Thomas puts Pan Pac 200m freestyle win down to "long arms"
THOMAS Fraser-Holmes credited his "long arms" for helping him to touch out Japan's Kosuke Hagino in the 200m freestyle final at the Pan Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast last night.
The 22-year-old Australian continued his impressive golden streak, after winning two golds and a silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with a time of 1:45:98.
"It helps to have long arms," Fraser-Holmes said with a laugh.
"That last lap was crazy. When I touched the wall…it was something special and something that I am really proud of.
"The Commonwealth (Games) was a big step but this was a big test, racing the Americans. I executed a good race plan tonight.
"I think Ryan (Lochte) had a really good last turn but I just put my head down the last 25 metres and really went for that wall."
Advice from Fraser-Holmes' coach, Denis Cotterell was to do "whatever it takes" and that the race would come down to the last eight strokes.
"I didn't breathe for the last seven strokes so I'm pretty thankful he told me that, and thankful for my long arms."
Teammate and another Gold Coast-based trainer Cameron McEvoy charged home for Australia to come away with bronze in the same event.
Meanwhile, Emily Seebohm dominated in the women's 100m backstroke.
The only athlete to swim under a minute in the heats, Seebohm improved her time to 58.84 in the final to win gold in emphatic fashion, beating her own Pan Pacs and Australian All-Comers record in the process.
The Brisbane native took the win ahead of teammate Belinda Hocking and America's Missy Franklin, who had forced Seebohm to settle for silver at the last Olympics and World Championships.
Franklin went into these championships with a back injury.
"I felt pretty comfortable in that final 50 and seeing where she (Franklin) was out of the corner of my eye - it definitely gave me a bit more on that back 50 and that was exactly what I needed," Seebohm said.
"Being in lane four I had a lot of pressure on me, but I was able to overcome that. I was able to come out and win the gold and that's exactly what I wanted."
Hocking, 23, was thrilled to take home silver from the event after swimming 59.78.
Brisbane's Bronte Barratt took home silver in the women's 200m freestyle in 1:57:22, behind America's Katie Ledecky, who won gold in a new Pan Pacs record time of 1:55.74.
And Melbourne man Mack Horton, who recently won silver in the event at the Commonwealth Games, was third in the 1500m freestyle in 14:52.78.
At just 18 years, he was the youngest competitor in the top-class field that saw six swimmers go neck and neck throughout the entire race.