Ky Hurst and Melissa Gorman triumph at Penrith 10km swim races

The original article by Sam Williams is posted (with picture) on since March 4, 2011

Australia’s Ky Hurst and Melissa Gorman have won the men’s and women’s 10km races at the Australian Open Water Swimming Championships today. With their accomplishments at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith, they have placed their first step on the London Olympics Qualification ladder.

The 29-year-old Hurst qualified for this championship through a meet for the 1500m freestyle two weeks ago. He finished the race in 1:55.04, one second quicker than Rhys Mainstone of Perth. The Australian swimmer has been out of swimming since the 2009 Australian Championships.

Today’s results showed that both swimmers are top contestants for representing Australia at the 2011 Shanghai World Championships in July. The top 10 finishers of each race at Shanghai championship will automatically get a ticket for the 2012 London Olympics.

Hurst acknowledged his experience in Beijing and said that he wants to re-live that moment. "I guess what I had over everybody else today was experience. I guess that's what 14 years of open water swimming does for you," he said.

The 21-year-old Mainstone, passed up his brother’s wedding this week to prepare for the championships. He seems very delighted to have a chance of learning from the veteran. He said that being a member of the Shanghai team with Hurst is a great opportunity to learn as Ky went to Beijing and has a lot of experience of open water swimming.

In the women’s corner, was the four times champion of the 10km race, Melissa Gorman. Gorman was also a gold medalist for the event at the 2009 World Championships. Gorman captured the gold medal in her personal best time of 1:59.03 followed by Cara Baker of New Zealand in a time of 2:03.55 and Queensland’s Danielle DeFrancesco in 2:04.04.

"That was a really good swim. I have been doing a few different things outside of the pool for the last six weeks and they seem to be working," said Gorman. Gorman and DeFrancesco will now represent Australia at the World Championships in July.

The Australian Open Water Championship will conclude tomorrow with the men’s and women’s 5km swims.