The 2011 FINA Aquatic World Championships concluded on Sunday night with NSWIS swimmer and new world champion James Magnussen anchoring the Australian men’s 4x100m medley relay team to a silver medal in Shanghai.
Magnussen was joined by fellow NSWIS athlete Geoff Huegill, as well as Brenton Rickard and Hayden Stoeckel, in winning medley relay silver, clocking a time of 3:22.26 to finish behind the USA. Magnussen followed on from Huegill’s butterfly leg with a blistering 47.00 split in the final 100m freestyle, narrowly missing out on what would have been his third gold of the meet.
This year’s championships unearthed Magnussen as the dominant force in world swimming after a history making swim in the men’s 100m freestyle, where he became the first Australian world champion in the event. ‘The Missile’ was also part of the Australian men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team that was crowned world champions, with the team featuring NSWIS athletes Eamon Sullivan and Matthew Abood.
The Shanghai championships also provided a platform from which a number of NSWIS athletes will launch their London campaigns. Swimmers Olivia Halicek and Kenneth To will take plenty away from their debut world championship performances, as will several NSWIS water polo players as they head towards the 2012 Games.
The Australian men’s and women’s water polo teams finished ninth and fifth, respectively, however there were several strong performances, including the men challenging Serbia and Spain, and the women overcoming arch rivals the USA, that are positive signs for London.
NSWIS divers Alexandra Croak and Melissa Wu won silver in the women’s 10m synchronised platform and now have a strong indication of what will be needed in 12 months time in order to better China’s world champions. Reigning Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham and 2008 Olympian Scott Robertson will be looking to add to the Institute’s representation and success in London.
The NSWIS honour roll at the 2011 FINA Aquatic World Championships: Gold – Matthew Abood (men’s 4x100m freestyle relay), James Magnussen (men’s 100m freestyle, men’s 4x100m freestyle relay), Eamon Sullivan (men’s 4x100m freestyle relay); Silver – Alexandra Croak (women’s 10m synchronised platform), Geoff Huegill (men’s 4x100m medley relay), James Magnussen (men’s 4x100m medley relay), Melissa Wu (women’s 10m synchronised platform); Bronze – Geoff Huegill (men’s 50m butterfly).
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