripping wet from his NZ Record, was third (1:46.07) and Louis Clark (1:46.76) rounded it out to place 5th in the heat and 10th overall.

Josh Gilbert continued his strong form at these championships by equalling his personal best in the 200m Breaststroke (2:08.27). Gilbert had an impressive start, breaking out at 16m, on his way to finishing 20th overall.

Day Five Preview

The day gets underway with the Mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay. Josh Gilbert will be looking to add to his impressive swim in the 100m event as he increased the distance to the 200m Breaststroke. Rebecca Moynihan takes on the 50m Freestyle and will be looking to showcase her great relay legs in her individual race, as will Cam Gray. The boys will be out in force for the 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay. Caitlin Deans is seeded in the fastest timed final in the 1500m Freestyle so will race in the finals session.

Day Five Schedule

  • Men’s - 4x50m Medley Relay - 11am AEDT (1pm NZDT)

  • Mya Rasmussen - 400m Individual Medley - 11.28am AEDT (1.28pm NZDT)

  • Luan Grobbelaar - 400m Individual Medley - 11.54am AEDT (1.54pm NZDT)

  • Helena Gasson - 100m Butterfly - 12.13pm AEDT (2.13pm NZDT)

  • Cameron Gray - 100m Butterfly - 12.26pm AEDT (2.26pm NZDT)

  • Josh Gilbert - 50m Breaststroke - 1.01pm AEDT (3.01pm NZDT)

  • Louis Clark - 800m Freestyle - 1.19pm AEDT (3.19pm NZDT)

Day Four Results Summary

  • Josh Gilbert - 200m Breaststroke - 2:08.27 - 20th

  • Rebecca Moynihan - 50m Freestyle - 24.67 (Semi) - 16th (Semi)

  • Cam Gray - 50m Freestyle - 21.50 - 30th (NZ Record)

  • Men’s - 4x200m Freestyle Relay - 7:03.11 - 10th (NZ Record)

  • Mixed - 4x50m Freestyle Relay (Final) - 1:30.38 - 7th (NZ Record)

  • Helena Gasson - 100m Individual Medley (Final) - 58.40 - 5th

  • Caitlin Deans - 1500m Freestyle - 15:51.98 - 5th

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