Queenslander Leah Neale, who won gold in the 400m and silver in the 800m freestyle, has set the 10th Australian age record of the meet in the 15yrs 200m freestyle, on the penultimate night of competition at the 2011 Australian Age Championships in Adelaide.
The talented teen, who won an astonishing nine gold medals on last year’s Trans-Tasman tour of New Zealand, was dominate from the onset at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre, overhauling the record set last year by Illawarra swimmer Emma McKeon (2:00.21) winning in 1:59.80.
In a great show of support McKeon, who was on pool deck spectating, was one of the first to congratulate Neale at becoming the first 15-year-old Australian female in history to break the magical two minute barrier.
Neale beat home WA’s Brianna Throssell (2:01.70) and Queenslander Carla Buchanan (2:03.31) before being overcome with emotion at her achievement.
“It’s all a bit overwhelming to be honest. It’s my first Australian Age record so I’m very, very excited,” said Neale.
“I was too tired to look up and see my coach (Peter Carswell) but I’m sure he will be happy, as it was a PB by nearly two seconds.”
Queensland’s Mikkayla Sheridan will swim for her seventh gold medal and eighth overall tomorrow night after picking up a further two this evening in the 100m butterfly and 200m IM.
With just one event remaining for the Queensland 16-year-old, which happens to be the same event in which recently won bronze in at the Australian open championships in Sydney – the 200m backstroke – the bid for seven gold looks in good shape.
Winning the 100m butterfly in 1:00.95 tonight, her 21st individual Australian Age gold medal, Sheridan then backed up for silver in the 200m IM in a time of 2:16.93 behind a fast finishing Kotuku Ngawati who burst clear in the breaststroke leg to eventually hit the wall in 2:15.23 for gold, with Taylor McKeown third in 2:17.43.
In the 100m butterfly Sheridan was too strong for fellow Queenslander Brittany Elmslie (1:02.02), with Samantha Wilkins picking up bronze in 1:02.16.