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Anderson and Clarke impress on night one
London hopefuls Michael Anderson, Kayla Clarke and Matthew Cowdrey impressed in the pool last night to kick off the first night of competition at the 2012 Australian Swimming Championships.
Competing at the new Adelaide Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Australia’s swimmers with a disability fought it out in the men’s and women’s 100m backstroke for Paralympic qualification.
Queenslander Michael Anderson eclipsed the 1:06.52 needed to qualify for the S10 event, touching the wall in 1:01.35 to finish first in the 100m backstroke ahead of South Australian local Matthew Cowdrey (silver, 1:02.78) and Cairn’s Grant Patterson (bronze 2:00.48).
Cowdrey, who competes in the S9 class and at just 23 is aiming for his third Paralympic Games, surpassed his minimum qualifying standard by 5.05 seconds while S3 100m backstroke world record holder Patterson cruised to qualification but remained just over four seconds behind his world beating time.
After qualifying fastest in the women’s 100m backstroke, Queenslander Kayla Clarke won her seventh national title in an impressive 1:10.44, a full 12 seconds inside the minimum qualifying standard for the S14 class for swimmers with an intellectual disability.
Australian Institute of Sport swimmer Ellie Cole (S9) was close behind in 1:10.71 in her pet event to claim silver while 17-year-old Taylor Corry (S14) stopped the clock at 1:11.09 to take third place.
Racing continues today with the men’s and women’s 50m freestyle heats this morning and finals from 6:30pm South Australian time (7:00pm AEST).
By Rebekka Wake