Final Night - 2024 NSW Sydney Open & UniSport Nationals

11 May 2024
Sydney Open Olivia W
Written by: Ian Hanson OAM

Zac Stubblety-Cook, Emily Seebohm and William Petric Star On Final Night of Sydney Open UniSport Nationals.

Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook, Nunawading ‘s rising IM star William Petric and “Super Mum”  Emily Seebohm delivered their own special storylines on the final night of the 2024 Sydney Open UniSport Nationals.

Chandler’s Stubblety-Cook (swimming for Griffith University, QLD continued to mount his Olympic gold medal defence with an impressive 2:07.89 to win the 200m breaststroke final from Chandler training partner Bailey Lello 2:11.27 with Joshua Collett (Bond, QLD) 2:12.34 third.
“You can never complain with a 2:07, although I would have liked to have gone a little bit faster but that always keeps you itchy,” Stubblety-Cook said after his race.

“It was a good swim and I put it together better than Nationals, although it was a bit slower we were not as fresh as we were for Nationals but mentally it’s always a sticky period before Trials.”

While 19-year-old Petric produced the swim of his life in the 400IM in one of the races of the meet with New Zealand world champion Lewis Clareburt clocking the number one time in the world this year with his winning time of 4:08.71 – his second quickest ever.

Petric, who has been in great form all season, swam a personal best time of 4:12.21 – the 11th fastest time in the world for 2024 and the third fastest by an Australian.

It was a time that would have won him bronze in the World’s 400IM final won by Clareburt in Doha in February - faster than Doha bronze medallist, Japan’s four-time world champion Daiya Seto’s Doha time of 4:12.51. Seto was third in last night’s final  in 4:17.36.
Clareburt set a cracking pace, just 0.01 outside his best time of 4:08.70, when he won the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The trio have been battling it out all summer in Australia – including a series of thrilling races at the Australian Open Championships on the Gold Coast last month which  have continued in Sydney over the past three days.
Both Clareburt and Seto have already swum their respective Olympic Trials with both swimmers, Clareburt, 24 and Seto 29 punching their tickets for Paris – Clareburt’s winning time of 4:09.72 in Doha sealing his selection.
They have also played a crucial role in pushing the Australian teenager as he prepares for next month’s Australian Trials in Brisbane from June 10-15 under experienced international coach Jol Finck at Victoria’s premier club, Nunawading.
While Seebohm, at 31 and a first-time mum to son Samson, born last September, added the 200m backstroke to her earlier win in the 100m as she continues to work towards the Olympic Trials in Brisbane next month and a possible record fifth Games.
Revealing no matter what happens at the Trials, she plans to swim on.
Remarkably, Seebohm (St Margaret’s, QLD) continues to drop her times – clocking 2:11.42 – two seconds faster than her time swum at the Australian Open Championships on the Gold Coast last month.
Seebohm edged out fellow World Championship medallist and world record holder Minna Atherton (Bond, QLD) who was not far behind in 2:11.74, with Alice Campbell (QLD Uni of Technology) third in 2:17.52.

It is seven months since Seebohm gave birth to son Samson and she is still breastfeeding while training and preparing for her fifth Olympic Trials Meet at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre from June 10-15.

And the idea of taking Samson on the team – whether it’s to the Olympics or on the World Cup or to the World Short Course – has been discussed positively with Swimming Australia.

“It used to be once you have a baby that’s it but now we see so many women in sport who are mum’s and travelling with their kids and they are included in the team environment,” said Seebohm.

“You see it with the Matildas (Australia’s women’s football team), the tennis players and on the Australian Water Polo team, it’s a stepping  stone to keep mums in their sports longer. 

“I am still breastfeeding Samson and have done so since he was born and I haven’t been  away from him.

“Even if I don’t make it to Paris, I want to keep swimming at the World Cups and World Short Course because I think I can keep improving.”

Meanwhile in the women’s 100m freestyle final, 2023 World Junior gold and silver medallists Olivia Wunsch(Carlile, NSW) and Milla Jansen (Bond, QLD) were again 1-2 Wunsch touching first in 53.93 ahead of Jansen in 54.35 with Brittany Castelluzzo (Tea Tree Gully, SA) third in 55.28.

Wunsch and Jansen will be pushing hard for places in the top eight in the top-heavy women’s 100m freestyle final top eight at Trials.

While Japan’s dual Olympian Rikako Ikee continued her impressive form, winning the 100m butterfly in 57.63 from Olympic hopeful Lizzie Dekkers (Chandler, QLD) 58.26 an Bella Grant (Australian Catholic University, NSW) 58.46.

And in the Multi-Class events, world champion Alexa Leary (St Hilda’s, QLD) again produced the goods to win the 100m freestyle Multi-Class in 59.37 from Emily Beecroft (Sunshine Coast University, QLD) 1:04.10 and Chloe Osborn (Australian Catholic University, Blacktown, NSW) 1:13.50 – celebrating 100 days to the Paris Paralympics.

With fellow world champion and world record holder Katja Dedekind (Yeronga Park, QLD) won the Multi-Class 100m backstroke in 1:09.19 from Madeleine McTernan (Sharks Aquatic, QLD) 1:12.30 and Jenna Jones(USC Spartans, QLD) 1:15.10.

And in the men’s events, Tokyo bronze medallist Tom Gallagher (Somerset, QLD) 52.36 won the men’s 100m freestyle from Paralympic champion Rowan Crothers (Yeronga Park, QLD) 53.29 and another Tokyo bronze medallist Alex Tuckfield (Southern Sydney Swim Team, NSW) 55.07.

While another star of Tokyo Games, world record holder Timothy Hodge (University of Western Sydney, NSW) took out the 100m backstroke in 1:03.90 from Declan Budd (Knox Pymble, NSW) 1:04.50 and Daniel Rigby (Knox Pymble, NSW) 1:14.23


Was this page helpful?yesno

Thanks for your feedback.

Go back to top