Olympic Hopeful Kiah Melverton’s Gold-Medal Start in Melbourne

Article courtesy of Swimming World Magazine

Kiah Melverton Strikes Gold With PB in 800m As Australian Short-Course Championships get underway in Melbourne

Gold Coast Olympic hopeful Kiah Melverton (TSS Aquatic) has opened up her 2020 Tokyo campaign in the best possible fashion with a double gold and silver and with a career-best time on the opening night of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships in Melbourne.

The 22-year-old swam her way into the Australian All-Time Top Ten for 800 metres freestyle at the Melbourne Sports And Aquatic Centre with a personal best time of 8:15.93 (4:05.85) in an emphatic start to her Olympic campaign.

She had earlier warmed up with a silver medal-winning swim behind her Commonwealth Games teammate Meg Bailey (Hunter) in the 400m individual medley in another personal best.

Bailey, back in Australia after a four-year stint with Ohio State University, won the gold in 4:29.17, followed by Melverton (4:35.09) with Junior Pan Pac representative Jacinta Essam (Ginninderrra, NSW) a close-up third in 4:36.64.

Essam (8:26.76pb in the morning heat) was also third to Melverton and new TSS recruit Moesha Johnson (8:22.92) in the 800m.

Melverton topped off her night with an eye-catching second leg 100m split of 54.57 in the gold medal-winning TSS 4x100m freestyle relay.

The middle distance and distance swimming specialist faces a tough road to achieve her Olympic dream with the bases loaded in the Australian ranks – led by 400m world champion Ariarne Titmus, herb TSS training partner and fellow World Championship team mate Maddie Gough and rising star Lani Pallister.

All three opponents are missing from this meet with Titmus on ISL duties with the Cali Condors in Budapest, Gough on the Fina World Cup campaign and Pallister at home of the Sunshine Coast after a busy year of international swimming and surf lifesaving duties.

Melverton knows that the 1500m – the new event on the Tokyo program – will be her best shot of making the team and she will race the only heat of the 1500m freestyle here on Saturday morning – an ideal opportunity to race a morning final – as they will be in Tokyo.

She will be chasing another fast time when she lines up in the 400m on the second day of competition.

Others to catch the eye on night one were fellow Gold Coasters Jenna Strauch (Bond University) in the 100m breaststroke, lanky 16-year-old World Junior Championship representative Thomas Hauck (All Saints) in the 400m freestyle and Singapore’s Olympic 100m butterfly champion Joseph Schooling.

Strauch made the most of the absence of defending champion Jess Hansen (Nunawading) and Olympians Tay McKeown and Georgia Bohl (Griffith University) who are away on ISL duties to win a blanket finish in the 100m breaststroke in 1:06.03 – adding to her 2018 victory in the 200m.

Strauch held on to take the win from 2012 Olympian Tessa Wallace (Pelican Waters, QLD) 1:06.36 with Jessica Eriksson (Sweden) 1:06.64 third and another 2012 Olympian Leiston Pickett (Southport Olympic) 1:06.66 the third Australian.

Hauck (3:43.38) had to dig deep over the final 50m to get over the top of Malaysian champion Sim Welson who finished third in 3:43.90 after Nunawading’s Brendon Smith flew home over the closing stages to grab the silver in 3:43.85 in a thrilling finish.

It was a great breakthrough for the Ken Sabotic coached Hauck who also has Olympic coaching legend and ISHOF coach Bill Sweetenham in his corner as a mentor coach at the All Saints program.

It was Hauck’s first open medal in what will be an exciting career ahead in freestyle and backstroke.

And believe it or not Olympic champion Mack Horton, faded to finish 10th in the 10-man final in 3:50.76.

In fairness to Horton his coach Craig Jackson did say before the meet that his supercharge was playing the long game and the meet was a training weekend.

Horton however did redeem himself in the final men’s race of the night when he anchored his Melbourne Vic Centre team to gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay, splitting 49.42.

Olympic champion Schooling kept the Asian flags flying winning the 100m freestyle in an impressive 48.05 from young Aussies Zac Incerti (UWA West Coast, WA) 48.23 and Luke Gebbie (Melbourne Vicentre) 48.84.

While the women’s 100m freestyle saw Rio Olympic IMer Koti Ngawati (Melbourne Vicentre) etch her name among the sport’s biggest names in Libby Trickett, Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon as a win of the blue ribband event.

Ngawati clocked 53.45 to strike gold in a Melbourne Vicentre quinella with Elyse Woods 53.82 taking silver from 15-year-old rising star Gabriella Peiniger (MLC Aquatic, VIC) 54.05.

Meanwhile, in the Multi-Disability events Paralympians Matt Levy, Monique Murphy, Ashleigh McConnell and Rachael Watson all set new world records in their categories.

Murphy, from the Bellgravia Club, started the night off with world record number one, smashing the long standing 400m freestyle world record for S10s, stopping the clock in 4:35.52

North Sydney’s Levy clocked an S7 world mark of 2:34.02 in the 200IM while McConnell (S9) and Paralympic champion Watson (S4) set respective 50m freestyle world records, of 28.54 and 40.74.



