Emily Seebohm Sets Early 2017 Pace On 59.2 At NSW Titles; Cate Campbell To Bypass Worlds

Emily Seebohm - by Paul Seiser/SPA Images, courtesy of Arena

Emily Seebohm sped to the helm of the fledgling 2017 world rankings with a 59.28 victory in the 100m backstroke of day two at the NSW state titles in Sydney. Cate and Bronte Campbell go 24.4 and 24.6 in the freestyle dash and Emma McKeon takes 100 ‘fly in 58.2

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My read:

W100BK: very solid time from Seebohm. Wilson’s time basically on par with her 59.9 from Vic titles. McKeown Jr has been more prominent at this meet than Atherton. Whether this has any real significance will only be seen at Nationals.

M200FR: a nest of 1.48s; realistically nothing to be read from other than TFH no showing.

M200BK: with Larkin missing this meet due to administrative muck-up by his new club; essentially a non event.

M100BRS: A 0.3sec PB by Wilson. A sub minute does look on the cards at Nationals but will it play with his head ? Packard utterly pedestrian (missed B final) but he was slow in season last year.

W400FR: near dead heat between Ashwood and Melverton. With Cook taking sabbatical, these two look “locks” for selection with the only issue being times at Nationals.

W200BRS: McKeown Sr seemingly died 1000 deaths coming home but correspondingly, it could be said that she took the opportunity to use Efimova as a benchmark. Some curious pacing obviously but if you’re going to “try and die”, these are the meets to make those mistakes.

W100FLY: McKeon … daylight .. next Australian. Probably the likely script at Nationals with Groves seemingly off the radar as regards intl competition this year. As per her 100FR, solid but clearly not at full power. Next couple of years may be interesting for her given that she is a potential World level medallist in two strokes but can she have them both “on” at the same time ?

W50FR: the main story probably isn’t the race itself but C1s announcement that she will continue to race during this year but is NOT making herself available for Worlds selection. No such announcement, as yet, from C2.

Her statement
““I’m in no way taking a year off. I’m not retiring, I’m not thinking about retiring, I’m just not making myself available for selection.

“I’m taking a long-term approach and focusing on the 2018 Commonwealth Games and then looking forward to 2020. So this year isn’t about being the best, it’s about being my best. I’m taking a bit of a mental health year.

“I’m just making sure I get my body right and my mind right because I do want to continue through to 2018, and at the moment, 2020,’’ she said.

“I’ve battled injuries pretty much my whole career and my injuries aren’t just an issue in the swimming pool. I wake up a couple of times every night because I’m sore from my neck and it carries over into day-to-day life.” (The Australian)

Make of it what you will. I can very much understand she and her team playing it cautiously given her perennial physical fragility but mentioning those words mental health may be creating a rod for her own back. Somewhere along the line she is going to have to face down those demons.

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