Rickard motivated by loss

WORLD champion Brenton Rickard will spend this morning hoping the day can bring new hope after a disastrous opening to the Queensland Swimming Championships at Chandler last night.

In the 200m breaststroke, the event in which he won silver at last year's Beijing Olympics, Rickard admits he could offer no excuse after touching five seconds behind Commercial's world record-holder Christian Sprenger and young gun Buster Sykes to take bronze.

Aiming towards the Australian trials for the Pan-Pacific Championships and Commonwealth Games, Rickard said one good thing to come from the swim was he could only improve.

"I did an average job (in the heats) but I was well within myself," said Rickard, the fifth fastest qualifier for last night's final.

"I came out and felt a lot better in the warm-up  but it pretty much went pear-shaped in the first lap when my cap fell off.

"From there it was a pretty steep downward slope as well."

Gunning for redemption in his pet 100m breaststroke tonight, the 26-year-old joked his thrashing at the hands of Sprenger was all the motivation he required.

"Christian and I have a bit of a rivalry going on and getting your butt kicked by almost five seconds is probably not a bad thing in terms of motivation," he said.

"Unfortunately we don't always swim perfectly and things go wrong and tonight was a pretty big example."

As expected, the change in suit laws to come into effect from January 1 had a major bearing last night, with Sprenger's winning time five seconds outside his world record 2:07.31 at the World Championships this year.

Sprenger admits it had been tough adapting to race conditions and times well down on those achieved with the full-length suit.

"Technically it's a lot harder to come from the suits, but I'm doing all the good things and taking small steps so it's looking good for (tonight)," said Sprenger.

"I always raced in shorts growing up and it didn't feel too uncomfortable wearing them but the only real difference I saw was when I looked around and saw the times."

It was a mixed night for the Coast's other swimmers, including Southport's Nick Ffrost, who touched in sixth in the men's 200m freestyle, two seconds behind Kiwi winner Andrew McMillan.

In the women's 200m breaststroke, Leisel Jones made a triumphant return to the pool, cruising in at 2.23:04 minutes ahead of 16-year-old Tessa Wallace.

Pro-Ma Miami teenagers Ellen Fullerton, Katie Goldman and Jade Neilsen opened their championships off the pace, while Meagen Nay showed her credentials with victory in the women's 200m freestyle final.

It was a momentous victory for Nay, her first since being forced to return home early from the World Championships after her brother was killed in a car crash near Tweed Heads in July.

Her return last night was impressive as she surged to the wall.

Fullerton, Goldman and Neilsen ended fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

But Goldman made amends by clinching silver in the women's 400m individual medley.

Kawana Waters winner Samantha Hammill produced the swim of the night to claim the title with Fullerton in fourth and Stephanie Rice taking bronze.

Miami youngster Cody Simpson clinched gold in the under-12 100m butterfly final and completed the double in the 200m individual medley.

Coomera's Max Muggeridge crossed second behind Japan's Mamoru Mouri in the under-13 breaststroke but took gold as the first Queenslander.

Miami's Bonnie McDonald clinched the 200m backstroke  storming to the front in a time of 2.18.99.

In the boys under-14 backstroke, Pro-Ma Miami's Jordan Harrison claimed silver with St Hilda's Benjamin Willoughby getting bronze.

Southport's David Morgan was second in the under-15 butterfly while PBCs Jesse Whenuaroa was third in the under-13 200m backstroke.


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