 400m freestyle

 GOLD: Thomas Hauck (All Saints, QLD) 3:43.38

SILVER: Brendon Smith (Nunawading, VIC) 3:43.85

BRONZE: Sim Welson (Malaysia) 3:43.90

BRONZE: Joshua Parrish (TSS Aquatic) 3:45.75


200m butterfly

 GOLD: David Morgan (TSS Aquatic, QLD) 1:54.63

SILVER: Nicholas Brown (UWA West Coast, WA)

BRONZE: Matthew Temple (Nunawading, VIC) 1:55.02


100m freestyle

GOLD: Joseph Schooling (Singapore) 48.05

SILVER: Zac Incerti (UWA West Coast, WA) 48.23

BRONZE: Luke Gebbie (Melbourne Vicentre) 48.84

50m backstroke

GOLD: William Yang (Loretto Normanhurst, NSW) 23.93

GOLD: Bradley Woodward (Mingara, NSW) 23.93

BRONZE: Jye Cornwall (Yeronga Park, QLD) 24.20

50m breaststroke

 GOLD: Sam Williamson (Firbank Aquastars, VIC) 26.64

SILVER: James McKechnie (Starplex) 26.70

BRONZE: Daniel Cave (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) 27.24

200m IM Multi-Class

GOLD: Matthew Levy (North Sydney, NSW) 2:34.02 (WR)

SILVER: Jack Ireland (UQ Swim Club, QLD) 2:16.21

BRONZE: Jesse Aungles (Marion, SA) 2:27.99

50m free Multi-Class

GOLD: Daniel Fox (TSS Aquatic, QLD) 24.78

SILVER: Jack Ireland (UQSC, QLD) 25.09

BRONZE: Rowan Crothers (Yeronga Park, QLD) 23.07

50m breaststroke Multi-Class

GOLD: Jesse Aungles (Marion, SA) 36.17

SILVER: Ahmed Kelly (Melbourne Vic entre, VIC) 51.61

BRONZE: Lachlan Haanratty (Revesby Workers, NSW) 34.62

4x100m freestyle relay

GOLD: Melbourne Vicentre, VIC (3:16.15)

SILVER: Ravenswood, NSW (3:16.69)

BRONZE: TSS Aquatic, QLD (3:17.78)


200m backstroke

 GOLD: Hayley Baker (Canberra, ACT) 2:04.64

SILVER: Jessica Unicomb (Griffith University) 2:06.86

BRONZE: Olivia Lefoe (MLC Aquatic) 2:06.86

100m breaststroke

 GOLD: Jenna Strauch (Bond) 1:06.03

SILVER: Tessa Wallace (Pelican Waters, QLD) 1:06.36

BRONZE: Jessica Eriksson (Sweden) 1:06.64

BRONZE: Leiston Pickett (Southport Olympic) 1:06.66


100m freestyle

GOLD: Kotuku Ngawati (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) 53.45

SILVER: Elyse Woods (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) 53.82

BRONZE: Gabriella Peiniger (MLC Aquatic, VIC) 54.05


400m IM

GOLD: Meg Bailey (Hunter, NSW) 4:29.17

SILVER: Kiah Melverton (TSS Aquatic, QLD) 4:35.09

BRONZE: Jacinta Essam (Ginninderra, NSW) 4:36.64

800m freestyle

 GOLD: Kiah Melverton (TSS Aquatic, QLD) 8:15.93

SILVER: Moesha Johnson (TSS Aquatic, QLD) 8:22.92

BRONZE: Jacinta Essam (Ginninderra, NSW) 8:26.76

50m butterfly


GOLD: Ellysia Oldsen (Marion, SA) 26.62

SILVER: Mia O’Leary (St Peters Western, QLD) 26.83

BRONZE: Emily Washer (Abbotsford, NSW) 26.85

BRONZE: Oriane Villiers (Canberra, ACT) 26.85

400m Multi-Class

GOLD: Monique Murphy (Belgravia, QLD) 4:35.52 (S10 WR)

SILVER: Taylor Corry (Nelson Bay, NSW) 4:43.96

BRONZE: Megan Botha (CA Tritons) 5:14.07

200m IM Multi-Class

 GOLD: Taylor Corry (Nelson Bay, NSW) 2:28.94

SILVER: Ruby Storm (Traralgon, VIC) 2:32.40

BRONZE: Katherine Downie (Perth City, WA) 2:32.13)

50m free Multi-Class

 GOLD: Ashleigh McConnell (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) 28.54 (S9 WR)

SILVER: Rachael Watson (Chandler, QLD) 40.74 (S4 WR)

BRONZE: Taylor Corry (Nelson Bay, NSW) 27.86

50m breaststroke Multi-Class

GOLD: Ruby Storm (Traralgon, VIC) 36.37

SILVER: Anna Leighton (Ballarat Gold, VIC) 39.77

BRONZE: Jade Calverley (West Coast, SA)

4x100m freestyle relay

GOLD: TSS A Aquatic (3:42.94)

SILVER: Nunawading A, VIC (3:43.54)

BRONZE: MLC Aquatic VIC (3:43.84)