Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kukla stuns Guehrer to book trip to Dehli

Fourteen-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl Yolane Kukla stunned 50-metre butterfly world champion Marieke Guehrer here Wednesday to qualify for the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Kukla, a former gymnast who only started swimming two years ago, swam 25.92s to edge out 2009 world champion Guehrer (26.28) and fellow teenager Emily Seebohm (26.47).

"I did gymnastics for five years but had a bad knee injury and couldn't do much for a while," Kukla said.

"So I got into swimming. I only came here to try and do PBs -- I'm just shocked I got under 26 seconds."

Kukla became the youngest female swimmer to make a major Australian team since 13-year-old Jodie Clatworthy earned a spot at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games.

Twelve-year-old Dimity Douglas, who swam at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games, remains Australia's youngest swimmer at a major meet.

Leisel Jones claimed the 50m breaststroke title and a trip to Delhi when she swam 30.87 to beat Leiston Pickett (31.06) and Sara Katsoulis (31.12)

Hayden Stoekel won the men's 50m backstroke in 25.06, ahead of Daniel Arnamnart (25.08), while Nicholas Ffrost surprised Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Kenrick Monk to win the 200m freestyle in a time of 1:47.40.

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