Mack wins but top hopes not up to speed


Cameron McEvoy, Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton catch their breath after the 200m freestyle. Picture: Getty Images

OLYMPIC Gold medallist Mack Horton ended Cameron McEvoy’s three-year reign as national 200m freestyle champion at Chandler.

Fellow Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers finished second but neither posted a qualifying time leaving a captain’s call to pick a swimmer for the event at the world championships in Budapest in July.

Gold Coaster McEvoy faded to finish fifth.

Australian coach Jacco Verhaeren has discretionary powers to select a participant from within the team to compete in the 200m at the world championships.

McEvoy has already qualified for the team in the 50m freestyle and as a 200m specialist would battle with Chalmers for the spot should the Olympic 100m Gold medallist qualify in the 100m on Wednesday night.

David McKeon finished in last place but is also already on the team.

Mack Horton is congratulated by Kyle Chalmers after winning the 200m freestyle. Picture: Getty Images

Mack Horton is congratulated by Kyle Chalmers after winning the 200m freestyle. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Horton, who won the 200m ahead of Chalmers, in a personal best time of 1.46.83 is unsure of his desire to swim the individual 200m and said he only competed in order to attempt to secure a relay berth.

“I don’t know, I don’t think so, I would like to be able to do it one day, the 200, 400m and 1500m but this year is probably not the year,’’ he said.

“I don’t know what I am doing to be honest, I’m a little bit surprised.

“I haven’t done any 200m work, it was literally just rock up and have a crack.

“I thought there was a chance of getting on the podium and securing that relay spot.’’

The first four placegetters — Horton, Chalmers and Queenslanders Alex Graham and Jack Cartwright, produced a fast enough time to qualify a team for the 4x200m relay.

In other races, Rio Gold medallist Emma McKeon posted a qualifying time of 57.27 in the 100m butterfly.

McKeon, was part of the Gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team in Rio and also won bronze in the 200m freestyle.

Emma McKeon won the 100m butterfly. Picture: AAP

Emma McKeon won the 100m butterfly. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

She also has Gold medal Commonwealth Games freestyle medals and a World Championship as a relay swimmer.

But she hopes to add a butterfly medal to her collection in Budapest.

“It is one of my moist favoured events, I am always a bit more relaxed competing it because I really enjoy it, I enjoy training for it also,’’ she said.

Rio Olympian Taylor McKeown won the 100m women’s breaststroke but was also outside the qualifying time.

EMILY Seebohm is relishing the opportunity to be the hunter when she launches her world title defence in Hungary.

Seebohm won her 10th national title in the 100m backstroke in 58.62sec, her fastest time over the distance since 2015.

A world champion in the 100 and 200m backstroke at the 2015 world championships, Seebohm was diagnosed with endometriosis before the Olympics last year but delayed surgery until after the Games.

Emily Seebohm after her 100m backstroke win. Picture: AAP

Emily Seebohm after her 100m backstroke win. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

The 24-year-old said with her body now having had time to heal completely, she was excited at the prospects of defending her world titles.

“It’s definitely the quickest I’ve been since 2015,’’ she said.

“I think because I had the time to actually let myself full recover.

“Last year was really hard because I didn’t have any time (leading into the Olympics).

“But this time I took a month-and-a-half to recover from all my surgeries and I think that helped me mentally refresh and be able to come into this year and let myself not feel any pressure.”

While the winning time of 58.62 puts her at No.2 in the world, Seebohm is relishing the chance to chase Canada’s world leader Kylie Masse.

“I’m excited because I won’t be the one that’s being chased this time and I’ll have someone to chase,’’ she said.

“And I think for me, mentally, that’s better.”

– with Emma Greenwood

Originally published as Mack wins but top hopes not up to speed