Coach praises Sullivan's 100m freestyle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coach praises Sullivan's 100m freestyle

17/12/2005 09:04:28 PM Comments (0)

Australian head swimming coach Allen Thompson claimed Eamon Sullivan had the potential to become a great sprinter after he smashed through the 50 second barrier in winning the 100 metre freestyle title at the NSW Championships at Sydney Olympic Park.

West Australian Sullivan, 20, emerged as a contender for an individual berth at the Commonwealth Games after his 100m victory in 49.74 seconds.

He clipped 0.31 seconds off his previous best and bettered the time of 50.09 clocked by the more experienced Ashley Callus in his victory at the Queensland titles earlier in the week.

It was a terrific effort from the 2004 Olympian, who only eight weeks ago underwent a third operation for a torn hip cartilage.

"I've had a pretty tough two years with injuries, and to get under 50 seconds is great" Sullivan said.

"I swam a 50.5 last week at a small meet in WA and I thought I might have a chance (of breaking 50 seconds) if I was swimming well, and luckily I was," added Sullivan, who finished second in the 50 metre butterfly final.

Sullivan said he wasn't the slightest bit disappointed at not swimming against superstar Ian Thorpe, who pulled out of the event after last week recording a qualifying time for next month's trials.

"I'll leave that (to the Commonwealth Games) trials, he's obviously swimming well, but you never know what's going to happen," he said.

Thompson was bullish about Sullivan's prospects.

"Since he was selected in the (2004) Olympic team, he was always one we thought was potentially a great sprinter and I think it's good that he showed that," Thompson said.

"He's a good young lad, a vibrant young fellow and I think he can be a great sprinter for us, at such a young age too."

Sullivan said he was working on strengthening his hips and not overdoing his leg work in a bid to avoid further injury.

Queenslander Alice Mills completed a good double, winning the women's 100 metre freestyle (55.26 seconds) and 50 metre butterfly (27.02 seconds), despite getting little respite between the events.

"I was a bit rushed," said Mills, whose winning time in the 100 metre freestyle was just over half a second slower than in her second place finish behind Libby Lenton at the Queensland titles.

"According to the time sheet, I probably had about 40 minutes, but I really only had about 20, so going from one sprint to another was a bit hard.

"But I've done it heaps of times before and I got two good swims out of myself."

In a night which was dominated by interstate swimmers, other winners included Adam Pine (men's 50 metre butterfly, 24.48 seconds), Jennifer Reilly (women's 400 metre individual medley 4m50.13 seconds), Adam Lucas (men's 400 metre individual medley 4m25.68 seconds), Linda MacKenzie (women's 400 metre freestyle 4m13.34 seconds), Joshua Krogh (men's 400 metre freestyle 3m56.06 seconds), and Jim Piper (men's 200 metre breaststroke 2m15.10 seconds).

World and Olympic 100 metre freestyle champion Jodie Henry pulled out of the event because of a sore throat, but was expected to contest the 50 metre freestyle.

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