Melissa Gorman And Rhy Mainstone On Top Down Under

Melissa Gorman And Rhy Mainstone On Top Down Under

World champion Melissa Gorman had a bit of deja vu in winning her third straight 10K title at at 2010 Australian Open Water Championships.

Like her very last stroke to snatch victory from the Olympic gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko at the 2009 World Championships, Melissa just out-touched Danielle DeFrancesco to win in 2:03:17.

With the top two finishers automatically qualifying for the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Championships, it appeared that Danielle would join Melissa as her teammate again as they paired up at the 2009 World Championships, but Danielle was disqualified because both of her transponders had fallen off during the race – an automatical disqualification.

Her coach Denis Cotterell lodged an appeal that was dismissed and subsequently adjudicated by a Jury of Appeal. After more then four hours of consideration, the appeal was turned down and the disqualification stood (note: rules require swimmers to finish the race with at least one transponder).

Melissa felt for her competitor and teammate, “I feel really sorry for her Danielle. She put together an excellent race out there today and her absence at the World Open Water Championships [in Quebec, Canada] will impact on the strength of the Australian team, but rules are rules.” About her own victory, Melissa said, “It was my hardest national 10K win I have had. The win gives me great confidence for the Pan Pacs and World Open Water Championships coming up later this year.”

The men’s 10K race had similar surprises. The biggest surprise was the sixth-place finish by defending champion Trent Grimsey who ended up sixth.

19-year-old West Australian Rhys Mainstone won handily in 1:53.54 over David Browne (1:54.03) and George O’Brien (1:54.40) as he pulled away over the last 1.5K. Rhys was happy, especially about the progress he is making after finishing in the top six at two FINA World Cup races in 2009, “While it was great to win today it’s a stepping stone to my ultimate goal which is the London 2012 Olympics and I am ticking off all the boxes faster then I had expected. I dug down really deep today and did a lot of work towards the end of the race and obviously it paid off.”

With spots still open for Australia’s world championship team and its 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championship team, the 5K race on Sunday will undoubtedly continue to showcase Australia’s best.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones