Over the last week (June 30 – 4 July), some of the best swimmers across Australia vied for national selection at the 2018 Hancock Prospecting Pan Pacific Championship Trials in South Australia.
With world-class racing and exciting battles in the pool each day, the Trials have proved to be the perfect precursor for the main event, to be held in Tokyo in late August.
After proving their dominance in the pool during the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, there were more medals inbound for UWA West Coast duo Blair Evans and Brianna Throssell.
Blair finished with the fastest time in the 400m Individual Medley preliminaries, backing up her qualifying time to take gold ahead of young contender Kaylee McKeown.
However, the victory was bittersweet, with the dual Olympian a mere half a second off the qualification standard.
Blair also won gold in the 200m Individual Medley after qualifying third fastest.
Meanwhile, Brianna swam 1:58.09 in the 200m Freestyle to beat Olympic gold medallist Emma McKeon to the gold.
Although Brianna’s pet event is Butterfly, she was able to just edge ahead in the Freestyle race, which remained tight for the first three laps.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist had already secured her spot in the Australian team for after being pre-selected following a stand-out campaign on the Gold Coast in April.
Student athlete Nicholas Brown finished second in the 200m Butterfly final, with his time of 1:57.71 pressing eventual Gold medallist David Morgan all the way.
UWA West Coast’s Alex Milligan was also involved in the action, finishing seventh in the 100m Breaststroke final, and bronze in his favoured 200m final.
18-year-old young gun Jonte Blake finished fourth in the 50m Freestyle ‘A’ final, with UWA club mate Ashton Brinkworth securing second place in the ‘B’ final.
UWA graduate and Rockingham swimmer Holly Barratt took bronze in the 50m Freestyle, with Commonwealth record-holder Cate Campbell taking top spot.
Elsewhere, UWA West Coast swimmers Kara Broadbridge, Ashleigh Glover, Jemima Horwood, Hadley Lindsay, Chris Paunich, Liam Smith, and John Shepherd all competed in various events, but were ultimately unsuccessful in reaching the podium.
UWA West Coast star Zac Incerti was an athlete missed from the event, after withdrawing from the Trials with a back complaint.
The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist made the decision with his support team to focus on returning to full fitness, after having back issues throughout his Gold Coast campaign.
At the conclusion of the Trials, Brianna was named as the sole Western Australian representative in the Australian squad bound for Tokyo, with four WA-based Para athletes set to compete in Cairns.
Graduate Officer, UWA Sport Marketing, Communcation and Events